Dell has inched ARM-powered servers a little closer to credibility by revealing it has developed a proof-of-concept microserver it has made available for “testing with select customers”.
That customers even want to test it suggests ARM-powered servers are of interest to some Dell buyers. That one of the locations Dell will make the rig available is Singapore is intriguing because Google and AWS both have bit barns in the tiny nation. Google's even been kind enough to describe the exigencies of working in the city state, explaining that “Singapore’s small size inspired us to try something a little different. Instead of spreading the data center out, we built it up, creating our first urban, multi-storey data center.” Neighbours of the facility include a school.
Dell's not saying much about the servers other than to name Applied Micro as its partner in this effort, and the X-Gene 64-bit server-on-a-chip as the platform on which the proof-of-concept rig relies.
The post announcing the test also talks up Dell's years of efforts to bring smaller servers to market.
Those efforts have not produce notable successes, while other ARM server aspirants like Calxeda have found the going hard. But if someone who buys servers at scale – like AWS or Google – find the rig in Dell's Singapore labs irresistible, who knows what might happen? ®