2U Rack Servers

Evesham Technology has always been a big fan of Intel's server packages so it comes as no surprise to see the SilverEdge 2000AL comprising the latter's SR2500AL solution. This is the LX version which comes equipped with an active disk drive mid-plane which incorporates an eight-port SAS controller supporting hot-swap plus stripes and mirrors. On the review system, Evesham has included the activation key and mini-DIMM cache memory module which brings RAID-5 and -50 into play but at this price we would have expected to see a battery backup pack as well.

The front panel is reasonably well designed and comes as standard with five hot-swap bays supporting 3.5in drives and for your money you're getting a triplet of the very latest 300GB Seagate Cheetah 15K.5 high performance SAS drives. There is room for up to six drives in this server but note that the sixth bay can only be activated with an optional conversion kit. Although build quality isn't up with the likes of HP or Fujitsu Siemens, internal layout is nice and tidy with good access afforded to all components. The fast 2.66GHz 5355 Xeons are covered with very large passive heatsinks and partnered by a bank of six hot-swap fans although we found this was one of the noisier servers on test.

A unique feature of the motherboard that spices up expansion options is the 50-pin mezzanine style connector, which sits alongside the remote management card. Intel currently offers three optional I/O controller modules which add external dual Gigabit Ethernet, four SAS or a single Infiniband port. The module utilises a small slot at the rear of the chassis and adding one won't lose any slots on the riser card either.

Intel has made significant inroads into server management as its software and hardware bundle is now a force to be reckoned with. For starters you get its Active System Console, which opens, with a screen full of chunky icons for quick access to each key component and if any faults are detected the relevant icon changes colour.

For a more detailed view of the server you can use the LANDesk System Manager which runs scheduled network discoveries, collects hardware inventory details and uses sets of monitoring rules which can be customised for each server. Even better is the system includes Intel's new RMM module which provides a dedicated network port that allows the server to be remotely managed via a secure web browser session Full remote control is provided as standard and you can designate a floppy or CD-ROM drive on the management system as a virtual device on the managed system.


High noise levels limit this to the server room but Evesham is offering a good storage proposition with room to grow and some unusual I/O expansion features.

Motherboard - Intel S5000PAL CPU - 2 x 2.66GHz Xeon 5355 Chipset - Intel 5000P Memory - 2GB 667MHz FB-DIMMs expandable to 32GB Storage controller - embedded Intel SAS18E Disk interface - SAS Disk drives - 3 x 300GB Seagate Cheetah 15K.5 SAS hard disks RAID controller - Intel with key and cache memory Expansion slots - 2 x PCI-e8X, 2 x PCI-e4X 1 x PCI-X Network ports - 2 x Intel Gigabit Power - 1 x 750W Management software - Intel Systems Management Suite Other - Intel RMM Warranty - Three yrs on-site

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.