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Not quite Facebook but need scale? Dell has a DSS server for you

Not so hyper hyperscale

server room
Specialised servers for large but not hyperscale purchase

Dell has launched four specialised DSS servers.

In August Dell said it had found a new niche between ordinary scale data centres and the hyperscalers like Facebook, eBay, Amazon and their hyper-ilk. This not-quite-hyperscale customer base would be sold to by a new DSS organisation with its own special server-based products.

These products feature optimised minimalistic hardware designs, tweaked fulfilment models, open and industry-standard system management, and faster product introductions, to persuade DSS customers to buy from Dell rather than Quanta, Foxconn or other white box suppliers. Customers can reduce their infrastructure costs better with Dell, the company says, then by using these alternate suppliers.

Hyperscalers are serviced by Dell's DCS organisation, which makes special products for them. Dell says the customers are few, in the tens, but they buy servers by the 10,000s.

DSS stands for Datacentre Scalable Solutions and its large scale customers, characterised as HPC-like, are anticipated as being in the 100s, and capable of buying servers in the 1,000s. Vertical markets will include telco, web tech, service providers, and oil and gas.

Its products, branded DSS xxxx, are:

  • 1500 - 1U 2S rack server, 16 x DDR4 DIMMs, drives; 4 x 3.5” cabled, 4 x 3.5” hotplug, or 8 x 2.5” hot-plug
  • 1510 - 1U 1S rack server, 8 x DDR4 DIMMs, drives; 4 x 3.5” cabled, 4 x 3.5” hotplug, or 8 x 2.5” hot-plug
  • 2500 - 2U 2S rack server, 16 x DDR4 DIMMs, drives; 12 x 3.5” hot-plug + 2 x 2.5” internal
  • 7000 - 4U rack server with 2 DSS server nodes (25 E5 v3 CPUs), drives; 90 x 3.5” hot-swap HDDs - up to 720TB in chassis (8TB HDD)

They all use Intel E5 v3 CPUs.

There will be focused OS support, simplified lifecycle and transition support, and no iDRAC licence upgrade options. Support will be tailored for technology-centric customers with scale-optimised break/fix services.

Not all geographies will be supported; Dell says key countries will be dictated by the "business opportunity". Dell will use its supply chain expertise to provide a good $/server ratio. It's a commodity hardware-based race and Dell wants to be in front.

Think of DSS selling servers like a vehicle manufacturer would build optimised panel trucks for bulk fleet purchases by a delivery business. With this analogy DCS servers will be like FedEx trucks while DSS servers will be designed, built, sold to, and supported for multi-state delivery businesses – the sub-FedEx use case. ®

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