With all due respect to Dell's event, some of the previous denizens of this venue set the pulse racing a little faster...
Photos: Charles McLellan
The stage is set...
After introductory talks from Intel (UK MD Graham Palmer) and Microsoft (Terry Smith, Senior Director, Partner Technology Unit), the Roundhouse floor was open, showing off technology relating to digital forensics, defence, mobile clinical computing, virtual learning, gaming, home computing, small businesses, design and visualisation, services, IT infrastructure and more.
Dell showed off its Mobile Digital Forensics Solution, comprising a rugged Latitude E6400 XFR notebook, an array of connections for digital devices and Evidence Talks' SPEKTOR software. This enables law-enforcement agencies to perform rapid 'triage' of multiple devices that could contain evidence at a crime scene — PCs, notebooks, mobile phones, external storage devices and less obvious candidates (a case was mentioned where incriminating data had been stored on the hard disk of an internet-connected fridge).
Dell Streak 7
Dell 's 7in. Android 2.2-based Streak 7 is connected to a desktop monitor via HDMI using the optional docking unit. The mouse is connected via Bluetooth, and you could also add a Bluetooth keyboard to complete the desktop experience. What Streak 7 owners are really waiting for, though, is the promised over-the-air update to Android 3.1 (Honeycomb).
Dell Precision R5500
The four-monitor setup betrays the fact that the 2U rack in the lower left of the picture is no server: it's Dell's new dual-Xeon Precision R5500 workstation, equipped in this case with two high-end Nvidia Quadro 6000 graphics cards. Each of these beauties has 448 CUDA cores and comes with 6GB of dedicated video memory. The R5500 itself has dual redundant power supplies, supports up to 192GB of RAM and accommodates up to five SATA or six SAS drives with optional hardware RAID.
The rack can live in the server room and deliver latency-free performance over the network thanks to PC-over-IP hardware-based compression technology from Teradici.
Dell Precision M6600
More Nvidia-powered workstation action: this is Dell's top-end mobile Sandy Bridge workstation, the 17.3in. Precision M6600. The high-end Nvidia graphics option is the Quadro 4000M with 2GB of dedicated video memory. In this multi-monitor setup, Nvidia's Optimus technology switches between integrated Intel graphics and the discrete GPU depending on the graphics horsepower required by the particular application. If necessary, you can specify a multitouch internal screen with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels.
Dell Latitude XT3
The 13in. Latitude XT3 is a convertible Sandy Bridge (Core i5) tablet running Windows 7. According to the on-screen PostIt note, the XT3 ships in 'early July'.
With vStart, Dell is offering preconfigured datacentre racks — servers, storage, cabling and management software — ready to be simply powered up and plugged into the network at a client's premises. The service will kick off with modules supporting up to 100 or 200 virtual machines.
Another legendary Roundhouse happening, from 1966 — 'IT' publication launches aren't what they used to be!