Via Nano Processors Power Dell’s New Data Center Server

Dell Launches Data Center Servers Powered by Via Nano Processors

by Anton Shilov
05/20/2009 | 12:49 PM

Even five years ago it was impossible to imagine a Dell computer based even on microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices, but the company dropped its Intel-exclusive business approach years ago and on Wednesday the firm unveiled its data center server powered by Via Technologies’ Nano central processing units.


Dell’s XS11-VX8 code-named Fortuna features size slightly larger than a 3.5” hard drive, but it is a fully-functional “hot-plug” server with its own dedicated memory, storage, BMC, and dual 1GbE network interfaces. The chassis exists to provide power, cooling, and a mechanism to mount in a rack. This provides unprecedented density – supporting six servers per rack unit (U) or 252 servers in a 42U rack. The system promises up to 34% lower cost of ownership (TCO) compared to the use of white box client systems, the XS11-VX8 is designed for single server workloads where overall power consumption needs to be less than 30W per system.

“A one-size fits all approach simply does not work for hyper-scale computing customers. The unique architecture of environments like Web hosting render unnecessary many of the system features required by mainstream IT. By working with Via to design a high density, lower power system, Dell is designing for these customer's specific needs, driving down costs and improving efficiency,” said Forrest Norrod, vice president and general manager of Dell's data center solutions division.

The XS11-VX8 server addresses the need in hyperscale environments like Web hosting, Web farms and light load infrastructures for a high density, low power and 'ultra-light' server product. In these applications general-purpose servers are under-utilized and inefficient, requiring expensive cooling infrastructures and using more energy than the applications require. As a result, while Via Nano processors do not deliver exactly high performance, speed that they offer satisfies needs of Dell XS11-VX8 servers perfectly.

“Dell's choice of the Via Nano processor for the XS11-VX8 ultra light server allows customers to experience the full feature set of our industry leading power efficient processor. The advanced 64-bit architecture and virtualization capabilities will bring significant benefits to hyperscale data centers,” said Wenchi Chen, president and chief executive officer of Via Technologies.