Dell Launches Hot Servers And Upgrades Networking

Hot-running Xeon E5 servers and Gigabit Ethernet are top news in Dell’s “Spring Collection”

Dell has announced PowerEdge servers based on Intel’s shortly-to-be-launched Xeon E5 processor, which are optimised to run at higher temperatures, saving customers money on cooling.

The announcement, made in Twickenham, London and San Francisco, with an appearance by Dell CEO Michael Dell, also upgraded the networking in Dell’s PowerEdge servers to 10 Gigabit Ethernet, using Dell’s Force10 acquisition for data centre switches, and displacing Brocade’s (formerly Foundry) Ethernet switches.

Spring awakening

The new servers – called 12G as they are the twelfth generation of Dell’s server line – include the R720 2U two-socket system, the R620 1U two-socket system, the 720XD high density server, and the M620 blade server. Exact specifications and release dates wer not given, but they are understood to contain the Intel Xeon E5 processor which is due to be launchedin th net few weeks, part of the second generation Xeon family.

The network upgrade clarified Dell’s integration of Force10, and severed its ties with partner Brocade’s Ethernet switches, though Dell continues to use Brocade for Fibre Channel storage networking products. Recent acquisition Force10 is the basis for the final delivery of the  virtual networing architecture VNA which Dell promised last year.

In networking, the Dell spokespeople also found time to mention a strengthening relationship with Aruba for wireless LAN poroducts.

Two new storage arrays were launched. the EqualLogic PS4110 and 6110 which have 10GB Ethernet, and start at 36Tbyte and 72Tbyte respectively.

Green upgrades

Dell upgraded its server management console for closer integration with Intel’sPower Center, so it can now handle “power capping”, where the power to a server can be kept within specific limits, if there is a problem with the data centre cooling for instance.

Dell also announced an increase in server temperature in line with the increases in data centre temperatures allowed in the new ASHRAE specifications. This was first discussed last July, and today’s announcement majored on allowing users to cool their servers with fresh air at the ambient temperature, without air conditioning.

“This is based on three years of solid engineering,” said Tony Parkinson, vice president of global enterprises servers and solutions at Dell, although he conceded that anyone wanting to raise the temperature in their data centre at the moment might have problems as networking and storage equipment has still to catch up. Dell is also working on higher temperature  networking and storage, he promised.

“Other vendors have not come out with anything as specfic as Dell on fresh air cooling,” commented Andrew Donoghue, analyst with 451 Research. “Although there is still more that they could do in publishing granular performance data.”

Other announcements included the extension of Dell’s vStart programme, which ships servers pre-installed in a rack for a specific purpose, to include a privat3e cloud edition. On a smaller scale, Dell also launched appliances for virtual desktops and data warehousing.