Pricing for Dell's new 1U R300 rackmount server starts at $1,250; the T300 tower model starts at $1,000 and is squarely aimed at the small and medium-sized (SMB) market. That said, both boxes can be outfitted with a 3.16 GHz Intel Xeon chip normally found in multisocket machines, and the 24 GB of memory capacity available is three times what is available from equivalent single-socket boxes from IBM Corp. or Hewlett-Packard Co. (Sun Microsystems Inc., however, doesn't offer a Xeon-based single-socket server.)Small footprint, more RAM
According to Reed Caldwell, the CEO and founder of McLean, Va.-based Web hosting company the ServInt Corp., the allure of a single-socket server is that some customers don't need more power than one CPU, but rather more RAM.
"We want to achieve a low-energy footprint and the customer wants to achieve good uptime," he said. "We can achieve that at a lower price point for our customers."
He said Dell's new servers would integrate well with ServInt's virtual private server (VPS) service, in which customers get a dedicated machine to maintain root access and their own software without worrying about another customer having access to the server.
Other features of the new server offerings include hot-plug hard drives, redundant power supplies, and the Trusted Platform Module feature, a specification that encrypts data.
In a report, Charles King an analyst at Pund-IT Inc. observed that the R300 and T300 serve SMB customers "by combining the latest Intel Xeon processor technology, copious (by single-socket standards) memory support, and high availability and security features more common in enterprise-class solutions. The result is a pair of attractively priced servers whose robust performance, energy efficiency and reliability should support most any small-business application."