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Transtec CALLEO 302L Server

Step 6: Transtec CALLEO 302L Server
Price
£5,369
  • Fastest quad-core Xeons included, masses of memory supplied and still room for more, plenty of storage possibilities, 3TB of SATA storage provided, very good overall value.
  • Two separate RAID controllers required to support all drive bays.

Over the past few years Transtec has made significant inroads into the European server market and has traditionally sourced its products from Supermicro and Intel. For the CALLEO 302L Server on review, Transtec gives Supermicro yet another bite of the cherry as it also uses the same chassis as Rackservers.com.

Internal differences are significant, though, as Transtec opted for a Supermicro X7DBE+ motherboard. The most noticeable feature is the bank of sixteen DIMM sockets which allows memory to be expanded right up to 64GB. And there's plenty of room to add more even though Transtec has already included a whopping 16GB in the price. It's also been generous in the processor department as you get a pair of 2.6GHz 5355 Xeons - the fastest quad-cores currently available. These are mounted by chunky passive heatsinks and partnered by a bank of three large cooling fans. A transparent plastic shroud directs air flow but noise levels are high enough to preclude this system from being located in an office environment.

From a storage perspective we reckon the X7DB3 motherboard in the 6025B-3RB system is a better bet as it comes with embedded SATA and SAS controllers plus the ZCR slot. The 302L only offers the on-board SATA controller so Transtec has had to come up with a workaround to allow it to support all eight disk bays. For the quad of 750GB SATA drives it has slotted in a four-port 3Ware PCI-X RAID card which can be upgraded with an optional battery backup pack. The four empty bays are wired through to the motherboard ports and the embedded Intel ESB2 controller also supports RAID-5 and -50 arrays as well. In our book, not an ideal solution but it does work.

For server management, Transtec has also included Supermicro's IPMI 2.0 compliant remote management card in the motherboard's dedicated slot. For general management whilst the server is operational you can also use the bundled SuperO Doctor III software which allows the server to be accessed remotely via a web browser. It's not as sophisticated as HP's or Dell's solutions but the interface is nicely designed and offers good access to all components plus plenty of monitoring and alerting features.

You can keep a close eye on general system health, monitor critical system components and send out warnings if problems are detected. Basic remote control facilities are also provided so you can access the server from another system, gracefully shutdown the OS and control power. The motherboard also has an embedded IPMI 2.0 controller chip which is accessed using the bundled IPMI View tool which provides direct access to the server even when it's powered off.

Verdict

A solid rack server with an extremely good hardware package for the price which includes 3TB of SATA storage although the RAID arrangements aren't ideal.

Motherboard - Supermicro X7DBE+
CPU - 2 x 2.66GHz Xeon 5355
Chipset - Intel 5000P
Memory - 16GB 667MHz FB-DIMMS expandable to 64GB
Storage controller - Intel/3Ware
Disk interface - SATA
Disk drives - 4 x 750GB Seagate Barracuda 3Gbps/SATA
RAID controller - Intel ESB2/3Ware 8550SX-4LP
Expansion slots - PCI-e8X, 2 x PCI-e4X, 3 x PCI-X
Network ports - 2 x Intel Gigabit
Power - 2 x 700W
Management software - Supermicro SuperO Doctor
IPMI View
Other - Supermicro OPT-SIMLP-B+
Warranty - Three yrs on-site NBD

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