Dell, Lenovo Among OEMs Launching Intel 'Grantley'-Based Servers
The new systems will be combined a range of new capabilities with other HP products, such as OneView—which gives organizations a single tool for managing all of their data center systems—to help organizations create a pool of compute, networking and storage resources that can be dynamically drawn upon to address whatever workloads demand. "As it has done previously, HP is using the shift to a new generation of silicon to rethink its platforms, from lower-end tower and rack servers to blades and converged systems to emerging solutions like Apollo and Moonshot," Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT Research, told eWEEK at the time of the HP announcement. "One of the most interesting things about these new solutions is how wholly their new features rest on HP's proprietary technologies, particularly new networking and storage features, and management software offerings." Cisco officials Sept. 4 unveiled an expanded portfolio for its Unified Computing System converged infrastructure solutions, which included refreshed B-Series blade and C-Series rack systems that will be powered by the Grantley chips. Dell is introducing its 13th generation of PowerEdge servers that will not only feature the new Intel chips, but also storage enhancements that bring storage closer to the compute and enabling software-defined storage and new management capabilities that reduce complexity, improve TCO, and speed up configuration and deployment. The new PowerEdge systems will offer hot-plug solid-state disks (SSDs), faster 1.8-inch SATA drives, increased local storage capacity, and high-performance RAID and performance caching. For organizations, the improvements will mean faster database processing, more concurrent users and transactions, double the data throughput of previous systems and optimized data placement through tiering.With iDRAC Direct, organizations can put a USB key into the USB port and rapidly configure a server, reducing configure setup time by as much as 95 percent, according to the company. Dell's OpenManage Essentials 2.0 software offers automated lifecycle management that offers a one-to-many console that will capture and clone server configurations, and creates instant checks for configuration compliance. Brian Payne, Dell's executive director of PowerEdge servers, said servers need to be more agile to deal with both traditional and new data center workloads, which Dell is addressing with its new PowerEdge systems. For example, the new dual-socket, 2U (1.75-inch) R730xd rack server is designed for scale-out architectures, big data workloads, cloud environments and software-defined data centers, while the R730 mainstream system can be used for such jobs as cloud, virtualization and high-performance computing (HPC).
The systems also offer zero-touch configuration capabilities, which can reduce configuration time by as much as 99 percent; automated server firmware updates; and automated technical support for 45 percent less boot time and 73 percent less troubleshooting time, according to Dell officials. In addition, Dell is leveraging near-field communications (NFC) to make server inventory and setup faster—84 percent faster for inventorying, for example. Through Dell's OpenManage mobile app and iDRAC QuickSync technology, customers will be able to simply tap a server with their tablet, and the information for the server—from the operating system to the BIOS—will automatically be pulled into the server, Kevin Noreen, marketing director of server solutions for Dell, told eWEEK.