***Bottom-Line***: If you are looking for a powerful, reliable, versatile, reasonably priced file server, the medium-footprint Dell **PowerEdge 2850** Enterprise-class** **application server will most certainly fit the bill. Open the door to any modern Network Operations Center (NOC) and you are liable to find all manner of rack mounted servers contently humming away within. From the small 1U's to the power hungry and space happy 6U's servers are the life's blood of the NOC; in fact they are the only reason such facilities exist at all. Dell offers a large variety of rack mountable boxes, including the 2U workhorse, the *Dell ***PowerEdge 2850** rack mountable server. **The Server ** Dell designed the **PE 2850** for high-availability, 24/7 NOC operations. The server features hot-pluggable 15,000-rpm SCSI hard drives, internal cooling fans, power supplies, and memory banks. The **PE 2850's** dual Nocona-based 3.6-GHz Xeon-based motherboard also features the new Lindenhurst (7520) server chipset which allows for memory mirroring; this technology allows you to keep an extra set of memory modules preinstalled in spare memory banks, ready to cut over automatically if the primary set fails; clustering for memory! The Nocona-based Xeon processor (with 800MHz FSB) has Intel's EM64T technology (64-bit support); for you Red hat Linux fans out there, this Power Edge is for you. But Microsoft Windows fans can take heart; the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 is on the street, with full 64-bit memory address spaces and 64-bit native application support. Microsoft offers two versions of Windows in 64-bit: *Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Enterprise Edition*. Also, the long awaited Longhorn is a 64-bit platform. Like all Dell PowerEdge servers, the **PE 2850** has an LCD panel on the front to display messages from the system or the Dell OpenManage software suite. Granted the display is capable of only one line of text, but it has proven useful in the past in providing a quick diagnoses of a particular problem. The **PE 2850** 4U server supports (2) 64-bit Intel Xeon (single and or dual core) processors with processor clock speeds of up to 3.8GHz with a 800MHz FSB and up to 2MB of L2 level cache. The PE 2850 is capable of housing up to six hot-pluggable, one-inch SCSI Ultra 320 hard drives in sizes ranging from 18GB - 300GB for up to 1.2 TB of storage. Hard drive capacity is broken down by the following: 36GB - 300GB (Ultra320 SCSI) at 10,000 rpm, and 18GB - 146GB (Ultra320 SCSI) at 15,000 rpm. RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 or 50 is supported for data redundancy. Dell has given the **PE 2850** many distinctive design features that make the server easy to deploy, service, and manage locally or remotely., such as a tool-less chassis, which enables you to quickly and simply reach components for easy maintenance; the motherboard for instance can be completely swapped out in under a five minutes. Dell's *Open Manage *(now on Version 4.5), suite of software enhances manageability, from initial server start-up through everyday operations by allowing for server hardware management via a web interface. Combining performance, availability and configuration flexibility, the **PE 2850** server is an ideal solution for small-to-medium businesses where space might be a consideration, and remote sites that require robust internal storage, PCI expandability and high availability features. The front of the black **PE 2850** is taken up mostly by the six 1 inch SCSI drive bays. On top of the drive bays sit the floppy and CD-ROM drives. To the far left of the chassis sit (2) USB ports, the small aforementioned LCD display, a power button, a video connector, as well as NIC status lights. The front of the unit is covered with a removable, lockable black and silver bezel with a long blue status light to the left of the round silver Dell logo. During normal operations the light will remain blue, but if a problem occurs the light will blink red. The back of the **PE 2850** is equally as compact; on the far right you will find the dual GB NIC's, dual USB ports, which sit underneath the (3) PCI/PCI-X expansion slots. To the left of these connections sit the ubiquitous monitor, mouse, and keyboard ports, as well as and optional remote access controller port, and two hot-swappable 700W redundant power supplies. **My Viewpoint** The business has ten **PE 2850 **servers** **installed in our NOC and test lab. We use the servers for both production and development installations of Microsoft SQL Servers, for SQL database storage, a role for which they are ideally suited. We also use several for other high processor intense applications such as Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM). However, because the **PE 2850** is highly scalable, the box could just as easily be used as a departmental file, or specialized server such as a Windows 2003 domain controller, or a Web backend application server. The two dual core processors coupled with fast RAM and 15K SCSI hard drives make the **PE 2850** a performance star. Actual, real world throughput (file transfers to and from the server), is outstanding, especially when it comes to serving up SQL derived data. The **PE 2850**'s in our inventory are at the top of the performance curve, and they are dependable and boost enough power to meet all of current and future application needs. To date we have had very few issues with the servers. If you are looking for a reliable, (very) versatile, powerful and reasonably priced application server, the small-footprint Dell **PowerEdge 2850** Enterprise-class** **application server will most certainly fit the bill.