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Dell: Little momentum in ARM servers until 64-bit processors

Agam Shah | April 15, 2013
The low-power capabilities of ARM-based processors have created high expectations for their use in servers, but one of Dell's top engineers said they are unlikely to take off until 64-bit versions hit the market.

"We've enjoyed that in the x86 server place for 25 years or more," Pike said.

Dell was an early implementer of low-power processors in servers when it introduced the XS11-VX8 server, which had Via's netbook processor. Pike said customers will be able to buy customized ARM servers through the DCS division, but did not provide a specific date on when the systems would be commercially available. The company will also offer servers based on Intel's Atom chip code-named Centerton, which is in HP's Moonshot.

But Dell wants its offerings to be different from HP's Moonshot, which is a 4.3U with a fixed configuration of 45 Proliant servers -- also called cartridges -- based on Intel's Centerton chip. HP has said it will offer customized Moonshot servers with ARM and Intel processors based on customer needs in the future.

Preconfigured servers with fixed hardware specifications do not work in hyperscale models, where server configurations change and hardware needs to be ramped up rapidly, Pike said.

"One size doesn't fit all," Pike said.

 

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