Dell has unveiled two low-power versions of its best selling PowerEdge servers.
The Energy Smart PowerEdge 1950 and 2950 are two-socket rack servers. The 2U 2950 is double the height of the 1950, allowing for up to 4.5TB of storage compared to 1.5TB for the 1950.
The models replace the regular Intel Xeon processor with a 2.33GHz Intel Xeon mobile processor, and feature a special Bios that allows the unit to tune down the processor and system memory to go into a low-power mode.
The systems, which have high-efficiency power supplies and cooling fans, cost about $100 more than the regular model, but deliver a 25 per cent improvement in performance per watt, the company said.
This could allow a company to add one server to a data centre for each four servers that it replaces without increasing power and cooling demands.
Alternatively, Dell said that users could make back the higher sales price in one to two years through lower energy bills.
Power consumption has become a hot topic in the server industry. According to some estimates, the utility bill makes up about 40 per cent of the overall cost of running an enterprise data centre.
Many users also are hitting a ceiling in the ability add new servers because their server rooms are unable to cool any additional hardware.
Building a new data centre is often not an option because of the associated costs and limited power supplies in urban areas for such power hungry projects.
HP unveiled its Dynamic Smart Cooling technology last week that uses sensor networks to cool data centres more effectively. The company also promises to allow for increased server densities and reduced power consumption.
Big Blue claims that its blade servers are among the most efficient in the industry.
Sun Microsystems unveiled a set of newly designed servers earlier this year that focus on power efficiency.
Jay Parker, director of the PowerEdge server line at Dell, conceded that its decision to swap processors might look like a minor adjustment, but argued that it will deliver immediate results.
"Starting at the server level is a more practical approach," Park told vnunet.com. "The server is absolutely the most critical starting point for customers looking to cut power."
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