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Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Dell To Offer ARM-based Server Prototype For Application Development And Benchmarking

Dell on Tuesday announced a prototype low-power server powered by ARM processors, which will help its customers test and develop applications for ARM servers.

Dell began testing ARM server technology internally in 2010 in response to increasing demands for density and power efficiency.

The proof-of-concept server is code-named "Copper" and is the first one from Dell that is based on the ARM processor. Dell will not sell the server, but will install prototypes at specific locations to support their development activities.

Dell believes ARM infrastructures demonstrate promise for web front-end and Hadoop environments, where advantages in performance per dollar and performance per watt are critical. Dell said it would bring ARM servers to general availability "at the appropriate time."

Dell is working to enable software development for ARM-based server solutions, together with Canonical and Cloudera.

Dell "Copper" ARM server specifications

Form factor:
3U chassis
48 independent servers

1S 1.6GHz, quadcore Marvell Armada XP system on a chip (SoC)
4 discrete server nodes per sled
12 sleds per 3U chassis

1 DIMM slot
up to 8GB per node

Drive bays: 1 x 2.5" SATA per node
Hard disk drives: 2.5" SATA (7.2K rpm)
Networking: 1GB Marvell Ethernet uplink per node (QSGMII) connected to Marvell Integrated L2 Switch (98DX4122)

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