Dell talks up being green, upcoming quad cores

Dell chairman discusses green computing, upcoming quad-core Intel-based machines and his company's tight bond with Oracle

Taking a line out of server rival Sun Microsystems's play book, the head of Dell recommitted his company to doing its best to save the planet by producing more energy-efficient products.

Speaking at Oracle's OpenWorld conference Monday in San Francisco, Michael Dell provided statistics reminiscent of Sun's green push in November around its UltraSparc T1 chip.

While Sun positioned its processor as the first environmentally responsible chip, Dell claimed if all the products his company shipped last year had included the energy-efficiency settings of the new Dell OptiPlex 745 desktop, the savings in carbon dioxide emissions would be equivalent to removing 2.5 million cars from the road or US$1.6 billion in cash.

Along with announcing two new PowerEdge servers, the first to be powered by Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Dell also mentioned his company's next move with long-time chip supplier Intel. Within the next few weeks, Dell will start rolling out computers using Intel's "Clovertown" Xeon quad-core chip, he said, with models including PowerEdge 1950 server, Precision 690 workstation and Dell's XPS gaming machines

During his keynote, Dell talked up the long-standing partnership between his company and Oracle. In a cartoon preceding his speech, Dell was depicted as a knight in armor standing alongside allies Larry Ellison, chief executive officer of Oracle, and Joe Tucci, chairman, CEO and president of EMC.

The trio were later joined by the heads of Intel and AMD, Paul Otellini and Hector Ruiz respectively, after the pair had engaged in a spot of fighting. The gallant five then led customers on the march from Proprietaryville to Global Standardopolis, slaying the likes of IBM's WebSphere middleware, Hewlett-Packard's OpenView systems management software and Sun's Solaris operating system along the way. A song accompanying the cartoon had the catchy chorus "Dell, Dell, Dell" and featured lines like "Everybody's friends when we partner with Dell."

Dell and Oracle are working together to "drive Linux adoption deeper into the enterprise," Dell said. So far, Dell has helped its customers install Oracle software on more than 120,000 servers. "We also trust each other with our own business," he added. Dell runs its business on Oracle and Linux, while Oracle has 12,000-plus Dell PowerEdge servers inside its operations.

Dell announced the integration of the vendor's management software with that of Oracle. Bringing together Dell OpenManage and Oracle Enterprise Manager will enable users to manage Dell PowerEdge servers from a single management console.

Dell is also one of the largest resellers of Oracle's Fusion middleware, according to Doug Kennedy, vice president of worldwide alliances and channels at Oracle. The partnership with Dell selling servers and storage alongside Oracle's database and middleware gives the two companies a chance to position their combined offerings against IBM's rival products, he said in a recent interview.

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