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Love The New Design of These Dell Servers
Apr 29, 2012
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Qualifications: I am a (Network Administrator) of a medium-sized server farm in the Mid-West, which consists of some 150 Dell PowerEdge servers of various models and designs. These models include 1850, 1950, 2650, 2800, 2850, 2500, 2600, 2850, 2900, 2950, T710, R410 and R810 servers, running Windows 2003 Standard Server, Windows 2003 Standard and Enterprise Edition as well as Window 2008 R2 Standard and Enterprise Editions.
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There is something inherently beautiful about a 2U rack-mounted server. It is a study of raw power at its engineered best. In a server that measures less than 4.0 inches from top to bottom there can be harnessed enough raw computing power to run a space shuttle. In our Network Operation Center (NOC) we have a little over two dozen 2U servers installed, including four new Dell PowerEdge R810’s that I just racked-mounted and configured.
Increasingly the physical server is giving way to the virtual computer, or machine, running on power virtual computer host servers like the PowerEdge R810 that offer loads of processing power (up to four 8-core Intel Xeon 7500 and 6500 processors), available RAM (up to 512GB in 32 DIMM slots) and internal storage (up to 3TB).
These 2U “Virtual-machine host” servers—as we order them—usually have at least two processors and up to 128GB of DDR Ram. Our business has relied on Dell PowerEdge 2U rack-mounted servers to perform this vital role in our enterprise. So when it came time to buy new servers we once again went with Dell and the company delivered in the form of the stylish PowerEdge R810 2U rack mountable server.
In The Box
Dell PowerEdge R810 2U ServerInstallation CD and manualsDell Open Manage 6.51 softwareServer Drives and Utilities
The Dell PowerEdge R810 is the follow-on the very successful single use PowerEdge 2950 2U rack mount server boxes. Like the PowerEdge 2950 the PE R810 is small “ultra-dense” server; larger than the 1U, but still small enough to be handled by one man. As a result everything about the PE R810 is compact, but amazingly easy to access; the top cover comes completely off the unit exposing the motherboard, processor assemblies, RAM riser boards, cooling fans, and other essential components all of which can be removed with tools.
The new PE R810 servers integrate up to (4) high-performance 64-bit Intel Xeon 7500, or Intel 6500 Xeon series processors featuring (8) cores, DDR3 RAM, and up to (6) hard drives slots (2.5” SAS or SATA II including SATA SSD), as well as a standard ultra-dense DVD drive.
Other enhancements of the PE R810 include fully buffered DDR3 RAM in up to 32 slots for a total of 512GB; your choice of SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) or SATA II hard drives (3TB maximum storage), or SATA SSD (Solid State Drive) for faster, more reliable data transmission and reduced thermal output; TCP/IP Offload Engine, and; enhanced virtualization technology for improved performance, management and utilization in virtualized environment such as VMware ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V Server.
The PE R810 can be configure with a number of different internal hard drive and or RAID controllers including the PERC 6/i for (RAID) control of SAS 3.0 Gb/s hard drives with 256MB of memory (our choice). Optionally the PE R810 can be ordered with SAS 6/iR, PERC H200, PERC H700, PERC 800 (External Controller), or PERC 6/E (External Controller), or SAS 5/E HBA.
The PE R810 can be ordered with a seemingly endless variety of storage configurations including hot-pluggable (swappable) 2.5 inch SAS (10k) hard drives in sizes ranging from 73GB – 600GB for up to 3TBGB of storage. In addition, the server can be ordered with 2.5” SSD in 50GB, and 100GB storage capacities.
Although Dell can factory-install a number of Operating Systems (OS) on the PE R810, including Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 SP2 x86/x64-Bit (includes Hyper-V v2), Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (includes Hyper-V v2), Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Enterprise Server we decline the service and have the server shipped sans OS. This is because we customize out OS installations to fit the needs of our business.
Installation and Performance:
Our complement of servers come stock with 2x Intel Quad-Core Intel Xeon 7500 series processors, 128GB of DDR3 RAM and (2) 2.5” 73.3GB, 15,000k SAS drives. With the imbedded PERC6/i RAID controller the SAS drives are configured into (2) RAID Level 1 (Mirroring x2 drives) arrays or containers. We attach the servers to a SAN via installed fiber array cards.
From start to finish I can configure the OS in less than two hours thanks to Dell’s suburb software configuration tool Open Manage, now on Version 6.5. The (bootable) application takes a server administrator through the process of configuring the PE R810 starting with the RAID layout and ending in the OS. The process is seamless and except for answering a few question and swapping out a disk—once—the entire operation is automatic. And once the server OS is up and running I can user Dell Server Administrator to keeps an eye on hardware functionality and diagnose issues with the server.
We currently have (4) PE R810 servers installed in our NOC running Microsoft Windows 2008 Standard Enterprise Edition R2 (64-bit) and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual server host software which requires a lot of processing power, storage space, and RAM.
We have just started integrating the PE R810 into our data center and we primarily utilize the servers as Virtual server host machines. However, because the PE R810 is highly scalable, the server could just as easily be used as an enterprise-class file/ print server, or front-end web application server.
The (8) core Intel 7500/ 6500 series processors coupled with fast DDR3 RAM and 15K SAS hard drives make the PE R810 a performance star. The PE R810’s in our inventory are at the middle of the performance curve, yet they are powerful enough to meet all of current and future application needs.
If you are looking for a reliable, versatile, powerful and reasonably priced application server, the small-footprint Dell PE R810 Enterprise-class application server will most certainly fit the bill.
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