Dell has unveiled four new servers featuring Intel's Xeon processor with Extended Memory 64-bit Technology, formerly known by its codename Nocona. The systems are available immediately.
The dual-processor PowerEdge 1800, 1850, 2800 and 2850 servers also support the new PCI Express technology and feature an 800MHz front bus, giving a claimed 50 per cent boost to memory throughput.
The new Dell models are more than simply a gradual product upgrade, according to Mark Smith, the company's product marketing manager. They will help the company move up in the datacentre to applications like databases, infrastructure servers and messaging servers, he said.
"There is a new round of technology being refreshed. We are looking to drive the next generation of computing power in the datacentre," Smith told vnunet.com.
But users rushing to order the new servers to profit from the 64-bit capabilities of the Xeon processor running Windows should beware. Last week Microsoft disclosed that it has delayed the launch of its 64-bit enabled versions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP until the first half of 2005.
Currently, only Solaris and RedHat Linux support the 64-bit capabilities of the Xeon chip.
Smith doubted that the delayed launch of the 64-bit Windows versions would hurt sales of the new Dell severs, however.
"This allows [customers] to migrate when it's right for them. It will actually make them more comfortable to buy a platform that is ready for the future," he said.
Dell claims to differentiate from rival manufacturers' products by offering a centralised management suite and increasing ease of use by making sure that system images for existing servers can be used for new models too.
Because the product offerings of IBM, HP and Dell offer so many similiarities competition could be fierce, predicted Jean Bozman, research vice president with IDC. At the same time, it proves that the market for 64-bit Xeon-based servers is a viable one.
"When they [Dell] sense there is going to be a volume market, they jump on it," said Bozman.
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