We need more and more powerful hardware for the most demanding applications and for the increasing number of users served. Even so most of the big datacenters will not offer (at least in their standard offer) the top hardware systems that are available to date. Why? well because this might not be economical (they will get their investment in purchasing the server hardware in too much time), or they might have established ongoing deals with hardware manufactures for a high lot of servers (that they received the proper discount of course) and want to finish them first.
The fact is that until yesterday the most powerful hardware that I have seen available on any datacenter I am familiar with, were the Dual Xeon CPU (2 x 3.6GHz Intel XEON) and AMD Dual Opteron (2 x Dual Core Opteron 265) based servers. No Quad Xeon CPUs nor the Dual Core from Intel was in any offerings I have seen.
Yesterday ThePlanet and EV1 announced that they will offer a new line of servers with the New Intel Woodcrest Processor Technology: http://www.theplanet.com/newsroom/release.html?id=20060720
The most powerful system is: Dell PowerEdge 1950 (2) Dual Core Intel 5130 Woodcrest Processors 2048MB (Fully buffered DIMMS) RAM 2 x 250GB SATA II Hard Drive 2500GB Bandwidth
The servers are powered by the next generation of Dell PowerEdge Servers 1950 (Dell’s 9th generation of servers)
My personal opinion: Even if they have chosen to not use SCSI HDDs, it looks very cool, and I can’t wait to see one such server running… :–). ThePlanet have finally decided to start using 1U rack optimized servers… lol… after offering only tower based servers (P1800, P1600) they have finally learned that space is important :–).
Are you aware of more powerful servers available to rent in any major US datacenter? Please let me know so I can add them here if there are others available that I am not aware of.