Dell offers up rackable server

Retaliating against server management tools recently introduced by Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp. on Monday rolled out two new servers with enhanced failover and remote management capabilities.

The Dell PowerEdge 1650 is a rackable 1U (1.75-inch) system for dense server environments. The PowerEdge 4600 is a 6U system powered by Intel's 2.2GHz Xeon processor and ServerWorks' Grand Champion High End chip set, according to Russ Ray, director of server platforms for Dell's enterprise systems group, in Round Rock, Texas.

Both servers offer hot-swappable power supplies and cooling fans, in addition to advanced remote management features using Dell's OpenManage software tools, said Ray.

Customers managing large server deployments can save valuable time by powering-up and managing either of the new Dell servers via Dell's Remote Assistant Card (DRAC III), eliminating the need to physically locate either server in a server farm. The PowerEdge 1650 has the additional option of an Embedded Remote Access card, which also allows for remote management but at a lower cost, said Ray.

The advanced management capabilities are a first for Dell's 1U servers. "Hot-plug redundant power and hot-plug redundant cooling are now introduced in a 1U design, and that's a big story. Never before have we had those kind of availability features in a 1U format," said Ray.

"We are taking technologies that have typically been either in larger systems or in higher-end systems and forcing them down the standardization curve into what last year was the low-cost throw-away server. Now we have a huge amount of flexibility and a significant feature set in our 1U system," said Ray.

The new features counter similar features unveiled last month by Compaq on its ProLiant DL360 server, said Joseph Zhou, an analyst with D.H. Brown, in Port Chester, New York. Compaq beat Dell to market with remote management tools for 1U servers, so Dell has quickly responded with its PowerEdge 1650 server that "offers comparable features," said Zhou.

The Dell PowerEdge 1650 can support two Intel Pentium III processors, up to 4GB of memory, hot-plug redundant power supplies and fans, dual embedded Gigabit network interface cards, three hot-plug SCSI hard drives, an embedded RAID option and the remote management tools.

The PowerEdge 4600 packs either one or two 2.2GHz Intel Xeon chips with a 400MHz front-side bus and has the ability to store up to 730GB of internal storage across up to ten hard drives. A ServerWorks GC-HE chipset also delivers advanced high-speed memory performance in the 4600.

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, or Red Hat Linux 7.2 are each available for either of the two new servers.

The PowerEdge 1650 starts at US$1,699, the PowerEdge 4600 runs for $2,999, for base configurations.

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