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Dell PowerEdge R720 Review

Dell PowerEdge R720 Review

The Dell PowerEdge R720 server is a 12th generation Dell PowerEdge server. It is a rack-mountable 2U (two rack units / 2RU) server that comes with two processor sockets and supports the Intel Xeon E5-2600 series processors (v1 and v2). Dell PowerEdge R720 Servers support up to 768GB of DDR3 (PC3 ECC Registered) memory.

Dell’s R720 and R720xd come in various backplane configurations. The regular R720 comes in two 8-bay configurations, one of which supports up to 8x small form factor (SFF; 2.5”) hard disk drives (HDDs), and the other supporting up to 8x large form factor (LFF; 3.5”) HDDs; it also comes in a 16-bay configuration, which supports up to 16x SFF HDDs. The R720xd comes in a 12-bay configuration, which supports up to 12x LFF HDDs in addition to up to 2x SFF HDDs in the back, and a 24-bay configuration which supports up to 26x SFF HDDs (2x of which are in the back).

A new optional feature designed to take the performance compute server market by storm, is the ability to add four hot-plug front-access 2.5” Express Flash PCIe Solid State Drives (SSDs) that are geared for high throughput and incredibly low latency.

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Technical Specifications

Form Factor: 2U rack-mountable

Processors / CPUs:

Number of sockets: 2x

Processor type: Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 series (Intel® C600 series chipset)

Number of cores per processor: four (quad core), six (6-core), eight (8-core), ten (10-core), or twelve (12-core)

Cache: 2.5MB per core

Storage / Hard Disk Drives:

R720 drive bay options:

  • Up to 16 x 2.5“
  • Up to 8 x 2.5” + 8 x 2.5” (with dual RAID controllers)
  • Up to 8 x 2.5”
  • Up to 8 x 2.5” + 4 x 2.5” Express Flash2 or up to 8 x 3.5”

R720xd drive bay options:

  • Up to 24 x 2.5” (front) + 2 x 2.5” (back) or
  • Up to 12 x 3.5” (front) + 2 x 2.5” (back)

Hard drive options:

  • 5” SAS SSD, SATA SSD, SAS (15K, 10K), nearline SAS (7.2K), SATA (7.2K)
  • 5” Express Flash PCIe SSD2 (R720 only)
  • 5” SAS (15K), nearline SAS (7.2K), SATA (7.2K)

Self-encrypting drives (SEDs) available

For full tech specs, click here.

Rackmount Rail Kits for Dell R720 Servers

The rack rail systems for the Dell™ PowerEdge™ R720 and R720xd provide toolless support for four-post racks with square or unthreaded round mounting holes, including all generations of Dell racks. Compared to the predecessor R710 sliding rails that required the use of adapter brackets, the sliding rails for the R720 and R720xd now offer native support for threaded-hole racks with the new ReadyRails™ II mounting interface.

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The optional cable management arm (CMA) can be mounted on either the left or right side of the sliding rails without the use of tools for fast and easy deployment.

The R720 and R720xd support both sliding rails and static rails. Both rails have a new slim rail design that supports the wide system chassis. The sliding rails allow the system to be fully extended out of the rack for service and are available with or without the optional cable management arm (CMA). The static rails support a wider variety of racks than the sliding rails, but do not support serviceability in the rack and are not compatible with the CMA.

One key factor in selecting the proper rails is identifying the type of rack in which they will be installed. Both the sliding rails and the static rails support toolless mounting in 19”-wide, EIA-310-E compliant square hole and unthreaded round-hole 4-post racks. Both also support tooled mounting in threaded hole 4-post racks, but only the static rails, as the more universal solution, support mounting in 2-post (Telco) racks.

R720 Server Firmware Updates and Driver Downloads

To find a driver for your R720 server, click here.

Power Supply Management

The R720 and R720xd servers support the following power supplies: 495W AC, 750W AC, 1100AC, or 1100DC

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Energy Smart power supplies have intelligent features, such as the ability to dynamically optimize efficiency while maintaining availability and redundancy. Also featured are enhanced power-consumption reduction technologies, such as high-efficiency power conversion and advanced thermal-management techniques, and embedded power-management features, including high-accuracy power monitoring.

The PowerEdge R720 and R720xd support up to two AC or DC power supplies with 1 + 1 redundancy, auto sensing, and auto-switching capability.

Dell R720 Memory Overview

Flexible memory configurations are supported on the R720 and R720xd, ranging from capacities of 2 GB (minimum) to 768 GB (maximum). The R720 and R720xd support up to 12 DIMMs per processor (up to 24 DIMMs in a dual-processor configuration). Each server has four memory channels per processor, with each channel supporting up to three DIMMs.

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Both systems support a flexible memory configuration, according to the following basic rules:

  • Speed: If DIMMs of different speeds are mixed, all channels across all processors operate at the slowest DIMM’s common frequency.
  • DIMM type: Only one type of DIMM is allowed per system: UDIMM, RDIMM, or LRDIMM. These types cannot be mixed.

The following additional memory-population guidelines apply to the R720 and R720xd:

  • Up to two quad-rank (QR) DIMMs and up to three dual-rank (DR) or single-rank (SR) DIMMs may be populated per channel.
  • DIMMs must be installed in each channel, starting with the DIMM farthest from the processor.
  • DIMMs should be installed with largest rank count to smallest. For example, if DR DIMMS are mixed with SR DIMMs, DR DIMMS should be placed in the lowest DIMM slots, followed by the SR DIMMs.

Memory speeds of 1600 MT/s, 1333 MT/s, 1066 MT/s, and 800 MT/s are supported on the R720 and R720xd, depending on the DIMM types installed and the configuration. All memory on all processors and channels run at the same speed and voltage. By default, the systems run at the highest speed for the channel with the lowest DIMM voltage and speed. The operating speed of the memory is also determined by the maximum speed supported by the processor, the speed settings in the BIOS, and the operating voltage of the system.

Storage Controllers for the PowerEdge R720

Dell provides highly capable RAID options to ensure data safety. Dell’s RAID controller options offer impressive performance improvements, including the following features:

  • FastPath™ I/O: This feature can help accelerate performance when operating on SSDs.
  • Split mirror: This function allows you to break mirrored disk connection in order to quickly replace a drive.
  • Physical disk power management (Dimmer Switch™): This feature allows for power control of spare or idle drives, which can save energy and operating expenses.

The following RAID controllers are supported:

  • PERC S110 (internal) – software RAID; only supported on the 3.5” R720 chassis (and not the R720xd); supports up to four hot-plug SATA drives with 0, 1, 5 and 10 RAID levels
  • PERC H310 Mini (internal) – supports hot-plug drives, expansion, tape drives and pass-thru with 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50 RAID levels

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  • PERC H710 Mini (internal) – includes 512MB DDR3 cache, advanced feature set, security SED/EKMS, and SSD as cache with 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60 RAID levels

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  • PERC H710P Mini (internal) – includes 1GB NV DDR3 cache, premium performance and feature set, security SED/EKMS, and SSD as cache with 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60 RAID levels
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  • PERC H810 (external) – includes 1GB NV DDR3 cache, premium performance and feature set, security SED/EKMS, and SSD as cache with 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60 RAID levels

Ready to Customize Your Own Dell PowerEdge R720 Server?

Source Materials : Dell EMC

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