View Full Version : Dell Madison Itanium 2 Server

06-26-2003, 08:26 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Dell unveils Madison server ahead of Intel launch
By Tom Krazit, IDG News Service
JUNE 25, 2003

Dell Computer Corp. today released details on its first Itanium 2-based server, a two-way PowerEdge server available with Intel Corp.'s new Madison Itanium 2 processor.

Intel is expected to release Madison June 30, but Dell unveiled its PowerEdge 3250 server today in a conference call for the media and analysts. Until now, Dell had conspicuously held back from introducing an Itanium 2 server, but it's now committing to the technology, spurred by the pending release of the new and improved version of the processor, said Darrel Ward, a product manager at Dell.

The company finally decided to adopt Itanium 2 in a server because of the price/performance ratio offered by the new Madison version of Itanium 2, Ward said.

Madison is expected to come with a larger Level 3 cache, at up to 6MB, and will run at speeds up to 1.5 GHz. It will also be marketed under the Itanium 2 brand, the same official name as the 900-MHz and 1-GHz versions of the processor, code-named McKinley and announced last year.

The PowerEdge 3250 is designed to be clustered in groups of eight nodes or more with Red Hat Inc.'s Enterprise Linux operating system package. Customers will also be able to use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition with the new server. It will come with up to 16GB of memory and up to 292GB of internal storage, Ward said.

Dell will announce pricing and availability once Intel has made its formal Madison announcement, Ward said. He declined to comment on whether Dell would release an Itanium server with more than two processors in the near future.

The McKinley version of Itanium has been slow to make inroads in enterprise IT shops despite favorable performance reviews. Hewlett-Packard Co. and Unisys Corp. were the only major vendors to support the McKinley processor until IBM released its x450 server in April.

In order to take advantage of Itanium 2's performance characteristics, IT managers need to port their applications to Intel's new Itanium processor instruction set, known as EPIC, for explicitly parallel instruction computing. This effort has caused many potential customers to refrain from adopting Itanium 2 systems, preferring to keep their most important applications on large Unix machines or clustered servers based on Intel's x86 Xeon processor rather than embarking upon a significant coding project.

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06-26-2003, 09:45 AM
Yeah, that's nice, but are they shiny aluminum? http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Porting apps and running a Linux cluster sounds just slightly worse than serious dental work, for us mere mortals.

Seems like a different market to me than the G5s or any Macs. As our Unix guru security consultant would say, "Why buy OS 10 Server for a thousand bucks when I can do everyhthing (and more) with freeBSD,openBSD, or Linux for free?"

True. But you need a Unix guy to do it, and it seems to me that there are lot's of potential customers who will pay for the GUI and internal control, rather than be completely at the mercy of an outside consultant. And those skills don't come cheap.

But you should see his eyes glaze over when he talks about a client who wants to add networking features to old M$ 98 boxes that require udgrading to 2000 or newer... His recommendation: Trash the old PCs and buy Macs connecting to a killer OS X Server box with lot's of custom command-line tweaks.

He actually drools a little.


Charlie Don't Surf!

06-26-2003, 10:46 AM
I have been too busy, but part of Dell's announcement may have been spurred by Apple's G5 and G5 Server announcements.

And there won't be as much trouble running older legacy code on the G5. Of course optimizing the code will be nice.

It sounds like 10.3 Server has all the ease of use anyone could want, too.