Fujitsu Server Primergy RX2530 M2 review

Fujitsu’s Primergy RX2530 M2 is a space-saving 1U rack server with a big heart

IT Pro Recommended
  • Low power usage; Classy design; E5-2600 v4 Xeons, Big memory capacity; Good storage options
  • Old management software

Designed to deliver improved performance for less energy, Fujitsu's new Primergy RX2530 M2 packs a lot into its compact dimensions. Powered by dual E5-2600 v4 Xeons, this 1U rack server has room for plenty of fast DDR4 memory and a versatile range of storage options.

It's good value too, with the review system tagged at a list price of 3,500 (which will be much lower on the street). This gets you a good starter package comprising dual 10-core 2.2GHz E5-2630 v4 Xeons, 32GB of DDR4, redundant PSUs and a RAID upgrade.

Fujitsu offers plenty of CPU options with 21 models on its shopping list. This means you can tailor the system to suit your budget with choices ranging from the basic 6-core E5-2603 v4 to the mighty 22-core E5-2699 v4.

Along with a basic 4-bay LFF chassis, Fujitsu offers a 4-bay SFF version that can be field upgraded to the 8-bay model we have on review. Dispense with the slim-line optical drive and you can have 10 SFF bays but this must be ordered at point of sale as the 8-bay model can't be upgraded further.

The server is very well designed inside with easy access to all components

Old management

For remote monitoring, the RX2530 M2 has Fujitsu's embedded iRMC S4 controller and dedicated Gigabit port. It isn't as slick as HPE's iLO4, but its web console is very informative with plenty of details on key components, temperatures and voltages.

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Along with remote power controls, the console displays power consumption graphs for periods ranging from one hour to no less than five years. Email alerting keeps you in the loop if sensors breach their thresholds and the price we've shown includes the Advanced Pack license for server and OS remote control.

The iRMC S4 chip monitors the server's vitals and the Advanced Pack adds OS remote control

The iRMC firmware supports Fujitsu's eLCM (embedded Lifecycle Management) feature, which is licensed separately. This automates firmware updates and can use the motherboard's embedded micro-SD slot to store ISO images locally for booting the server from.

Fujitsu's ServerView Suite software provides a big toolbox of utilities for monitoring multiple servers from one console but it is now looking old and tired. However, we were advised by Fujitsu that it is working on renewing its iRMC management tools and developing new datacentre management software.

The ServerView boot disc provides plenty of help with OS installation

Storage variables

For more modest storage demands the base system employs the pair of 4-port embedded SATA connectors on the motherboard. This supports four LFF or eight SFF SATA drives but the C216 chipset only offers mirrors and stripes.

For more performance and array choice you can add one of Fujitsu's PRAID PCI-Express cards, which bring 12Gbps SAS3, support into the storage equation. Our system included the CP400i card, which adds RAID5 and 50 arrays, while the optional EP400i has 1GB of cache memory.

The top dog EP420i brings RAID6 to the mix plus 2GB of cache memory. You can add an optional flash backup unit (FBU) where the cache contents will be written to it in the event of a power outage.

If you go for the four SAS SFF bay model you'll find it easy to upgrade. Each group of four bays has its own backplane so upping the drive count just required a second backplane slotted in place and cabled to the RAID card.

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