Dell PowerEdge R510 review

Dell has found a gap in the rack server market and aims to be the first to fill it. Is its latest PowerEdge R510 a good fit? We investigate in this review.


Dell's latest PowerEdge R510 aims to fit neatly into a niche in the server market as it targets small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that want plenty of available storage in their rack but don't want to invest in a storage area network (SAN).

The R510 may not have the depth of the R710 but it matches it easily in the storage department as its front panel has room for up to eight hot-swap hard disks. The carriers accept 3.5in. or 2.5in drives and Dell's optional RAID controllers support a mixture of SAS and SATA as well. There's more on the horizon as Dell plans to expand the R510 with even more SFF drive bays.


Dell's Management Console software offers a lot of useful features along with good network discovery tools.

Remote management options are in line with other 11th generation PowerEdge servers and the R510 offers three alternatives. The base model on review came with an embedded IPMI 2.0 BMC, which offers basic remote access by sharing the first network port. Access is via a command line shell although it only enables you to reboot the server and control its power supply.

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Next up is Dell's iDRAC 6 Express card that snaps into a proprietary socket at the rear of the motherboard and shares the first network port to provide web browser access to the server. This brings Dell's unique Lifecycle controller into play, which adds 1GB of NVRAM memory for storing drivers and other software for immediate access.


If you leave out Dell's iDRAC6 management card you can only access the BMC using the SOL command line utility.

You can't upgrade to the iDRAC 6 Enterprise version as this is a different card that fits into a separate socket on the motherboard. It presents a dedicated network management port and an advanced feature set that includes KVM-over-IP functions and an integral V-Flash media slot. When an SD card is inserted it appears as a boot option and can also be accessed from the host operating system.

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