Dell expands PowerEdge server range

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Dell today unveiled three new PowerEdge servers and a new chassis, along with updates to its manageability tools.

Forrest Norrod, general manager of Dell's server platforms, started off by praising both Intel and AMD, saying their latest processors offered a whole new level of capability.

The first product, the PowerEdge M710HD, was introduced as a no compromise half-height blade server. Despite its size it contains two Intel Westmere EP processors, each with six cores and up to 18 DIMMS sockets with hot swap SAS drives.

A Dell spokesman told IT PRO that due to thermal restrictions, competitors such as HP were only able to offer SSDs in the same size blade.

A key feature of the new launch is the redundant embedded hypervisor - in the form of ESX hypervisor - located on a redundant SSD card, which was first introduced into Dell products with the PowerEdge R910 last month.

Another unique feature is the use of male connectors on the mid-plane connector. It means in the event of a bent pin, the whole chassis would not need taking down to repair. The PowerEdge M710HD will be available in early July for 1,489 ex VAT.

The second product launched is the PowerEdge R715. It is an AMD based 2U system, offering 24 cores and designed for virtualisation or server consolidation. The R715 will be available from July 2010 for 1,659 ex VAT.

The third product was highlighted by Norrod as unusual. The PowerEdge M610x is a full height blade which offers two full bandwidth Gen2 16x PCI-E slots, providing 250W each. This enables customers to fit such add-in cards as GPGPU cards, such as Nvidia's Fermi.

"Our HPC customers are just giddy [about this]," declared Norrod, "[and] our online transaction customers are extremely excited about this," he added.

The M610x offers further delights by enabling the fitting of up to a terabyte of Fusion IO Flash, delivering as much as 120,000 IOPS. The M610x is available in early July for 1,659 ex VAT.

Finally came the M1000e chassis. It has been enhanced with an improved power supply and more efficient fans to boost power conservation.

Norrod announced enhancements to Dell's system management capabilities, with updates to its LifeCycle Controller and Chassis Management Controller. He claimed the former was unique in the market for automatically provisioning replacement components with the correct BIOS and drivers, saving administrators a great deal of time.

The Chassis Management Controller is also designed to give time back to administrators with a streamlined graphical user interface.

Availability for the M1000e chassis LifeCycle Controller and Chassis Management Controller was not confirmed at the launch.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.