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Dell partitions servers

Mar 18, 20042 mins

* Dell-VMware configuration makes better use of servers via partitions

Dell last week partnered with VMware to let Dell’s PowerEdge servers be clustered with storage and use VMware’s ESX Server software to split a single machine into two or more “virtual” systems.

In the configuration Dell offers, the servers would be clustered using a Dell PowerConnect switch and would attach to Dell/EMC CX300 or CX500 storage arrays via a Fibre Channel switch. VMware’s VirtualCenter Management Server would be installed on a Dell PE1750 server, which attaches to the PowerConnect switch, where it is used to manage the cluster. 

This configuration, Dell claims, would help increase the utilization of two- and four-processor servers by allowing more applications to run on a single server. Management software lets applications be dynamically moved to different servers based on usage trends or system availability.

Without virtualization, each server would run a single operating system and often a single application. With virtualization, CPU utilization increases and server consolidation is possible.

According to performance tests Dell conducted, two Dell four-processor servers running VMware ESX Server and Microsoft SQL Server outperformed an eight-processor machine.

The ESX Server creates multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. These servers can be centrally managed and virtual machines can be dynamically allocated.

VirtualCenter is a centralized interface, which manages virtual machine provisioning and migration. The company’s VMotion technology moves live virtual machines from server to server.

In an ESX Server configuration, virtual machines within the same server can run different operating systems and applications.

The Dell VMware configuration will compete with Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2004 when available.

The Dell configuration with VMware starts at $30,580 for a Dell PowerEdge 6650 server with two Intel Xeon MP processors, internal storage and VMware ESX Server for two processors.  It is available now.