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Dell’s New PowerEdge Servers Built for AI, Security, Sustainability

O’Ryan Johnson

‘Dell designs PowerEdge with security in mind at every phase in the server life cycle. Dell cyber-resilient architecture is a layered approach consisting of a web of security solution elements designed to protect, detect and recover from threats,’ says Dell’s Rajesh Pohani.

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Dell Technologies unveiled 13 servers built around the newest chips from Intel to give customers more computing power across their networks while using less energy than previous models.

Among the new offerings are Dell’s PowerEdge R760 powered by the new Intel fourth-generation Xeon Scalable processors. The server boosts AI inferencing by up to 2.9 times while also giving a 20 percent boost to the number of virtual desktop infrastructure users and a 50 percent boost to the number of SAP sales and distribution users on one server compared with earlier models.

Dell also can equip the server with Nvidia Bluefield-2 data processing units to provide additional offload acceleration. The servers are made for private, hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.

[RELATED: Dell Technologies Co-COO Chuck Whitten: ‘Our Commitment To The Channel Is Unwavering’]

Rajesh Pohani, Dell’s vice president of portfolio and product management for PowerEdge, HPC and core compute, said the multi-cloud world where customers are migrating has complexities that this new line of servers and tools are built to address.

“All of our PowerEdge tools are designed to simplify and automate management tasks to reduce the burden of systems administration,” Pohani said. “The key about this portfolio is that it’s also super complementary. When we think about data being created at the edge, trained in the data center and then those models may be executed back at the edge, this portfolio expansion addresses that complexity.”

The new line of servers includes added offerings in Dell’s Apex cloud lineup as well, Pohani said.

David Schmidt, senior director of project management at Dell, said Intel and Dell have enjoyed years of success together creating a portfolio with the PowerEdge products.

“When you look at what Sapphire Rapids provides, especially when customers are looking at a life cycle of servers purchased in the 2016 to 2017 time frame, as they go through their purchase cycle there is going to be outstanding value in workload performance relative to infrastructure refresh,” Schmidt said in response to CRN. “We think that is going to be huge.“

Partners Praise Security Features

Rick Gouin, CTO of Dell Platinum partner Winslow Technologies Group, told CRN the solution provider sees a big opportunity to market the security features of the new PowerEdge lineup, adding that it will be a “major talking point” with customers.

“We like the concept behind the SCV—supply chain verification—feature, as supply chain concerns have become a factor for us when discussing server and end-user compute devices,” Gouin told CRN. “The new SCV feature allows us to really push harder on that messaging as a way to provide customers with peace of mind and differentiate against some of the other competitors in the Intel server space. This feature will be a major talking point for us as we start to have conversations about this newest generation of PowerEdge servers.”

Dell PowerEdge servers support every phase of the zero trust environment, from build to deployment, according to Pohani.

“Dell designs PowerEdge with security in mind at every phase in the server life cycle,” Pohani said. “Dell cyber-resilient architecture is a layered approach consisting of a web of security solution elements designed to protect, detect and recover from threats.”

The PowerEdge line is built at the factory for zero trust security environments. Dell said its enhanced component security verification system offers customers the ability to cryptographically verify the parts made by the factory to match what was delivered to them.

The system also protects data at rest and at use though enhanced designs and processes.

“For data at rest, data encryption, secure enterprise key manager allows PowerEdge customers to manage keys centrally for SEDs and PowerEdge servers and scales with storage capacity expansion,” Pohani said. “For data in use, we have enabled confidential compute technologies embedded in the latest processors from Intel and AMD to ensure security.”

Security extends to the administration layer with identity access and multifactor authentication enabled to access management tools like Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller, Pohani said.

IDRAC delivers local and remote server administration and is an integrated consistent management platform across the PowerEdge products, with more than 180 discrete measurements.

Deployment Time Significantly Reduced

The iDRAC9 controller gives admins the ability to manage 8,000 devices per instance. This can dramatically shrink the time it takes to deploy updates across a fleet of software products.

“One example of the benefits is in the area of firmware updates. Our open manage automation can reduce the time it takes by up to 99 percent by automating and eliminating the number of steps and manual intervention require,” Pohani said.

For sustainability efforts, smart cooling combines the use of liquid cooling, arrays of air movers and more thermal sensors embedded to make better cooling decisions. The new motherboards use fewer RPM, which reduces the amount of energy used and allows for denser deployments.

“All of this ensures a much improved performance per watt and creates significant value for customers,” Pohani said. “But with the upward trend of energy costs globally, and particularly signicatnt increases in some parts of the world, customers are looking for better TCO and ways to more granularly monitor manage and cap their power usage.”

O’Ryan Johnson

O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at ojohnson@thechannelcompany.com..

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