Dell Servers Promise More Power for Less Money

The company says its two new servers, designed and priced for the small business market, offer features and capabilities previously available only to big business.

Dell this week announced two new members of its PowerEdge server family, the R300 and T300, which are, according to the company, designed to provide high performance at an affordable price.

Dell claims the R300 and T300 are "the industry’s highest-performing one-socket quad-core servers." That claim is based on the servers' processor, a quad-core Intel Xeon x5460, that's typically found in more expensive, higher-performing two-socket servers.

Using the quad-core Intel processor also allows the new servers to offer three times the amount of memory capability of other one-socket servers. "Typically the memory scalability of a one-socket server is 8GB," Sally Stevens, director of PowerEdge servers, said in a teleconference today. "The R300 and T300 servers can scale up to 24 GB of memory."

What does all this socket talk mean to small businesses? Barry Jennings, Dell's chief researcher for small business, said the single-socket R300 and T300 servers "give small businesses the best bang for the buck. It's like having a Ford Mustang engine in a Ford Focus chassis," he said. "No other company offers this. There's no other single-socket server with this chipset and capability on the market today."

In its lab tests, Dell said that the rack-mounted R300 performed up to 26 percent faster than HP's DL320 G5p and up to 51 percent over IBM's System X 3250. Lab testing also showed that the T300 tower server performed up to 31 percent better than HP's ML310 G5 server, and up to 51 better than IBM's System X 3200.

Dell designed the R300 and T300 as general-purpose servers suitable across all industries and markets. "They're capable of running resource-intensive applications, such as Exchange," Jennings said. "You can also run multiple applications on them, such as Exchange plus print-and-file plus databases."

Jennings said that, in addition to faster performance, the benefits small businesses could expect from running the R300 or T300 include increased reliability, decreased heat buildup and increased energy savings. "The rack-mounted R300 is the most energy efficient server – not just single-socket — on the market today. Period."

Other benefits include security features to help SMBs protect their data. They include a TPM or Trusted Platform Module, which Sally Stevens said provides better authentication and encryption capabilities. Internal USB lockdown prevents anyone (including disgruntled employees) from plugging in a 4GB USB key and walking out with your database. Similarly, locking bevels on the servers prevent chassis intrusion.

"The R300 and T300 servers offer increased simplicity by letting small businesses do more with one server," said Jennings. "That translates to saving money with a leaner, cleaner IT infrastructure."

Pricing starts at $1,2249 for the R300 and at $999 for the T300.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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