Recently we had a really cool briefing from Dell EMC around a new ruggedized server. At STH, we have a large number of readers who are in the military contractor, telecom, and edge service provider space. The new Dell EMC PowerEdge XR2 is a rugged Intel Xeon Skylake-SP based server meant to be deployed outside traditional data centers.
Dell EMC PowerEdge XR2 Rugged Server
The rugged server industry is fascinating. If you need compute on the back of a truck, in a dusty oil field office, or on a ship, traditional servers generally do not hold up too well. As a result, there are a series of specifications and certifications that rugged servers have that your traditional server (e.g. the Dell EMC PowerEdge R640 we have in our lab) simply does not conform to. The Dell EMC PowerEdge XR2 is designed to meet these specifications and to be ordered and supported similar to other PowerEdge servers.
One example here is that the 8x 2.5″ hard drive bays on your standard server do not meet shock specifications so Dell EMC adds shock absorbing mounting to the XR2. Here is the overview slide with some of the targeted workloads and features:
These new servers can handle up to 512GB of ram and two Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs in a short-depth 20″ rackmount enclosure. One of the most intriguing features is the common access card reader. The use of that card reader is if the server is deployed in a location where operators need to vacate quickly. Drives can be encrypted using those cards and the cards removed quickly without having to wait for an erasure program to run. That gives some idea of what one of the target markets is for the XR2.
The server itself if managed much like a normal PowerEdge server with iDRAC 9 for example. The motherboard is based upon the Dell EMC PowerEdge R440 we are told and offers 16 DIMMs or 10x on CPU1 and 6x on CPU2.
The XR2 comes out of the Dell EMC OEM Solutions group that also makes many of the OEM server appliances for companies.
Dell EMC’s value proposition here is that not only have they delivered exceptional hardware, but they can also easily service both large and small orders. Plus, the servers have all of the benefits of Dell EMC’s management and support.
Overall, this is one of the most powerful and durable 20″ mounting depth servers you will find in this generation.
This looks to be perfect for the application I’m doing in the nuclear sector. We have some pretty stringent requirements for environmental factors depending on the location of the equipment. I’ll definitely be filling some racks with these soon 😀