Broadberry CyberServe X34-Q104 review

Broadberry’s latest CyberServe X34-Q104 is the first product to combine four independent servers in a 1U chassis. This is an impressive feat, but are there compromises in the search for ever greater compute node density? Read this review to find out.

The X34-Q104 is remarkably quiet as each tray has three dual-rotor cold-swap fans at the front. During normal operations this server is quiet enough to sit on a desk. The fans did increase speed when we ran the SiSoft load test, but this was only briefly and even then noise levels weren't a concern.

Each node has an integrated BMC (baseboard management controller) and the bundled Intel Active System Console provides basic local server monitoring. We recommend adding the optional RMM3 Lite-V modules to each node as these activate web browser-based monitoring which provides full access to power controls, plus extensive views of all sensor data.

Remote management features aren't as good as those you'll find on HP's embedded iLO3 as you can't monitor, control or cap overall power consumption as you can with ProLiant servers. However, unlike HP you get KVM-over-IP remote control as standard, and not as a chargeable upgrade, which also allows you to define virtual floppy and optical media for the node to use.

The CyberServe X34-Q104 is one of the best designed and most well-built systems we've yet seen from Intel's Server Systems family and is well suited to a wide range of tasks including hosting and web server farms. Space constrained data centres looking to do more with available space will find its low power consumption appealing and it's also very good value with each node in the review costing only 600 each.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

Broadberry proves that four can go into one as the X34-Q104 delivers a high-density compute node package at a very low price. RAID is not an option for each server node, but the system is otherwise well designed and power consumption for all four nodes is impressively low.

Chassis: 1U rack Power: 2 x 450W cold-swap power supplies Compute Nodes: four, each with the following specification: CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Xeon X3430 Memory: 4GB 1,333MHz ECC DDR3 expandable to 32GB Storage: 80GB Intel SSD or 500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA hard disk Controller: Embedded Intel SATA controller RAID: None Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet Ports: 4 x USB2 Software: Intel Server Deployment Toolkit Options: Intel RMM3 Lite-V module, £35 per node

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