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 StorageReview Enterprise Lab

SuperMicro X11 MicroBlade Solution Review

The SuperMicro MicroBlade family is made up of two key components: a wide selection of chassis configurations, and a multitude of dense-blade options. The MicroBlade enclosure comes in two primary flavors, one being a 3U unit that supports 14 servers and the other a 6U unit that supports 28 servers. Between those sizes there are varying power-configuration options that users can chose from depending on how the ultimate solution will be configured. The servers themselves cover a broad landscape, from single- or dual-processor Intel Xeon systems to ultra-dense blades offering quad Intel-Avoton powered nodes. This allows Supermicro to reach high core per rack counts, upwards of 6272 cores with 784 quad-Avoton nodes in a 42U footprint. The variety of options provides a ton of flexibility for those who need dense compute for high-intensity applications, or for those who want to start small, but know their compute demands will need to scale rapidly. In either case, the MicroBlade enclosures offer a simple deployment model, as well as a chassis management module (CMM) for remote access to blades, power supplies, cooling fans, and networking switches.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell PowerEdge FC830 with Intel Broadwell Review

Earlier this month, Dell added Intel Broadwell support to their line of four-socket PowerEdge servers. We've previously seen what the new CPUs can do for their mainline dual-processor systems; now we turn our attention to the 1U PowerEdge FC830 blade that houses itself within the FX2 chassis. Launched today, the new Intel E5-4669 v4 processors are 2.2GHz and bring 22 cores to bear; 88 cores in a fully populated system. Both the FC830 and the more standard 2U R830 get the E5-4600 v4 family, while the larger R930 can now leverage the E7-8800 v4.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Crucial DDR4 Memory Review

In any performance-driven server or storage system, RAM plays a critical role when it comes to managing application latency. The premise is simple; the more memory systems have, the faster they'll go. But RAM is also one of the most expensive components, so it's important to balance performance needs with the proper technologies and RAM footprint to meet the need. Like all other things in IT, memory is making leaps and bounds in innovation. The latest version of memory is DDR4 (double data rate fourth-generation), which is finding its way into leading edge servers and storage platforms. In our lab RAM is one of our most valued assets, helping us push the limits in many of our benchmarks. Crucial has supplied the lab with DDR4 that we've been leveraging to push our load systems to their fullest.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Cisco UCS Mini Review

Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is designed with the idea of unifying and simplifying the data center. Customers should be able to deploy servers quickly with less overall infrastructure all with unified management through UCS Manger. The Cisco UCS Mini takes the UCS blade server system, houses it into one 6U chassis, the Cisco UCS 5100, and optimizes it for remote and branch offices. The Mini offers servers, storage, and 10 Gigabit networking in a very dense form factor.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell PowerEdge 13G R730 Server with Intel Broadwell Review

Intel has released more of its “tick” Broadwell 14nm processors. As with all Intel processor releases these new Broadwell CPUs aim to bring better performance to the servers that use them. Dell has refreshed its PowerEdge R730 servers (review of the R730 before the refresh) and has run a series of benchmarks to highlight the difference customers can expect from the updated processors. Dell was nice enough to share their testing and results with us but we are always more inclined to run our own tests to see how well something works, which we have, leveraging the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 product family. 

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by Lyle Smith

TYAN GT62B-B5539 1U Server System Review

Released in January of this year, the TYAN GT62B-B5539 is the company’s latest addition to their 1-U server system portfolio. TYAN’s new storage solution supports a generous 4x NVMe devices and is touted by the company to deliver the best performance per watt on today’s storage market. The server system also features 4 x DDR4 DIMM slots, up to 2x 10GbE (Intel X557) and 2x GbE LOM, 1x FH/HL PCI-E x 8 slot, 2x mezzanine slots for various networking and 10 x 2.5” HDD.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Supermicro SuperServer 2028U-TNR4T+ Review

The Supermicro SuperServer 2028U-TNR4T+ is a high-end server that leverages the CSE-219UAC-R1K02 2U server chassis where the SC219UAC(4)-R1K02 2U server chassis and the X10DRU-i+ dual processor serverboard subsystems reside. Like other SuperServers before it, the 2028U-TNR4T+ offers a ton of flexibility for use cases that involve intense application workloads using its equipped 8x SATA3 (6Gbps), 24x SAS3 ports support via optional add-on Cards, and 4x NVMe slots, the latter which is two more than the 1028U SuperServer. We recently leveraged the 2028U-TNR4T+ to test the Intel SSD DC P3700, Memblaze PBlaze4, and Samsung XS1715 2.5" NVMe SSDs as well as the Huwei ES3000, HGST SN100, Memblaze PBlaze, and Intel P3608 HHHL AIC form factor NVMe SSDs. 

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by Lyle Smith

Dell PowerEdge 13G R230, R330, T330 and T130 Review

Launched today, the Dell PowerEdge 13G Wave 4 Servers are 1-socket rack and tower servers designed for distributed applications in SMB, hosting, and OEM. The Servers consist of 4 units: two tower units: the T130 and T330 and two rack units: the R230 and R330. Touted as an ideal first server or replacement server for driving applications in SMB and SOHO, the Wave 4 servers offers many improvements over their predecessors, including greater memory capacity, more hard drives and I/O slots, and improved data throughput and IOPs performance. Like all recent PowerEdge solutions, the Wave 4 servers support the integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC8) with Lifecycle Controller making them viable feature-reach, remote management solutions for SOHO, ROBO, or large organizations.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell PowerEdge 13G R730 Server Review

The Dell PowerEdge R730 is packed full of functionality and flexibility making this solution an incredibly versatile. This mainly due to its use of powerful Intel processors, support for large memory footprint, fast storage options and GPU accelerator support, which makes it ideal for demanding and resource heavy environments. The R730 is also highly scalable when it comes to storage, as it supports up to sixteen 12Gb SAS drives that leverage the high-performance 12Gb PowerEdge RAID Controller (PERC9); the R730 has the ability to seriously accelerate data access within a virtualized environment. We also previously looked at Dell’s other model, the R730xd (the ‘xd’ meaning ‘extreme disk’), which is built for users that have larger storage application needs, as it uses a modified version of the chassis with its 28 bays.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell PowerEdge R930 Review

Dell launched the PowerEdge R930 in April, declaring it their most powerful server to date. The R930 is part of Dell's 13th generation server family, offering a plethora of potential from quad CPUs to eight 2.5" NVMe SSD bays in a 4U form factor. The R930 is designed specifically to meet the needs of business critical applications that can benefit form the combination of CPU, RAM and storage that the platform can bring to bear. Of course the R930 is not an entirely new effort exactly, it builds on the pedigree of the 12th Gen PowerEdge R920 by adding support for Haswell processors from Intel and newer/larger 3.2TB NVMe SSDs. The net result is a 22% performance boost generationally, putting the R930 in an ideal spot to be the go to system for applications that are highly latency sensitive. 

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