Dell Microserver Powered by Intel Ivy Bridge Xeons

The new PowerEdge C5220 helps businesses improve server performance and density while driving down power consumption.

Dell officials are unveiling a low-power microserver that incorporates upcoming Xeon processors based on Intel€™s new Ivy Bridge architecture.

The company on May 8 said that several customers, including Morphlabs and Vibrant Media, already are using the PowerEdge C5220 microserver for a variety of Web 2.0 and cloud-based workloads, the sweet spot for the small but fast-growing server segment.

Intel last month released the first of its chips built on its 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge architecture, but those were new quad-core Core processors aimed at high-end desktop PCs. Intel officials have said they intend to release the first of the Ivy Bridge-based server chips sometime this quarter.

The Ivy Bridge processors are expected to offer better performance than the current 32nm Sandy Bridge chips, while significantly improving the graphics and power efficiency. The new chips include Intel€™s three-dimensional Tri-Gate transistor architecture, which is designed to improve performance while driving down power consumption.

The new Xeons will be aimed at the microservers, which essentially are low-power systems with various shared power and cooling components that are targeted at large and dense environments, including Web 2.0, cloud and high-performance computing (HPC). It promises to be one of several areas of competition between Intel and ARM Holdings, which sees its low-power chip designs€”which are found in most smartphones and tablets€”as ideal for other environments where energy efficiency is crucial.

OEMs are seeing an opportunity in the microserver space, given the demand from customers and the chips being run out by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices€”and the promise of ARM chips for servers. Acer last month rolled out an Intel-based microserver for small businesses.

Dell officials said the new PowerEdge C5220 microservers use Intel€™s Xeon E3-1200 v2 chips, including processors with 17-watt and 45-watt power envelopes. With the new chips, Dell€™s microservers can offer almost twice the performance and 50 percent greater density than similar systems based on previous Intel processors.

Morphlabs, which offers private cloud capabilities to service providers, is using the new microservers for its mCloud Rack Enterprise Edition for greater fault-tolerance capabilities, according to Dell. Vibrant Media, an online media company, is using the servers to increase growth while reducing costs. According to Dell, the company can now support up to 50 percent more users on each server and has seen a 4:1 server-consolidation ratio while running the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) software stack.

€œWe€™re constantly inspired by the unique ways our customers are leveraging Dell microserver platforms to drive specialized Web 2.0, HPC and cloud computing applications,€ Forrest Norrod, vice president and general manager of Dell Server Solutions, said in a statement. €œAs the microserver market and ecosystem have matured, customers like Vibrant Media have validated that microservers are a cost-effective, scalable platform in Web 2.0 environments.€