Strides in Power, Cooling
Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research, said that while Dell does not have the blade experience of an HP or
Microsystems introduced a new blade architecture last year that included Intel
processors-it has made some significant strides in the power and cooling
offerings. In addition, he said Dell has made the blades and chassis simple to
assemble and install.
"It seems that they have taken a very aggressive stance toward power and
cooling, and it's a big plus for them to offer a highly efficient system, and I
suspect that it will resonate in the marketplace," King said.
King said HP's counterargument does not reflect the type of company Dell has begun to turn into, which includes investing more in services and data center management. In addition to the new chassis, Dell is offering two new blade systems. The PowerEdge M600 blade server supports a number of dual- and quad-core Intel Xeon processors, including the new Xeon X5460, which offers a 3.16GHz clock speed, a total of 12MB of L2 cache and a 1333MHz front-side bus. The PowerEdge M605 is based on Advanced Micro Devices' dual-core processors, including the Opteron 2222 SE model, which has a clock speed of 3.0GHz and 2MB of L2 cache. Later, Dell will include quad-core Opteron processors with the system. The two new blades support up to 64GB of DDR2
(double data rate)
RAM. They also offer a
choice of either two 2.5-inch SAS (serial-attached SCSI) or SATA (Serial ATA)
hard drives, and two optional PCI Express mezzanine cards. In addition, the new
blades support Windows Server 2003, as well as Red Hat and Novell's SUSE Linux.
Dell is also supporting the 3.5 version of VMware's ESX hypervisor for
The chassis has a starting price of $5,999, and the blades both start at
$1,894, according to Dell.
Less impressed with Dell's new blade offerings is Mark Potter, HP's vice president for Industry Standard Servers, who said that while Dell might be in the blade market now, it does not have the level of support and services that HP provides with its blades. As for cooling and power, Potter said HP looks at all the elements that go into a data center, from the chassis to the rack to entire room, not just individual systems.