Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Energy Efficiency Key to Dell’s New Servers

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Who’s got the most energy efficient servers? With all the competing
claims it’s hard to say, but add Dell to the growing list of server makers
looking to make that claim.

Today Dell (Quote) unveiled two additions to its
PowerEdge server line that require less power and sport better performance
per watt than comparable models in the PowerEdge Line. Specifically, Dell
said the new servers offer 25 percent greater performance per watt while
reducing power consumption by 20 percent.

Dell’s PowerEdge Energy Smart 1950 and 2950 models, priced at $2,449
and $2,619 respectively, cost $100 more than comparable ‘non-Energy Smart’
servers. But Dell said the new models can save as much as $200 in energy
costs over the first year of use.

“These two new servers are complementary, they don’t replace any servers
in our lineup,” Jay Parker, director of PowerEdge servers at Dell told “Energy Smart products are relevant to some but not
all our customers. Those who want absolute best performance or where power
usage isn’t a big priority, can stick with [the non- Energy Smart] servers.”

That said, Parker acknowledged there’s been strong customer demand for
more energy efficient systems and he expects Dell to broaden its Energy
Smart portfolio of products significantly in the coming year.

“IT managers are being asked to add more server capability in the data center either to run more applications or because their business is growing, or both,” said
Parker. “But they don’t have the flexibility to add more power to fuel

The Energy Smart features actually first appeared in models of Dell’s
corporate desktop line (Optiplex 740 and 320) released in September. These
include low-flow fan technology, high efficiency power supplies and factory
integrated BIOS (define), as well as what Dell said is unique
component design specs for increased efficiency and airflow. For the new
servers, Intel’s Xeon 5100 is also more energy efficient than its

Parker said he “wouldn’t rule out” adding AMD-based servers to Dell’s
Energy Smart line in the future.

The two Energy Smart models run on the low voltage, 2.3GHz Intel Xeon
5100 “Woodcrest” processor, which is also available in non-Energy Smart

But Parker points out significant energy savings, noting that a
small data center with three racks of servers could switch to Energy Smart
models, add an additional fourth rack of servers and not incur any
additional power requirements or costs.

“Historically the industry has been designing servers for power to be an
outcome, not an objective. It’s been more of a tradeoff of performance and
cost,” said Parker. “But we’ve made power [conservation] an objective, and
from a Dell perspective, we want to widen the gap between what we can offer
in this area and our competitors.”

If Dell wants to establish itself as the energy efficiency leader, it
faces stiff competition. IBM, HP,
Sun and
others have major investments in improving the energy efficiency of their

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