Why Dell made a smart move with its ARM Servers, providing a Hosting Service

I've been blogging about ARM in servers for quite a while and have had many conversations with people who think there is a market for little green servers.

Dell announced its ARM Server last week.  The one part that I kept on focusing on is the way Dell is delivering, well not delivering the ARM Servers.

Enabling other customers and developers by providing remote-accessible Copper ARM server clusters deployed in Dell Solution Centers, and through our deep partnership with the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). These clusters will be in place by the end of the year.

Not only does this provide a low cost way to increase the availability of Dell ARM servers, it provides data to Dell on what customers are doing.

A handful of people are getting ARM servers, and I am sure we won't hear anything from these uses for quite a while.  But, it is a safe bet there is an overlap with the Seamicro customer base.

  • Shipping the new Dell “Copper” ARM server through a seed unit program to a select list of customers worldwide. There is no general availability at this time.
  • Delivering Copper seed units to key ecosystem partners to support their development activities.

Here is a video to watch on the server.

The Dell ARM web site is here for more info.

Dell drives innovation for the ARM server ecosystem

Enterprises that run large web, cloud and big data environments are constantly seeking new technology to gain competitive advantage and reduce operations cost. This focus is motivating a dramatic interest in ARM-based server technologies as a way to meet these requirements.

What is ARM?

An advanced RISC machine (ARM) server employs small, low-power ARM processors, typically deployed as systems on a chip (SoC) to reduce space, power consumption and cost. ARM processors are present in billions of client devices, but they have not been previously adopted for use in servers, due to the feature set, performance and limited software ecosystem. 

Moving ARM to the forefront

Now that the processors have grown in capability, and the basic open source software is available, both customers and developers are anxious to test ARM servers to confirm the potential benefits within real-world environments. In response to customer demand, Dell has decided to enable the Dell “Copper” ARM-based server ecosystems, by:

  • Shipping Dell "Copper" ARM servers to a select list of customers and partners, as part of a worldwide seed program. Systems have already begun shipping, but there is no general availability of the Dell "Copper" servers at this time.
  • Enabling developers worldwide through remote-accessible Dell "Copper" ARM server clusters, in Dell Solution Centers and through our close partnership with the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC – UT).
  • Delivering Dell ARM-supported solutions to the open source community, such as Crowbar on ARM and Crowbar for Hadoopon ARM.

Project Copper chassis and sled

  Dell "Copper" ARM server chassis and sleds

Project Copper server sled


Dell "Copper" ARM server sled