Dell Debuts First Server Based On New Itanium Chip - InformationWeek

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Hardware & Infrastructure

Dell Debuts First Server Based On New Itanium Chip

The PowerEdge 3250 will run dual Itanium 2 processors and will be aimed at the high-performance market.

In preparation for the June 30 launch of Intel's newest 64-bit Itanium processor, formerly code-named Madison, Dell Computer on Wednesday introduced its first server based on the technology. The PowerEdge 3250 will run dual Intel Itanium 2 processors with a maximum memory of 16 Gbytes and 292 Gbytes of internal storage. The PowerEdge 3250 supports both Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Although Dell hasn't said when the PowerEdge 3250 will begin shipping or how much it will cost, the company has made it clear that the new server will be aimed at the high-performance computing market. This means the 2U rack-mounted PowerEdge 3250 servers are most likely to be configured in clusters with anywhere from eight to 128 nodes.

While initial use for the new server is likely to be crunching numbers in research labs and educational facilities, Darrel Ward, Dell's senior manager of PowerEdge servers, says, "We fully expect maturation of this market into the corporate mainstream. We see a good opportunity as a low-cost platform for development, particularly as companies move 32-bit apps to 64-bit."

Dell has just under 44% of the high-performance technical computing market, according to IDC's first-quarter High Performance Technical Computer report. IBM is next at 26.5%, while Hewlett-Packard is third at 18.0%.

The PowerEdge 3250 isn't Dell's first foray into Itanium. Soon after Intel debuted the processor in April 2001, Dell began offering an Itanium-based PowerEdge 7150 server. The PowerEdge 7150 initially was capable of supporting up to four 733-MHz or 800-MHz Itanium processors, up to 64 Gbytes of memory, and as many as four hot-plug redundant hard drives for up to 144 Gbytes of internal storage. Dell didn't upgrade the 7150 for the first version of Itanium 2, code-named McKinley, opting instead to develop the PowerEdge 3250 for the new Madison version of Itanium 2.

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