Review: Xenon Radon R1150 1U

Computerworld server review for mid-size organisation virtualisation

The Xenon Radon R1150 1U was reviewed as part of the Computerworld server review for mid-size organisation virtualisation.

Test configuration RRP: $3495

The Xenon Duo R1150 is the smallest of the servers tested at 1RU, with a small footprint to boot. The chassis is an off-the-shelf product that is cleanly designed and finished.

The server is powerful enough to run quite a few virtual servers, but it is in no way intended to be your one and only. It would happily sit in a rack with several other R1150s hosting part of the virtual server farm. Put simply, the R1150 does not have sufficient fault tolerance to function as a standalone device.

The two hot swap drive bays are very smooth in operation and the unit was configured with two 1TB Western Digital SATA drives. Cooling is provided by two large brushless blowers that are easily replaced should they fail. The case must be opened to replace faulty fans, however, and the 520W single power supply can only be replaced after delving into the case as well. The power supply does include two cooling fans so there is some redundancy should a fan fail.

The Supermicro X8DTL-iF motherboard has two gigabit LAN ports and six DIMM slots that support up to 48GB of DDR3 1333MHz ECC registered memory — the test unit shipped with 12GB. Dual 5500 series CPUs are supported and the test rig included a pair of 5520 2.26GHz quad core CPUs. A riser card with a single PCI Express 8x slot provides for additional expansion.

Management is restricted to Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) V2.0 and the motherboard vendor’s proprietary Super Doctor III. At first glance it would be easy to dismiss the Super Doctor as a simple health monitor but it is much more than that. The web-based remote management interface can monitor health and shutdown and reboot the server, but it also supplies a modest set of administration and system management tools and some fairly detailed performance monitoring. Admittedly, Super Doctor III is no competition to the likes of the HP administration tools but it may be all you need in some installations. CPU performance is typical of its processor class and while other vendors chose 2.5-inch 10,000 RPM drives, the Xenon servers were shipped with 3.5-inch 1TB drives with a rotation speed of just 7200 RPM. The R1150 generally lagged behind the fastest of the 10,000 RPM drives but was noticeably faster than the Xenon R4550 fitted with identical drives.

Verdict

The Xenon Radon R1150 1U is targeted at building an inexpensive server farm in your rack. A minimum of perhaps two Xenon Radon R1150 1Us would allow for redundancy and failover for mission critical applications and the cost will be about the same as the least expensive of the 2U servers, the Fujitsu Primergy RX300 S5

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