Broadberry CyberServe X55-RS500 review

Asus attempts to take on the might of HP and Dell in the rack server market. Broadberry’s latest CyberServe offers plenty of interesting features but can it cut the mustard against the big boys? We review it to find out.

Broadberry CyberServe X55-RS500

Storage options in the review system are limited to SATA support, which is handled by the embedded Intel controller. This provides six internal ports and support for mirrors, stripes and RAID-5 in Windows. However, the row of eight SAS ports down the left side of the main board tie in with Asus' new optional PIKE (proprietary I/O kit expansion) module and offer more storage possibilities.

Near the back of the board are two proprietary slots into which a PIKE board is placed which activates the SAS ports and provides more RAID options. The LSI1064E and LSI1068E versions add support for mirrored or striped SAS drives whilst the LSI1078 adds RAID5, 6, 50 and 60 to the mix.

The high-end LSI1078 PIKE board costs 149 but its support for up to eight drives is wasted as the CyberServe can only manage four. Furthermore, the drive backplane isn't bridged to the motherboard so you'll need to use standard SAS cables.

For the network connection you get a pair of Gigabit ports but we are now seeing many 1U server targeting virtualisation duties and coming as standard with four ports. However, further expansion is possible as a riser card converts one 16X PCI-e slot into two. Asus Flex-E feature comes into play here as if you use both slots they drop to 8X but if only the left one is used it switches up to 16X.

Power options are also limited as the chassis only supports a single 600W fixed supply. This is an 80 Plus compliant supply, which means it's certified as highly energy efficient but we would have expected to see options for dual hot-plug supplies.

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.