One of my earliest IT jobs, back in the last century, involved providing technical support for a Wang MP/M-based server that ran a dedicated word processing tool, database, and an accounting application. The large box sat next to departmental DBA’s and lived a totally unconnected life from the multiple IBM 360’s that were the “real” IT department of the company.
Well, dedicated machines like that have long since gone the way of the dodo, but departmental servers, either as a primary server for a small business or tied into corporate networks are a fact of life. And the Dell PowerEdge VRTX seems to be a reimagining of the small blade chassis/departmental server/small business server that can fit into quite a few roles and provide significant growth capabilities as a server and ease of management when part of a large corporate network. And it can even be installed next to somebody’s desk.
The VRTX, which will be available with an optional 5U rack mount kit as well as a standalone tower case, supports up to 4 nodes (2 CPUs per node and currently a max of 64 cores total), 3 TB of RAM and both 2.5” and 3.5” hot swappable hard drives with a current maximum of 48 TB of storage. But one feature that really sets the system apart is that it supports 8 shared PCIe slots that can use any standard rack server PCIe card rather than just proprietary vendor-specific solutions. The chassis mounted PCIe cards can be assigned to any of the blade servers (Standard Dell M620 datacenter blades), though not dynamically. Recognizing the additional PCIe slot requires power cycling the blade.
The server also fits in with the current dell server management applications, making it a good fit with Dell enterprise customers. And given that it is built with that level of service and reliability in mind, it should also be an excellent solution as a primary server for small businesses looking for a highly capable and expandable server solution that can grow with their business.