Dell PowerEdge 6650 Server Reviews
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***Bottom-Line***: If you are looking for a powerful, reliable, versatile, reasonably priced file server, the medium-footprint Dell **PowerEdge 6650** Enterprise-class** **application server will most certainly fit the bill.
A business, any business, runs on information, and applications, internal and external. Increasingly applications-especially those offered by external vendors-have become more and more complicated, and need to be phased into the production environment over time, taking into account the applications affect on the current environment. This means testing the application before it enters production. More applications mean more testing; we use Microsoft's *Virtual Server 2005* to simulate our real-world production environment, but that application requires robust hardware in order to run. Enter the *Dell ***PowerEdge 6650** 4U rack mountable server.
The *Dell* **PowerEdge 6650** is the little brother of the *Dell* **PowerEdge 6600**, which is a 7U tower and rack-mounted server box. The **PowerEdge 6650** is not small server-it is designed to fit into a 4U rack space-but it is a compact design, fitting upward to four processor, up to 32GB of Ram, and five hard drives. Access to the innards of the server is amazingly simple; the top cover-in two pieces-comes completely off the unit exposing the motherboard, processor assemblies, RAM slots, and other electronics.
The RAM is situated at the front of the server on the left hand side, in two riser cards witch hold 16MB each. Directly behind the RAM riser cards are four processors complete with heat sinks. The processors snap in and out with ease.
The *Dell* **PowerEdge 6650** was designed as** **a general purpose highly available, high performance application and or database server, with a sweet combination of power processing and storage capacity. The **PowerEdge 6650** 4U** **server supports four 64-bit Intel Xeon (single and or dual core) processors with processor clock speeds of up to 3.0GHz with a 400MHz FSB (Front Side Bus) and up to 2MB of L2 level cache. The **PowerEdge 6650** features the Intel ServerWorks Grand Champion HE (GC-HE) chipset that supports seven 64-bit PCI-X slots, a maximum 32GB of DDR266 SDRAM in sixteen slots and embedded single-channel RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Drives) with 128MB cache and battery backup.
The **PowerEdge 6650** is capable of housing up to five hot-pluggable (swappable), one-inch SCSI Ultra 320 hard drives in sizes ranging from 18GB - 146GB for up to 730GB of storage. This can further be broken down thusly: 36GB - 146GB (Ultra320 SCSI) at 10,000 rpm, and 18GB - 73GB (Ultra320 SCSI) at 15,000 rpm. The server also features redundant hot-pluggable cooling fans, an optional hot-pluggable redundant power supply's.
For backup and archiving vital system and data files, the **PowerEdge 6650** has the capacity to interface with Dell's **PowerVault** External SCSI storage units; i.e. PowerVault 114T, 122T, 128T, 132T and 136T) and **Dell/EMC Fibre Channel** storage.
The front of the black **PowerEdge 6650** is taken up mostly by the five SCSI drive bays, which are situated along the right of the server. On top of the drive bays sit the floppy and CD-ROM drives. Unlike other Dell servers, the **PowerEdge 6650** does no have any front USB ports. To the far right are a monitor output, and various small status lights and a very small display screen. 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 **PowerEdge 6650** is equally as compact; here you will find the dual NIC's, dual USB ports, an external low voltage SCSI port, and the ubiquitous monitor, mouse, and keyboard ports, as well as two hot-swappable 900W redundant power supplies.
**My Viewpoint **
The business has some twenty **PowerEdge 6650 **servers** **installed in both our data center and test lab. As I mentioned above we use the servers for both production and development installations of *Microsoft Virtual Server*, but we also utilize the servers for SQL database storage, a role for which they are ideally suited. However, because the **PowerEdge 6650** 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 four dual core processors coupled with fast RAM and 15K SCSI hard drives make the **PowerEdge 6650** a performance star. Actual, real world throughput (file transfers to and from the server), is outstanding, especially when it comes to running a virtual server environment, or serving up SQL derived data. The **PowerEdge 6650**'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.
If you are looking for a reliable, versatile, powerful and reasonably priced application server, the medium-footprint black Dell **PowerEdge 6650** Enterprise-class** **application server will most certainly fit the bill.