Dell PowerEdge C6100 review

The PowerEdge C6100 is Dell's best-selling cloud server system. In this exclusive review, Dave Mitchell takes a closer look at this multi-node, rack dense system to find out why.

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Dell's Data Center Solutions (DCS) group is one of the company's least well known divisions, but also one of the largest and most profitable. It will build any server you want to your own specifications, providing you order a few thousand of them at a time.

DCS has learnt a few things during this time and has used its field experience to produce a commercial range of rack servers for large scale customers. The PowerEdge C-Series family consists of seven products and in this exclusive review we look at the C6100.

The C6100 is aimed at enterprise datacentres running HPC or cloud services where power, space, cooling and maintenance are high priorities.

The C6100 is aimed at enterprise datacentres running HPC or cloud services where power, space, cooling and maintenance are high priorities. The C6100 gets the ball rolling with a high rack density as it combines four independent server nodes into a low-profile 2U chassis.

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From the front, the C6100 appears to be a standard storage server with twelve hot-swap 3.5in disk bays. However, the chassis' backplane has been designed to provide each server node with three dedicated bays arranged vertically into separate groups.

Dell also offers another version with 24 2.5in disk bays so each server can have a total of six drives. The price for the review system includes eight 250GB 3.5in SATA hard disks. The rack brackets on each side of the chassis incorporate power buttons for each node along with a single warning light.

The rear of the Dell PowerEdge C6100

Each server node is totally independent, with its own monitor, network, serial and USB ports.

Moving to the back of the chassis confirms that each server node is, indeed, totally independent and has its own monitor, network, serial and USB ports. The nodes are hot-swappable so you can remove one whilst the others are running. A node is removed by pressing on a small locking tab next to its expansion bay and sliding it out the back using the handle.

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