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Dell High-Performance Clusters Aid the University of Utah in Researching Ways to Prevent Accidental Fires and Explosions


The news release below was issued today by the Dell Computer Corp. and deals with a research program at the University for Utah that aims to prevent accidental fires and explosions. The cluster of Dell PCs should be among the 200 fastest computers in the world, according to Steve Parker of the U’s School of Computing.

New Study Shows Dell Leads Industry
in Technical Cluster Deployments in First Half of 2002

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 23, 2002 – Researchers at The University of Utah are using a Dell high-performance computing cluster (HPCC) to research and help prevent accidental fires and explosions.

The university’s Center for the Simulation of Accidental Fires and Explosions (C-SAFE) will use the cluster to provide government and corporations with insights into the safety of storing and handling chemicals and hazardous materials. C-SAFE is a program created by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI) to integrate large, complex computer models for solving the nation’s critical scientific and engineering problems.

According to new research by industry analyst firm International Data Corp., deployments like those at the University of Utah add to the growing number of organizations buying standards-based supercomputing clusters from Dell. The firm recently recognized Dell as the leading provider of Intel-based Linux technical clusters in the first and second quarters of 2002 with approximately 40 percent of the worldwide market. (According to IDC’s Worldwide MidRange and High Performance Server Overview report, the Intel/Linux technical cluster market reached $86 million in Q102 and$116 million in Q202.)

“Before we deployed the Dell HPCC solution we executed almost all of our simulations on proprietary supercomputers, primarily those provided by the DOE ASCI program,” said Steve Parker, research assistant professor, the University of Utah. “The price and performance of the Dell cluster enables us to bring more of our research onsite for development before performing even larger simulations on the ASCI framework.”

Russ Holt, vice president and general manager of Dell’s Enterprise Systems Group, said the tens of thousands of systems that Dell has deployed to date is evidence of the steady growth in the use of high-performance clusters to replace traditional supercomputers. “Accidental fire and explosion prevention is yet another example of beneficial research that can be accomplished through Dell HPCC solutions,” he said.

The cluster consists of 128 Del (trademark) PowerEdge (trademark) 2650 servers with dual Intel ® Xeon ® processors running Red Hat ® Linux. The University of Utah will use the PowerEdge servers to process up to nine terabytes of data involved in a range of accident scenarios, such as those resulting from jet-fuel fire after an airplane crash or the ignition of chemicals in a containment building.

For more information about Dell’s HPCC program, please visit:

For more information about the C-SAFE program at the University of Utah, please visit:

About Dell
Dell Computer Corporation (Nasdaq: DELL) is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. The company’s revenue for the past four quarters totaled $32.1 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at

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