Shiny new hardware: Dell R720xd

October 19, 2012 Technical, General

We just received a shipment from Dell, it’s our new VPS hardware! Even the once-mighty leviathan is feeling rather humble these days.

She’s got a pair of hyperthreaded octo-core Xeons (32 logical cores, rawr!), 384GiB RAM and 15.6TB of bare disk capacity! Team that with a pair of 10Gbps network ports, a pair of 1Gbps ports, H710 RAID card and the latest iDRAC 7 for management (much improved over the iDRAC 6), and you’ve got one hell of a machine.

We popped the top on this beast, which attracted all the nerds like matter to a gravitational singularity.

Unlike most of our servers, which come in pairs, this one was received as a single unit. Once our usual burn-in process has been done (expected to take quite a while), it’ll be evaluated for suitability as a replacement for the R510 chassis model that we currently use for VPS hosts. It’s not going straight into production, so we don’t need an on-site spare just yet.

Let me tell you, this wasn’t cheap, so we didn’t want to fork out for a second one up-front.

The ‘xd’ in R720xd stands for eXtra Drives – 24 in the front, and 2 in the back. Just because they can.

The key incentive to push for such density is power savings. The current generation of VPS hosts sit at around several watts per VPS on average. We’ll need to do some testing, but we’re expecting that the new generation, if it works out, should be able to make significant further gains. Especially compared to the physical chassis that a VPS replaces it’s a vast improvement, so it’s something we’re awaiting with bated breath.