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Dell Offers New Servers for SMBs

Dell Offers New Servers for SMBs
By Peter Piazza

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The new PowerEdge servers are designed for small and midsize businesses, offering SMBs reduced cost and complexity, Dell says, as well as simplified storage and better security. Dell claims that its SMB servers run faster than equivalent IBM and HP servers -- a key concern for SMBs that rely on memory-intensive applications like Web serving.

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Dell launched two new servers for small and midsize businesses that the company claims perform as much as 51 percent faster than comparable IBM servers. The two new PowerEdge servers offer high-availability features as well as larger memories, and come in rack- or tower-server configurations.

The rack server, the PowerEdge R300, uses the Intel Xeon x5460 quad-core processor. Dell says tests show its performance is as much as 26 percent better than the comparable server from HP, the DL320 G5p, and as much as 51 percent better than the IBM System X 3250 server. The new tower server, the T300, similarly beats comparable HP and IBM systems, according to Dell. (Performance data was published with the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation, or SPEC, a nonprofit organization that sets benchmarks for high-performance computers.)

"The R300 and T300 are the industry's fastest one-socket quad-core servers," a Dell spokesperson told us. "Because of the way we've designed the systems, we've made it possible for a processor typically used in higher-performing two-socket servers to be used in a one-socket server."

Made for SMBs

SMBs often rely on memory-intensive applications, such as Web serving, to run their businesses, and slow performance can hurt productivity. Dell says the R300 and T300 help address this pain point by delivering three times the memory capacity of a typical one-socket server; better memory scalability means they can better handle memory-intensive applications.

"These servers take the performance, memory capacity, and high-availability features previously available only in more expensive, higher-end systems and make them available at a small-business price," the spokesperson said. "Because of these features, the R300 and T300 can help increase uptime and productivity for SMBs. They also help simplify [information technology] for SMBs by helping to reduce cost and complexity, enabling customers to focus more on innovation, productivity, and growing their businesses."

"We're delivering one-socket servers that provide the performance, high-availability features and reliability that you typically find in systems designed for larger businesses. These servers provide SMBs and remote offices with essential servers that have the right level of performance and features at a small business price," the spokesperson added.

Simplified Storage, Better Security

The performance, increased memory scalability, and high-availability features of the new servers promise to help increase uptime -- and therefore access to data -- for customers. Dell notes that these servers share a high level of commonality with Dell's PowerVault MD3000i, its iSCSI storage area network (SAN) array, thus offering a simplified storage-consolidation solution designed specifically for SMBs.

The new servers feature some built-in security measures that will help small businesses operate safely. "We've built in security features to the R300 and T300 servers, including support for Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which enables better authentication, encryption, and protection of critical information; and internal lock-down USB, meaning that the USB is physically inside the chassis and logically controlled by the BIOS in order to help reduce the risk of data loss and security breaches."

The servers also feature locking bezels and a chassis-intrusion switch to help protect against unauthorized access to system hard drives, peripherals, and the control panel.

The R300 rack server starts at $1,249, and the T300 tower server starts at $999.

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