Dell announced today a refresh of the PowerEdge M910 blade server based on the Intel Xeon E7 processor. The M910 is a full-height blade that can hold 512GB of RAM across 32 DIMMs. The refreshed M910 blade server will also feature Dell’s FlexMem bridge that enables users to use all 32 DIMM slots with only 2 CPUs. You can read more about the M910 blade server in an earlier blog post of mine here.
Updated 5/24/2010 – I’ve received some comments about expandability and I’ve received a correction about the speed of Dell’s memory, so I’ve updated this post.You’ll find the corrections / additions below in GREEN.
Since I’ve received a lot of comments from my post on the Dell FlexMem Bridge technology, I thought I would do an unbiased comparison between Dell’s FlexMem Bridge technology (via the PowerEdge 11G M910 blade server) vs IBM’s MAX5 + HX5 blade server offering. In summary both offerings provide the Intel Xeon 7500 CPU plus the ability to add “extended memory” offering value for virtualization, databases and any other workloads that benefit from large amounts of memory. Continue reading →
Odds are there is something virtualized in your data center. If not, it soon will be. As more workloads become virtualized, chances are you are going to run out of “capacity” on your virtualization host. When a host’s capacity is exhausted, 99% of the time it is because the host ran out of memory, not CPU. Continue reading →
Dell appears to be first to the market today with complete details on their Nehalem EX blade server, the PowerEdge M910. Based on the Nehalem EX technology (aka Intel Xeon 7500Chipset), the server offers quite a lot of horsepower in a small, full-height blade server footprint.
Some details about the server:
uses Intel Xeon 7500 or 6500 CPUs
has support for up to 512GB using 32 x 16 DIMMs
comes standard two embedded Broadcom NetExtreme II Dual Port 5709S Gigabit Ethernet NICs with failover and load balancing.
has two 2.5″ Hot-Swappable SAS/Solid State Drives
34 available I/O mezzanine card slots
comes with a Matrox G200eW w/ 8MB memory standard
can function on 2 CPUs with access to all 32 DIMM slots
Dell (finally) Offers Some Innovation
I commented a few weeks ago that Dell and innovate were rarely used in the same sentence, however with today’s announcement, I’ll have to retract that statement. Before I elaborate on what I’m referring to, let me do some quick education. The design of the Nehalem architecture allows for each processor (CPU) to have access to a dedicated bank of memory along with its own memory controller. The only downside to this is that if a CPU is not installed, the attached memory banks are not useable. THIS is where Dell is offering some innovation. Today Dell announced the “FlexMem Bridge” technology. This technology is simple in concept as it allows for the memory of a CPU socket that is not populated to still be used. In essence, Dell’s using technology that bridges the memory banks across un-populated CPU slots to the rest of the server’s populated CPUs. With this technology, a user could start of with only 2 CPUs and still have access to 32 memory DIMMs. Then, over time, if more CPUs are needed, they simply remove the FlexMem Bridge adapters from the CPU sockets then replace with CPUs – now they would have a 4 CPU x 32 DIMM blade server.
Congrats to Dell. Very cool idea. The Dell PowerEdge M910 is available to order today from the Dell.com website.