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Dell pushes green computing initiative, offers low power AMD servers

Bridget Botelho

In the spirit of green computing, Dell has introduced two AMD Opteron-based servers designed to reduce data center power consumption and deliver performance per watt improvements.

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Dell's PowerEdge 2970 and PowerEdge Energy Smart 2970 include current generation AMD Opteron processors, upgradeable to quad-core when the company introduces the chips this summer.

The PowerEdge 2970 server draws up to 34% less power than a Dell Power Edge 2850, which uses two dual-core Intel Xeon 2.8GHz (Paxville) processors, the company reports.

Actual power consumption will vary based on configuration, usage and manufacturing variability but Dell claims the new servers can deliver up to 105% greater performance per watt over the previous generation of Dell servers featuring dual-core processors.

The PowerEdge 2970 server and PowerEdge Energy Smart 2970 server also incorporate Dell's latest OpenManage systems management software and feature tight integration with other third-party suites.

The new product offerings are being introduced to address customers power consumption challenges and costs, according to Jay Parker, director of PowerEdge Servers, Dell Product Group.

Green computing initiatives have caught on due to pressing problems like global warming and high energy costs. Vendors like Hewlett Packard, Intel, and Sun Microsystems have all introduced innovations to reduce power consumption in recent months.

Resting on AMD's laurels

The questions to consider in evaluating the new trend in products is whether the vendor has previous experience in this area, and whether the new product is likely to deliver meaningful value, according to Charles King, Principal Analyst with Pund-IT, Inc.

Since Dell's new server offerings leverage the tried-and-true power-friendly characteristics of AMD's Opteron processors, these new servers are a good bet for companies looking to maximize energy efficiency, King said in a product review.

The Dell PowerEdge 2970 servers balance energy efficiency and performance, the company claims, and were designed to work with database, messaging and network infrastructure applications as well as virtualization.

Some features of the PowerEdge 2970 server include SAS hard drives, PCI-Express I/O for high-performance Ethernet, RAID, InfiniBand and Fibre Channel interconnects and a TCP/IP Offload Engine.

Energy Smart performance per watt

Meanwhile, the Dell PowerEdge Energy Smart 2970 server can reportedly deliver up to 25% greater performance per watt as compared to a standard PowerEdge Standard 2970 using two dual-dual core AMD Opteron 2212HE (2.00 GHz) processors.

The new Dell Energy Smart server features include low-flow fans with a power speed control mechanism, higher-efficiency power supplies, low-voltage processors, and factory-integrated BIOS designed for increased efficiency and air flow, Dell representative David Lord said. These improvements can save hundreds of dollars per server every year, which can translate to millions of dollars per year in large data center deployments.

Customers can also benefit from the smaller energy footprint to drive increased density in the data center. Four PowerEdge Energy Smart servers take up the same power envelope that three standard PowerEdge 2970 servers occupy today.

The Dell PowerEdge 2970 is available today worldwide and the Dell PowerEdge Energy Smart 2970 will be available in the coming weeks.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Bridget Botelho, News Writer

Also, check out our news blog at serverspecs.blogs.techtarget.com


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