Dell Trumpets Its PowerEdge-SQL Server 2005 Combo
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
Misdirection is not only a trick of magicians, but also of IT vendors. Server maker Dell, which yesterday warned Wall Street that it had cut its prices a little too aggressively in the consumer PC space and is having some sales problems in Europe, today is trying to run the news cycle with a pre-announcement look at how its PowerEdge servers are going to perform running Microsoft's "Yukon" SQL Server 2005 database management system.
Like other server makers, Dell is announcing that its PowerEdge servers now support the dual-core "Paxville" Xeon MP processors, which Intel started delivering today. Dell is also trumpeting that its PowerEdge servers, which support both Xeon DP and Xeon MP Paxville variants, are going to give top-notch performance and bang for the buck running SQL Server 2005.
Specifically, Dell says that it is the first vendor to get below $1 per transaction per minute (TPM) on the TPC-C online transaction processing benchmark test. A PowerEdge 2800 server with a single 2.8 GHz dual-core Paxville DP processor, equipped with the 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition and SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition, was able to crank through 38,622 TPM on the TPC-C test on a machine with a street price of $38,028, or 99 cents per TPM, after a 15 percent discount. On that configuration, SQL Server 2005 cost $5,999 and Windows Server 2003 cost $719 before the discount.
Dell is also promising that machines using the Paxville Xeon MP processor in the PowerEdge 6850 server line are going to see some pretty big performance increases, at least as gauged by the SPECjbb2000 Java benchmark (which implements a Java variant of the TPC-C OLTP test). Dell says that in its own labs, it has run the SPECjbb2000 Java test on a PowerEdge 6850 using the dual-core Paxville chip and is showing a 51 percent performance increase compared to the same server using a 3.36 GHz single-core Xeon MP.