Differences between Dell 11th Generation Servers By Jane Shallow- Velocity Tech Solutions
So, you want to purchase a Dell server and suddenly you are confronted with a bewildering variety of Dell Server models. What processors do the various servers run, how many dimm slots does each have, how many drive bays? Never fear, here is a handy chart of the 11th generation servers that explains the differences, so you can choose exactly what you need.
First, some terminology. An R in front of a Dell server model means it is rack mounted. A T in front of the model means it is a tower. So, an R710 is a rack mounted 710 model and a T710 is a tower 710 model. Towers are almost always more expensive than racks in the same model, so if you can get away with running a rack mounted server, even if you don’t have a rack, you will generally save money. Some of our customers just put a rack mount server on a small table instead of buying a tower and then pocket the savings.
Dell rack mounted servers have a height determination standard call a U. So a model R610 is a 1U server, which means it is approximately 1.5” high. A 2U server is about 3 inches high. A standard rack is often 42U and network engineers use the U height determination to figure out how many servers they can place in a rack. In general, (there are always exceptions to everything), there are 1U, 2U and 4U Dell servers. 1U and 2U are very common and numerous, and 4U are less so because they often take 4 processors and are for very large applications.
The typical differences between servers, other than the ones discussed above, are: how many processors, speed of processor, how many hard drives, how many dimm slots, and redundant or non-redundant power supply capability. To confuse things further, a number of the server models were manufactured with both redundant and non-redundant power supplies, especially the R310s and R410s.
The two models mentioned above were manufactured as well with hot swap hard drive capability and cabled hard drive capability. So it is possible to purchase an R410 in one of 4 ways: Hot Swap/Redundant, Non-Hot Swap/Redundant and Hot Swap/Non-Redundant and Non-hot Swap/Non-Redundant. Too, some were manufactured in both 2.5” and 3.5” hard drive bays, which again multiplies the configurations possible with the same model of server. All this information is not meant to confuse you, rather, take it as cautionary advice to always compare configurations that are exactly the same when price shopping.
A couple of tips: Redundant power supplies are always preferable to non-redundant. That way, if one of the power supplies fails, the server can get along on the one remaining power supply until you can replace the one that failed. Imagine your downtime if you have a server with a non-redundant power supply that fails. In the best case scenario, you have a spare power supply on the shelf and the server is only down for the period of time it takes to change the power supply and reboot the server. In the worst case scenario, your server is down for more than one whole day while the replacement power supply is purchased and shipped overnight to you.
When you are reviewing server specifications for possible purchase, often the server will be advertised as redundant power supply. This does not mean you are being offered two power supplies. The server is capable of running on one redundant power supply and more than one vendor will offer only one redundant power supply in the configuration and then lower the price a bit to try to attract your attention.
Too, hot swap drive capability is infinitely preferable to cabled hard drives. With hot-swap drives you can pull a failing drive on-the-fly and put in a replacement without dropping your server. Look at our website, http://www.velocitytechsolutions.com; there is very good information to assist you with your Dell server.