Today, Dell is considered among the prominent IT hardware vendors in all industry segments in which it competes, chiefly servers, storage, PCs and services. Initially, however, Dell was anything but enterprise-oriented, and its rise to prominence is a stark contrast with that of other enterprise server players, like IBM and HP.

Founded in 1984, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is the "youngest" of the major server OEMs. Its roots are in the PC era rather than the mainframe heyday, and its story and culture sprung from that. In the 1980s, Dell's claim to fame was PCs and later laptops, which it sold first to consumers and soon after to businesses.

In 1994, Dell introduced its PowerEdge server line. From the start, PowerEdge servers stood apart from the crowd. Like other Dell products, PowerEdge servers were sold direct to the customer, not via the channel. In addition, all PowerEdge servers adhered to and continue to follow "industry standards," although there is no shortage of choices. Today, Dell's more than 20 PowerEdge offerings come in tower server, rackmount server and blade server form factors. Dell's server naming conventions make it easy to differentiate among models: R = rack, T = tower and M = blade. Servers in its recently released high-performance computing family, the PowerEdge C Server line, have C in their model number.

All Dell servers are built in an x86 architecture using Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors and support various flavors of Windows and Linux. PowerEdge servers also support the three major virtualization hypervisors -- VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer.

In today's computing environments, industry standard does not necessarily mean low-compute power. The newest and recently refreshed PowerEdge machines feature the latest AMD Opteron 6000 and Intel Xeon 5600 series processors. Even more indicative of their enterprise-readiness is Dell's new Lifecycle Controller, an embedded systems management application that offers admins a view of their entire IT infrastructure in a single-console view from which they can do all of their provisioning, including system deployment, system updates, hardware configuration and diagnostics.

As Dell has transformed from being primarily a consumer PC maker to an enterprise player, so too have its offerings. Dell no longer sells just PCs and servers. In recent years, Dell has aggressively grown its enterprise storage products beyond its PowerVault tape drive product line, both organically and through acquisition. It now offers data protection, direct-attached storage, networked storage and object storage options.

Dell also sells a number of network devices through its PowerConnect family.

In 2010, Dell introduced a number of services offerings as well as server management software. To fuel this growth, Dell made a number of acquisitions. Products and technology from Compellent, Equalogic, Exanet, Kace, Scalent and SecureWorks have found their way into Dell's lines.

Despite Dell's success as an enterprise player, it has not forgotten its roots. Across the board, its products adhere to industry standards, and it continues to appeal to consumers and SMBs in addition to enterprises. For several years now, the Dell First Server program has been popular with SMBs. With Dell First Server, firms have a choice of three Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 powered tower servers designed for easy install and upgradability.

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Spotlight on Dell Servers
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Lenovo Deal for IBM x86 Servers Gets OK From China

The Chinese government's anti-monopoly agency approves the $2.3 billion deal, which is still getting reviewed by U.S. regulators.

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Two Tower Servers that Won't Tank Your Budget

What can you do with a low-end budget server? In the case of two systems from Dell and Lenovo, the answer is quite a lot.

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Lenovo: No Pay Cuts After IBM Server Deal Closes

Lenovo looks to assure striking Chinese workers that the company will not slash wages or benefits once it takes over IBM's x86 server business.

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eWEEK at 30: Intel, ARM Ramping Up Rivalry in Mobile, Server Markets

eWEEK 30: Intel is playing catch-up in the low-power mobile device market where ARM is its strongest rival. Now ARM is taking aim at Intel's bread-and-butter data center server market.

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HP Tops Slow-Growing Server Market in Q4 2013: Gartner

IBM, which is selling its x86 server unit to Lenovo, saw large declines in both server revenue and shipments, the analyst firm says.

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Dell, HP, Cisco, Others Unveil Servers Running on New Intel Xeon Chips

The high-end systems are designed to tackle data-intensive workloads like big data, business intelligence and analytics and to challenge RISC systems.

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HP Ending Free Firmware Updates for X86 ProLiant Servers

Only those customers with systems under warranty will get access to firmware updates, which had been offered for free.

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Dell Unveils Proof-of-Concept ARM-Based Server

Company officials say they expect the microserver will help fuel the expansion of the ecosystem around ARM-based servers.

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AMD Intros First ARM-Based Opteron Server Chip

At the Open Compute Summit, the chip maker also unveiled a developer kit designed to encourage companies to build to the SoC.

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Microsoft Buys Land for Massive Data Center Expansion in Quincy, Wash.

Microsoft scooped up an additional 200 acres in the tech giant's native home state halfway between Seattle and Spokane to construct a massive new data center.

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Calxeda, Pioneer in ARM Chips for Servers, Shuts Down

Calxeda officials said the company was too early to market, and that its products were not generating enough revenue to keep it afloat.

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Dell Sets Different Cloud Path Than HP, IBM

At Dell World, the vendor announces partnerships with Red Hat, Microsoft and Google, eschewing building its own public cloud.

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Server Revenues Continue to Decline in 3Q13

UNIX continues to decline as Linux rises, according to third quarter 2013 data from IDC and Gartner.

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Server Management Tools: A Closer Look at HP's iLO and Dell's iDRAC

There's more to consider when purchasing new server infrastructure than simply the hardware. Make sure you do a little homework on the management side of the equation before your next server purchase.

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Dell's T620 Tower Quietly Delivers Plenty of Processing Punch

In need of a high-power server tower but don't require the high availability of a cluster solution?  Consider the smooth-operating PowerEdge T620 for your next server replacement or upgrade.

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HP Moonshot 64-bit ARM-based Servers Arriving in 2014

HP will begin selling 32-bit and 64-bit ARM-powered versions of its low-power Project Moonshot servers early next year.

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Dell to Demo 64-Bit ARM-Based 'Copper' Server

The system maker will show off the server during ARM's TechCon event, where much of the attention will be ARM technology in the data center.

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Lenovo Looking to Strengthen Server Market Position

The hardware manufacturer is taking on the likes of Dell, HP and IBM in an effort to become a major player in the x86 server market.

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Dell Debuts PowerEdge VRTX for Converged Infrastructure

Dell combines compute, storage and networking in one box.

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Dell Sets the Stage for Hyper-V's Return to OpenStack

Once tech non grata, Microsoft's virtualization platform is making a comeback thanks to Dell.

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Dell PowerEdge R715: A Steal at This Price?

Our latest Server Review uncovers an AMD Opteron-based server that offers an outstanding combination of price and performance.

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Dell Partners with SUSE Linux for OpenStack

The new Dell SUSE Cloud Solution, Powered by OpenStack takes aim at private clouds.

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Ubuntu Linux Gets Certified on Dell 12G Servers

Dell will now be able to resell and support Ubuntu Linux across a broad range of servers.

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Univa Revs Up Grid Engine for ARM Servers

Company's workload management software will provide automation and orchestration to the burgeoning ARM server market.

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Dell Aims for Global Server Dominance

Michael Dell wants to be the number one server vendor in the world, and the OpenStack cloud might just help him to get there.

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Dell Pushes ARM Servers to Open Source Apache Project

Dell helps out the Apache Software Foundation with the donation of a new Calxeda ARM-powered server.

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Dell Active Infrastructure: Converged IT for Private Clouds, VDI

In the converged infrastructure game, Dell is going all in.

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Dell PowerEdge Microserver Buying Guide

With microservers threatening to become the next great server form factor, Dell is pushing micros hard with the debut of its third generation PowerEdge microserver.

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Dell Delivers Convergence in New Data Center Solution

Servers, storage and networking come together in a new converged Blade Data Center offering.

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Global Server Revenues Decline in 1Q12

The latest global server reports are out from both IDC and Gartner, and despite a few bright spots, overall the news isn't good.

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Dell Debuts New ARM-based Copper Servers

Available only to select customers and developers, Dell gets the ball rolling on a new ARM-based server ecosystem.

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Dell Closes on Cloud Computing Wyse Technology Acquisition

Dell looks to attain a leadership position in the thin client and cloud computing markets with the purchase.

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Servers Still a Bright Spot for Dell Despite Decline in Overall Revenues

Dell execs blame sales execution for the company's missed expectations.

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Dell R520 Server Arrives with an Attention to Detail

Dell's new PowerEdge R520 debuts as a worthy successor to the R510, delivering many features previously found only on higher end servers.

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Dell Taps Unidesk for VDI Management

Dell aims to ease virtual desktop management by offering its integrated enterprise VDI packages with Unidesk's layering tech.

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Dell Pursues Cloud-Based Virtual Desktops With Wyse Buy

Dell buys desktop virtualization specialist Wyse Technologies in a bid to boost data center sales and expand its cloud VDI business.

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Dell Enlists 12G Servers, the Cloud for VDI Refresh

Dell refreshes its virtual desktop portfolio with a new appliance, a 12G PowerEdge-powered enterprise option and a cloud-based offering.

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Intel Xeon E5 Heads to Linux

New Intel server CPU is already ready for Linux.

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Dell Promises 'Cheaper, Faster, Easier'

Dell's 12G launch highlights more power and speed for not-so-much more money.

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Dell Ramps Up 12G Servers with Fluid Data

More power and manageability take center stage in major Dell server refresh.

Dell Banking on Major Server Refresh

Dell delivers record financial results for its fiscal 2012 year and has big plans ahead for its next generation of servers.

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Dell Servers

Dell's PowerEdge servers aim to give new meaning to the phrase 'industry standard.' The wide array of form factors, processor and OS choices seek to satisfy the smallest SMB to the largest enterprise.

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Dell Leans on SUSE for OEM Linux Solutions

What's sitting inside your Dell OEM solution? If it's Linux, then it's likely to be SUSE.

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Dell AMD Server Buying Guide

Dell believes the latest refresh of its AMD PowerEdge servers gives it a leg up on the competition when it comes to performance.

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The 7 Best Servers for Linux

Shopping for a new Linux server isn't as easy as you might think. Here's a round-up of what's available for those of you who want to dance with the penguin.

7 Blade Server Solutions to Transform Your Data Center

Boost your virtualization, private cloud or database-backed computing with these new blade servers. You'll save space, power and deployment headaches with high-density blade servers from your favorite manufacturers.

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Dell PowerEdge R210 II: Good Things Come in Small Packages

This enterprise-ready, ultra-compact, 1-socket  server from Dell may very well change your perception of rackmount servers.

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IDC: Worldwide Server Revenues Sluggish but Still Up

The third quarter marked the slowest quarterly growth rate for servers worldwide since the first quarter of 2010, according to IDC. Among global vendors, IBM was the big winner, picking up enough share to pull even with HP.

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IDC Reports Strong Server Sales

IDC says server sales, especially for non-x86 platforms, continued to grow but how long can it keep up?

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HP Joins OpenStack

HP joins Dell, Citrix, Cisco, Ubuntu and more than 86 other vendors in the land-grab rush for open source stack superemacy.

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Dell Launches OpenStack Cloud Platform Solution

Dell set to offer commercial support for OpenStack Cloud solution and announces new open source Crowbar for installation.

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Dell KACE Debuts SMB System Management Appliance

Linux-powered appliance provides server and asset management capabilities.

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Server Shipments and Revenues Jump in Q1: Gartner

Global server shipments and revenues grew at a healthy clip in the first quarter, according to a new report.

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Microservers: Small Footprint, Powerful Punch

Microservers are inexpensive, power efficient and not to be confused with blade servers. Find out whether this latest data center staple is right for you.

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Sun Shines on Oracle as Server Market Rebounds

IDC reports 'meaningful' enterprise server refresh cycle as first quarter server revenues hit $11.9 billion

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Dell PowerEdge Servers

Dell's PowerEdge server family offers rack, tower and blade models designed for organizations of all sizes, from  the smallest of SMBs through large enterprises.

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Dell Server Buyer's Guide

Dell's latest refresh of its server portfolio puts new processors and added intelligence front and center. The servers are available in blade, rack and tower form factors, with 17 new PowerEdge machines featuring the latest AMD Opteron 6000 and Intel Xeon 5600 series processors.

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Dell First Server

Buying that first server isn't easy, but with Dell's first server program, enterprises can buy what they need for the present with an eye on the future.

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Dell's Acquisitions Part of Larger Enterprise Play

Dell embraces a startup mentality to reshape its image from being just a direct seller of hardware to a more comprehensive provider of all kinds of IT services.

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What's Hot (and What's Not) for Servers

x86 servers are still in, but brand loyalty is out. Dell satisfies, while Oracle disappoints. Gabriel Consulting Group's third annual data center survey reveals the latest server trends and differentiators.

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Dell's PowerEdge R515 Server Delivers Density, Flexibility and Value

Although rackmount servers are considered commodity offerings, demand for them continues to rise. The server hardware vendors are happy to oblige, as they attempt to differentiate their wares. The PowerEdge R515 from Dell is a prime example.

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Dell Partners With Ubuntu for Linux Cloud Computing Technology

Dell is now set to integrate Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud on PowerEdge servers.

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Dell Joins Novell for Linux Appliances

SUSE Linux Appliance program expands with Dell partnership.

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Dell, HP Roll Out Virtual Solutions

Dell and HP announced new software offerings designed to make managing virtual environments easier. Is the future for server manufacturers virtual?

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Server Hardware Revenue Growth Strongest in a Decade

Worldwide server hardware revenue in the latest quarter increased 13.2 percent from 2009, according to IDC. The research firm also reports HP and IBM remain in a tight race for bragging rights to the leading share of revenue.

After the Server Virtualization Tipping Point

Six months ago, IDC said new virtual servers will exceed physical server purchases in 2010. This week, Gartner said only 25 percent of all server workloads will be in a virtual machines this year. Can both be correct? Dell hopes so.

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Xsigo Promises Bold Data Center Management Advance

With backers that include Dell and Salesforce, Xsigo will announce what it says will be a virtual I/O breakthrough for the data center.

Dell Offers Server Management from Microsoft with OEM Deal

The company will integrate Microsoft's SCE 2010 software with its own OpenManage tools.

Oracle's Plan for Solaris Servers

The company says that Dell and HP will be reselling Oracle's Solaris and Enterprise Linux operating systems.

Dell Warns of Malware-Infected Server Motherboards

Dell is warning its customers that there is malware on some server motherboards.

Dell to Acquire Ocarina Networks

Ocarina storage optimization technology helps to reduce data center management, data center space, power usage and bandwidth.

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Dell Servers Buyer's Guide

In the past few months, Dell overhauled its PowerEdge server line to provide its x86 servers with greater reliability, improved performance and the ability to handle tougher workloads. Here's what to expect if you're in the market for Dell servers.

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Dell Introduces New Storage, Server Virtualization Products

In keeping with its mantra of simplifying IT, the firm offers up new storage and server virtualization products with rapid deployment and provisioning at the heart of their design.

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Blade Servers Buyer's Guide, x86 Edition

Looking to buy x86 blade servers? Here's what HP, IBM, Dell and Fujitsu have to offer.

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Worldwide Server Hardware Shipments Up 23 Percent: Gartner

After a year of free-falling, server hardware sales are finally starting to rebound. While the numbers are good now, the industry is coming off a drop in sales in previous quarters. Which parts of the server industry are headed in the right direction?

Dell to test ARM Servers for Large Data Centers

Dell plans to test multicore ARM processors from Marvell Technology Group for use in low-power data center servers.

PAN Manager 6.0 for x86 Server Blades

PAN Manager is no longer limited to managing the computing resources in a single chassis.

Dell Moves Toward Cloud, Virtualization Technologies

Number 3 personal computer maker, Dell eyes cloud computing virtualization technologies.

Dell, IBM Boast High-End Server Offerings

Dell may have got to the market first with Xeon 7500-based servers, but IBM boasts more than 200 customers in the first quarter.

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Dell Expands Cloud Computing and Services Strategy

New servers designed for cloud computing environments and an expanding focus on services show Dell is following the same model as IBM and HP.

Dell PowerEdge C Servers Aimed at Cloud

The company's PowerEdge C servers are aimed at service providers running busy Web sites and public cloud computing services.

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Dell Launches Low-Maintenance x86 Servers

Dell wants to help admins spend less time keeping x86 servers running. A new crop of Westmere-processor-based, self-healing machines are designed to be deployed and ignored.

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RISC to x86 Server Migration Buyer's Guide

As UNIX- and RISC-based servers lose ground to x86, should you consider making the switch? Is it the beginning of the end for UNIX servers?

Dell Announces Integration Suite for Windows and Exchange

According to Dell, these software tools will help organizations control their Windows-based IT environments.

Dell Plans Stripped Down CloudEdge Servers

Dell plans to launch a line of stripped down CloudEdge servers for Web giants such as Yahoo and Facebook.

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Dell Continues to Rise

Server Snapshot: Dell has pushed Sun out of the No. 3 server spot. Given the OEM's new array of products, will it be long before Dell's ascendancy places it at IBM's and HP's backs?

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Dell, the Other White Box Vendor

No-name PC vendors fill the landscape from coast to coast serving many verticals, but Dell is ready to challenge them.

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IDC Sees Server Business Helped by Intel, AMD

New chips from the two competitors have given customers a reason to start buying again.

Dell OEMs Juniper Gear

The networking vendor expands its footprint while continuing to challenge Cisco.

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Intel, Dell, Red Hat and Others Rally Around SR-IOV

Virtually Speaking: Intel began pimping its Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) solution at this week's IDF. Dell, Citrix Red Hat, Neterion and others have already hopped on board.

Dell Releases SMB Servers to Help Slash Management Costs

Dell introduced easier-to-manage servers, storage systems and UPS designed to reduce management costs.

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Data Center Efficiency From the Ground Up

Hard-Core Hardware: It isn't often a data center gets to install the latest in servers, blades, storage and networking gear from Day One. Yet the Emerson data center in St. Louis, Missouri had just that opportunity.

Dell's Latest Virtual Expansion

Several new products and services expand Dell's virtualization offerings down to the mid-market and continue the firm's simplification drive.

Server Sales Plummet by a Quarter in First Quarter

Along with the rest of tech, server vendors took a pounding.

Is That a Web Server in Your Pocket?

Need a low-power Web server? Dell's latest offering, a VIA-based product, has a small footprint for both power consumption and real-estate. And it's not the only one of its kind.

Linux in 2009, Recession vs. GNU

Advocates predict continued growth for open source in the coming year, yet nagging security worries may play a role as well.