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Dell extends dual-core servers for the Enterprise

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Dell is upping the stakes in the enterprise server market with the release of its ninth generation of PowerEdge servers.

Announcing the worldwide availability of the PowerEdge 1950, 2900 and 2950, Jay Parker, Dell's director of worldwide marketing for PowerEdge servers, promised: "Dell will achieve leadership in price/performance per Watt in servers by the second half of this year. Whether it be one socket, two sockets or four."

Most of the power-saving is offered by the use of Intel's dual-core Xeon 5100 series processors. These replace the ill-fated Paxville Xeon chips that were considered to be inferior stop-gap products. The servers offer up to 169 per cent improvement over Dell's eight generation servers, Parker claimed.

The price/performance per Watt claim is further enhanced by the Xeon's low power rating of 64W, which is only three quarters of the Paxville's consumption. Servers based on the new Xeons will not require any motherboard changes to accommodate Woodcrest, a new Intel processor expected later this month.

Power consumption is further reduced by the use of SAS and SATA 2.5in and 3.5in disk drives, underlining Dell’s preference for standards rather than proprietary technology.

Efficiency is enhanced by using Broadcom’s Gigabit Ethernet interface cards. These use the company’s TCP/IP Offload Engine which uses an on-board processor to relieve the CPU of routine network packetising tasks.

All the servers have an LCD screen on the front panel and this can be programmed to display status messages, pending error alarms or the IP addresss of the unit. This means that that faults reported on the management console can be confirmed by the field engineer or that problems can be seen without having to power-up the console.

The 1U format PowerEdge 1950 is a rack server starting at £850 with SATA drives, the 2950 is a 2U rack costing upwards of £1,095. The 2900 is configured as a tower at £850. ®

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