Broadberry CyberServe SR1600 review

£4824
Price when reviewed

Broadberry’s new CyberServe SR1600 may not look much in the size department but this compact 1U rack server packs a heck of a punch in the hardware department as it came supplied with a pair of Intel’s new 2.8GHz Xeon X5560 processors teamed up with a very generous 24GB of DDR3 memory.

Broadberry CyberServe SR1600 review

The SR1600 showcases Intel’s own server platforms as this is none other than its latest Server System SR1600URHS. It represents the entry point of a family of four new rack servers and employs Intel’s S5520UR motherboard. Two models are available with the review system the hot-swap variety but you can go for one with fixed hard disks that uses a passive backplane.

Storage capacity for the SR1600 isn’t great as there’s only room for a triplet of 3.5in. hot-swap bays across the front and this chassis model doesn’t support the smaller 2.5in, SFF hard disks. A DVD drive has been tucked in above the bays and the price also includes a single 147GB SAS drive. RAID options start with support for stripes and mirrors but the optional hardware activation key brings RAID-5 into play.

The front panel shows off Intel’s Light-Guided Diagnostics feature which comprises a group of colour coded LEDs that offer an at-a-glance status display of critical component. It’s nowhere near as sophisticated as that offered by IBM or HP but it does show overall system health, memory faults, POST code diagnostic results and fan failures.

The lid is easily removed and underneath is a tidy interior with air flow a key design criteria. A bank of ten dual-rotor fans is arranged in five pairs across the front and the entire motherboard is covered with a large transparent plastic shroud to direct air to all key components. We were pleasantly surprised at the low noise levels making the SR1600 suitable for deployment in a small office rack cabinet.

The processor sockets are staggered across the main board to avoid blocking the air flow and the X5560 modules are mounted with solid passive heatsinks. Each socket is accompanied by a bank of eight DIMM sockets and on the review system all were populated with 2GB DDR3 modules running at 1066MHz.

Power redundancy is not an option as the SR1600 only has room for a fixed 600W supply. However, the new processors deliver on their power promises as our in-line power meter recorded the server drawing 22W in standby and only 162W with Windows Server 2003 R2 idling along. With SiSoft Sandra pushing all cores to the max this rose to a peak of only 311W.

The SR1600 offers a interesting selection of expansion options as the motherboard has I/O connectors at the back and Intel offers a fine range of port modules including quad and dual Gigabit, dual and single 10GbE CX4, InfiniBand, external four-port SAS and other SAS options with one LSI based module offering RAID-6 support. And don’t forget the PCI riser card which provides a single expansion slot for either PCI-Express or PCI full length, full height card.

For remote management we recommend paying extra for the Intel RMM3 controller which delivers KVM-over-IP services plus full access to power controls. It provides a tidy browser interface from where you can view nearly fifty sensors for critical components and see the server’s overall health. Predefined thresholds are linked to an event log but email alerting is not currently supported.

Remote control is provided as standard and the console can be used to access the system BIOS screen and operating system. From the console you can define virtual floppy and optical media for the server and secure access with lists of users with one of four privileges assigned to each one. LDAP is also supported and all transmissions can be security encrypted using SSL.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site next business day

Ratings

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 1U

Processor

CPU family Intel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency 2.80GHz
Processors supplied 2
CPU socket count 2

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 147GB SAS disk in hot-swap carrier
Total hard disk capacity 147
RAID module None
RAID levels supported N/A

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 2
ILO? no

Motherboard

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

Power supply

Power supply rating 600W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 162W
Peak power consumption 311W

Software

OS family None

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