Review: Dell PowerEdge VRTX Server

For the third year running, CRN Test Center's Product of the Year for enterprise servers has gone to Dell. In 2013, Dell built on the multinode theme it launched in 2011, with the PowerEdge VRTX, a desktop data center capable of housing as many as four server nodes, 48 terabytes of storage, and enterprise-grade network switching in a single cabinet or 5U rack enclosure.

The PowerEdge's small color panel makes setup and health monitoring easy. It also permits changes to some settings, including network addresses, and assignment of the shared DVD drive, USB bus and monitor port.

The PowerEdge VRTX starts with two PowerEdge M620 or M520 Intel Xeon E5-Series blade server nodes, and can accept as many as four, each with its own memory, storage and expansion slots. These blades slide in and out for easy service, attaching and locking into the chassis through a proprietary backplane. They interconnect, giving the server nodes access to power supplies, hard drives, fans, networking and other shared resources contained in the VRTX enclosure.

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The VRTX is designed to grow along with the needs of a small office, enterprise office branch or campus department.