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I'm in the market for a single unit rack mounted server with a strong upgrade pathway.

The two servers on the top of my wish list are:

IBM x3550 M2 Express

Followed by

Dell R610

Ultimately I want to have a Dual Quad Xeon (2 Ghz+) server with loads of RAM for a top notch DB server. The database is likely to keep growing indefinitly so a snappy Raid 5 array of Harddrives will be essential.

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closed as too localized by Ben Pilbrow, Mark Henderson Apr 11 '11 at 21:45

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Community Wiki, methinks. This thread could get a bit warm if vendor loyalty is strong. =) – Wesley Apr 23 '10 at 5:19
Closing this (old) question as too localised (It's been a year, peoples choices will have changed as technology changes). Additional, we don't do shopping. – Mark Henderson Apr 11 '11 at 21:45

Whatever matches the servers you already have in order to make support simpler?

All our servers are from Dell or Apple so I'd get the R610... all our support team are familiar with how Dell servers work and as I say above minimising the amount of different vendors kit in your server rooms makes support easier.

From a quick glance, the IBM server supports more RAM, if that is likely to ever become a factor.

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This is my first server – Harry Apr 23 '10 at 5:38
Yeah i'm liking the 16 slots (versus 12). If only 8GB sticks were cheaper! Waiting to hear back from IBM for a quote. If i'm reading their information correctly the base spec is much cheaper than Dell – Harry Apr 23 '10 at 5:41
If the spec is base then go for IBM. But if the server is going to grow, you need to count more than just the base, you'll have to take future upgrades into consideration. If the server is going to be remote, you'll definitely require at least an IMM/DRAC card – dyasny Apr 23 '10 at 7:58
@ dyasny, I think all new Dell servers include the DRAC as part of the base spec. If it's an extra on the IBM then this is something to consider. @ Harry - the extra slots are only important if they will be used, of course. I've seen a lot of places buy servers based on "internet expansion potential" and never ever open the case door until the server is scrapped. – RobM Apr 23 '10 at 11:11
i'm starting to downsize my requirements. 8 dimm slots maybe more than enough elbow room – Harry Apr 28 '10 at 3:27

"Snappy R5"...hmmm, planning on doing a fair amount of writes? if so why not do the right thing and go with R10.

Also consider;

IBM x3550 M3 - quad-core 55xx-series Xeons, 6 disk slots, 16 memory slots (which is an odd number for a QPI-equipped box by the way)

Dell R610 - quad-core 55xx-series Xeons, 6 disk slots, 12 memory slots


HP DL360 - six-core 56xx-series Xeons, 8 disk slots, 18 memory slots

Obviously Dell will be cheaper for most but I'd rather you have the specs to consider.

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Thanks for the advise re R10. I'm totally noob when it comes to Raids so will be doing a fair bit of research on the type and setup before hand – Harry Apr 24 '10 at 0:28

If this server is going to be hosted, you need to check if the server you're looking to buy comes with the rails that will support the DC's racks. Also, check the total cost, including the pricing. Dells come with a 4hr warranty - something not to be neglected in mission critical environments, IBM's might have something similar as well. If you are well familiar with either brand and it's specifics (like Dell OMSA and ITAssistant for instance), then I'd suggest you take it, if everything else is not a determining factor.

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The X3550 M2 is no longer available. You would be looking at the X3550 M3 which has the option of the 5600 xeon and expanded memory capability. Here's a link to the system.

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I'm still waiting to get a response from one of the IBM resellers. IBM called and have passed on my details to one of them. – Harry Apr 28 '10 at 3:26

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