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Dell Unleashes Cooler, Cheaper Servers

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Dell’s Nehalem server launch majored on power savings and system management, pitching a commodity console from Symantec against the might of IBM Tivoli

Dell has announced its new servers based on Intel’s Nehalem, along with new storage products and a management offering with partner Symantec.

The company’s play is built around turning data centre resources into a commodity, and making servers which can be deployed very quickly and easily. The new PowerEdge servers, suc has the R710 – whose exact performance characteristics are under wraps till the Intel Nehalem announcement on Monday – will have a 40 percent lower cost of ownership and a 48 percent better performance per Watt than comparable servers from HP, Dell claimed.

The devices will be shipped with embedded lifecycle management, so no CDs are required and installation and maintenance costs are cut. “We think we are the first to put persistent storage in the server platform,” said James Quarles, director of enterprise solutions at Dell EMEA, at the London launch. “On your first deployment that will reduce time by half. With one touch, you can boot this environment, select which operating system you will deploy, and the drivers will come down automatically.

Dell is offering a management console, in partnership with Symantec subsidiary Altiris, which it sees as a benefit over management systems from rivals such as HP and IBM – because it is provided by a third party. “This will redefine management,” Rick Becker, vice president of software solutions told eWEEK Europe at the London launch. The Dell Management Console will manage multiple vendors’ systems (“it will replace nine consoles”) and will replace proprietary software stacks, such as IBM’s Tivoli and HP’s OpenView.
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This will effectively be a new model for data centre deployment and management, said Dell spokespeople: “Dell doesn’t have armies of consultants,” said Raj Kushwaha, vice president of global services at Dell. “We have technology based quick assessments, based on rules and best practice, encapsulated in a knowledge engine.”

Two users spoke in London, both of whom welcomed the greater power efficiency of the new servers: “We tried three power-meters and we couldn’t believe what we saw,” said Patrick Pulvermueller, managing director of Host Europe, while Paul Calleja, director of high performance computing services at the University of Cambridge, said he would be decommissioning older servers and replacing them with Nehalem-based machines, purely for the power savings.