Dell PowerEdge C6100 review

The PowerEdge C6100 is Dell's best-selling cloud server system. In this exclusive review, Dave Mitchell takes a closer look at this multi-node, rack dense system to find out why.

7 Nov, 2011
ex VAT
Dell’s PowerEdge C6100 is aimed at the middle ground between customers looking for a few rack dense systems and those requiring a few thousand. Businesses building an HPC, gaming or cloud services solution will find it has good processing density for a 2U chassis and it’s low on power consumptions as well. Supermicro was here first with its Twin² servers which are better value, but its resellers won’t be able to compete with the warranty and support services offered by Dell’s mighty DCS group.
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Dell's Data Center Solutions (DCS) group is one of the company's least well known divisions, but also one of the largest and most profitable. It will build any server you want to your own specifications, providing you order a few thousand of them at a time.

DCS has learnt a few things during this time and has used its field experience to produce a commercial range of rack servers for large scale customers. The PowerEdge C-Series family consists of seven products and in this exclusive review we look at the C6100.

The C6100 is aimed at enterprise datacentres running HPC or cloud services where power, space, cooling and maintenance are high priorities.

The C6100 is aimed at enterprise datacentres running HPC or cloud services where power, space, cooling and maintenance are high priorities. The C6100 gets the ball rolling with a high rack density as it combines four independent server nodes into a low-profile 2U chassis.

From the front, the C6100 appears to be a standard storage server with twelve hot-swap 3.5in disk bays. However, the chassis’ backplane has been designed to provide each server node with three dedicated bays arranged vertically into separate groups.

Dell also offers another version with 24 2.5in disk bays so each server can have a total of six drives. The price for the review system includes eight 250GB 3.5in SATA hard disks. The rack brackets on each side of the chassis incorporate power buttons for each node along with a single warning light.

The rear of the Dell PowerEdge C6100

Each server node is totally independent, with its own monitor, network, serial and USB ports.

Moving to the back of the chassis confirms that each server node is, indeed, totally independent and has its own monitor, network, serial and USB ports. The nodes are hot-swappable so you can remove one whilst the others are running. A node is removed by pressing on a small locking tab next to its expansion bay and sliding it out the back using the handle.



Chassis: 2U rack

Power: 2 x 1100W hot-plug supplies

Four hot-swap nodes each with the following:

CPU: 2 x 2.67GHz Intel Xeon X5650

Memory: 48GB DDR3 expandable to 96GB

Storage: 8 x 250GB SATA hard disks in hot-swap carriers (max three per node)

Storage controller: Embedded ICH10R SATA Controller

RAID: None

Expansion: 1 x PCI Express slot, mezzanine slot

Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet, dedicated IPMI port

Power: 2 x 750W hot-plug supplies

Management: Embedded Dell IPMI controller

Warranty: four years on-site Next Business Day

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