Dell Goes Against HP, IBM With New Blade Servers

Round Rock (TX) - Dell has updated its blade server portfolio and claims that its latest M-series eclipses its competition in power consumption and power efficiency.

The x86 blade server segment is what keeps the server market growing these days, so it should not be too surprising to see this market heating up. Dell, which is gaining some traction again in the PC and server markets, today announced a new line of blade servers, which the company claims consumes "19% less energy" that a comparable HP system and delivers "up to 28% more performance per watt" than rivals from IBM.

The new products consist of the M1000e blade enclosure as well as M600 Intel-based blades as well as M605 AMD-based blades. The 1000e is a 10U rack, capable of holding 16 blades. According to Dell the servers are 60% more dense than standard 1U servers.

Prices for the blades start at just under $2000, with top models, both Intel and AMD, approaching the $12,000 mark (without operating system). However, according to Dell's configuration sheet, only the Intel system is available with quad-core processors (up to 12 MB L2 cache) at this time, with the priciest option being low-voltage dual-core processors. The blades can be equipped with two processors, up to 32 GB of memory and two hard drives (up to 146 GB SAS or up to 240 GB SATA 2.5" drives) . Software options include Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 R2, Red Hat EL, Suse EL and VMWare VI.

Similar to companies such as Sun, Dell now offers customers a program that allows customers simply upgrade blade server systems. Called "FlexIO switch technology", Dell promises that this approach enables companies "to efficiently design a networked blade environment that best meets their infrastructure requirements today, and easily and cost effectively add or modify network stacking and uplink capabilities as technology or business needs change."