For the most part, the Oracle Sun Fire X4170 found favor with the reviewer for V3.co.uk, Alan Stevens, who pronounced the server " ... A good choice for companies looking for maximum performance from a 1U package," and a prime candidate for virtualization service. The X4170 compares quite favorably with its chief competition, the HP ProLiant DL360 G6 and the Dell PowerEdge R610. Stevens gives the Oracle Sun product such high marks in part because " ... it's a dual-processor server capable of accommodating the same range of dual-core and quad-core Xeon 5500 Nehalem chips."
The unit the V3.co.uk lab tested featured a pair of 2.93GHz quad-core Xeon X5570 processors and fast 1,333MHz memory, plus 12GB using 2GB DIMMs.
The most obvious comparisons here are with HP's ProLiant DL360 G6 and Dell's PowerEdge R610, which between them dominate the 1U market. This is not just because it's a 1U solution, but because it's a dual-processor server capable of accommodating the same range of dual-core and quad-core Xeon 5500 Nehalem chips.
The unit used in this testing came with a pair of 2.93GHz quad-core Xeon X5570 processors which, despite their low power requirements of 95W, are well up the Xeon scale in terms of processing power. The X5570 also supports fast 1,333MHz memory, the review system shipping with 12GB using 2GB DIMMs.
The X4170's 18 DIMM slots are capable of accommodating 144GB memory, although doing so requires 8GB modules, which ups the cost of the server considerably, Stevens notes, adding that both the Dell and the HP competition require both processors as well if users want to make use of all the available DIMM slots.
The pair of Broadcom controllers on the X4170 motherboard that link to four GB Ethernet ports (two more than on the HP) drew praise from Stevens, as did the two redundant power supplies, the eight 2.5 drive bays, and the room for a front side DVD drive.
Storage on the X4170 employs either SATA or SAS disks, and solid state disks can also be specified though at considerable cost, he adds
The possibility of doing hot swaps of fans under a lift-off lid also came in for favorable comment from Stevens. He also liked the Integrated Lights Out Management controller that the X4170 features and the xVM Ops Center management platform from Sun that allows for remote management.
Finally, Stevens terms the build quality "impressive" and anticipates ample performance from the quad-core Xeon 5500 processors, with room for plenty of additional memory and internal storage.
Review: Oracle Sun Fire X4170 server - V3.co.uk article
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