Monday, October 26, 2009

Dell PowerEdge R910 - The Ultimate Virtual Host?

Today, it seems that virtualization some how makes its way into just about every discussion surrounding the datacenter. This really shouldn't be a surprise given the down economy, shrinking IT budgets and requirements for greener initiatives. Naturally, administrators whom are tasked with cutting IT cost, choose to adopt server consolidation as a way of addressing all these requirements and this can be done easily using virtualization. Virtualization is more affordable then ever with Microsoft finally releasing an enterprise class hypervisor(Hyper-V) that even the small to mid-sized business can afford to implement.

In the large enterprise, we find ourselves adding virtual guest at an exponential rate in order to meet business continuity requirements, while minimizing hardware cost and physical footprint. However, many of the servers today are not providing the resources anywhere near the capabilities that Microsoft Hyper-V R2 can support and this limits the VM density we can achieve. This forces administrator to scale clusters out to many as 16 VM Host to meet business requirements and in some cases many clusters are required. This leads to greater TCO and higher than anticipated physical footprints. But, this could change with the new Dell PowerEdge R910.

The Dell PowerEdge R910 features availability of up to Four Intel Nahalem EX Processors with Eight-Cores each, providing a total of 32 logical processors. It also provides scalability of up to 64 DDR3 DIMM slots for a total 1TB of RAM, which just happens to be the max memory that a Hyper-V R2 host can support. But, it doesn't stop there. On-board you will find 10 PCI-e slots, configuration options for up to 16-2.5" Hot-plug hard drives in both SAS and SSD options and four on-board NIC interfaces available in both 1GBe and 10GBe. The R910 also features Hot-plug, redundant fans for cooling and four 1100 watt power supplies to provide all the power needed on demand. Finally, the R910 is complemented with an excellent Embedded Systems Management Controller and interactive LCD for easy access to monitoring and diagnostic data. All this power and scalability is nicely compacted into a small 4U form-factor.

The Dell PowerEdge R910 is finally that server that we have been waiting for. It provides the power and resource scalability that enterprises require, while still maintaining a smaller host footprint. With all this functionality in a compact configuration it's easy to see why the R910 could very well be the Ultimate Virtual Host.

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