Dell PowerEdge T710 review

Dell’s PowerEdge T710 is one of the largest pedestal servers on the market offering a remarkable expansion potential. It’s big and bold and in this review we find out whether it’s also the best.

Expansion options abound as you have six PCI-e slots at the top of the main board. The PERC 6/i uses a dedicated slot further along so all these slots are up for grabs. For virtualisation duties you have a quartet of Gigabit ports plus Dell's SD memory card slot with a 1GB card installed which is used to boot into an embedded hypervisor.

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Power choices extend to either single or dual 1100W hot-plug supplies and we found with one fitted power consumption was reasonably low. Our inline power meter recorded only 10W in standby and a modest 150W with Windows Server 2008 running in idle.

With SiSoft Sandra pummeling all 16 logical cores we saw this rise to a peak of only 296W. Usefully, the server has power management features which include power capping, power inventory and power budgeting which are configured from the iDRAC6 web interface.

For remote management, the base server offers an embedded BMC and Dell's iDRAC 6 Express card, which shares the first network port to provide web browser access to the server. If you want KVM-over-IP and virtual media features go for the iDRAC 6 Enterprise version.

This is a different card to the Express that fits into a separate socket on the motherboard and presents a dedicated network management port at the rear. It also has an integral V-Flash media slot and 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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