Broadberry CyberServe RS100 review
As power usage and the environment take on a greater importance this year we’re seeing server vendors trying new ways to reduce consumption. Broadberry’s latest CyberServe RS100 aims to go easy on the utility supply but its compact dimensions also give it a number of other advantages.
Broadberry is targeting a range of applications for the RS100 as it’s small enough to fit in a standard 600mm deep data rack and the price includes the rails as well. It’s low noise levels make it highly suited to small office deployment and its price makes for a tempting proposition to small businesses. Typical applications for the RS100 would be file and print services, a mail or web server, a NAS appliance or maybe a gateway firewall.
The RS100 is an all-Asus affair comprising its RS100-E5-PI2 solution which brings together an R09 1U chassis and P5BV-M motherboard. The chassis is as low-profile as it gets as it measures a mere 38cms deep. There’s not much to see at the front as most of the panel is used as a grill to ensure maximum air flow through the chassis. You do get a low-profile DVD-RW drive and a couple of USB ports whilst the power switch to the right is accompanied by status LEDs for power, network ports, temperature warnings and disk activity.
The lid is easily removed and underneath lies a tidy interior with all cabling neatly tied up out of the way. The server uses a compact 220W 80 Plus compliant power supply which means it’s certified as highly energy efficient at 20, 50 and 100 per cent of its rated load. The motherboard also sports a high performance 2.5GHz Xeon X3320 processor mounted with a passive heatsink and covered by a small plastic shroud.
The price includes 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 memory and the four DIMM sockets support a total of 8GB. For storage you get a single 250GB SATA hard disk mounted underneath the optical drive and there’s room for a second on the other side where the power and interface cables lie in wait. The embedded SATA controller supports RAID although only mirrored arrays will be practical for the RS100.
For such a compact system the RS100 offers a good level of features. There’s room to expand as a small butterfly riser provides an option to add a PCI card and there’s enough space for a half height, full width card. For remote management, the motherboard has an SO-DIMM socket for Asus’s optional remote management card. Costing £99, this activates the spare Ethernet port at the back allowing the server to be accessed remotely via a web browser regardless of its condition.
The card uses a Raritan KVM-over-IP controller chip which delivers a slick browser interface offering full control over the server. Once installed, it is configured from the server’s BIOS menu where you can provide a static IP address or use DHCP. As long as power is supplied you can switch the server on and off, cycle power and reset it. The interface offers plenty of information about all motherboard sensors which can be linked up to email alerts and SNMP traps.
The server can be remotely controlled so access to the BIOS and operating system is possible and you can define devices on the management system as virtual boot media. Access controls are very good as you can create groups, users and administrators and determine levels of access for each one. For example, you could allow some users to remotely control the server but not allow them to use virtual boot media or change the controller’s settings.
We have no issues with Broadberry’s claims about operational noise as the RS100 is a quiet as a mouse. In fact, it produced so little noise that we had to turn off nearly every other system in the lab before we could even hear the fans. All cooling is handled by a pair of single rotor fans and all their puff is directed only at the processor so all other cooling is passive. We’d be quite happy having the RS100 next to us on our desk.
|Warranty||3yr on-site next business day|
|CPU family||Intel Xeon|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.50GHz|
|CPU socket count||1|
|Hard disk configuration||1 x 250GB Seagate Barracuda 7.2K|
|Total hard disk capacity||250|
|RAID module||Intel embedded SATA II controller|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, JBOD|
|Gigabit LAN ports||2|
|Conventional PCI slots total||0|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||1|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||0|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||55W|
|Peak power consumption||97W|