Dell unwraps space-saving data center servers

Network professionals responsible for corporate data centers will be able to save space in already-crowded rooms with two servers Dell announced last week.

The PowerEdge 2550 is a compact, 3.5-inch-high rack-mount server for data centers, and the 2500 is a pedestal-mounted server for departments, workgroups or branch offices. The servers are designed to save expansion slots, which come at a premium in space-confined environments.

The servers feature an embedded RAID controller, which makes it easier and less expensive to add storage. The PowerEdge 2550 contains an embedded Gigabit Ethernet adapter, which frees CPU slots for other devices.

Rick Morton, vice president of customer service and provisioning for Q9 Networks, a data center in Toronto, chose the PowerEdge 2550 for his company's network. "Rack inches cost a lot," he says. "If I'm going to put a tower in there, it wastes a lot of space."

The PowerEdge 2550 replaces the PowerEdge 2450; and the PowerEdge 2500 replaces the 2400. The 2550 and the 3.5-inch-high 2500 support dual Intel Pentium III processors up to 1 GHz. The chipset supports two 64-bit buses and one 32-bit PCI bus. Both servers support up to 4G bytes of RAM.

The 2550 has seven expansion slots and supports up to five hot-pluggable SCSI drives for a maximum internal capacity of 180G bytes. The 2500 supports up to 288G bytes of internal storage. Optional support for Fibre Channel and a redundant hot-plug power supply are available.

"[OpenManage] allows us to drill down and see the status of power supplies and individual drives in the RAID array, as well as the status of all the hardware components in the server," Morton says.

Dell's PowerEdge 2550 and 2500 are available now starting at $2,400. The servers can be factory-installed with Windows NT, Windows 2000, Novell Inc. NetWare or Red Hat Inc. Linux.

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