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back to article Dell tunes up servers for high freaky traders

When you run a high-frequency trading operation, milliseconds are millions of dollars lost or gained. So speed is just as important as the algorithm you come up with to make your trades. That's why supercomputer makers Appro (just eaten by Cray), Silicon Graphics, and Penguin Computing in 2010 launched special overclocked …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4.4 GHz

They do, just not Xeon. IBM Power just runs at those Ghz levels. Not for any special purpose, that is just the base clock speed.

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Anonymous Coward

Dell????

Why would they even look at Dell? Their servers are nothing to write home about and with trading so important, all the more reason not to use them. If a microsecond can cost them millions, a dead server will cost them even more.

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Gold badge

Re: Dell????

Because Dell are actually a top notch server provider. Never - ever - underestimate Dell's datacenter division. The shit consumer and low-end office systems they bung have nothing at all to do with the kind of very real, very excellent gear that they can and do field to top-tier clients. Even Dell's servers start increasing dramatically in quality once you start moving away from the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff.

Dell do themselves no favours by offering absolute shit support at the lower tiers, tarnishing their name and generally earning the enmity of those whose loyalty they need instead. That said, once past the wailing masses of the hoi polloi, the service near the top is as rarefied as the atmosphere.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dell????

Yes, Dell servers are more than fit for purpose

When I worked in a large chip manufacturer's data centre about a decade back, the "Big I" only used Dell x86 servers within their earthquake resistant, ceiling mounted racks.

The reason being is due to the fact they work well and can be managed very well too.

Many of the "Big I's" channel customers were shocked to see that we employed PowerEdge servers opposed to the "I" branded white box offerings they used to advocate to the reseller channel

When asked why we used Dell, my standard answer was "well, at least we can get stock when needed"

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Silver badge

Re: Dell????

A lot of people don't realise this, because their only experience is a consumer machine, or something a friend said about their support being poor.

As I've seen time and time again, their enterprise support is great.

Hell, if you have business class gear, and you know the procedures, you don't need to screw around - for example, I had a problem with my monitor (U2410) and had a brand new one cross shipped (the next day after calling) so I could check it before the old one was collected.

This is merely the tip of the iceberg.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dell????

You're obviously an ideologue with a pigeon-holed view of what a server should look like. Step into the 21st century and you'll see that Dell knows the server space very well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dell????

I have dealt with Dell servers. I'll take a pass on them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dell????

Nope, I have experience with Dell servers. So no pigeon-holed view here; they are junk compared to what some other manufacturers offer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dell????

Other than Dell's servers, apparently, not falling over as often as their PCs and their support line answering the phone, what does Dell do at a technical level that would entitle them to be called a top notch server provider?

For instance, IBM creates their own chip set in their System x (Intel) servers called eX5. They have taken Intel's standard architecture and added more DIMM slots, memory buffers on those DIMM slots and re-engineered the entire SMP bus for the purpose of running massive virtualized environments and other workloads, SAP HANA, that require tons of memory. Their FlexNode is also interesting. You can take a cluster of four socket or two socket servers and rearrange their configurations on the fly for different workload types, like OLTP during the day and batch at night. What's Dell answer to those features?... This is without even mentioning IBM's IBM Power servers, which are just on another level entirely.

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Anonymous Coward

I have recently become connected to a project which is very much low latency high-frequency trading. That's using HP kit (DL380s), but all the zippy stuff is done by a FPGA card that sits in a PCI slot.

I'm in the process of building some boxes to integrate two trading systems and they've been provided by this other project so they're HPs. But I usually work on Dell kit, so it's an interesting learning process.

After several years of use my own opinion of Dell are that they make OK servers, not too bad bang for buck, and they're fairly Linux friendly. My main bones of contention are firmware upgrades that don't work and the iDRAC remote console stuff is pretty flakey.

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