Dell has begun supplying customers and partners with new ‘Copper' servers, as part of the company's drive towards building an ecosystem for ARM-based systems.
The servers, which have been in development since 2010, have four ARM processers per sled giving a total of 48 server nodes in a C5000 chassis. The system is quoted as drawing 750 Watts of power, while an Intel Xeon server with as many nodes would consume around four times as much power.
And this could be the key. In businesses where performance per pound and performance per Watt is crucial, the efficient Copper servers will be in demand, which could signal a larger-scale transfer to ARM-based servers as a whole.
The move towards the technology, also seen as a bid to target large datacentre customers, sets a significant precedent in the market, as Dell is the first major server provider to announce plans to develop the system. It will be interesting to see how chip makers like Intel will respond.
Dell calls the plans "a natural extension" of their service, saying "the time is right to help foster development and testing of operating systems and applications for ARM services".