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.

The GUI provides access to OS deployment tools so you no longer need to boot the server with Dell's Server Assistant disk. The UEFI offers a deployment wizard where you enter your details and leave the server to get on with installing your chosen OS. HP and IBM still require you to use their respective SmartStart and ServerGuide discs to boot the server to access the OS deployment tools.

General network systems management is handled by Dell's Management Console, which is based on Symantec's Altiris Notification Server. This provides an automated search process that populates its database with discovered systems and SNMP enabled devices.

The Altiris agent can be pushed to selected systems and this provides enhanced inventory, system monitoring, remote management capabilities and extensive alerting facilities. There's no denying it's a comprehensive management package but it is a real heavyweight. Single server sites will be better off just using the iDRAC6 options for remote management and monitoring.

The T710 scores well for its excellent build quality and internal design. It offers a high storage potential with plenty of room to grow and management facilities are also good with Dell's LifeCycle Controller and UEFI making the PowerEdge servers quite unique.

Verdict

The T710 is well designed and matches IBM’s x3500 M2 for storage capacity and expansion potential. It’s also better value and although its cooling system is a tad too noisy for small offices, it is well suited to a wide range of deployment scenarios. Dell’s management facilities are the measure of HP’s although if you want even more storage capacity then consider the ProLiant ML370 G6 which supports up 24 SFF drives.

Chassis: Pedestal or 5U rack CPU: 2 x 2.53GHz E5540 Xeon Memory: 12GB 1066MHz UDIMM DDR3 Storage: 8 x 146GB Seagate Savvio 10K.3 SFF SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers RAID: Dell PERC 6/i with 256MB cache and BBU Array support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6 Expansion: 6 x PCI-e 2.0 slots Network: 4 x Gigabit Power: 1 x 1100W hot-plug supply (max 2) Management: iDRAC6 Enterprise with 10/100 and 1GB V-Flash card Software: Dell Management Console Warranty: 3yrs on-site NBD

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