Thursday, 10 September 2009

New Intel Uniprocessor Servers – 1U And Pedestal Get Awesome Enterprise Level Features For SMB!

Our number one complaint when it came to the SMB focused server systems, read uniprocessor,  we implement for our more local clients are the following missing features:

  • Remote Management Module built-in.
  • More than 8GB of ECC RAM.
  • No plug-in I/O or LAN modules to save the one PCI-E slot in 1U form factor servers.

The biggest drawback was the lack of the remote management module. For the cost of the module to be included in a server we only needed one or two visits to our client’s site to pay for it.

We found an alternative in the StarTech IP KVMs and their PDU units that would allow us to manage the server remotely along with the ability to power cycle it if need be.

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With the release of the new SR1630GP and SR1630HGP 1U servers as well as the Intel Server Board S3420GP for pedestal applications we now have access to the following options:

  • Remote Management Module 3 in plug-in module format.
  • SAS 4 port RAID plug-in module.
  • 32GB of ECC Registered RAM supported.

Both the RMM3 and the SAS 4 port modules plug directly into the server board thus saving the PCI-E slot in a 1U configuration for something important such as a 2 or 4 port PCI-E Gigabit Server NIC for virtualization needs.

For the first time in immediate memory, we have a notation that the product line was developed with Small Business Server in mind. From the Intel Xeon Processor 3400 Series Product Brief (PDF File) on page 6:

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For those of us that prefer to build our own servers based on the Intel name brand that also ties in the Intel Channel Partner Program, these new features are a huge step forward.

We are no longer at a disadvantage with the Tier 1 server builders that could offer the above features in their step up from entry level server systems.

We build our servers so that we can know them through and through. This product knowledge facilitates the troubleshooting process significantly. Another advantage is that we do not get caught between the hardware vendor and the software vendors blaming each other for a stability problem.

The new 1U SR1630HGP server systems will be perfect for small business virtualization needs. Since the new Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 now includes failover clustering and its free, we will be looking to basing our entry level clusters on these units.

Lots of neat things to come! :)

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

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2 comments:

Josh Gay said...

Read the specs carefully, the GPLX has the 2 connectors (for the SAS RAID Modules/RMM3) the GPLC does not, and the GPLC is whats in the 1u.

Philip Elder SBS MVP said...

Josh,

Thanks for catching me on that. I have not had time to update this post!

I did get on the phone with Intel about that since previous 1U generations had two SKUs, one LC/Base and one LX whereas the current SR1630GP/HGP SKU does not.

Apparently there may be some additional uniprocessor 1U product lines with the more advanced features we are looking for.

Part of the struggle in all of this is pulling together all of the documentation to make one cohesive picture.

And, being quite excited about my initial findings, I jumped the gun on the specs before delving deeper into the actual board in the SR1630HGP and its supported features.

Philip