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Dell Intel Server Review Guide

Aug 29, 2014

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SMB Server Review 2012

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 DataAnalysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 PrivateandHybridCloudDeployments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Dell12thGenerationPowerEdgeServersandtheIntelXeonProcessorE5Family . . . . . 8 UserComments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

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IntroductionThe old adage the only thing constant is change is an apt assessment of the current state of organizations network infrastructures. And nowhere is change occurring more rapidly than with respect to server hardware. The accelerated adoption of virtualization (server, application, virtual desktop infrastructure and storage), the emergence of cloud computing and the advent of powerful new processor and storage technologies herald changes in both the business and technology landscape.

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From a technology standpoint, organizations must grapple with changing use cases. These include: New server and processor form factors Mainstream adoption of various types of virtualization, ranging from server, VDI, application and storage The rapid rise in unstructured data (streaming digital audio and video), which exponentially increases storage requirements The need to improve performance while reducing power and energy consumption The increasing complexity of applications The need to support the growing remote and mobile workforce The 2012 release of Microsofts Windows 8 The need to bolster security The need to cut costs Purchasing a server is no longer a straightforward decision. Organizations, particularly small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) with more limited budgets and IT expertise, find themselves confronted with a confusing array of processor and server choices. Businesses must consider myriad factors and choose the technology that best aligns with their goals. The choice of servers and the processors that power them will have an immediate and direct impact on business operations. Conversely, the ramifications of a bad or inadequate server purchase can negatively impact a company, its business operations and its users for years. From a business perspective, its not enough for C-level executives and IT departments to base their server purchasing decisions on the organizations present requirements. They must also be prescient and future-proof the server infrastructure. This means purchasing powerful, scalable hardware that will endure for the platforms entire two-, three- or four-year life cycle. Other key concerns are integration and interoperability with existing and legacy servers, applications and drivers, as well as the vendors track record on technical service, support and responsiveness. Buyers, especially SMBs, are advised to examine carefully how the advancements in server hardware and processor technology can positively impact their purchasing and deployment plans in 2012 and beyond. This Server Reviewers Guide will examine the rapid changes in server hardware and processor technology and highlight the business and technology trends in the server market. It will also provide organizations with the insight they need to make informed purchasing decisions over next 12 months.

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DataAnalysisThe challenge confronting SMBs and all users is: How do you achieve cost/performance/reliability gains without performing a disruptive, expensive and time-consuming overhaul to the entire infrastructure? Server hardware and the processors that power them are the bedrock upon which the operational efficiency of the entire network infrastructure rests. The servers ability to deliver top-notch performance and availability to support virtualization, private and hybrid cloud deployments, and growing storage requirements will positively or negatively impact the business and its bottom-line capital and operational costs. This includes end-user productivity and ongoing IT department maintenance activities. Robust servers will bolster the organizations ability to service its clients, suppliers and business partners that need access to corporate data, and ultimately lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) and accelerate return on investment. Weak or inadequate server platforms will undermine the entire network as well as business operations, and put the company at risk. Servers must also provide ease-of-use features to assist SMBs and their IT departments with fast provisioning, oversight and troubleshooting. Its no secret that information technology has changed quite a bit in the past several years. The traditional client/server computing model is changing and expanding to encompass new and emerging technologies such as virtualization and private, public and hybrid cloud environments. On the client side, end users are no longer restricted to company-issued PCs or notebooks. They are now connecting to the corporate network via an ever-widening array of smartphones, tablets and ultra-light notebooks. Remote access and mobility are also on the upswing, and users are leveraging social media networks to work and spread the word about their companies to increase productivity and profits. An IDC study commissioned by Dell found that approximately eight out of 10 survey participants worldwide anticipate that demand for remote access to the corporate network, connection via consumer devices, upgrades to IT-supplied applications and technology, and collaboration tools will increase in the next year. At the same time, corporations need to automate, simplify and streamline their IT processes and rein in the complexity that naturally occurs when businesses deploy new and disruptive technologies. IDC survey respondents cited complexity as their biggest IT management-related challenge. Robust servers like Dells newly released 12th Generation PowerEdge servers and Intels stateof-the-art Xeon E5 Processor family can provide SMBs with a rock-solid foundation that delivers high-density, energy-efficient performance while reducing power consumption. Dell servers equipped with Intel processors will increase the efficiency of the entire network and provide performance gains to support virtualization and cloud deployments and handle greater storage demands. Dell can deliver these gains at a price point that is cost-effective and affordable for all levels of businesses. Since servers also function as the foundation for the overall application and network infrastructure, a solid, leading-edge server environment will also boost uptime and availability. Like their enterprise

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counterparts, SMBs are more risk-averse than ever. Four and five nines of uptime 99.99% and 99.999%, which equates to 52 minutes and 5.25 minutes of unplanned downtime per server, per year, respectively is becoming the new industry standard. This is especially crucial as users demand 24/7 access to data. Corporations are also tasked with delivering ubiquitous connectivity to accommodate the burgeoning ranks of workers requiring remote and mobile access. This means that companies must find better ways to manage the ongoing data deluge and administer complex infrastructure updates and upgrades across diverse applications and devices such as smartphones and tablets and still deliver superior availability. Some 49% of companies now require 99.99% and 99.999% availability for their mission-critical line-of-business servers and applications, according to an October 2011 survey of 450 businesses by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting (ITIC). That same survey found that 32% of participants said their businesses need at least 99.9% availability; this is the equivalent of 8.76 hours of unplanned per server downtime per year. One hour of server downtime can cost a company tens of thousands or even millions of dollars, putting the business and its customers, partners and suppliers at risk. The less downtime a company experiences, the less risk it incurs and the less chance of litigation and damage to its reputation. SMBs should opt for servers that guarantee the processing power, speed, performance and reliability required to handle even the most data-intensive digital applications at a reasonable cost. No business, regardless of size or vertical market, will see its server requirements shrink. Four of the most crucial drivers that will impact and influence the SMBs server purchases are: Virtualization Private or hybrid cloud deployments Storage requirements Underlying processor technology Below is a detailed analysis of the trends and advances in each of these pivotal areas.

VirtualizationNo technology over the past several years has had a greater impact on the network infrastructure than virtualization. Times have changed, though. All forms of virtualization have become increasingly complex. Research from Gartner indicates that 50% or more of workloads will run on virtual machines (VMs) in 2012. And within the next three to five years, the percentage of virtualized servers will almost certainly over