Server reviews profile a wide range of servers, from standard 1U and 2U offerings from the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo and others, to customized solutions being proposed for the Open Compute Project. When reviewing compute servers we evaluate the hardware with an eye toward storage specific needs like PCIe slot configuration, thermals and power consumption. When possible we also review servers in clusters to create real world usage scenarios for storage performance testing.
by Brian Beeler

Dell PowerEdge VRTX Shared Infrastructure Announced

Dell is introducing their PowerEdge VRTX which is a Private Cloud in a Box shared solution that comes in a tower form factor and is specifically designed for remote and small offices. The VRTX solution features support for up to four compute nodes, eight addressable PCIe slots, Gigabit Ethernet, support for 12 LFF HDDs or 25 SFF HDDs, and is powered by redundant standard 110V outlets (versus 220-240V with other data center solutions). While many workload and application-centric infrastructures have been designed around the needs of large organizations, Dell is pioneering to meet the needs of growing remote/branch offices (ROBO) by offering robust enterprise-class features and capabilities with the PowerEdge VRTX.

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by Kevin OBrien

Lenovo ThinkServer RD530 Review

The Lenovo ThinkServer RD530, the 1U sibling to the 2U RD630 we previously reviewed, is a mainstream server designed with the specs users need to support database applications as well as virtualized infrastructures. The RD530 offers essentially the same hardware and options as the RD630 in half the space. The ThinkServer RD530 runs on the Intel Xeon E5-2600 processor family and can support up to 320GB of RAM. One major difference is how many drives are supported. The RD530 offers slots for up to four LFF HDDs or eight SFF SATA, SAS or SSDs, while the RD630 could support up to sixteen SFF drives.

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by Kevin OBrien

Advatronix Cirrus 1200 Review

The Advatronix Cirrus 1200 server features the Intel Xeon E3 family in either the E3-1220LV2 or the more powerful E3-1265LV2 iteration that our review model employs. Offered as an equally powerful alternative to more traditional rack servers, the Cirrus 1200 is presented in a relatively small, blue cube-shaped form factor. This gives the Advatronix a unique size that allows users the kind of access they typically expect from a desktop. Accordingly, instead of being tucked away somewhere remotely as rack servers often are, SOHO and creative houses can keep their Cirrus 1200 just about anywhere. This makes it easy both to service and maintain when necessary, which are must-have features when positioned in the SMB and private cloud computing space.

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by Kevin OBrien

Dell PowerEdge R720 12G Review

The Dell PowerEdge R720 12th Generation is a 2-socket, 2U server that features the Intel Xeon E5-2600 processor family and supports up to 768GB of DDR3 memory. Dell offers the R720 in various backplane configurations with up to 16 2.5-inch internal hard drives or 8 3.5-inch drives. A new optional feature though, designed to take the performance compute server market by storm, are 4 hot-plug front-access 2.5-inch Express Flash PCIe SSDs geared for high throughput and incredibly low latency. The PowerEdge R720’s Express Flash connectivity makes it unique among servers of its class and is one of the reasons we have added two R720 units to the lab.

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by Mark Kidd

Dell Announces Pre-Integrated SAP HANA Solutions and Active System Manager 7.0

Dell today announced new workload-optimized solutions for Dell server, storage and networking systems running the SAP HANA real-time analytics database platform. Dell also announced Active System Manager 7.0, the management layer for the company’s converged infrastructure offerings, which integrates recently-acquired Gale Technologies IP to deploy virtualized infrastructure and applications.

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by Kevin OBrien

EchoStreams GridStreams Quad-Node Server Review

The EchoStreams GridStreams is a 2U, high-density quad-node server platform designed for high-performance datacenter and Open Computing Alliance cloud service providers. Each of the four nodes features a half-width motherboard with support for single or dual Intel Xeon 2600 processors and room for one or two PCIe expansion slots depending on motherboard configuration. The GridStreams offers a bank of eight 7mm 2.5" drive bays in the middle, designed to be shared two each across the compute nodes. Configured for data center use, the nodes and drive bays serviceable from the front of the chassis, both are hot swappable. Only fans and power are on the back of the chassis, designed to be swapped out in new datacenter environments in which the rack provides both 12VDC and cooling airflow to the server chassis.

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by Mark Kidd

HP’s ProLiant SL4500 Gen8 Features Modular Big Data Architecture

HP’s new ProLiant SL4500 server features a modular 4.3U design for varied big data compute and storage workloads. The SL4500’s flexibility allows organizations to tailor their compute and storage configuration to meet the specific needs of Big Data application environments.

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by Brian Beeler

Advatronix Cirrus 1200 Server Video Preview

We often think about servers in rack units, but every now and then there's an interesting design that comes along that's well outside of the traditional rack U box. In this case we're taking a quick video look at the cube-ish Advatronix Cirrus 1200 server, which is designed for content creation professionals and others who want all the benefits of a high-performance server, with desktop-style flexibility.

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by Brian Beeler

Dell Quickstart Data Warehouse Appliance 2000 Doubles Up on Capacity

Dell has announced an update to their Quickstart Data Warehouse Appliance line - the QSDW2000 supports up to 12TB, doubling the prior QSDF1000 offering that was announced earlier this year in July. The appliance is a converged offering that's based around Dell's 12th generation PowerEdge servers, coupled with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Data Warehouse Appliance Edition, Dell Boomi software and Dell services. The combination allows for integration of data from multiple sources, including those in the cloud to give businesses the ability to attain more visibility into their data for better decision-making.

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by Mark Kidd

Acer F2 SMB and Enterprise Servers Now Available Through US Resellers

Acer America announced the upcoming availability of new F2 rack and tower servers for SMB and enterprise, which are set for release in the U.S. later this month. The Acer F2 server family includes three new rackmounts and three towers with Intel Xeon E5 or Intel Xeon E3 processors across a range of price and performance points. Acer’s servers are available exclusively via resellers and channel partners.

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