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Dell PowerEdge R730xd: Now with Intel Broadwell afterburners

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At a Glance
  • Dell PowerEdge R730xd - 1 x E5-2620V3 - 16GB - 4 x 300GB 15K

    on Amazon

Dell recently sent us its R730xd PowerEdge rack server with uprated Intel Broadwell-series CPUs. The company claims that the 2U server with 22 cores is 20% faster than boxes running the older Haswell family of Intel chips.

In our testing, we found that Dell is right.

The server arrived and we slammed it into our crowded rack at Expedient in Indianapolis. The R730xd was really crammed, yet there was room for more. The 2U frame has room for 16 3.5-inch drives, totaling 128TB of storage. Added PCIe SSD drives can make it a hybrid storage SAN without going to SAN resources.

Like HPE servers, Dell can take forever and a weekend to boot. This said, inside is a highly articulate management console that allowed us to re-fit operating system after hypervisor. We tried VMware 6, Windows 2012 R2 (don’t tell Microsoft that the previews of Server 2016 worked, too), and Red Hat Enterprise 6. Then we tried CentOS, but we did have one kernel explosion with FreeBSD that we were unable to repeat. XenServer 6.5 worked without incident.

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