Dell gets slim with Xeon servers

Dell Computer Corp. announced a new rack mount server Monday that will be the first of its slim, two-processor systems to ship with Intel Corp.’s Xeon chips.

The PowerEdge 2650 takes up 2U (3.5 inches) of rack space and starts at US$2,399 without an operating system but with one 1.8 GHz Xeon processor, 256M bytes of memory, and an 18G-byte hard drive. A high-end version of the system with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 2000 server operating system, dual 2.4GHz Xeons, 6G bytes of DDR SDRAM (double data rate synchronous dynamic RAM) and five 36G-byte hard drives is priced at $16,427, said Darrel Ward, senior manager of rack servers at Dell.

The PowerEdge 2650 is aimed at companies looking for a compact server to handle e-mail, file and print sharing and Web serving. Customers with large clusters of servers used for churning through research or data mining have also shown interest in the quicker systems, according to Ward.

“The one (vertical market)…. that has really been clamoring to get their hands on the rack-dense Xeon products is HPCC (high performance computing clusters),” Ward said.

Better floating-point performance and a faster 400MHz front side bus with the Xeon are of particular use for HPCC, he said.

The servers also ship with Dell’s remote-access technology and OpenManage management software. Dell will sell the PowerEdge 2650 with Windows 2000 Server, Windows 200 Advanced Server and Red Hat Linux. The system is also certified to work with Novell Inc.’s Netware and Windows NT 4.0 operating systems.