Server Reviews
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 Josh Linden

Dell PowerEdge 13G R530 Review

The Dell PowerEdge 13G R530 is a 2U rack server engineered for midrange and virtualized workloads with two sockets for Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors. The R530 is built with Intel’s Grantly architecture and a Wellsburg C610 chipset that supports 12 DDR4 DIMM slots, 2 PCIe 2.0 slots, and 3 PCIe 3.0 slots. With a single chassis layout option that features 3.5-inch drive bays, the R530 is oriented towards use cases that require storage density over storage performance.

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by Josh Linden

Dell PowerEdge 13G R430 Review

The PowerEdge R430 packs Dell’s 13th generation PowerEdge compute platform into a 2-socket short-depth 1U rack server. The 13G R430 is built on Intel’s Grantly platform with a Wellsburg C610 chipset that utilizes Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors with 12 DDR4 DIMM slots. The R430 has four chassis options with up to 10 2.5-inch hard drives and two PCIe Gen3 slots, making it attractive for deploying additional compute power to a rack that is tight on space or for use as the foundation for a PowerEdge deployment that is expected to scale over time.

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by Josh Linden

Dell PowerEdge VRTX Refresh (13G)

The Dell PowerEdge VRTX is Dell's answer to the needs of ROBO and small offices that can benefit from the convergence of compute, networking and storage within a tower chassis with a footprint barely larger than a standard PC. Like its 12G-based predecessor, the 13G-enabled VRTX supports up to four server nodes (blades) with options for 25x 2.5-inch drive bays or 12x 3.5-inch bays. Some of the most significant advances for the VRTX platform are offered via the new 13G M630 server node which features increased performance, storage capacity, and management functionality over its 12G M620 predecessor.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell PowerEdge FX2 Review

The Dell PowerEdge FX2 Architecture represents a significant evolution of Dell’s converged infrastructure strategy by offering the PowerEdge FX blade-based architecture in the form of a 2U rackmounted modular compute and storage platform. The PowerEdge FX2 is planned for general availability in December, and in the meantime StorageReview has been working with a review unit in our Enterprise Test Lab in order to develop an analysis of a platform that has the potential to change the way we approach the PowerEdge family and Dell’s converged infrastructure portfolio.

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by Kevin OBrien

Selecting the Best DRAM Configuration for SQL Server 2012

Building the ideal Microsoft SQL Server 2012 production server can be a daunting task, with variables such as storage, RAM, or processor selection stumping even seasoned IT administrators. We last posted an analysis around selecting the best Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 CPU for running SQL Server 2012 in non-virtualized environments. Aside from CPU, RAM is another key component when considering performance needs of SQL running on iron. For this testing we used the same testbed as the Intel processor study, this time focusing on stepping Micron PC3-12800 RAM with the best-performing CPU and storage to gauge its performance impact. 

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by Brian Beeler

Selecting the Best Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 CPU for SQL Server 2012

Flash storage often gets the headline when it comes to discussing database performance. However CPUs and RAM are vital components in determining how many transactions SQL Server can handle, and more importantly, how quickly it can deliver them. For those running SQL 2012 on iron (non-virtualized) as many are, architecting the system can be a delicate balance between capacity, performance and cost considerations. In this review we evaluate four Intel Xeon Ivy Bridge v2 processors and their effect on SQL TPC-C workloads in a two processor system.

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by Lyle Smith

Supermicro SuperServer 1027R-WC1NRT (NVMe) Review

The Supermicro SuperServer 1027R-WC1NRT is a high-performance, enterprise-class server with storage emphasis that supports SAS3 12Gb/s and NVMe interfaces. The chassis houses 10 hot-swappable 2.5" drive bays in a slim, 1U rackmount form factor that is ideal for dense computing environments. The 1027R-WC1NRT is made up of two main subsystems: the SC116AC2-R700WB 1U chassis and the X9DRW-CTF31 dual processor serverboard. In addition, the SuperServer is built around the X9DRWCF31/CTF31, a dual processor serverboard based on the Intel C602J chipset, which is designed to provide the performance needed for intense server workloads.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

HP ProLiant DL360p Gen8 Server Review

The HP DL360p Gen8 is a leading 1U server designed to support the needs of both large data centers that require the compute density that this versatile server offers as well as small and medium sized businesses that appreciate and want to leverage the value and reliability the Gen8 server platform. While the DL360p has been very recently replaced with the DL360 Gen9, those looking for excellent enterprise value without the need for the highest-end computer power will find good value in the HP Gen8 servers as well as its enhanced serviceability and configuration flexibility. 

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by Lyle Smith

HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Review

The HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 is an extension of their popular MicroServer platform that's been available since 2010. The MicroServer idea is pretty simple, bring enterprise-style server features to SMBs that either don't want or don't need a larger more traditional rack-based infrastructure. There's also a large market of first time server buyers that operate retail outlets, small medical practices and professional offices that need a server to coordinate their operations, but don't have an IT staff or need to scale up to a more complex infrastructure. The ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 brings these use cases a simple to deploy, cost effective solution that can scale with the business as needs change in a convenient "front-of-office" form factor. 

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by Josh Linden

HP ProLiant DL360 Gen9 Review

With the availability of Intel’s Xeon E5-2600 v3 family of processors, a variety of server vendors are launching compute platforms that take advantage of the performance increases of the new Xeon architecture. The DL360 Gen9 is the new mainstream 1U compute platform in the HP ProLiant family, and in addition to featuring new E5-2600 v3 processors and DD4 memory, the DL360 Gen9 reflects several progressive advancements in HP’s server technology portfolio and the company’s overall vision for converged data centers.

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