Broad­berry Cy­berServe TS300

Priced right for small busi­nesses, this quiet tower server has plenty of power and room to grow

PC Pro - - November 2017 Issue 277 -

SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE As re­viewed, £1,095 exc VAT from broad­

Servers are an in­vest­ment, and Broad­berry’s Cy­berServe TS300 of­fers plenty of room to ex­pand, so it can serve your evolv­ing needs for many years. It comes with a fine mix of busi­ness-class fea­tures; stor­age op­tions are a cut above the rest; and the price is within reach of the small­est busi­ness.

Built on Asus’ TS300-E9-PS4 server plat­form, it’s also very en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient. We mea­sured it sip­ping a mere 24W with the OS idle; even with its 3GHz Xeon E3-1220 v6 CPU un­der max­i­mum load, it peaked at only 69W.

That low power con­sump­tion is a re­flec­tion of the processor’s low 72W TDP, but it’s also helped by Asus’ Beat Ther­mal Choke III tech­nol­ogy, which uses highly con­duc­tive gold-treated com­po­nents to re­duce moth­er­board choke tem­per­a­tures by up to 3°C. Then there’s the pair of 240GB Kingston M.2 SATA SSDs, which to­gether draw a minis­cule 3W. It all adds up to a server that doesn’t need high-speed cool­ing fans: the SPLnFFT iOS app on our iPad recorded noise lev­els of just 38.7dB from a me­tre away, mak­ing this server per­fect for small of­fices.

Those twin SSDs come con­fig­ured as a fast-boot­ing RAID1 ar­ray for your OS, and while they’re not as quick as NVMe drives, they’re still very speedy: Iome­ter re­ported raw se­quen­tial reads and write speeds of 535MB/sec and 368MB/sec. If you pre­fer, you can spec­ify the server with­out the SSDs and save £230.

For data stor­age, the TS300 has an in­te­grated four-bay LFF drive cage ready to re­ceive high-ca­pac­ity SATA hard disks. It’s con­nected to the moth­er­board’s miniSAS port, which links up with In­tel’s em­bed­ded Rapid Stor­age Tech­nol­ogy en­ter­prise (RSTe) to pro­vide soft­ware-man­aged mir­rors, stripes and RAID5 ar­rays for SATAs.

Stor­age can be ex­panded fur­ther by adding a sec­ond four-bay LFF drive cage, but you’ll also need a sec­ond RAID card to ser­vice it. Op­tion­ally, Broad­berry can sup­ply an af­ford­able eight-port Asus PCI-Ex­press SAS3 adapter sup­port­ing a range of RAID lev­els up to 6 and 60 and in­clud­ing 2GB of on­board cache mem­ory.

The TS300’s four em­bed­ded Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net ports should be am­ple for most of­fices, but if you need to add a 10-Gi­ga­bit card, it’s no is­sue as the moth­er­board has three spare

“It’s a server that doesn’t need high-speed cool­ing fans: the SPLnFFT iOS app recorded noise lev­els of just 38.7dB from a me­tre away”

PCI-Ex­press slots. Mean­while, the ASMB8-iKVM plug-in con­troller, which is in­cluded in the price, han­dles re­mote server man­age­ment and ac­ti­vates the ded­i­cated net­work port. The web in­ter­face isn’t as clever as HPE’s iLO4, but it pro­vides views of sen­sor data for crit­i­cal com­po­nents, ba­sic email alert­ing fa­cil­i­ties and full host and OS re­mote con­trol.

For gen­eral sys­tems man­age­ment, Asus is still of­fer­ing its free ASWM, but this doesn’t sup­port Win­dows Server 2016 hosts, and is be­ing re­placed by the Asus Con­trol Cen­ter (ACC) app. We tested the lat­est ACC beta by de­ploy­ing it as an Or­a­cle Vir­tu­alBox VM and found it very promis­ing. Fea­tures such as agent­less VMware host mon­i­tor­ing aren’t im­ple­mented yet, but once you’ve de­ployed the ACC agent on the TS300, you can view its vi­tal signs and eas­ily check on CPU, mem­ory and net­work port util­i­sa­tion. You can cre­ate mul­ti­ple ac­counts with dif­fer­ent ac­cess per­mis­sions, and set up email alerts for user-de­fined events.

In all, the TS300 is well worth a look for any SMB seek­ing a pur­pose­built server than can keep up with de­mand. It of­fers plenty of power to get started at a low price, with bags of scope to ex­pand stor­age and net­work­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties as needed.

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS Tower chas­sis Asus P10S-E/4L moth­er­board 3GHz In­tel Xeon E3-1220 v6 16GB DDR4 (max 64GB) 2 x 240GB Kingston M.2 SATA SSDs In­tel C236 sup­ports RAID0, 1, 5, 10 3 x PCI-E 3 1 x PCI 4 x Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net ASMB8-iKVM with 10/100 Eth­er­net 500W fixed PSU 218 x 553 x 455mm (WDH) 1yr on-site NBD plus 2yrs ad­vanced re­place­ment war­ranty Power: 24W idle, 69W peak

LEFT De­ployed as a vir­tual ma­chine, the Asus Con­trol Cen­ter pro­vides cen­tralised man­age­ment of servers and work­sta­tions

ABOVE The TS300 is very power-ef­fi­cient, sip­ping just 69W un­der max­i­mum load

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