This great-value tower doesn't have quite the amount of storage as some of its competitors, but the upgrade potential, processing power and phenomenal price make it a great investment for any SMB.Dave Mitchell 9 Oct, 2015 |
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Near-silent; Full KVM remote control; Impressive processing power
Slighty light on storage; Not the best remote management
Broadberry Data Systems has built its business on offering affordable alternatives to the blue chips, and the CyberServe XE5-408S v3 packs in dual E5-2600 v3 CPUs and a heap of memory at a price SMBs will love. The quest for value sees a few compromises, but everything you need to run a wide range of IT services is right here.
On turning on this tower server, the first thing you’ll notice is how near-silent it is, thanks to Supermicro’s new 865W super-quiet PSU. It’s impressive when you note the four hot-swappable internal fans sitting behind the drive bays, and another fixed 9cm fan at the rear.
In the storage department, the CyberServe offers eight hot-swap SAS/SATA LFF bays at the front. That’s comparatively few by tower standards, but the price includes two4TB SATA drives, and you can order the system with eight SFF bays.
For SAS support, Broadberry offers a range of PCI Express RAID cards; as supplied to us, the server uses the embedded RAID on the Intel C612 chipset, which supports mirrors, stripes and RAID5. The drive backplane has eight interfaces that must be cabled separately to the embedded ports on the motherboard, although Broadberry has done well to keep everything neat and tidy.
Processing power is impressive: the CyberServe sports a pair of powerful 2.4GHz E5-2630 v3 Xeons. These 8-core chips have all the Intel goodness you need, with support for Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost 2, which allows them to step up to 3.2GHz when the workload increases.
The price includes 64GB of DDR4 memory, with the resident CPUs supporting speeds of up to 1,866MHz. The 16 memory slots offer expansion for up to 512GB of RDIMM; if your pockets are deep enough for 64GB LR-DIMMS, you can double this to 1TB.
The Supermicro SC743 chassis accepts one fixed PSU, which is easy to replace in the event of failure. Overall power consumption is low, thanks to the modest 85W TDP of the two Xeons: we measured a draw of 86W in idle and 225W under maximum load.
We can’t fault build quality either: the chassis is sturdy, and the front and side panels can be key-locked shut for added security. On the inside, all cabling is tucked neatly out of the way and the CPUs and memory are covered by a solid plastic air shroud.
Dual embedded Gigabit ports come as standard; you can opt for the X10DRi-T variant of this motherboard if you want two embedded 10GBase-T ports. When it comes to remote management, the CyberServe can’t match HP or Dell for features, but its embedded RMM chip does have a dedicated network port and provides plenty of useful data about critical components.
You can power the server up and down, reset it remotely, view sensor data for the CPUs, memory, fans and voltages, and link their readings to email alerts. Usefully, you also get full KVM remote control and virtual-media services as standard – features for which all the blue chips charge extra.
Supermicro’s SuperDoctor 5 software is included and uses the local Windows SNMP agent to monitor the server. Its cheerful UI provides graphs and speedo dials for fans, temperature and voltages, and can also issue email alerts.
The CyberServe XE5-408S v3 isn’t as storage rich as Dell’s T630 or Lenovo’s TD350, but overall it offers respectable expansion potential, and can’t be faulted for processing power. SMBs looking for a capable tower server at a low price will struggle to find better value elsewhere.