Dell shows off its first ARM-based servers

Michael Crider - May 29, 2012
Dell shows off its first ARM-based servers

Need a server for your small business, but don’t want the huge, expensive and power-hungry x86 models that have been all the rage for decades? Then Dell would like a word. Today they’ve introduced their first server blades built on the ubiquitous ARM platform, better known for smartphones and tablets than enterprise hardware. The Copper-class C500 3U units can fit a dozen into a chassis, and only draw 15 watts of power each.

Each blade contains four ARM processors with a matching SATA drive each, making a fully-loaded Copper chassis capable of running 48 hard drives or SSDs on just 750 watts – about as much power as a souped-up gaming computer. Each blade gets a single RAM DIMM supporting up to 8GB and one Ethernet port. The servers are being sent out to select Dell customers in a seed program, so general availability won’t be coming for some time.

Desktop operating systems for ARM are still a little thin on the ground, so Dell will be shipping the systems with Canonical’s Ubuntu build tailored for ARM processors. Red Hat is already working on a compatible version of its Linux derivative. While Microsoft is working on Windows 8 RT for ARM hardware, there’s been no indication that a server version is coming any time soon.

[via The Inquirer]

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