Boston Value Series 380 G8 review

Boston delivers Supermicro’s first Xeon E5-2600 rack server with a keen focus on high performance network storage applications. It’s good value and in this review, Dave Mitchell takes a closer look at the features on offer.

Boston provides essential power redundancy with the Value Series 380 G8 and the price includes a pair of 920W hot-plug supplies. The Xeon E5-2670 CPUs have a 115W TDP and the VS 380 G8 scored well in our power consumption tests, sucking up 162W in idle and peaking at 349W under extreme load with the SiSoft Sandra benchmarking app.

Supermicro provides remote management as standard with its embedded RMM chip that adds a dedicated Fast Ethernet port at the rear. However, the web interface is very basic when compared to Dell's brand new iDRAC7, as covered in our recent exclusive review of its PowerEdge R720.

Boston Value Series 380 G8

Supermicro's embedded RMM provides remote management services and includes remote control as a standard feature.

We think it's time Supermicro stepped into line with everyone else and added some decent power usage monitoring and graphing features. The bundled SuperO Doctor III software is also seriously dated and of limited value for remote monitoring.

However, the RMM does provide direct web access to the server's power supplies, so it can be power cycled remotely. This also gives views on a wide range of sensors for critical components that can be linked to email and SNMP alerts. Unlike Dell and HP, KVM-over-IP remote control and virtual media services are also supplied as standard and not as an optional extra.

Boston Value Series 380 G8

Critical server components can be remotely monitored and their thresholds linked to an alerting system.

Boston's Value Smart 380 G8 fits the bill as a storage server well, with its high capacity and plenty of hardware redundancy. It's good value, especially given that it packs a pair of the latest high performance 8-core Xeon E5 processors.

Verdict

The VS 380 G8 delivers a good combination of Xeon E5 processing power, disk capacity and hardware redundancy making it a fine choice for providing essential network storage services. It won’t be worrying Dell’s new PowerEdge R720 for features and its remote management is very basic, but the VS 380 G8 does represent comparatively good value

Chassis: 2U rack

Motherboard: Supermicro X9DRi-LN4F+

CPU: 2x 2.6GHz Xeon E5-2670

Memory: 32GB 1333MHz DDR3, expandable to 768GB

Storage: 4x 1TB WD RE4 SATA II hot-swap hard disks

RAID: Supermicro SAS SMC2108 PCI-e RAID with 512MB cache

Array support: RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, 6 , 50, 60

Expansion: 6x PCI-e Gen 3 slots (with dual CPUs)

Network: 4x Gigabit

Power: 2x 920W hot-plug power supplies

Management: Embedded RMM with 10/100 port

Software: Supermicro SuperO Doctor III

Warranty: 3-year on-site NBD

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