Dell, IBM Add Servers With Dual-Core Xeons

In addition, Dell and Microsoft announced that Microsoft's new SQL Server 2005 database will be offered by Dell direct to its customers, either pre-packaged on Dell PowerEdge servers or through existing licensing agreements.

Dell introduced the PowerEdge 6800 and 6850 quad-socket severs, each offering Intel's new dual-core Xeon MP processors, previously code-named Paxville. The servers will deliver up to 51% performance increase over existing multi-core servers, said Neil Hand, VP of enterprise worldwide marketing for Dell, during a conference call Tuesday.

"This performance improvement will come with very little transition and upgrade testing necessary from customers," Hand said.

IBM introduced its X3 architecture-based line of servers with systems based on the new Xeon MP processors, now called the 7000 sequence. The xSeries 366 with a four-processor dual-core implementation has been optimized for enterprise applications such as IBM's DB2 Universal Database, Oracle, SAP, and SQL Server, said Leo Suarez, VP and business line executive for IBM's xSeries, in a statement.

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Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel's server platforms group, said the introduction of the 7000 sequence processors was "pulled-in" about five months from an original introduction target date in 2006. The device has a 667-MHz front-side bus. Intel will "refresh" the processor family with a faster front-side bus in early 2006.

Intel announced last week that it was changing its Xeon MP roadmap for 2007, scrapping a previously scheduled version of the processor for a new design that will remove the front-side bus and utilize a dedicated "high-speed interconnect."

The new Xeon MP processors are also the first to ship with Intel's built-in virtualization technology. That capability, however, will not be active until it is turned on using a BIOS switch in early 2006 as third-party virtualization software is tuned to take advantage of the new technology.

The dual-core Xeon MP processors are being introduced less than a month after the first dual-core Xeon processors began shipping from Dell, HP, and IBM. Those systems are designed for dual processor implementations.