Dell, IBM Offer Server Products Geared for Linux

Dell announces two servers designed for Web, productivity, remote office and small office applications; IBM announces a grid computing starter kit for its eServer BladeCenter.

Dell and IBM on Monday both introduced new server products with features and software packaged to appeal to the Linux market and due to make their debut at the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco.

Dell Inc.s offerings include the PowerEdge 830 and the PowerEdge 850 servers that provide a choice of three Intel CPUs, including a 2.53GHz Intel Celeron, a 2.8-3.6GHz Intel P4 process with an 800MHz front side bus or a 3.0-3.2GHz Intel Pentium D dual core processor.

The servers are delivered with up 8GB of DDR-2 SDRAM (double data rate synchronous dynamic RAM).

Also at LinuxWorld, IBM will announce Grid and Grow, a grid computing starter kit of sorts that bundles its eServer BladeCenter blade server hardware with software and services to provide grid computing capabilities to industrial, public sector and financial companies.

The most basic Grid and Grow offering, which starts at $49,000, will include one BladeCenter chassis and seven blade servers—IBM offers blades based on Intel Corp., its own Power chips or AMDs Opteron—along with grid scheduler software for managing jobs and services to help plan, install and test the bundle.

Depending on the type of workload and the industry, IBM will offer Altair Engineering Inc.s PBS Professional, DataSynapse Inc.s GridServer, Platform Computing Inc.s Platform LSF, or IBMs LoadLeveler software as its scheduling software, the company said.

The blades themselves will run Linux operating systems from either Red Hat Inc. or Novell Inc.s SuSE. They are also available with Microsoft Corp.s Windows or IBMs own AIX 5L.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read more details about Dells support for LAMP.

To bolster support for Linux applications on these servers, Dell also announced that its customers can now acquire Dell servers packaged key elements of the Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl (LAMP) stack, according to Judy Chavis, Dells director of business development and global alliances for Linux and open source.

Customers can now purchase a server package that includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or Novell Inc. SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, the MySQL relational database, MySQL network, JBoss application server software and the JBoss network, she said.

Dell believes that it is doing a good job of serving the Linux market because it is first in Linux shipments in the United states and second worldwide, according to market research from International Data Corp., Chavis said.

Customers can either buy Linux factory installed or they can order Linux from the Dell Web site and install it later, she said. Customers can also buy Dell computers without any operating system and install the one of their choice after delivery, Chavis said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about why Dell is eager to take advantage of the increased processing power of dual-core chip technology.

Dells Linux strategy is still very much focused on the server market, she said. "We keep analyzing the market data every day—and we still dont see a huge demand for Linux on the desktop," Chavis said.

Some customers are running desktop Linux that they install after deliver, she said.

The PowerEdge 830 is a single socket tower server designed for work group, remote office and small business environments for Web serving, e-mail, back office and productivity applications.

With a dual-core CPU, the 830 provides a 60 percent increase in performance over the preceding model, the PowerEdge 800, according to Dell officials.

The PowerEdge 850 is a single socket rack mount server designed for small business and lower cost data center applications. It was designed as a Web or network infrastructure server that provides scalability for future growth.

With a dual-core processor, the 850 provides up to 79 percent greater performance compute-intensive applications and 26 percent greater Web-server performance than its predecessor, the PowerEdge 750, according to company officials.

Dell will start shipping PowerEdge 830 and 850 servers this month with prices starting at $699 and $749 respectively.

VMware isnt the only company offering up software for virtualization. AMD is aiming to release SimNow, an application designed to allow developers to test out their applications with its AMD Pacifica virtualization technology, later this month.

The application, which AMD said will be available via its Developer Web site on Aug. 22, emulates Athlon 64 and Opteron chips with Pacifica virtualization onboard, allowing developers to test their wares ahead of the chips launch in 2006.

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