Dell partners with Liebert, IBM's Power6 software tax, and Intel gets creative

In today's enterprise HPC update we look at IBM's Power6 software premium, the Dell-Liebert partnership, and Intel's contribution to the latest Disney-Pixar film.

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from the recent enterprise HPC news stream as reported at

IBM’s Power6 software tax

IBM has notified customers in a letter of its intended pricing model for software running on its new Power6 processors, The Register reports.

Power6 server software will require 120 Processor Value Units (PVUs) per core. That’s up from 100 PVUs per core with the dual-core Power5 chips. In something resembling humanspeak, this means you’ll have to pay for 1.2 software licenses per core, which is great if you buy software by the fifth. IBM has assured customers that the .2 premium is worth their while.

…IBM concocted the PVU concept last July, after struggling for years to come to terms with multi-core chips. The giant is not about to sacrifice lucrative software revenue just because improvements in chip making let vendors squeeze more cores on every CPU.

So I’ll be the first to admit I don’t run a multi-billion dollar international company. But that pricing model looks really hostile to consumers.

Dell and Leibert partner to cool your bits

Dell and data center cooling specialist Liebert have announced that they are forming a relationship that will move Dell once step deeper into the data center integration business. Now they’ll be able to sell you the box, and keep it cool.

The Dell-Liebert Energy Smart Solution combines Dell’s innovative PowerEdge Energy Smart servers with Liebert XD supplemental cooling technology and Liebert DSroom cooling systems to deliver up to 80 percent in systems performance increase and up to 42 percent reduction in facility power required compared to prior generations of Dell servers.

…Dell is designing new Energy Smart Services to complement Dell-Liebert Energy Smart Solutions. These services will help customers identify power and cooling inefficiencies, assess datacenter infrastructure and systems capacities, develop recommendations for improvements to optimize computing capacity, reclaim data center space and reduce energy usage. This holistic, simplified approach to designing and optimizing standards-based IT infrastructures will enable customers to take advantage of proven, end-to-end solutions for today’s most pressing datacenter energy issues while planning for future business growth.

This move fits right in with the move Dell made in May to start focusing on the entire datacenter, rather than just the machine that goes in it. This strategy reflects a realization that many of the customers that Dell wants to woo — enterprise HPC customers with no significant prior experience — need help getting past the major pain points of system installation and management.

Intel’s Disney-Pixar partnership

We learned from Intel today that the new Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille has Intel inside. The effects in the movie are stunning. Intel isn’t talking about how super the rendering supercomputer used for the movie was, but we do conceptual animation in my center and I can tell you that it was no doubt significant.

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John West summarizes the HPC news headlines every day at, and writes on leadership and career issues for technology professionals at InfoWorld. You can contact him at