In an announcement Monday, officials with the Round Rock, Texas, company said integrating VMwares ESX Server technology into its 6650 systems brings virtualization into Dells scale-out data center strategy.
Pete Morowski, Dells vice president of software development, said such virtualization technology plays well into the scale-out initiative by enabling more applications to run on individual processors via the creation of virtual servers.
"We believe our customers want to scale out their equipment, not scale it up with scale-up systems," Morowski said.
It also plays into an industry trend, he said. Numbers from International Data Corp. show that 98 percent of servers sold have four or fewer processors, according to Morowski.
In Dells scale-out vision, multiple smaller systems with one to four processors are linked together to create a high-end computing environment while keeping the cost of such performance low. In addition, with VMware technology, users will be able to consolidate data center resources by taking applications off underused systems and running them on virtual machines in other servers, Morowski said.
The ESX software from VMware, a Palo Alto, Calif., company bought by storage giant EMC Corp. in December, also allows for two-CPU virtual machines.
Key to the extended Dell/VMware partnership— Dell currently resells VMwares ESX and GSX technologies as product through its reseller channel— is the certified configuration Dell will offer running VMwares ESX Server 2.0.1. The configuration will include the 6650 systems, CX300 and CX500 storage systems from Dell and EMC that will enable VMwares VMotion software and a single PowerEdge 1750 running VMwares VirtualCenter Management Server.
VMotion enables users to move workloads between virtual machines without having to take down the systems.
Available immediately, the Dell configurations start at $30,579, which offers a 6650 with two Xeon MP chips from Intel Corp., internal storage and ESX Server for two chips.
During a question-and-answer session after the brief press conference, Morowski deflected questions regarding whether Dell will use Microsoft Corp.s upcoming Virtual Server software, saying Dell will make no decision on it until the software is released. Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., last month released a beta version of Virtual Server 2004 and expects it to be generally available in the first half of the year.
He also said the configurations are not being used to deflect criticism of Dells decision last year to discontinue its eight-way server, saying that it fits in with the companys scale-out models. He also pointed to numbers showing that a four-way 6650 with ESX Server showed better performance at a lower price than another eight-way Intel system also running the software.