Welcome the new Ubuntu-based Precision line-up — Mobile Workstations plus a new All-in-One

January 9, 2017

Update: Precision 7520 and 7720 available as of March 28;  Dell Precision 5720, a 27” All-in-One available as of April 18.

Today I am excited to announce the next generation of our Ubuntu-based Precision mobile workstation line.  Not only have we rev’d the current line-up but we have also added the Precision 5720 All-in-One.  This follows the introduction back in October of the 6th generation XPS 13 developer edition.


Dell Precision 5720 All-in-One

Available today

All of the systems above, which will be available worldwide, come preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, feature 7th generation Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon™ processors and support Thunderbolt 3 (scroll down for more detailed specs).

How did we get here

Four and a half years ago a scrappy skunk works project by the name of “Project Sputnik” was kicked off at Dell to gauge interest in a developer-focused laptop.  The project received an amazing amount of interest and support from the community and as result, nine months later this project became an official product — the ultra-mobile XPS 13 developer edition.


Jared hacks in a hammock

While the XPS 13 was a big hit the team soon started getting a steady stream of requests to add a bigger, beefier system.  This caught the attention of team member Jared Dominguez (on twitter) who decided to work on his own time to get Ubuntu running on the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation.  Jared documented his work and then posted the instructions publicly.

Jared’s efforts got so much interest from the community that a little over a year later it debuted as an official product.   A little over a year after that, one Ubuntu-based Precision workstation became four and today we are announcing the next generation of this line-up along with the new Precision 5720 All-in-One.

A double-click on the specs

Dell™ Precision 3520, mobile workstation – Available now!

Affordable, fully customizable 15” mobile workstation

Key features

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon™ processors
  • 15.6” HD (1366×768), FHD (1920×1080) and FHD touch
  • Up to 32GB of memory and 2TB of storage
  • ECC memory, Thunderbolt 3 and NVIDIA graphics
  • Availability: worldwide


Dell Precision 5520, mobile workstation  – Available now!

World’s thinnest and lightest 15” mobile workstation

Dell Precision 5520

Dell Precision 5520

Key features

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon™ processors
  • 15.6” UltraSharp™ FHD (1920×1080) or UltraSharp™ UHD (3840×2160)
  • Up to 32GB of memory and 2TB of storage
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • NVIDIA Quadro graphics
  • Availability: worldwide


Dell Precision 7520, mobile workstation – Available now!

World’s most powerful 15” mobile workstation

Key features

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon™ processors
  • 15.6” FHD (1920×1080), UltraSharp™ FHD (1920×1080) both Touch and Non-Touch, UltraSharp™ UHD (3840×2160)
  • Up to 64GB of memory and 3TB of storage
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • NVIDIA Quadro® and Radeon Pro™ graphics options
  • Availability: worldwide


Dell Precision 7720, mobile workstation – Available now!

World’s most powerful mobile workstation

Key features

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon™ processors
  • 17.3” HD+ (1600×900), UltraSharp™ FHD (1920×1080) or UltraSharp™ UHD (3840×2160)
  • Up to 64GB of memory and 4TB of storage
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • NVIDIA Quadro® and Radeon Pro™ graphics options
  • Availability: worldwide


Dell Precision 5720, All-in-One – Available now!

27” All-in-One workstation class machine

Key features

  • Preloaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • 7th generation Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon™ processors
  • 27” UltraSharp™ UHD (3840×2160) both touch and non-touch
  • Up to 64GB of memory and Up to (1) M.2 PCIe SSD and up to (2) 2.5” SATA
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Radeon Pro™ graphics
  • Availability: worldwide


How do I order a 5520, 7520, 7720 or 3520 today

In the case of the US, you can get to the Ubuntu-based version of  the Dell™ Precision 5520 Dell™ or Precision 3520, mobile workstation by going to their respective landing pages: Precision 5520, Precision 7520Precision 7720Precision 3520. Once there, click on the green “Customize & Buy” button on the right.  This will take you to the “Select Components” page where under “Operating System” you choose Ubuntu 16.04 and away you go!

With regards to availability for the rest of the line-up, watch this space!

Extra credit reading

  • New Precision 5520 – Buy now
  • New Precision 3520 – Buy now
  • New Precision 7520 – Buy now
  • New Precision 7720 – Buy now
  • New Precision 5720 All-in-One – Buy now
  • Ubuntu-based Developer and Engineering systems line-up – Dell.com

Project milestones

  • The New XPS 13 Developer Edition Lands in Europe, United States and Canada — October 04, 2016
  • Live in Europe: Next gen XPS 13 developer edition — March 31, 2016
  • XPS 13 Developer Edition launches in US, Ubuntu-based Workstations available worldwide — March 3, 2016
  • 4th gen Dell XPS 13 developer edition available! — April 9, 2015
  • Welcome the Dell Precision M3800 mobile workstation, developer edition — January 27, 2015
  • Sputnik 3 online in Europe just in time for Holidays — December 20, 2013 
  • Introducing Sputnik 3 and its unofficial big brother — November 15, 2013
  • Sputnik 2 is here: Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition goes 1080p and lands in Europe — February 18, 2013
  • Sputnik has landed! Introducing the Dell XPS 13 Laptop, Developer Edition — November 29, 2012
  • Project Sputnik to go from Pilot to Product — July 18, 2012
  • Introducing Project Sputnik: Developer laptop — May 7, 2012

Pau for now…

Video Walk thru of the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition (9350)

December 15, 2016

Last night as I was surfing the interwebs, I came across a “Tech Pills” video that covers the XPS 13 developer edition (9350).  [The 9350 is the generation that proceded the current offering (9360) which came out in October.  The two systems utilize the same chassis and the former features the Skylake processor whereas the latter comes with Kabylake.]

The host does a great job of running through the developer edition from both a hardware and software perspective.  In his case, his distro of choice is Arch and the review was originally posted on the Arch Wiki.

Check it out:

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

Digital Transformation: The Perils and the Keys to Success

November 2, 2016

The week before last Dell EMC held its first Dell EMC World here in Austin.  The event was full of keynotes, breakouts and Dell EMC and partner booths.  On the expo floor a stage was set up where partners and various Dell EMC employees, from Michael Dell on down, were interviewed as a part of Dell EMC World Live.

I was fortunate enough to participate in two of the live sessions, one about speeding up app development for the digital enterprise, and the one embedded below.  The session below was entitled “Stop Hitting Yourself. Tips for Succeeding at Digital Transformation” and featured Richard Seroter and Michael Cote of Pivotal as well as myself.

Check it out

Some of the ground Cote, Richard and I cover

  • How Uber delivered a Digital-transformation wakeup call to ordinary enterprises
  • Evolving your business to being a software-enabled business
  • It’s not about software for software’s sake, it’s about developing a more intimate relationship with the customer
  • The last 20 years for IT has been about driving efficiencies rather than improving the customer relationship
  • Moving from silos to platforms
  • Often support will come from the CEO down and the developers up but it’s the those in the middle who have the toughest time

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

Speeding Up App Development for the Digital Enterprise – A conversation

October 27, 2016

Last week over 9,000 people attended the first Dell EMC world here in Austin.  As you would expect there were keynotes, breakout sessions and an expo floor.  On the floor itself, besides the various Dell EMC and partner booths, was an area set up for Dell EMC World Live.

Dell EMC World Live featured a full roster of  live interviews on a variety of topics with everyone from Michael Dell on down.  One of the two sessions I was fortunate enough to participate in was “Speeding Up Application Development for the Digital Enterprise.”  My co-conspirator was Trey Layton, CTO and SVP, Converged Platform and Solutions Division in Dell EMC.

Take a listen

Some of the ground Trey and I cover

  • The challenges of moving to a cloud-native architecture and the need for software to become a core competency of today’s enterprises.
  • The use of company names as verbs e.g. “don’t get Uber-ed”
  • “Two pizza” teams vs. hundreds of developers
  • The “Square of Despair” — Complexity, Procurement, Legacy and Security
  • The need to abstract the complexity of the infrastructure away from developers so that they can focus on writing code
  • Unleashing the power of the mind

Extra-credit reading

  • Allianz Fireside Chat –  Dr. Andreas Nolte, CIO, Allianz – Cloud Foundry summit
  • UK gov keynote – ‘Open’ as a Disruptor for Government – Liam Maxwell, UK National Technology Advisor – Cloud Foundry summit
  • ComputerWorldUK – Allianz app deployment goes from ‘days to minutes’ with Pivotal Cloud Foundry PaaS and agile practices –

Pau for now…

The New XPS 13 Developer Edition Lands in Europe, United States and Canada

October 4, 2016

Today, on the 59th anniversary of the launch of the Sputnik satellite, the 6th generation XPS 13 developer edition makes its debut in both the US, Canada and Europe.  This Kaby Lake-based system comes with Ubuntu 16.04LTS preloaded and features the InfinityEdge display.

A Quick RefresherDino

As you may remember, these systems began life four years ago as Project Sputnik, an open-ended exploratory project.  From the very begining, the effort was designed to solicit and incorporate input from the developer community as to what they wanted in a laptop.

Courtesy of nasaimages.org

Courtesy of nasaimages

With the community’s input, Project Sputnik became an official product and continues to evolve.  Recently, as the ultimate honor, Linus Torvalds selected the XPS 13 developer edition as his mobile laptop.

Additionally, as a happy by product of the program, an initial investment of $40,000 from an internal innovation fund has turned into in tens of millions of dollars in revenue, helping to keep the effort humming along 🙂

Thanks everyone for all your support!!

Specifications — Next gen XPS 13 developer edition

Here is what the 6th generation developer edition (9360) features:

  • 7th generation Intel® Core™Processors
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS preloaded.  Augmented with the necessary hardware drivers (drivers are upstreamed to allow a variety of distros to work)
  • Killer Wireless cards*
  • InfinityEdge™ display, FHD (1920×1080) and QHD+ (3200×1800) versions available

*Killer cards are a branding of Qualcomm Atheros.  Their Linux drivers are open source and the firmware is now upstream.

US Configurations

As was the case last time, the US is offering four configs.  This time around we are offering the following (including one in Rose Gold):

  • i5/8GB/128GB, FHD – $949.99rose-and-silver-xps13s
  • i5/8GB/256GB, FHD – $1,349.99
  • i7/8GB/256GB, QHD+ (touch) – Rose Gold – $1,599.99
  • i7/16GB/512GB, QHD+ (touch) – $1,799.99

You’ll find the XPS 13 developer edition collocated with Windows version on the following page.  The easiest way to see the Ubuntu line up is to select “Ubuntu” in the “Operating System” pull-down menu on the far left.


European Configurations

The following configurations are available both online and offline in Europe.  All of three of the XPS 13 developer edition configurations come with the Killer Wireless card and international keyboards can be selected.

  • i5/8GB/256GB, FHD
  • i7/8GB/256GB, QHD+ (touch)
  • i7/16GB/512GB, QHD+ (touch)

Where to order your system

As is the case in the United States, both versions of the XPS 13, Ubuntu and Windows, are featured on the same product page. Click on the country name below and it will take you to the XPS 13 landing page.  Once on the page, you can get to the Ubuntu-based configs by scrolling right to the last three systems.

There is a second group of nations where the developer edition is available by contacting your local Dell representative.

Extra credit reading

Dell EMC’s Ceph Performance and Sizing Guide for the PowerEdge R730XD

September 23, 2016

If you’re not familiar with it, Red Hat’s Ceph storage is a distributed object store and file system.  To support its deployment on the Dell EMC PowerEdge R730XD, a team from Dell EMC recently put together a white paper that acts as a performance and sizing guide.

In the first video below, Amit Bhutani of Dell EMC’s Linux and open source group explains Ceph and takes us through the test environment that was used to create the deployment guide.  Video number two stars Valerie Padilla from Dell EMC’s server solution CTO team.  Valerie gives an a high level view of the white paper and the five categories of the results.

Take a listen

Extra credit reading

Pau for now…

Microsoft and Containers

August 24, 2016

Earlier this summer I was out in Seattle for DockerCon.  Among the people I interviewed was Taylor Brown of Microsoft.  While Microsoft may not be the first company you think of when talking containers, they actually have a bunch going on.  Taylor in fact leads the team focusing on the server container technology coming out of Windows e.g. Hyper-V containers and Windows server containers.

Taylor and I sat down and he took me through what his team has been up to and their goals for the future.

Take a listen

Some of the ground Taylor covers

  • Taylor and his team support customers running Windows on Azure, Amazon, Google and others.
  • The team has been working closely with Docker and the community contributing code to allow Docker to work with Windows
  • Windows Server 2016 will come with full container support
  • Following on Azure’s container services with Linux, they’re adding Windows support
  • Goals for the future: performance and scaling are a big focus; security around authentication and authorization;  also thinking about Linux containers on Windows

Extra-credit reading

  • Docker’s Close Integration with Windows Server – Redmond magazine
  • Microsoft PowerShell Goes Open Source, Arrives On Linux, Mac – InformationWeek
  • VIDEO: Ubuntu comes to the Windows desktop — OpenStack summit – Barton’s Blog

Pau for now…

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