Dell Formally Unveils AMD-Based Servers

Michael Dell took the stage at Oracle OpenWorld to formally unveil PowerEdge 6950 four-socket servers and PowerEdge SC1435 two-socket rack-optimized servers based on dual-core AMD Opteron processors.

October 24, 2006

2 Min Read
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Dell brought out its biggest gun at Oracle Open World conference to officially launch its first AMD Opteron-based servers.

Michael Dell took the stage in San Francisco to formally unveil PowerEdge 6950 four-socket servers and PowerEdge SC1435 two-socket rack-optimized servers based on dual-core AMD Opteron processors.

The high-end machines will play well in heavily virtualized environments and are suited for transitioning customers from RISC Unix machines to standards based machines, Dell said. "We like that transition," Dell told a few thousand attendees of Oracle's annual conference. The move has been expected since May, when Dell originally said it planned to start shipping Opteron-based servers.

That decision followed the company's acquisition of high-end game PC maker Alienware which had a long-term AMD relationship and which gave Dell a back door into the AMD world without risking its relationship with its long-term exclusive processor supplier Intel.

Dell in August also unveiled plans to release AMD processor-based Dimension PCs. The new servers are aimed at making it as easy as possible for customers to deploy, a Dell spokesperson said. To that end, the servers include a programmable LCD that allows easy diagnosis of server faults, individually-labeled hard drives, color-coded components such as orange for hot-swappable and blue for customer-serviceable, tool-less access to server components, and technology to reduce the number of server image changes a customer has to manage, the spokesperson said.As to why Dell is so late to the AMD party, an integrator said Intel gave Dell good discounts to keep it loyal for a long time. But apparently the market has changed. Dell was also late recognizing Linux in the market. Dell execs characterized the AMD move as a response to customer demand for choice.

Michael Dell did not attend a Q&A session listed on the show's agenda, however. Instead COO Kevin Kettler and another executive fielded questions. The Round Rock, Texas PC maker is facing an informal SEC investigation into its reporting practices as well as a the threat of a delisting from the Nasdaq.

Last week, Gartner said Dell relinquished the top PC market share slot to rival Hewlett Packard. Dell stock subsequently fell 6.4 percent.

Dell and Oracle also announced that the two companies are teaming on management by integrating Oracle Enterprise Manager into Dell's OpenManage management software bundled with its machines. "That means customers using Oracle tool can now manage server hardware from one management console," said Jay Parker, a director of PowerEdge Servers for Dell, Round Rock, Texas.

Dell has inked similar integration deals with Microsoft and Altiris, Parker said.The servers can be ordered now, with delivery expected to start in the next couple weeks, the spokesperson said. Pricing for the PowerEdge 6950 starts at $6,499, compared to $1,299 for the PowerEdge SC1435.

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