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Dell PowerEdge VRTX Review

The Dell PowerEdge VRTX features a tower form factor and delivers primary storage via as many as 25 SFF or 12 LFF drives and implements four server nodes with two SFF drives each. The server nodes are Dell PowerEdge M620 or M520s, and with either option, the VRTX can deliver up to 64 physical processing cores (128 logical cores). The M620 maxes out with the Intel E5-2680 which is clocked at 2.7GHz, while the top-end for the M520 is the Intel E5-2470 at 2.3GHz. The M620s also provide 24 DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of RAM each for a maximum capacity of 3072GB of RAM across the four server nodes; the M520 has 12 DIMM slots that also support 32GB each. As for design, at 5U the VRTX is rackable, but primarily is tailored for organizations that require robust performance from a unified system to simplify management and reduce hardware footprint and IT expenses. The VRTX is ideal for SMBs and remote/branch offices avoiding allocating the space/budget for a traditional server rack that also enjoy the consolidation of their IT equipment into a single chassis. PCIe slots deliver a range of functionality to a system, and the Dell PowerEdge VRTX uniquely has 8 PCIe slots which are assignable to compute nodes for greater flexibility and functionality using the management interface. There are 3 full-height full-length slots with double width card support (225W), and there are also 5 slots for half-height half-length (75W). This level of connectivity ensures that organizations can utilize their existing IT infrastructure and/or upgrade to install InfiniBand, Ethernet, PCIe SSDs or similar PCIe devices. On top of that, the VRTX is quoted at using up to 86% fewer cables for redundant power and external connectivity versus 4 individual servers, 2 external switches and 2 external storage devices. That reduction should make cable management a much less time-consuming issue for IT administrators. With 8 PCIe slots, up to 25 SFF drives, and with robust options for system memory and processing power installed in server nodes which are Dell PowerEdge M620 or M520s all in a single tower chassis, organizations can avoid the budgetary issues of purchasing and integrating a rack-based solution in their office. For instance, in our particular configuration, each of our M620 server nodes in the VRTX is loaded with 64GB of DDR3 RAM and dual Intel Xeon E5-2640 hex-core processors. This compute power results in an HA solution that is relatively inexpensive, and that isn't difficult to manage for SMBs and the like. Dell PowerEdge VRTX Specifications
  • Storage
    • Up to 12 x 3.5" NLSAS, SAS, or SAS SSDs
    • Up to 25 x 2.5" NLSAS, SAS, or SAS SSDs
  • Embedded NIC
    • 1GbE internal switch module with 16 internal 1GbE ports and 8 external ports
    • Ethernet pass-through module with 8 external ports (optional)
  • RAID Controllers: Shared PERC8
  • Redundant power supply units
    • 110/220V auto-sensing
    • Redundant power supplies support 2+2 (AC redundancy), and 3+1, 2+1, and 1+1 (power supply redundancy) modes
  • Cooling: 6 hot-swappable, redundant fan modules and 4 blower modules
  • Server node options: Dell PowerEdge M620 and M520 servers
  • Tower configuration:
    • Dimensions (HxWxD): 19.1" (48.4cm) with system feet x 12.2" (31.0cm) with system feet opened x 28.7" (73.0cm)
    • Weight (empty): 69.7lbs (31.7kg); Weight (maximum): 164.9lbs (74.8kg)
  • Rack configuration (5U)
    • Dimensions: (HxWxD) 8.6" (21.9cm) x 19" (48.2cm) x 28.7" (73.0cm)
    • Weight (empty): 54.5lbs (24.7kg); Weight (maximum): 151.5lbs (68.7kg)
    • ReadyRails II sliding rails for 4-post racks with square, round, or threaded holes
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