Broadberry’s powerful Xeon Scalable rack server has tons of features for the price and some novel storage optionsDave Mitchell 5 Jan, 2018 |
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Broadberry's powerful Xeon Scalable rack server has tons of features for the price and some novel storage options
The Xeon Scalable family is Intel's biggest product launch for nearly eight years and it augments this huge range of server CPUs with a feast of motherboards and rack platforms. In this exclusive review, we look at the CyberServe Xeon SP2-R2224 from Broadberry Data Systems - an all-Intel system aimed at SMBs and enterprises with power, storage and growth on their minds.
The CyberServe is based on an Intel Server System R2224WFTZS 2U rack platform sporting an S2600WFT motherboard. This partnership offers an impressive range of features as along with support for the entire Xeon Scalable family, it has room for 24 SFF hot-swap drives at the front and two more at the rear using an optional cage.
It's a powerful package, and the price includes a tasty pair of 2.2GHz Xeon Gold 5120 CPUs offering 14 physical cores apiece. These are teamed up with 64GB of 2,400MHz DDR4 memory, which can be boosted to 1.5TB.
The embedded C624 chip supports up to twelve SATA drives, two M.2 SATA SSDs and RAID0, 1 and 5 arrays, but the CyberServe also has Intel's RMS3CC040 RAID controller nestling in its dedicated slot. This adds SAS3 plus RAID50, 6 and 60 to the mix, along with 1GB of embedded cache.
The system includes two 240GB Intel SATA SSDs and all 24 front bays are available, as the RAID card is connected to a SAS expander behind the drive backplane. The backplane also features 24 OCuLink ports for direct-attach NVMe SSDs.
The motherboard has four embedded OCuLink ports which can be connected to the backplane using Intel's optional SFF-8611 cable kits. You can have more than four NVMe drives, as Intel offers PCI-Express Switch AIC adapters with four or eight OCuLink ports.
Network options get off to a flying start as the motherboard has two embedded 10GBase-T ports. There are eight free PCI-Express slots but you won't need them to expand networking, as Intel's OCP expansion modules fit in a dedicated slot at the rear and offer dual 10-Gigabit copper or SFP+ ports.
Internal cooling is handled well; the CPUs are covered with a solid transparent shroud and looked after by six hot-plug cooling fans in front of the motherboard. It needs to be good, as the system is validated for CPUs with 205W TDPs so it can handle the top-dog 28-core Platinum 8180s.
The CyberServe has a big power envelope to match - it comes with dual 1.3kW hot-plug power supplies. Even though the Gold 5120 CPUs have a 105W TDP, we found power consumption to be reasonably low with the system drawing 110W in idle and 286W under extreme load.
Remote server management is present as the CyberServe has Intel's BMC controller, which activates a dedicated network port at the rear. Its web console can't match HPE's iLO5 or Dell's iDRAC9 for features but it does provide sensor views of critical components and issues email alerts if values exceed their predefined thresholds.
The BMC also maintains an event log, has a new view added for NVMe drives and includes full remote control as a standard feature and not as an option. Installed locally, Intel's Active System Console (ASC) also provides plenty of valuable information about hardware while the server is running.
ASC is a web service so you can access it remotely via a browser, keep an eye on the hardware and link its email alerting service with multiple policies. Last up ts Intel's freshly-designed RAID Console 3 which also provides local and remote web browser access to the server's storage controllers, arrays and drives.
The CyberServe Xeon SP2-R2224 is an impressive 2U rack server and its versatility makes it well suited to a wide range of data centre duties. Combining this with its innovative storage features and a low price the blue chips won't come close to matching puts Broadberry's powerhouse firmly on the IT Pro A-List.
The CyberServe Xeon SP2-R2224 is an impressive 2U rack server and its versatility makes it well suited to a wide range of data centre duties. Combining this with its innovative storage features and a low price the blue chips won't come close to matching puts Broadberry's powerhouse firmly on the IT Pro A-List