**Bottom Line:** If your organization is looking for very powerful, reliable, versatile, application and or file platform, the reasonably priced Dell **PowerEdge 6600 **enterprise-class server for medium-to-large organizations might be for you. The previous company I worked for purchased two brand spanking new **Dell PowerEdge 6600** enterprise-class application servers to replace the businesses older-still reliable-but increasingly storage challenged, *PowerEdge 6450's*, which housed a number of developmental and production databases centered on Microsoft's SQL platform. Why the **PowerEdge 6600**? The choice was the result of balancing cost, performance, storage, flexibility, service, and reliability. Since Dell was the current server vendor, I needed to research and spec a pair of servers that would stay within the businesses budget, including maintenance agreements, but still offer the power, storage, and flexibility needed to run our growing database operations. The result: the **PowerEdge 6600**. The **PowerEdge 6600** can support up to (4) Intel Xeon processors at speeds ranging from 2.0GHz to 3.0Ghz with available 1MB - 4MB of L3 cache. Flexibility is the cornerstone of the **PowerEdge 6600's** design; the sever can house 12 Ultra320 SCSI "Smart" hard drives ("Smart hard drives notify you of potential failures before they occur), (8) of which are hot-swappable, for a maximum storage capacity of 1.7 Terabytes (TB) (1,752GB). The server supports the following SCSI drives 36GB, 73GB, and 146GB (10,000 rpm) and 18GB, 36GB, 73GB (15,000) Ultra320 hard drives in any number of combinations. SCSI drive control is accomplished via the embedded single channel Ultra3 (U160) controller delivering 320MB/s of bandwidth, while the RAID array is hosted by a single embedded PERC3/DC dual-channel RAID Controller with 128MB Cache. The **PowerEdge 6600** servers also* "include hot-plug redundant power supplies, fans and PCI slots so that you can replace components without powering the server down. Plus, the dual embedded Gigabit Network Interface Cards (NICs) provide failover support and help maximize I/O throughput for increased availability and reliability. The PowerEdge 6600 provides up to 32GB of double data rate (DDR) SDRAM and support four-way memory interleaving for higher SDRAM bandwidth." * What I found interesting and very helpful is the **PowerEdge 6600's** unique modular chassis designed to provide easy access to the internals of the server, making serviceability, a snap. **My Viewpoint ** I am very happy with my choice of the **PowerEdge 6600**. Be forewarned the **PowerEdge 6600 **is a large and heavy server; have at least two people ready to help you life it out of the box and put it into place. As pointed out above the server access cover is easy to manipulate and remove, affording easy access from the side in order to add and remove the redundant power supplies, fans, PCI cards, memory, etc. The CPUs are placed in their own individual hot-pluggable modules are easy to remove as well. The panel is lockable, as is the front bezel which covers the hot-swappable SCSI drives, CD-RW/DVD, TBU, and floppy drive. The redundant power supplies make 24/7/365 operations stress free; I am secure in the knowledge that if one malfunctions, the other will seamlessly take over ensuring continued operations. The hot-swappable drives, or hot-pluggable if you prefer, help ensure continuity of operation in the event of a hard drive failure, and Dell's front panel displays go a long way to warn me of impending problems. The **PowerEdge 6600's** support for Quad Xeon processors, up to 32GB of ECC SDRAM, up to 1.7TB of hard drive space in twelve SCSI drives bays (eight hot swappable), not to mention support for fiber-array external storage, make these servers ideal doe today's demanding and often fickle network environment. Updating and or servicing these heavy servers is made easy by the chassis' modular design and tool-free components, while redundancy and continuity of service is built-in with the inclusion of dual power supply's and hot-swappable SCSI drives. The addition of the PowerVault 110T DLT-VS160 internal TBU increases the versatility of the **PowerEdge 6600 **allowing for independent backup and archiving of vital system and data files. If your organization is looking for very powerful, reliable, versatile, application and or file platform, the reasonably priced Dell **PowerEdge 6600 **enterprise-class server for medium-to-large organizations might be for you. **PowerEdge 6600 Features (Per Dell Stated Specifications) ** - **Form Factor:** Tower or 7U rack-mount. - **Processors:** Up to four Intel Xeon processors at 2.0GHz/1MB L3 cache; 2.2GHz/2MB; 2.7GHz/2MB and 3.0GHz/4MB. - **Front Side Bus:** 400MHz - **Cache:** 512k and up to 4MB L3 - **Chipset: **ServerWorks GC-HE - **Memory: **Support for up to** **32GB DDR266 ECC SDRAM; four-way interleaving. - **Graphics:** Integrated ATI-Rage IIc controller with 8MB of SDRAM. - **I/O channels (14) total: **(10) PCI X slots (64-bit 100MHz); (1) PCI (32-bit 33MHz); (1) embedded Ultra3 (U160) SCSI controller, and dual embedded Gigabit Ethernet NICs (64bit/66MHz). - **Drive controllers:** Embedded single channel Ultra3 (U160) SCSI. - **RAID controller: **Standard PERC3/DC dual-channel /w 1 internal, 1 external channels - **Drive bays:** Standard internal hard drive bays to support up to (8) x 1" Ultra320 SCSI hot-plug hard drives; optional 4 x 1" media drive bays for (1) 24x IDE CD-ROM, 8x DVD-ROM, 24x, CD-RW/DVD, and (1) 3.5" 1.44MB floppy drive. - **Internal Storage: **1.7 Terabytes (TB) Max. - **Hard drives: **36GB, 73GB, and 146GB (10,000 rpm) and 18GB, 36GB, 73GB (15,000) Ultra320 SCSI. - **External Storage: **SCSI and fibre channel storage systems. - **Tape backup options: ** - --*Internal:* PowerVault 110T PowerVault DLT VS80 (40GB/80GB); PowerVault 110T PowerVault DLT VS160 (80GB/160GB); PowerVault 110T DLT7000 (35GB/70GB); PowerVault 110T LTO (100GB/200GB); PowerVault 110T SDLT (110GB/220GB). - --*External:* PowerVault 120T DDS4 Autoloader (160GB/320GB); PowerVault 120T DLT1 Autoloader (280GB/560GB); PowerVault 128T LTO Mini-Library (2TB/4TB); PowerVault 128T SDLT Mini-Library (2.2TB/4.4TB); PowerVault 136T SDLT Library (6.6TB/13.2TB); PowerVault 136T LTO Library (7.2TB/14.4TB). - **Network interface card:** (2) embedded Broadcom Gigabit BaseT. - **Optional software Factory Installed O/S:** Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition; Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition; Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server; Microsoft Windows 2000 Standard; Red Hat Linux 9.0; Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1.