IT Pro Verdict
The TX1330 M2 is great choice for SMBs as this tower server has room to expand with demand plus integral power protection. What's more, it's very good value, too
Excellent value, Huge storage potential; Quiet; Smart internal UPS; Good server management software
No embedded OS deployment tools
SMBs that want an affordable tower server with some innovative features will find Fujitsu's Server Primergy TX1330 M2 could be the perfect fit.
Despite its modest dimensions, the TX1330 M2 has an impressive expansion potential and Fujitsu's integrated battery backup unit (FJBU) provides power protection without the expense of an external UPS.
Its low price will also appeal to IT managers on a tight budget. Our review system costs 1,663 ex VAT and includes a fast 3.3GHz E3-1225 v5 Xeon, a generous 32GB of DDR4 memory, a good storage starter package and the FJBU.
The server can be tailored to fit your budget as Fujitsu offers cheaper dual-core Pentium G4400 or Core i3-6100 CPUs. If you want quad cores you can choose from five standard Xeon E3 v5 models including a low-power 2GHz E3-1240L v5 version with a small 25W TDP.
The server has a clean internal design and tons of room for storage expansion
The server starts with a basic four-bay LFF cold-swap cage and can be expanded all the way to 24 SFF hot-swap drives. The entry LFF model has the drive cage located at the front behind the lockable cover and utilizes the motherboard's Intel C236 chip to provide support for SATA drives plus stripes and mirrors.
You can add two more 4-bay LFF cages and a neat feature is the backplanes are SAS 3-ready. Our system came with one 8-drive SFF cage cabled directly to Fujitsu's PRAID CP400i PCI-Express RAID card.
This SAS3 card adds support for RAID5 and 50 arrays. If you want 1GB or 2GB of cache then specify the EP400i or EP420i SAS3 models which both offer RAID6 and 60 arrays.
With room for two more cages in the front panel you can add blocks of eight drives as required making the TX1330 M2 a good long-term investment. SFF and LFF drive cages can also be mixed in the same chassis and the optional SAS expander board allows one RAID card to rule them all.
The embedded iRMC S4 chip provides power usage graphs for up to five years
The server is remotely monitored via its embedded iRMC S4 controller and dedicated Gigabit port. It isn't as well designed as HPE's iLO4, but the iRMC's web interface provides plenty of data on critical components and remote power controls but you will need an Advanced Pack license upgrade (around 250) for OS remote control.
Fujitsu includes its ServerView Suite software with all Primergy servers which is looking dated and in need of a redesign. Smaller businesses can get by easily with the System Monitor utility as this provides a simple console with at-a-glance details on critical components and system alerts.
Loading an OS on the server still requires it to be booted with the ServerView Installation Manager CD. It only took 40 minutes to install Windows Server 2012 R2 but we prefer Dell's LifeCycle Controller and HPE's Intelligent Provisioning which both provide embedded OS deployment services.
Fujitsu's System Monitor provides a tidy dashboard of details on system and component status
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.