Dell EMC Transitions to Virtual-only SC21 Participation

Dell EMC PowerEdge C6525 Chassis Rear With Nodes Partially Out
Dell EMC PowerEdge C6525 Chassis Rear With Nodes Partially Out

After last week’s coverage of major chipmakers shifting plans from attending Supercomputing 2021, or SC21, in-person to virtual, it seemed like we would get more announcements this week. While the first trio of confirmations to STH came from NVIDIA and Intel, and Arm, we have another to report. Dell EMC has told STH that it also plans to participate in SC21 as a virtual-only conference.

Dell Joins Industry Transition to SC21 Virtual-only

We received text message confirmation a few days ago that this was coming, but here is the official statement from a Dell spokesperson:

We’ve evaluated participation in the best interest of our team members, customers and partners. We look forward to participating in SC21 virtually this year.” (Source: Dell spokesperson e-mail confirmation to STH)

Dell has been a major player in the HPC community for years, and we have shown Dell systems off. You can even see a tour of the TACC supercomputer facility to see a Dell HPC installation.

TACC Data Center Tour 2021 Matterport Stampede 2
TACC Data Center Tour 2021 Matterport Stampede 2

Final Words

Dell pulling out of SC21 is a major blow, especially combined with NVIDIA, Intel, Arm, and another that we have text message confirmation on, but not an official statement. It appears as though sponsors are taking a conservative approach and opting not to send teams of folks to stand ready at booths or hotel venues. This was expected, and now that Dell has confirmed it is going virtual-only we are just playing a waiting game for the rest of the conference.

Again, given where we are in the cycle, it is probably wise to at least take pause and thank those who have been working on putting together SC21 for many quarters at this point. This is one of those bits of news that is important, but it is also one that we are not excited to share with the STH community. We have been working on contingency plans for the past few weeks to bring you coverage like we would if there was an in-person show as the COVID-19 Delta variant has picked up momentum, so stay tuned to STH for more.


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