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Dell ventures into AMD blades: News in brief

Dell PowerEdge M915 builds on Opteron 6100 chips; Stratus updates HA software.

Dell adds AMD chips to PowerEdge line-up
Dell Inc. expanded its portfolio of AMD-based systems with the new PowerEdge M915, a full-height blade server that slides into the M1000e chassis.

Based on the current “Magny-Cours” generation of Opteron 6100 chips, the M915 supports either two or four processors for up to 48 cores per system; it will support the 16-core “Bulldozer” Opterons when they ship later this year. The M915’s 32 DIMM slots can be configured with 16 GB memory modules for 512 GB of total system memory. Its six PCI expansion slots provide up to 12 ports of 10 Gb connectivity, with two of those slots supporting switch-agnostic 10 Gb converged network adapters that can be partitioned into four virtual NICs.

Like other PowerEdge blades, the M915 comes with Dell’s Failsafe Hypervisor, in which a hypervisor is loaded on to two 2 GB SD-RAM cards configured in a RAID 1 configuration. The feature is enabled in the bios.

The PowerEdge M915 will be available on May 24, with a starting price of $3,500.

Stratus touches up Avance HA software
Stratus Technologies, a specialist in high-availability computing, said its Avance 2.1 software release fixes and automates common implementation and management issues, making it better suited for small to medium-sized businesses.

Based on open-source Xen virtualization technology, Avance runs on standard x86 servers and provides high availability for applications running in Windows and Linux virtual machines (VMs), restarting applications on an alternate host in the event of a hardware, network and host software fault.

New in version 2.1 are automatic compatibility scans prior to installation; a new “call home” service that connects Avance users with Avance Stratus technical support; simplified and customizable management screens; and automatic network checks. In addition, Avance 2.1 supports 10 Gb storage link synchronization for faster I/O performance. Avance 2.1 is available now and has a list price of $5,000.

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