Server specs: Dell energy efficient servers dent wallets

Dell announced a line of energy efficient servers this week, but they cost hundreds more up front than their traditional models. Also: new Java application servers; blades and software for telcos; startups get server discounts; storage encryption blossoms.

Dell touts new energy efficiency servers, but for a cost

Dell Inc. announced a new line of more energy efficient servers this week, but that efficiency comes at a price. Literally.

The company says the "Energy Smart" servers will cost more than regular Dell servers but will save data centers $200 per year in energy costs. Dell said the special servers use more efficient Intel processors, power supplies and fans, and control air flow better.

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The two servers being offered now are the 1U PowerEdge 1950 at $2,449 and the 2U PowerEdge 2950 at $2,619. Both cost about $300 more up front than the regular 1950 and 2950, according to server specs from Dell's Web site.

Energy efficient servers have become a popular topic as data centers scramble to lower costs by lowering their power draw. The federal Environmental Protection Agency is backing a metric on server energy efficiency.

Java applications are focus of new servers

Java processing will take the forefront in Azul System's servers built on the new Vega 2 processors being released this week.

The 5U server can include up to 192 processing cores -- 48 per chip and twice as many as the previous processor -- and as much as 192 gigabytes (GB) of memory, according to Azul chief operating officer Scott Sellers. Prices start at about $50,000, which includes 96 chip cores and 48 GB of memory, and go up from there.

The company also plans on releasing larger servers next year with up to 768 processing cores and 768 GB of memory. The processor is specifically designed to take on Java and J2EE applications, according to Sellers, and allows servers with any operating system to tap into the Java computing power.

IBM announces blade servers for telco industry

IBM Corp. has announced blade servers for the telecommunications industry that can withstand more shakes and rattles and handle more network bandwidth that its typical blade server system.

BladeCenter HT meets traditional telco industry standards such as the Network Equipment Building System Level 3 standards and the European Telecommunications Standard Institute. The 12U chassis can hold 12 blade servers, compared to the regular BladeCenter H chassis, which is 9U and can hold 14 blades.

Bruce Anthony, CTO for IBM telecommunication systems, said the chassis is built with more rigid metal and fewer openings to withstand events like lightning strikes and fires. As a result, he said the price will be 10-20% more than the original BladeCenter H chassis, which goes for $3,849 according to IBM's Web site.

This week, IBM also announced other blade products for the telco industry. One is a blade meant to connect legacy telco applications to the new chassis through adapters. The other is a blade and switch module meant to provide Ethernet network connectivity for large bandwidth applications like VoIP.

New server software aimed at telcos

New server software from Sun Microsystems Inc. will run on its CoolThreads servers and focus on providing high-bandwidth applications for the telecommunications industry.

The Netra Dataplane Software is meant to speed applications for delivering voice, video and data over telecommunications networks. It will be sold on CoolThreads servers such as the T2000, Netra T2000 and CP3060.

Data encryption should be part of storage software, users say

Data encryption is becoming a big focus for businesses wanting to protect critical information, according to a study today from research firm IDC.

More than half the companies responding to IDC's survey said that encryption should be part of storage system software in order to protect data but still make it easily accessible. Other findings from the IDC study: vendors think encryption technology is mature, but users are skeptical; many expect encryption to be included in removable media in the future; and the cost of encryption is not an inhibitor for those who want to use it. The survey included more than 400 IT and storage pros.

Mainframe storage encryption unveiled

Universal Software has added encryption capability to its mainframe virtual tape appliance. The company said the 256-key method provides a high level of security on its appliance, which provides storage for mainframes running VSE, VM, z/OS and OS/390.

Its product is a virtual tape controller that hooks to a mainframe through an ESCON or parallel channel connection, providing the ability to read and write data to a NAS, SAN or RAID device.

Sun offers startups steep discounts

Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Startup Essentials program offers server discounts as much as 65%, according to one employee of the company.

The program is being offered to companies that have 150 or fewer employees, have been in business for no more than four years and are based in the United States. Discounts on Sun servers can be up to 65% for a Sun Fire X4500 Server 2.6GHz. Most savings are 30-50%. Eligible companies cannot buy more than $150,000 worth of equipment through the program, but there is no minimum.

Small wiring closets get integrated power systems

Data center power company American Power Conversion has released a universal power supply (UPS) and rack power supply box designed for small wiring closets.

The product is based on the APC InfraStruXure architecture, which incorporates power and cooling capabilities into one box. The product includes a system management device that shows UPS, temperature and humidity measurements for the box, and is available with UPSs ranging from 1kW to 12.8kW. Each system also includes power distribution units and cable management brackets.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer.

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