What does High Performance Computing solutions have to do with the centuries old sport of sailing? It turns out quite a lot if you are Dell and Emirates Team New Zealand. I’m a huge sailing fan and amateur sailor and I had the unique opportunity to host some of Dell’s customers and witness first-hand the intersection of Super Computing and Sailing at the America’s Cup in San Francisco.
This year’s America’s Cup took the technology of sailing to a whole new level with the introduction of wing sailed, multihull boats, and Dell has been involved from the start with America’s Cup competitor, Emirates Team New Zealand.
Faced with the challenge of the new multihull yacht structure, Emirates Team New Zealand needed to innovate their design process to prepare for the 2013 race season. The team, known as the “Kiwis,” turned to Dell over three years ago for an end-to-end solution that includes Dell’s high performance computing (HPC) cluster, Latitude and Precision laptops and Dell Services. The partnership has been a success and with the new technology in place, the Kiwis successfully competed alongside America’s Cup top rival teams.
We leveraged our partnership with the Dell/Cambridge HPC Solution Centre to help Emirates Team New Zealand build a solution that uniquely matched their need to dramatically improve their boat design process. Before the power of HPC, boat design was a slow and static process involving testing a minimal number of designs in a physical tank, waiting for results, making changes and then starting the process again. By virtualizing the design process, The Kiwis were able to test 10x as many structures to ensure their best chance for success in the race. The Kiwis tested nearly 400 boats using computational modeling to gain the intelligence they needed for a winning design.
Off the water, Dell also helped Emirates Team New Zealand develop a social media strategy to engage with their passionate fans around the world. The Kiwis collaborated with Dell to design Team New Zealand’s social media platform via Dell’s Social Media Services. Now, you can follow the Kiwis every move via their blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and see the result of Dell’s technology.
It has been thrilling to watch Emirates Team New Zealand race the world’s fastest boats and know that Dell’s technology is behind it. Today, the excitement reached an all-time high for the Kiwis as they battled Oracle Team USA in the final race of the competition. Join me in commending our partner, Emirates Team New Zealand for a job well done in one of the toughest sailing competition, the 34th America’s Cup.
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