Bigger isn't always better, at least not when you're trying to save space. Such is the theme for Dell's updated commercial line of small form factor (SFF) OptiPlex desktops the company announced today.
"The death of the commercial desktop has been greatly overstated," said Mike Basore, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Dell Business Client Product Group. "We are seeing customers look to deploy small form factor systems in ways never before imagined. These new desktop systems provide a rock solid foundation which Dell is known for while providing long-lifecycle and secure capabilities in key areas such as client virtualization and systems management."
Not only are the new OptiPlex PCs small, but Dell says its new OptiPlex 780 USFF is the smallest fully functional commercial desktop PC with an integrated PSU and Intel vPro technology. The versatile system comes built around Intel's Core 2 Duo technology and offers up support for Windows 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Ubuntu "in select countries." Other features include advanced systems management options, full disk encryption, and up to a 90 percent efficient power supply, which Dell boasts is better than HP's Compaq dc7900 Ultra-slim and Lenovo's ThinkCentre M58p Ultra SFF business class machine.
Dell also announced the OptiPlex 380, which is being aimed at customers in emerging countries and businesses looking for a budget-friendly solution with room to grow. It too supports the same OSes as the 780 USFF, and comes with an "easy to service chassis" with DirectDetect LED diagnostic lights.
Both new models are available now direct through Dell starting at $629 (OptiPlex 780 USFF) and $349 (OptiPlex 380 SFF).
For the next three years, Microsoft and NetApp will collaborate to deliver technology solutions in virtualization, private cloud computing, and storage and data management, the two companies jointly announced on Tuesday.
"Microsoft is committed to driving highly scalable dynamic datacenter solutions with innovative partners like NetApp," said Bob Kelly, corporate vice president of infrastructure server marketing, Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Through the deeper integration of server, virtualization, management and storage technologies, Microsoft and NetApp customers can expect datacenter solutions that help them reduce costs, increase performance, and reach new levels of efficiency."
The companies said that as part of the alliance, they will work together to expand product collaboration and technical integration activities in areas such as virtualized infrastructure solutions based on Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center, and NetApp storage systems; Sotrage and data management solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, and Microsoft SQL Server; and cloud computing and hosted services that provide integrated data protection.
The suits over at Sun Microsystems are claiming new world records from the company's new Fire X4640 server built around six-core AMD Opteron chips.
Sun says the Fire X4640 uses up to eight six-core AMD chips in 4RU, "making it the most compact 24- to 48-core system available from tier one vendors." The company claims up to a 65 percent performance boost over previous-gen Sun Fire X4600M2 server, along with up to half a terabyte of memory in 64 memory slots.
As to the in-house benchmarking, Sun says the Fire X4640 server set an eight-processor world record with 10,000 SAP SD Benchmark users running the SAP enhancement package 4 for the SAP ERP 6.0 application. Versus the competition on the two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark, Sun says its new server offers up to 33 percent better performance than a 16-processor NEC Express 5800 server, 2.7x the performance of a four-processor IBM System 550 server, and runs 21 percent faster than an eight-processor HP ProLiant DL785 G6 system.
IBM on Monday announced it has signed a 7-year outsourcing contract with Navistar, a global provider of trucks, buses, RVs, and engines.
"With facilities on five continents and continued global growth, it is imperative for Navistar to transform its IT infrastructure to efficiently manage the company's existing needs and to support future growth," said Don Sharp, Navistar Chief Information Officer. "This agreement supports Navistar's strategies of building a competitive cost structure and supporting profitable growth."
Under terms of the contract, IBM will overhaul Navistar's IT sector by providing the full gamut of services, including data center relocation, server and storage management, physical database support, and the utilization of IBM server and storage technology, IBM said. Big Blue will also provide disaster recovery services.
"By teaming with IBM, Navistar will ahve access to the world's leading services technology and research, allowing Navistar to significantly reduce overall IT operation costs and increase productivity while focusing on their core business and global expansion," said Scott Hopkins, IBM General Manager, Industrial Sector.
During the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, Extreme Networks unveiled a blueprint for migrating datacenters from the physical world to virtualization, and eventually to cloud computing. What's interesting about Extreme Network's evolution strategy is that it tries to eliminate virtual switching at the server level, which is the exact opposite approach of Cisco.
According to Gordon Stitt, Extreme chairman and co-founder, the blueprint is intended to assist in evolving datacenters to cloud computing "without forcing certain technologies or operating methodologies," which can be taken as a knock against Cisco's Data Center 3.0 strategy, Froce10 Networks' Virtualization Framework, parts of Juniper's Stratus project, and architectures pitched by Brocade, HP, and other datacenter switching competitors, Infoworld.com reports.
Piqued your interested? Download the 24-page blueprint in PDF form here.
Sun Microsystem's on Monday released what it's billing as a "significant new version" of Sun VirtualBox, version 3.1. The refreshed software includes a bunch of new features, but none more noteworthy than a live migration feature called Teleportation.
"Today's enterprises expect to deliver a 24/7, always available, computing service. The ability to teleport running virtual machines from one computer to another allows system administrators to perform essential maintenance with zero downtime of their IT systems. As a cross-platform hypervisor, VirtualBox allows customers to easily evaluate and deploy virtualized systems, using their existing x86 hardware, operating systems, and skillsets," said Jim McHugh, vice president Datacenter Software marketing at Sun.
Other new tricks up VirtualBox's sleeve include improved snapshot capabilities, 2D video acceleration, better execution speed, and optimized memory handling the company claims results in performance increases of 30 percent over previous VirtualBox releases.
VirtualBox 3.1 is available now and is free of charge for personal use. Enterprise licenses and subscriptions are also available, which start at $30 per user per year.
Compared to 2008, the worldwide server market has certainly had its struggles this year. According to data released by market research firm Gartner, global server shipments tanked 17.1 percent over the same quarter one year ago, while revenues for the same period dropped 15.5 percent. But it's all about how you look at the numbers, Gartner points out.
"It is important to put the yearly declines into perspective," said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. "Looking at the third quarter results from the sequential perspective, they showed an increase of 13.8 percent in shipments and 10.2 percent in revenues when compared to the second quarter of this year. That suggests that the market as a whole is showing signs of stabilization as we move toward the end of 2009."
It terms of revenue, IBM lead all others in the worldwide server market for the quarter, claiming $3.38 billion. HP wasn't far behind with $3.2 billion in 3Q revenue, and then it drops off with Dell taking the third spot with $1.42 billion in revenue.
On the server shipment front, HP pumped out more servers in the third quarter than anyone else and now holds 32.1 percent of the market share. Dell came in second with a 22.8 percent share, and IBM a distant third with 12.8 percent.
Back in the day, the average nerd household had one or two computers, a printer, and a game console. If you were lucky, you had an Internet connection on one of those computers—forget about the printer; forget about the console. And forget about home networking. But now, the average geek household has a multitude of machines: desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, and networked game consoles—not to mention terabytes of ripped movies, music, and photos. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a central location where all of those files lived that was accessible to all your computing devices? A place where you could back up all of your computers, host your media files for streaming to your console or other computers, and use as a file share for your whole network? Yes. Yes, it would.
A few months ago, we showed you how to set up a Windows Home Server to enable such a scenario. But a Windows Home Server license costs 100 bucks, and doesn’t necessarily play well with non-Windows machines. FreeNAS, on the other hand, is a free, open-source FreeBSD derivative, and though it can be a little more complex under the hood, it’s as powerful as Windows Home Server and runs well on salvaged hardware. And FreeNAS plays well with Windows, Apple, and *nix systems.
We’ll show you what hardware you’ll need for a FreeNAS server, how to install and configure your server, and then help you choose between FreeNAS and WHS.
Oracle will have to wait a little bit longer before deciding on its next step in its planned $7.4 billion takeover of Sun. That's because European Union regulators on Friday said they have extended the deadline of its review until January 27 in response to Oracle asking for more time "in order to have the opportunity to further develop its arguments in response to the Commission's concerns."
The new deadline gives Oracle six additional days to plead its case, which consists of convincing the EU that the purchase of open-source database software MySQL isn't a conflict of interest and won't hamstring competition.
While the U.S. has already approved the multi-billion dollar deal, the EU contends that should Oracle acquire Sun, it would purposely kill off the free and open-source MySQL so as not to cannibalize its own paid server database software. But Oracle has accused the EU of not understanding the database market, particularly how it applies on the open-source level.
Should the EU ultimately rule against the deal, Oracle said it would fight the decision in court.
A rising number of data flubs has caused some to question whether the benefits of cloud computing truly outweigh the risks, but is that really a fair assessment? The eggheads at Kroll Ontrack don't think so, who point out that the recent spike in data losses with corporate enterprises is simply the result of human error.
"While advanced storage options such as virtualization and cloud computing offer corporations storage optimization, human processes are still at the root of these solutions, instructing the technology as to how to perform," said Phil Bridge, managing director at Kroll Ontrack UK. "The complextity of these systems often requires a steep learning curve. With reported IT spending at a low, human error is increasingly common."
According to Kroll Ontrack, some of the biggest mistakes attributed to the human element include pulling the wrong drive while trying to pull a failed disk in a RAID array, accidentally deleting a business-critical database and restoring it with a corrupt or incomplete backup, attempting to force failed drives back online when rebuilding a bad array, accidentally deleting files, volumes, virtual machines, or a SAN LUN with no backup in place, and reformatting the wrong SAN LUN during a server migration.