Feeds

Dell's Soviet style two-year plan results in fresh blade servers

55,000 man hours and four acres of pines

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Dell 2.0 is full of surprises. For example, the hardware maker today unveiled the HP C-Class blade server chassis - its third take on the blade design.

Well, okay, Dell really unveiled the PowerEdge M1000e chassis, which we've been writing about for months. Thing is the system eats up 10U of rack space and holds 16 half-height blades just like HP's C-Class chassis.

Dell takes umbrage at the C-Class comparisons even though you'd need a degree in bezelology to tell the system apart from the M1000e. The server maker spent two years and about 55,000 man hours (like woman hours but with less pay) designing the M1000e and has - get this - around 30 patents pending on the hardware. That intellectual property magic translates into a blade chassis that demonstrates far better performance per watt than either HP or IBM, according to Dell's chief bladetologist and VP Rick Becker, who the company acquired from - we'll give you one guess - HP.

Initially, customers can only buy half height versions of the new M600 and M605 blades to slot into the fresh chassis. The M600 systems will ship with dual- and quad-core versions (65nm and 45nm) of Xeon, while the M605 will ship with dual-core versions of Opteron until AMD manages to find some bug free four-core chips to give to Dell. Full height blades will arrive later this year.

The dual-socket servers look a lot like the other vendors' units, although Dell claims some cooling advantages thanks to smart component placement.

The real performance per watt gusto, however, stems from the chassis where Dell has relied on slick fans and up to 93 per cent efficient power supplies.

Pining Away

There's a good chance that you'll need a sick bag for this next bit, so get one ready.

According to the folks at Dell, the M1000e delivers four acres of pine trees per year in power efficiency over the competition. Yeah, like every other vendor, Dell has jumped onto the green bandwagon and now dishes out carbon dioxide offset figures.

What you'll want to know is that Dell claims to have crafted a blade system that's 19 per cent more power efficient than HP and 12 per cent more power efficient than IBM. If you take Dell's metrics and annualize them out at nine cents per kilowatt hour, you'll save $2,600 per rack per year versus HP and $1,500 per rack per year versus IBM.

The cynical customer will have doubts about these figures, and that's fair enough. To counter such skepticism, Dell's dishing out a report from Principled Technologies - how can you not trust that name - which shows the M1000e besting HP and IBM by about 25 per cent on performance per watt measurements.

The analyst firm used the SPECjbb2005 benchmark to test a variety of configurations, including systems with a couple blades right on up to fully-packed units. In each case, Dell won the war.

You could argue that HP and IBM would see similar performance per watt figures if they went with more efficient power supplies and fancier fans too. And, in fact, we think they would see significant gains. Dell, after all, relies on "industry standard" components that rivals can purchase.

Dell counters by saying that the competition will struggle to match its power efficiency because of the air flow design in the M1000e and because of Dell's management techniques. Dell's base system, for example, can perform real-time power management on the chassis as a whole or individual blades, and let administrators set a power threshold for the chassis.

We're a tad iffy on the power efficiency claims given that vendors always seem able to out tweak each other on various benchmarks.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Next page: Blade Some Things

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.