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

Lenovo System x3550 M5 Server Review

The Lenovo System x3550 M5 is a 1U dual-socket server designed to handle intensive workloads in software-defined data centers. Featuring Intel's Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 product family and TruDDR4 memory (high-end DDR4 memory that meets “strict” Lenovo requirements), the x3550 M5 is designed for use in small- and medium-business use cases. It fits nicely in areas such as database, virtualization and cloud computing, infrastructure security, systems management, enterprise applications, collaboration/email, streaming media, web, and HPC. Lenovo’s focus is to keep business-critical applications and cloud deployments running safely with the x3550 M5. This cost-effective server is also built with an extensive set of systems-management tools to make deployment and maintenance easy.

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by Adam Armstrong

Lenovo x3650 M5 (8871) ThinkServer Review

The Lenovo x3650 M5 ThinkServer is a 2U dual-socket rack server aimed at the mass market to run a multitude of workloads--either as bare-metal or in a virtualized fashion. The x3650 M5 can leverage Intel Haswell and Broadwell Xeon processors, and up to the 22-core E5-2699 v4 as the top offering. The server also offers plenty of configurability with support for 2.5-inch, 3.5-inch, SAS, SATA, HDD, SSD, and NVMe PCIe drives. The x3650 supports up to 1.5TB of memory, with local storage configurations supporting up to a peak of 215TB in a 2U space (using 28 7.68TB, 2.5" SSDs).

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by Adam Armstrong

Facebook Refreshes Its Server Hardware Fleet

Today at the Open Compute Summit (OCP) 2017, Facebook is announcing an end-to-end refresh of its server hardware fleet. This announcement includes all new storage chassis, GPU servers, and compute servers, as well as the latest version of Yosemite, Facebook’s multi-node compute platform. All design specifications are available through the Open Compute Project site, and a comprehensive set of hardware design files for all systems will be released.

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by Adam Armstrong

AMD Previews Its New Naples Server Processor

AMD is giving the world a peak at its upcoming high-performance CPU for servers, codenamed "Naples.” This new CPU is built to scale across the cloud datacenter and traditional on-premise server configurations. The new CPUs are stated as being able to deliver superior memory bandwidth and the number of high-speed input / output channels in a single-chip, making it stand apart from other sever CPUs available now.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

Dell PowerEdge R630 Review

At this point the Dell PowerEdge R630 isn't exactly new, but there is definitely renewed interest in the 1U server platform as the Dell EMC continues to fold together. The R630 makes for an excellent node in software-defined deployments ranging from vSAN to ScaleIO. While diminutive in rack footprint, don't let the R630 fool you; it's a full-fledged dual-socket PowerEdge supporting the latest Intel Broadwell CPUs, up to 1.5TB RAM and configurations with up to 24 1.8" SSDs. Our configuration is a bit more conventional with a twist, ten 2.5" bays; six supporting SATA/SAS drives as well as four NVMe bays supporting the latest in high-performance storage.

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by StorageReview Enterprise Lab

HPE Apollo 4530 Review

Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) Apollo is a family of role-based converged-infrastructure compute and storage solutions at the high performance, high-density end of the enterprise performance spectrum. Apollo 4530 servers utilize a 4U chassis supporting up to 68 3.5" HDDs, with three internal ProLiant Gen9 servers powered by Xeon E5-2600v3 or v4 processors, up to 1,024GB DDR4 memory, and with 4 PCIe slots and FlexibleLOM. From a storage perspective, that means each Apollo 4530 chassis can manage more than 500TB of storage with 8TB disks, or just under 700TB with 10TB models. The systems are purpose-built for the rapidly expanding big data, analytics and HPC storage.

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by Adam Armstrong

HPE Announces A Handful Of Hybrid Enhancements For SMB

This morning Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced that it was making enhancements to several of its solutions aimed at SMB. These solutions include HPE StoreEasy Storage, HPE ProLiant Easy Connect and HPE Flex Solutions. According to HPE, the enhancements announced today will help to deliver the flexibility to SMB to ensure they are able to maintain the right mix of hybrid IT elements.

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by Brian Beeler

Luke Wignall, NVIDIA

VDI clearly isn't a new concept in the enterprise, but many of us have a limited world view when it comes to virtual desktops. Workrooms jammed with customer service reps or medical office use cases are familiar visions, but VDI is much more. With GPU-enabled servers, virtual workstations are replacing high-end PCs in a wide range of organizations including those in media and entertainment, engineering and design functions. NVIDIA is the clear leader here, driving the conversation about what's possible with virtual workstations and providing best practices for deployment.

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by Adam Armstrong

Cisco Introduces New UCS S-Series Servers & Enterprise Cloud Suite

Today at the Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco, Cisco introduced two new solutions to help enterprises tackle the emerging technologies such as Big Data, streaming media and collaboration applications, software-defined storage, and Cloud adoption. To address the data intensive workloads above, Cisco is introducing a new sever category in its Unified Computing System (USC) portfolio, the UCS S-Series. The UCS S-Series is designed specifically for uses such as Internet of Things (IoT), video, mobility, collaboration and analytics. Cisco is also introducing its new ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite to help companies utilize hybrid clouds more efficiently.

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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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