Dell PowerEdge R210 II: Sweet, low-end server

Dell's new and improved 1U, single-socket R210 server pinches pennies and power consumption

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The Dell PowerEdge R210 II "ultra-compact rack server" is like the Chrysler PT Cruiser: a little bit of styling for a minimal budget. The original Dell R210 earned a reputation as a bang-for-your-buck server for companies that need remote management capabilities on a shoestring budget. The R210 II follows in its footsteps and walks another mile. Low total cost of ownership, compact size, ease-of-use, and flexibility make the R210 II a great alternative to rivals such as the HP ProLiant DL120 and the IBM System x3250.

Aimed at small and midsize businesses, the R210 II is best suited for data protection, remote access, intranet setup, or as a secure file server. Built-in redundant hard drives are an option, and of course the R210 II can be ordered in various processor, memory, and storage configurations to suit your needs. The price is right. The configuration we tested -- Intel Xeon 3.10GHz, 8GB of RAM, 1TB 7.2K SAS drive -- goes for just $1,711.

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The low total cost of ownership includes minimal energy use as well as features that reduce the time taken to administer and run the unit. Our team tested the server over a 54-hour period and found that it consumed 1.84 kilowatts of energy. (Note that it was not running heavy, processor-intensive tasks -- which it should not be if it is being used for its intended purposes.) That comes to around 0.82 kilowatt a day, and with a conservative estimate of 25 cents per kilowatt hour, that's around $75 a year or a little over $6 a month.

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