Review: Dell simplifies the blade server

Dell's PowerEdge C6220 squeezes four two-socket servers into 2RU, delivering blade server density at a rack-mount price

Review: Dell cloud server turns a neat twist on blades

Part of Dell's server business is building custom machines for very large customers who want fewer bells and whistles but higher computing density and lower power consumption. The Dell PowerEdge C6220 is a server the company has brought out of this custom arena and into its regular sales channels. It is the second in a new series of servers that combines internal storage and two or four two-socket "nodes" (aka sleds or blades) wrapped up in a highly efficient 2RU package.

The PowerEdge C6220 is being marketed as a high-density server solution primarily targeting HPC (high-performance computing) and virtual server clusters. In a major change from the previous model (C6100), the C6220 lets you mix and match node configurations. With support for heterogeneous nodes, this platform becomes a great fit for branch offices, allowing you to configure the nodes at the right size for your branch office database, VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), Active Directory, and more -- as opposed to racking up a bunch of monolithic servers or partially filling an expensive blade server chassis.

[ Also on InfoWorld: New Dell PowerEdge: More power, deeper management | VDI shoot-out: Citrix XenDesktop vs. VMware View | Virtualization shoot-out: Citrix, Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware ]

The Dell C6220 is targeted at folks who need to pay close attention to power consumption, heat, rack space, and even the number of Ethernet ports they consume in the data center. It's lighter than four equivalent machines, and it consumes significantly less power and pumps out much less heat. It is, simply put, a competent four-headed server that's light on your data center consumables. It offers the density of blades, but without the frills.

Four servers in one
Dell shipped me the four-node version of the C6220, each with two Intel Xeon E5-2600 CPUs: Node one had Suse Linux, node two had Red Hat Linux, node three has Microsoft Server 2008 R2, and node four was left empty and untouched. (The price as tested, with 4 3.5-inch 2TB SATA drives: $36,248.) I was a bit surprised when the empty node booted into a service partition and started up the Pre-Boot System Assessment (PSA), a darn complete system check. I'm told PSA has been provided for years, so I guess I haven't ordered too many machines from Dell without an OS.

Test Center Scorecard
Dell PowerEdge C6220989989


Very Good

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