Dell PowerEdge T110 II review

Dell wants to convince small businesses to throw out their old desktop and get a real server instead. Dave Mitchell thinks its latest Xeon E3 equipped PowerEdge T110 II is a good choice as a first server - read his review to find out why.

IT Pro Verdict

The PowerEdge T110 II is a fine choice for small businesses looking for their first server as it combines a balanced blend of build quality, features, expansion potential and value. The price of our review system may seem quite high but it does include a good specification along with a three year on-site warranty. If the price is too high however, Dell offers enough options to allow you to find the best balance between price and performance.

ITPRO Value award

Of all the main server manufacturers Dell has the sharpest focus on small businesses and has traditionally offered an extensive choice of single socket, entry-level systems. The new PowerEdge T110 II is its first Xeon E3 pedestal server and it targets small businesses looking for their first purpose built server or an affordable replacement for their old server which they've probably had for far too long.

Prices start at a remarkably low 239 ex VAT, but this only gets you a basic system with a dual-core 2.6GHz Pentium G620 processor, 1GB of RAM, one 250GB SATA hard disk, no operating system and a one year next business day warranty. The system on review costs a lot more but it does include plenty of extra goodies.

The new PowerEdge T110 II targets small businesses looking for their first purpose built server or an affordable replacement for their old server.

For starters, it was supplied to us with a high-end quad-core 3.4GHz Xeon E3-1270 processor. Intel's Xeon E3 family now consists of twelve members of which Dell offers four models for the T110 II. You can slash up to 110 off our price by opting for the slightly slower 3.1GHz Xeon E3-1220.

You can also cut costs further with the operating system as Dell can provide the T110 II with Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation pre-installed instead of Standard. It only costs 146 and as it came pre-installed on the review system we've included this in the price.

Foundation is a good choice for small businesses, but it has some limitations that you need to be aware of. It's 64-bit only, supports a single processor socket and a maximum of 8GB of memory. It can handle up to thirty simultaneous inbound connections and supports a maximum of fifteen Windows user accounts.

Dell is also offering the T110 II with Microsoft's latest SBS 2011. This could be a popular choice for this server especially as Dell is currently throwing in a free 8GB memory upgrade with the five CAL Standard version.

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.