Broadberry Intel Modular Server review

Broadberry offers SMBs an affordable blade server with some unusual storage features and a sharp focus on virtualisation. In this exclusive review, Dave Mitchell takes a closer look at Intel’s Modular Server and tests its VM live migration feature.

The storage controller supports all key RAID arrays, including RAID-6, and Broadberry offers a choice of SATA, SAS, near-line SAS and SSD drives. Storage pools can contain multiple virtual drives and each is assigned to a module that sees it as local storage, so the modules themselves are completely diskless.

The storage arrangement provides good redundancy if a module fails, its virtual drive can be reassigned to a spare module and booted as usual.This arrangement provides good redundancy if a module fails, since its virtual drive can be reassigned to a spare module and booted as usual.

The storage management blade also has a SAS expansion port for adding external storage, but note that only 3Gbit/s speeds are currently supported. Assigning storage is straightforward, too a flowchart graphic shows the content of each storage pool and which compute modules the virtual drives are assigned to.

Broadberry Intel Modular Server

A graphic shows clearly how the internal SAN is arranged and which virtual drives are assigned to each compute module.

A management I/O module provides full remote access to the server chassis and its components. Switch options are basic, as the chassis only supports a maximum of two 10-port L2/L3 Ethernet switch blades. The compute modules do have a 10Gbit Ethernet internal connection to the network midplane, but a 10Gbit Ethernet external switch module isn't currently available.

Intel's Modular Server Control (MSC) browser interface offers good levels of access to all components. A dashboard shows the status of the chassis, compute modules, power supplies, drives and system health, while a row of tabs above provides views of the front and rear panels, along with installed components.

Broadberry Intel Modular Server

Intel's MSC provides good remote access to the server and plenty of operational information.

The BIOS and operating system of each computer module can also be viewed and controlled remotely via KVM over IP, and this allows modules to be switched on and off individually, too.

Featured Resources

2021 Thales cloud security study

The challenges of cloud data protection and access management in a hybrid and multi cloud world

Free download

IDC agility assessment

The competitive advantage in adaptability

Free Download

Digital transformation insights from CIOs for CIOs

Transformation pilotes, co-pilots, and engineers

Free download

What ITDMs did next - and what they should be doing now

Enable continued collaboration and communication for hybrid workers

Recommended

Delivering on demand: Momentum builds toward flexible IT
Whitepaper

Delivering on demand: Momentum builds toward flexible IT

2 Dec 2021
Intel CPU flaw could enable hackers to attack PCs, cars, and medical devices
Hardware

Intel CPU flaw could enable hackers to attack PCs, cars, and medical devices

16 Nov 2021
Intel launches 12th-gen Alder Lake processors optimised for Windows 11
Hardware

Intel launches 12th-gen Alder Lake processors optimised for Windows 11

28 Oct 2021
Intel no longer considering UK chip plant following Brexit
components

Intel no longer considering UK chip plant following Brexit

7 Oct 2021

Most Popular

What should you really be asking about your remote access software?
Sponsored

What should you really be asking about your remote access software?

17 Nov 2021
Australia film archive gets $41.9 million to digitise audiovisual heritage
digitisation

Australia film archive gets $41.9 million to digitise audiovisual heritage

6 Dec 2021
Nike to take customers into the metaverse with 'NIKELAND'
virtualisation

Nike to take customers into the metaverse with 'NIKELAND'

19 Nov 2021