Boston VS 365 review
The motherboard is L-shaped, so UIO cards fit into the gap at the back and plug directly into the lower slot. Supermicro offers a range of UIO cards, including eight-port 6Gbits/sec SAS RAID controllers that can be upgraded to RAID5 with battery backup.
Cooling is by way of a bank of dual-rotor cold-swap fans, which sit in front of the motherboard. Noise levels were fairly low – it won’t be a concern if this server is going in a rack cabinet. There’s room for two more fans alongside, and these are positioned to cool any UIO or standard expansion cards. The memory sockets and processors are covered with a solid transparent plastic shroud to help direct the airflow.
Power redundancy isn’t included, since our review system came with a fixed 560W supply. For a 32-core server, the VS 365 impressed in our power tests: it drew only 137W with Windows Server 2008 R2 in idle. We normally use SiSoft Sandra to measure peak power usage, but the latest version caused a blue screen and RAID array verification, although the system recovered without any problems. We found earlier versions of Sandra and a number of other benchmark apps worked fine.
Using the Intel Burn Test and the neat Core Damage utility, we saw power usage in both tests peak at around 310W. To put this into perspective, Fujitsu’s Primergy RX300 S6, with its pair of 2.66GHz Xeon X5650 six-core processors, pulled 136W in idle and 270W under load.
Since the VS 365 comes with the “F” variant of its motherboard, it has Supermicro’s embedded RMM and dedicated network port for remote management. This provides a web interface from where you can view vital statistics and take control of power: turn the server on and off, reset it or perform a graceful shutdown.
It provides sensor readouts of critical components that can be linked to thresholds for alerting. Whereas Dell and HP offer them only as optional extras, Boston offers full KVM over IP remote control and virtual media support as standard.
With the latest Opteron 6200 processors on board, the Boston VS 365 delivers an impressive core count at a very competitive price. Plus, when compared with Xeon 5600 systems, its power consumption is commendably low.
|Warranty||3yr on-site next business day|
|CPU family||AMD Opteron|
|CPU nominal frequency||2.10GHz|
|CPU socket count||2|
|Hard disk configuration||2 x 1TB Seagate Constellation ES hot-swap SATA II hard disks|
|Total hard disk capacity||2,000GB|
|RAID module||AMD SP5100 embedded six-port SATA controller|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, 10|
|Gigabit LAN ports||2|
|Power supply rating||560W|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||137W|
|Peak power consumption||310W|