Dell PowerEdge R815

Dell is the first blue chip to deliver a quad socket server using AMD’s new Bulldozer architecture. It looks like good value, so read Dave Mitchell’s review to see if it moves the earth.


Rather than use a USB port, the R815 can be booted into an embedded hypervisor using Dell's optional internal SD memory card controller, which is well worth the additional 60 cost. It provides two SD card slots and automatically keeps an onboard copy of the primary boot media in case of failure. The R815 also has a Lifecycle Controller' with 1GB of NVRAM to ease operating system installation it allows the server to be booted into Dell's UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) environment and deploy an OS without needing to use any boot media.

Dell PowerEdge R815

Two remote management options are available and the price shown here includes the full iDRAC6 Enterprise snap-in module that provides a dedicated network port and full remote access to the server. Note that the cheaper iDRAC6 Express module doesn't support full KVM-over-IP remote control or virtual media services, though.

AMD's main competition for its Opteron 6000 processors has always been Intel's Xeon 5600 and it beats them hands-down for the sheer core count. It's also a lot better value and more power efficient that current four socket Xeon 7500 systems. Intel's Xeon E5 is due to be announced at the beginning of March but for the moment, AMD has the upper hand in the server core wars and its Opteron 6200 makes Dell's PowerEdge R815 a fine choice for virtualisation and server consolidation duties.


With its quartet of 16-core Opteron 6200s and high memory capacity, the PowerEdge R815 is a particularly good candidate for virtualisation and as a server consolidation platform. It packs a lot of useful features into its compact 2U chassis, has a high expansion potential, and is more power efficient and far better value than Xeon 7500 based systems.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Chassis: 2U rack

CPU: 4x 2.1GHz 16-core AMD Opteron 6272

Memory: 128GB DDR3 LV RDIMM expandable to 512GB

Storage: 6x 73GB Dell 15K SFF 6Gbps SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers

RAID: Dell PERC H700 with 512MB cache and BBU

Array support: RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 50, 6

Expansion: 6x PCI-e 2.0

Network: 4x Gigabit

Power: 2x 1100W hot-plug supplies

Management: iDRAC6 Enterprise with VFlash/SD Card slot and 10/100 port

Software: Dell Management Console

Warranty: 3-year ProSupport on-site NBD

Featured Resources

Application security fallacies and realities

Web application attacks are the most common vulnerability, so what is the truth about application security?

Download now

Your first step researching Managed File Transfer

Advice and expertise on researching the right MFT solution for your business

Download now

The KPIs you should be measuring

How MSPs can measure performance and evaluate their relationships with clients

Download now

Life in the digital workspace

A guide to technology and the changing concept of workspace

Download now

Most Popular

operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

4 Nov 2019
Business strategy

The pros and cons of net neutrality

4 Nov 2019
Domain Name System (DNS)

Microsoft embraces DNS over HTTPS to secure the web

19 Nov 2019
social media

Can Wikipedia founder's social network really challenge Facebook?

19 Nov 2019