Dell PowerEdge R210 II review

Dell's new PowerEdge R210 II is its first rack server to use the Xeon E3 processor and delivers it in an ultra-compact chassis aimed at a wide range of uses. In this exclusive review Dave Mitchell puts this 1U server on the lab bench and sees whether it's as versatile as Dell claims.

For web-based remote management you’ll need Dell’s iDRAC6 Express or Enterprise modules.

The Express controller shares access with the first network port and provides a smart remote web management interface. This can be used to monitor critical components, issue SNMP trap and email alerts when errors or faults are detected and remotely control the power supply.

For full KVM-over-IP remote control and virtual media services you'll need the iDRAC6 Enterprise card. This costs an extra 276 and provides a separate network port for dedicated management access.

Dell also includes its Management Console 2.0 software which is designed to manage entire networks and all associated equipment. It may be overkill for some SMBs, but it can keep an eye on all SNMP enabled devices and provides extensive inventory, system monitoring and alerting facilities.

Dell has carved a nice little niche for itself in the low-profile rack server market as neither HP nor IBM has anything this small in their portfolios. Despite its size, the PowerEdge R210 II packs a lot into its compact chassis, has some good storage options and an extensive range of remote server management features.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

Dell’s PowerEdge R210 II is a worthy choice as an entry level rack server for small businesses or a low cost compute node for data centres short on space. The price for the review system is quite high, but this does include the fastest Xeon E3 processor currently available and by picking a slower Xeon E3 you can drop the price substantially. Storage options and remote management features are very good and it rectifies the high operational noise levels of its predecessor.

Chassis: 1U rack

CPU: 3.5GHz Xeon E3-1280

Memory: 16GB DDR3 UDIMM expandable to 32GB

Storage: 2 x 250GB Dell SATA 3Gbps hard disks in cold-swap carriers

RAID: Dell PERC S100

Array support: RAID 0, 1, 10

Expansion: 1 x PCI Express slot

Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet

Power: Fixed 250W supply

Management: iDRAC6 Enterprise with 10/100

Software: Dell Management Console 2.0

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