Dell officially re-entered the blade-server market Monday with a long-rumored product the company says helps address costs and thermal issues needed to further propel the growth of blades.
"We believe it's time for Dell to get back into the market as it begins to move toward volume deployment," says Tim Golden, director of PowerEdge servers for Dell. "We think that one of the reasons volume deployment hasn't completely taken off yet has had to do with pricing, because traditionally there's a premium associated with the price of blades."
Dell is introducing the PowerEdge 1855 blade servers. The blades will be offered in a 7U chassis that will support up to 10 servers, providing 43% greater performance-per-square foot than a traditional 1U (1.75-inch) rack-mounted server, Golden says. The blades will provide up to 25% of cost advantages over traditional servers as well, he says.
The 1855 will come standard with dual Intel Xeon processors with EM64T technology, PCI Express I/O, up to 16 Gbytes of DDR2 memory, dual integrated NICs, hot-plug drives, and redundant power and cool features, Golden says. Chassis pricing will start at $2,999 and individual blades at $1,699. A half-populated blade enclosure starts at $11,494, and a fully populated enclosure at $19,989.
Two years ago Dell entered the blade-server market with a product based on Pentium 4 processor, but quickly lost position to IBM and Hewlett-Packard, which have led the market with more powerful systems based on Xeon and the Opteron processor by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.