Up grading 7 year old servers

Hello everybody it has finally become time to upgrade our at least 7 years old servers. I'm going to need 2 types of servers, first i'll need one server with 4 drives in (RIAD 10), Secondly I'll need 2 servers with 2 drives in (RAID 1) . The First server (RAID 10) will be for databases and network storage. The 2 (RAID 1) servers would be for running the network (i.e. DNS, Active Directory, Virtual servers). They do need to be rack servers. I would like to here you thoughts and welcome any input.

Here are some that I have found from dell

Servers ( 2 RAID 1 servers )

PowerEdge R210II Rack Server (cheaper)

PowerEdge R220 Rack Server

Servers ( 1 RAID 10)

PowerEdge R420 (cheaper)

PowerEdge R520


That's a bummer that they have to be rack.  I bought a Xeon based PowerEdge T20 and it was cheap and great for my purposes.

That being said, I think you've already found the best bargain in those Dells you mentioned.  HP, Lenovo (formerly IBM)... even self built will be more expensive than those.  Just get your memory and drives from somewhere else.

looked at supermicro? Dell has lost their minds.

We have a Dell account, but they jack with the prices. Their business strategy for commercial gear seems to be: Make web pricing outrageous, give okay pricing through a rep for a while, then jack up the price. 

I've about had it with our Dell rep. Literally you can buy a Dell from NewEgg cheaper than through Dell. Hilariously, you can buy a Dell on eBay through Dell New In Box (no customization) for hilariously cheaper than directly through dell.

Not server, but just the other day I needed to order about 50 optiplex PCs. Dell quote? $1600 per machine. Newegg price? About $950 per machine. Service Plan, warranty, specs, part #s, everything was exactly identical. Sent my rep a link to newegg. The response I got? "Meh"

Literally. "Meh"

I predict Dell's implosion and I have sold my stock in Dell. I really didn't think they could behave any more stupidly than HP. I was wrong.

So, have a look at superMicro. For what you would spend on two rack servers, you could probably get three supermicro servers.

Be sure to also get the LSI raid controller, or the raid controller designed for use in the case. That's so you can get the SMB connections for extra monitoring.

This would support the 95W TDP 26xx Xeons, dual 8 core would be perfect for a DB server. CPUs would be $1500-$2500 and an obscene amount of ram. 


Something bigger, suitable for 130W TDP E5 Xeons:



Though this close to 2011-3 you're best off to wait till 2011 stuff goes on sale (hint hint the above stuff) or the 2011-3 is likely to be the same price as the above stuff, once it's out. Don't know Exactly when Xeon will hit general availability. Probably Novemberish



I should have been a bit clear on this subject, they need to be pre-built and come with warranty or I won't get funding for this project. @Wendell I would love to build one my self but as aforementioned they need to be pre-built and come with warranty. I will look in to supermicro as they are mostly what we have now, I just went with dell because we also have Dell account. I was also looking into some of the proprietary raid cards dell uses and they did not seem to over well with a bunch of people.

Would any of you guys recommend servers direct or asa computers or be able to recommend a site like it in north america, because I like being able to pull down and select witch parts I want within the case ( that is just me being lazy). 

I too have experienced a situation similar to what Wendell described.  Dell service reps used to really be able to configure a system...  but now... not at all below an artificially inflated floor.

Like I mentioned, with the T20, which is a 'preconfigured' server (no changes allowed), that happened to hit what I needed.  If you have something that fits what Dell offers, then it might be an OK deal.

Once you start to get into custom territory, Supermicro vs Dell, the price difference gets small enough that the PHBs say to just buy the Dell.  I've usually mitigated this buy buying stripped down Dell configs and building up RAM and disk from 3rd party sources (NewEgg, Amazon).  That usually is OK with the PHBs.

It sucks because Dell used to be sort of OK.  I let them know about my dissatisfaction with the lack of customization (especially dialing back default configs to bare minimum).  The low tier exec. I spoke with didn't express too much remorse.  These changes in pricing seem to correlate to being bought out.  Looks like new owners and management found a way to increase profit at the expense of volume.  Wendell couldn't have kept his stock if he wanted to  ;)

Good luck on your purchase.  You're kind-of between a rock and a hard place.

(FYI, I worked for a company that got bought by Dell.  I found a new job within a month of the transition.  The Dell buyout ruined any opportunity for me there (massive offshoring), and only the people who couldn't find a better job elsewhere [they were overpaid by the previous company] stayed.  I doubt they will still be there in another 2 years.)

what about this? they're a VAR (value-added reseller) of Supermicro:


Full coverage, turn key, ready to buy. You can go over with your PHB that the only parts in it that aren't supermicro are the CPUs, ram and drives. But they're "professionally installed and certified" so you can get some pretty awesome deals.

 p.s. I'll see you in hell, michael dell (lol)


Thanks for your help, I'll report back with what I order.

Update: I got funding and i'm able to build it my self. i'm ordering 1x SUPERMICRO SYS-6017R-WRF 1U, 2 x 16GB DDR3 1600 Memory, 2x Intel Xeon E5-2609, 2 x 1TB, 4 X TB ( Raid 5). for storage needs i'm qnap TS-469U-RP.