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Dell PowerEdge VRTX Review Discussion

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The Dell PowerEdge VRTX features a tower form factor and delivers primary storage via as many as 25 SFF or 12 LFF drives and implements four server nodes with two SFF drives each. The server nodes are Dell PowerEdge M620 or M520s, and with either option, the VRTX can deliver up to 64 physical processing cores (128 logical cores). The M620 maxes out with the Intel E5-2680 which is clocked at 2.7GHz, while the top-end for the M520 is the Intel E5-2470 at 2.3GHz. The M620s also provide 24 DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of RAM each for a maximum capacity of 3072GB of RAM across the four server nodes; the M520 has 12 DIMM slots that also support 32GB each. As for design, at 5U the VRTX is rackable, but primarily is tailored for organizations that require robust performance from a unified system to simplify management and reduce hardware footprint and IT expenses. The VRTX is ideal for SMBs and remote/branch offices avoiding allocating the space/budget for a traditional server rack that also enjoy the consolidation of their IT equipment into a single chassis.

Dell PowerEdge VRTX Review

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I'll need to double check, but I'm pretty sure its redundant. With the side cover off you can see two Perc8 controllers stacked in the middle.

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I'll need to double check, but I'm pretty sure its redundant. With the side cover off you can see two Perc8 controllers stacked in the middle.

That would be interesting. When I originally looked at it, there was no option to have redundant PERCs.

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I just confirmed with Dell that Perc8 is currently not redundant... so it is a point of failure currently on the shared storage side.

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I just confirmed with Dell that Perc8 is currently not redundant... so it is a point of failure currently on the shared storage side.

Well other than this limitation the VRTX is practically bulletproof. I could easily see this replacing a server rack with the use of virtualization. The overall ability would of course be less then 48U but for an office looking for a 'less is more' approach this could really help consolidation.

With each node potentially configured with the E5-2680 you're looking at (8*2)*4 = 64 cores in the chassis with 256 threads. That is a ton of computational power. Teamed with 128GB of RAM per chassis and a mix of SSD/HDD storage like the review unit this is a workhorse.

The only area of investment I see is in a higher bandwidth solution as the 1Gb links won't be enough.

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That's exactly what we're thinking as we dive into the performance testing of the system. We'll be running a few tests with the nodes clustered for HA failover and of course we'll add some more robust outward facing interconnect cards to see what we can drive in terms of throughput. But yes, we concur that it's an extremely well designed system for the uses you noted.

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According to the dell techchat the team is working on a redundant perc option.

We would be using this with our existing md3200 and three pcie sas6 cards, and probably put the less critical storage on the intenral VRTX array.

Waiting for 10gbe pass-through before pulling the trigger though.

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The lack of IQ points on this board is troubling. So this whole great big unit is one massive single point of failure and when the chassis overheats and dies because some idiot forgot to turn on the AC in their office, or some other random problem like firmware crashing hard drives, or someone accidentally pulls the plug in the office on the unit causing the entire unit to drop dead and the corrupt all of the hard drives, say goodbye to your whole entire office, which will lose more money in one hour than the cost of this equipment and the whole company will suffer a complete outage for two weeks until they can order another unit. The problem with this unit and the way Dell thinks is the whole problem with IT. he type of people buying this unit are the type who are going to be too cheap to spend money on backing up their software, or having a backup hardware sitting there replicating the data in the event this big hunk of crap fails some day. STOP NOW trying to be cheap with your IT. IT and cheap do not go into the same sentence. Things die all the time for no reason. You are playing games with your company's lifeblood and operational efficiency. The stupidity never ceases to amaze.

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