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 Lyle Smith

Supermicro SuperServer 1028U-TNR4T+ Review

The Supermicro SuperServer 1028U-TNR4T+ is a high-end server that is comprised of the SC119UAC(2)-R750 1U server chassis featuring and X10DRU-i+ dual processor serverboard subsystems, the latter which is based on the Intel PCH C612 chipset. Like the previously reviewed SuperServer 1027R-WC1NRT, the 1028U provides enterprises with a ton of versatility for heavy application workloads with its equipped 10 hot-swappable 2.5" SAS/SATA drive bays.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell PowerEdge FX2 (FD332 & FC830) Review

Dell recently announced that it has expanded FX2 architecture to include two new server blocks and a new storage block. At its launch, and in our initial review, the FX2 had FC630 and FM120x4 compute blocks. This time we will be taking a closer look at the new FD332 storage block and the FC830 server block. The FD332 gives users the ability to uniquely add storage density by pulling the sled out and adding drives to its side. The FC830 enables users to have up to 8 cores in a single 2U enclosure. 

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by Josh Linden

EchoStreams OSS1A 1U Server Review

The EchoStreams OSS1A is a 1U rack system engineered for use as a flexible appliance server platform most notable for its depth of only 21 inches. The OSS1A incorporates a dual-processor Intel C602A chipset and supports Intel Xeon E5-2600 V2 CPUs with up to 384GB of RAM in order to provide the horsepower necessary to handle a variety of duties in space-constrained and field deployments.

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by Adam Armstrong

EchoStreams FlacheSAN1L-D Review

The EchoStreams FlacheSAN1L-D is a storage-dense 1U form factor server that houses up to 20 7mm SATA SSDs. This ultra-high performance flash server is pitched as sustaining 112Gbps of throughput and up to 1 million plus IOPS with 20 SSDs. The platform supports dual Intel Haswell CPUs, up to 512GB of DDR4 RAM, and offers two PCIe Gen3 slots for expansion. The EchoStreams FlacheSAN1L-D has use cases both in the traditional data center and several that couldn't be further away from those friendly confines. The combination of storage density, performance and cost make this unique platform one of the more flexible available. 

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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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