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 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 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 Kevin OBrien

Lenovo ThinkServer RD630 Review

The Lenovo ThinkServer RD630 represents a calculated entry into the server market: an affordable server with specifications that support database applications and virtualized infrastructure. The RD630 was announced earlier this year as part of an initiative to expand the ThinkServer brand into enterprise cloud and virtualization deployments. It is a scalable 2U rack server solution featuring hardware RAID and eight to sixteen 2.5-inch hot-swap SAS or SATA drives. Powering the ThinkServer is the Intel Xeon E5-2600 processor family with the Intel C602 Chipset. New products like the RD630 are positioning Lenovo to take on other OEMs like Dell and HP that already operate in the enterprise server market.

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by Kevin OBrien

HP ProLiant DL380p Gen8 Server Review

As StorageReview expands our enterprise test lab, we're finding a greater need for additional latest generation servers (like the HP D380p Gen8); not just from a storage perspective, but from a more global enterprise environment simulation perspective as well. As we test larger arrays and faster interconnects, we need platforms like the HP DL380p to be able to deliver the workload payload required to these arrays and related equipment. Additionally, as PCIe storage matures, the latest application accelerators rely on third-generation PCIe for maximum throughput. Lastly, there's a compatibility element we're adding to enterprise testing, ensuring we can provide results across a variety of compute platforms. To that end HP has sent us their eighth-generation (Gen8) DL380p ProLiant, a mainstream 2U server that we're using in-lab for a variety of testing scenarios.

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by Kevin OBrien

StorageReview Enterprise Testing Environment: Lenovo ThinkServer RD240 Review

Testing enterprise hardware and software requires an evaluation platform beyond consumer desktops. StorageReview understands that companies want hardware they send out for review tested in the same environment they are positioning it for and to that end we have deployed a pair of Lenovo ThinkServer RD240's for enterprise reviews. The RD240 is a 2U rack-mountable server that is designed for larger business tasks; however, its price is targeted for small and medium businesses (SMBs) making it a smart choice for businesses looking for low cost alternatives but want to maintain high levels of data protection at the same time. The RD240 gives several levels of advanced data protection, inducing RAID data cache and available battery backup and low-cost storage. This ThinkServer is no slouch though, as its powered by two Intel Xeon X5650 processors and packed with SAS/SATA 6.0Gb/s gear from LSI.

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