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Dell serves up 11G servers and Nehalem workstations

Focus on simplicity and performance

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Dell is launching its 11th generation of PowerEdge servers, with M-series blades and new Precision tower workstations, together with a new Dell Management Console (DMC) based on Symantec Altiris software.

Naturally, Dell says the servers have been designed for virtualisation, low electricity needs and simpler management. A Lifecycle Controller is embedded in all the 11G servers that delivers integrated manageability through a single access point.

Speeds and feeds for the new servers and blades have yet to be released. Dell does say though, that the new PowerEdge R710 server provides the industry’s best performance per watt. It also says its M-series blade architecture has 27 per cent lower acquisition cost and delivers 17 per cent lower TCO (total cost of ownership) over 5 years per rack compared to HP c-Class blades.

El Reg thinks that Intel's Nehalem launch requirement is hindering what Dell can say about its new servers, which must surely use Nehalem processors.

With Dell ImageDirect Server companies can create and manage server images and have them factory-installed, eliminating manual configuration and reducing deployment and IT staff time by up to 45 per cent. It enables the rapid stabilisation of new servers with ready-to-deploy optimised configurations and, Dell says: "a reduction of unwanted drift from desired configuration states at the time of deployment."

Workstations

In contrast to the sparse server speeds and feeds information, Dell is giving out lots of details about the workstations.

The new Precision T7500, T5500 and T3500 tower workstations use a workstation version of Intel's Nehalem iteration of the Xeon processor, and are built for engineering, media, entertainment and biosciences industries. Some configurations of them have achieved Energy Star 5.0 certification.

They feature Nehalem features such as Turbo Mode - with which a single CPU can be over-clocked - access by other processor to a single processor core's cache, and three-channel DDR3 memory running up to 1,333MHz.

The high-end T7500 has a dual-socket configuration, with Nehalem CPUs and Intel's X5520 chipset with up to 192GB of RAM. There are five PCIe slots; two wired as PCIe x16, two as x8, and one as a x4. An eSATA slot is also fitted. The power supply is 85 per cent efficient.

The T5500 limits maximum memory to 72GB and has a couple of x16 PCIe slots plus two x8 slots.

The T3500 uses Intel's X68 chipset, with 24GB of ECC and non-ECC RAM available, but not registered. Various PCIe slots are available and the graphics cards perform well, despite being downgraded to use less power.

The three machines have ATI FirePro V3750 and V5700, and Nvidia Quadro FX4800 and FX5800 graphics controller options.

Management

The DMC is put forward as an open, standards-based management platform, one that can manage other suppliers' products, in contrast to HP's proprietary product which, Dell says, to do the same job as DMC requires up to 9 consoles. By using its DMC, Dell says: "Businesses can save time and money that can be redirected to more strategic technology use."

Dell is heavily focussing on meeting and beating HP tower and blade server, server management and workstation competition with this announcement. It is also focused on IBM and Cisco, but HP is the biggest mote in Dell's eye.

Dell is also feeling its customers' pain, saying it has taken today's difficult business environment into account when building these systems, and is also aiming to lower management costs. Running these new servers with today's new PS6000 storage is said to increase cost-savings.

The workstations are available tomorrow but prices are not yet ready for release. Server availability and pricing details are also not out yet. ®

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