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Dell tackles power concerns with new blade server

Dell tackles power concerns with new blade server

Dell plans to address the power concerns that have dogged previous releases of its blade server but not everyone is sold on the new offering.

Based on Intel's next-generation Xeon processor, codenamed Nocona - which allows the processor to run both 32-bit and 64-bit software - the new blade server promises to reduce the physical space and to cut power costs.

To be released later this year, the blade server includes the Lindenhurst chip, DDR 2, a PCI Express bus, a remodelled chassis, and the ability to support redundant drives and power supplies.

The Dell blades will cost the same as the 1Us when the chassis is half populated and up to 25 percent less than 1Us when the chassis is full, company officials said.

The as yet unnamed system will become part of the Dell PowerEdge series and pricing will be the same as the similarly configured rack-mount server.

Gartner research director of servers and storage, Phil Sargeant, said that over time organizations that have deployed hundreds of One and Two-way servers are interested in blades because they can offer superior management mechanisms, but Dell needs to prove its claims of increased density and power-management.

"A blade is just a chassis and unless you can fill it up then the whole idea is an expensive proposition," Sargeant said.

"The reason blades came out is that they promised to increase the density of computing with less space combined with lower power consumption, but they initially did not solve power issue - they were very hefty on usage.

"Most blades are Intel-based and I am not aware that the new Nocona chip cuts down power requirements.

"The previous offerings from Dell in the blade space were very unattractive and did not offer what the competitors offered; it only supported a small number of blades and had a Pentium 3 which was ordinary compared to what HP and IBM released.

"Dell has excelled in the one and two CPU server arena but the reality is blades have the capacity to eat into that space so Dell will need a viable offering; it has to get into that space to compete and protect."

Sargeant said the blade space within Australia had been moving fairly slow but has accelerated in the last nine months predominantly for scientific work, high-performance computing, animation and rendering.

HP and IBM currently own the blade market in Australia, with the two companies responsible for between 70 and 75 percent of shipments locally.

Dell director of enterprise, Simon Johnson, said customers want reduced complexity as well as density, improved management and greater physical structuring in the blade market; previous blade releases from vendors did not address these concerns.

"Power consumption is a major concern for many data centres regardless and whether or not blades improve on power consumption depends on the infrastructure itself," Johnson said.

"Some blades have not delivered on previous density promises but from a Dell perspective we are looking to improve on density and cost together with scalability."


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