Dell eyes SMBs with new PowerEdge servers

The company has introduced two new PowerEdge servers plus a PowerVault storage device aimed at helping smaller businesses to expand their IT setup

Dell has added to its small-business hardware roster with the launch of two new PowerEdge servers and a low-cost PowerVault storage device.

Announced on Thursday, the R415 and R515 PowerEdge servers and the PowerVault NX 200 storage tower are targeted at companies ranging from 20-employee businesses to mid-size enterprises with large storage needs. All of the products are aimed at helping businesses without a sophisticated IT department to grow their capabilities more easily.

The R415 PowerEdge, meant for smaller firms, is a two-socket server based on an AMD Opteron 4100 series processor. It is designed to run basic applications such as printing, email, web services, basic IT infrastructure, small virtualisation deployments and entry-level high-performance computing jobs. Measuring one rack unit high, it can have up to 64GB of memory and a maximum of 8 terabytes (TB) of storage capacity.

For medium-sized businesses, Dell launched the R515 PowerEdge server, which is meant to handle databases, email, workload consolidation and other applications requiring large amounts of local storage. Also based on the Opteron 4100, the two-socket server is larger than the R514 at two rack units high. Its memory tops out at 64GB.

Dell is "expecting a lot of medium businesses to be looking at a refresh cycle. [The R515] is really aimed at those businesses looking at growing and refreshing an existing infrastructure", Mark Smith, a senior product manager in Dell Enterprise's SMB team, told ZDNet UK.

According to Smith, the R515 would suit customers "looking to virtualise" some of their IT, because it can have between eight and 12 hard drives and can scale storage to as high as 25TB per server.

Both the new PowerEdges have redundant power supplies, as well as hard drives that can be swapped out while the servers are powered up. These features help make the machines easy to maintain, according to Dell.

The other Dell Enterprise product introduced on Thursday, the PowerVault NX200 network attached storage (NAS) tower, is a simple file storage device being pitched at companies with up to 20 employees.

It is for "small businesses in particular, where centralising their filestorage is the key", Smith said. This is because many of these companies "have a lot of unstructured data, so the NX200 is aimed at being their first network-attached storage device", he added.

The NX200 provides a 'wizard'-based installation process for its default operating system, Windows Storage Server 2008 Basic Edition. This means the tower can be installed and configured within 15 minutes, according to Smith. Available immediately, it has a similar feature set to server rival HP's just-launched ProLiant Microserver, but ships with a more complete hardware and driver layout. This is reflected in its price of £990, which is roughly three times that of HP's £219 offering.

"As they look to make investments, customers are telling us they are concerned about business continuity and data protection, with return on investment being a more important consideration than price. The products we are launching today are specifically designed to address those needs," Dell's Erik Dithmer, general manager of Dell Americas SMB division, said in a statement.

The R415 will be available globally from 11 October, with a starting UK price of £829. The R515 arrives the same day, with a starting price of £1,079.


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