Dell PowerEdge R820 review

Dell’s PowerEdge R820 is the first Xeon E5-4600 production server to market. We take a look at this compact four-socket server, which can be used to manage heavy duty databases, virtualisation, HPC and VDI hosting.

Remote management

Dell gives you a choice of network ports as the R820 has a proprietary slot at the rear which accepts Broadcom and Intel based NIC daughtercards. The review system came with an Intel quad-port Gigabit card but you can opt for a version with dual 10GBase-T/dual Gigabit ports which includes FCoE offload on the 10GbE ports.

There's plenty of room to expand as even with the RAID card in residence, there are still six PCI-e Gen3 slots available. Dell is moving into VDI applications and offers NVIDIA Q2000 GPU cards for the R820.

Dell PowerEdge R820

Dell PowerEdge R820

Along with the iDRAC7, you can remotely monitor the server via the browser based OpenManage Server Administrator

For remote management you can start with Dell's new iDRAC7 management controller. This slick web interface easily matches HP's iLO3 when it comes to features. If you want remote control and virtual media services you need to upgrade to the Enterprise version which has been made much easier as all the hardware is already in place and just requires a software key to activate it.


Dell is vying closely with HP for the second spot in the worldwide 4P server market, according to analysts at IDC. The PowerEdge R820 undoubtedly strengthens Dell's position as it is superbly designed and is the first Xeon E5-4600 system.

ITPRO Recommended award


The PowerEdge R820 showcases Intel’s latest E5-4600 Xeons in a superbly built system packed with features. The modest dimensions will appeal to space constrained data centres looking a balanced combination of processing density, high memory capacity, low power consumption and value.

Chassis: 2U rack CPU: 4 x 2.2GHz Xeon E5-4607 Memory: 96GB 1.35V DDR3 expandable to 1.5TB (LR-DIMMs) Storage: 5 x 300GB Dell SAS 2 SFF 15K hot-swap hard disks (max. 16) RAID: Dell PERC H710P with 1GB NVRAM cache Array support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 6 Expansion: 7 x PCI-e Gen3 slots Network: 4 x Gigabit Power: 2 x 1100W hot-plug supplies Management: Dell iDRAC7 Enterprise with 10/100 and 8GB vFlash card Software: Dell Management Console Warranty: 3yrs on site NBD

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.