With virtualization's popularity soaring, it was predictable that hardware vendors would eventually bring to market specialized servers that cater to the needs of virtual machines. The market leader in this category is Dell, which currently offers three models of virtualization-optimized systems: the entry-level R805 server, and the larger R900 and R905 servers. Although these systems make perfectly good generic servers for all standard IT uses, they have specific features that endear them to virtualization users.
Stories by Andrew Binstock
There was a time when workstations occupied a highly competitive niche in the hardware market. In those days, some 10 years ago, companies such as Sun Microsystems, SGI, IBM, HP, and Dell competed fiercely to deliver the top desktop systems characterized by powerful graphics and processing engines. An added element to this competition was the vendors' reliance on vastly different processor architectures to deliver the knockout performance. A decade later, the market segment is significantly different.
The world of laptops is riven by pulls in two opposite directions. At one pole is the group of users that greatly favors portability. They see in the Apple MacBook Air a thing of beauty, because it's so light and thin; the limitations of an 80GB hard drive, a single USB port, and unchangeable batteries do not disturb them. At the opposite pole are users who favor functionality and don't mind lugging additional weight if it gives them the equivalent of a true desktop environment. Users in the latter group will find much to like in the Dell Precision M6300, which bills itself as a workstation in the form factor of a laptop.