Dell revamps PowerEdge line of servers

At the top will be the PowerEdge R900 rack server, which includes Intel's Penryn-based 5400 processor

Bringing Intel's latest Penryn chip to its servers, Dell this week is expected to revamp the PowerEdge line of servers with new hardware and nomenclature to identify servers.

The servers are designed to consume less power and include system management tools to better manage IT tasks, said Sally Stevens, director of PowerEdge servers at Dell.

At the top of the new servers will be the PowerEdge R900 rack server, which includes Intel's Penryn-based 5400 processor and has tools to "simplify IT" by reducing the time, resources and money involved in maintaining IT environments, Stevens said. The server is targeted at enterprises and data centers.

The server includes OpenManage 5.3, a new version of the systems management software with new tools to better manage virtual environments and power consumption, said Kevin Libert, senior manager of software solutions at Dell. The company will further detail OpenManage 5.3 features later this week.

Dell also provides customization features for R900 customers by tuning servers directly to maximize application performance, Libert said. Customers will be able to customize their systems based on reference architecture and specification sheets provided by Dell, said Libert.

The R900 is a database workhorse, Libert said, and the system makes good use of the four sockets in the system and virtualized environment to deliver maximum database performance. The server is a solid platform for the SQL Server and Oracle databases, Libert said. Oracle, a leading database provider, hosts Dell servers in its Austin, Texas, data center, Libert said.

With the new server, Dell hopes to take away server market share from RISC-based servers by offering better bang for the buck, Libert said.

Growth in the x86 server market was one reason global RISC-Itanium Unix servers shipments and revenue dropped in the second quarter of 2007, according to a Gartner survey. Shipments fell 18 percent year-over-year and revenue fell 1.5 percent, according to the survey.

Dell also announced new PowerEdge R200 and PowerEdge T105 servers. The R200, an Intel-based system, is designed to meet cluster and network computing needs, according to Dell. The T105 is an entry-level, Advanced Micro Devices-based server targeted at small businesses looking to host e-mail, file-sharing or Web applications.

The company will begin taking orders for the servers this week, a Dell spokesman said. Pricing information was not available.

Dell has also shifted its naming convention to easily identify servers. Server nomenclature will start with the server type, with T representing tower servers, M (modular), R (rack). Following that will be the number of sockets, generation number and whether a server uses an Intel or AMD platform (0 represents Intel and 5 represents AMD). The PowerEdge T105 for example, represents a 10th generation Dell tower server based on the AMD platform.

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