Dell EMC Pow­erEdge T130

Ba­sic stor­age fea­tures, but this lit­tle tower server is great value and of­fers su­per re­mote man­age­ment tools

PC Pro - - November 2017 Issue 277 -

SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE As re­viewed, £1,541 exc VAT from dell.co.uk

Dell EMC’s Pow­erEdge T130 is a tempt­ing propo­si­tion for small busi­nesses with big de­mands. The sys­tem we tested came with a 3.9GHz Xeon E3-1280 v6 processor, and 16GB of DDR4 mem­ory, yet only costs £1,541. The spec­i­fi­ca­tion can be trimmed to suit any bud­get and work­load, as Dell EMC’s Smart Value Flexi op­tions let you swap the CPU for a cheaper 3GHz Xeon E3-1220 v6. Cut the mem­ory to 4GB, and se­lect a ba­sic 1TB hard disk, and you can get a vi­able server for a hugely af­ford­able £465.

The T130 is suited to busi­nesses with mod­est stor­age re­quire­ments, as the chas­sis only sup­ports cold-swap LFF hard disks. The lower bays of our test sys­tem came pop­u­lated with a pair of 2TB SATA drives, and there’s an­other two-bay cage at the top of the chas­sis with pre­in­stalled SATA and power ca­bles, ready for ex­tra disks. Pulling down the blue lock­ing lever on the side al­lows you to slot in drives from the front. The case won’t ac­cept 5.25in de­vices that re­quire for­ward­fac­ing ac­cess, but there’s space for a slim DVD drive at the top of the cage.

The em­bed­ded PERC S130 RAID con­troller sup­ports mir­rors, stripes and RAID5 ar­rays; Dell EMC also of­fers a range of four op­tional PCI-Ex­press RAID cards, so you could in the­ory add 12Gbits/sec SAS3 sup­port – but if you want a low-cost server, the cost of the card and drives might put you off.

The server is only avail­able with a 290W PSU, and the top-end E3-1280 v6 CPU is quite power-hun­gry. Sit­ting idle, our re­view sys­tem drew only 38W from the mains, but push­ing it to 100% load in the SiSoft bench­mark­ing app saw con­sump­tion shoot to 112W. We’d ex­pect a sim­i­lar server based on the 3GHz E3-1220 v6 to con­sume 70W or less un­der the same load.

The T130 is well built and its side panel can be pad­locked shut, which also locks the front bezel. There are USB 2 and USB 3 ports at the front and rear, but you can dis­able them all in the BIOS to en­sure unau­tho­rised stor­age de­vices can’t be at­tached.

The smart de­sign con­tin­ues with easy in­ter­nal ac­cess, while cool­ing is han­dled by an ac­tive CPU heatsink and a 9cm chas­sis fan. We recorded low noise lev­els of 37.4dB, mak­ing the T130 a fine choice for small of­fices.

“Cut the mem­ory to 4GB, and se­lect a ba­sic 1TB hard disk, and you can get a vi­able server for a hugely af­ford­able £465”

Setup is quick and easy thanks to the em­bed­ded LifeCy­cle con­troller and its OS de­ploy­ment wizard. We used it to in­stall Win­dows Server 2012 R2, and had the OS loaded with all the lat­est driv­ers in­side 20 min­utes. Gen­eral sys­tems man­age­ment is han­dled by the free OpenMan­age Server Ad­min­is­tra­tor (OMSA), which mon­i­tors lo­cal web-based servers. The OpenMan­age Es­sen­tials (OME) util­ity dis­cov­ers and in­ven­to­ries net­work de­vices and mon­i­tors any SNMP-and WMI-en­abled sys­tem.

Busi­nesses con­sid­er­ing the T130 for de­ploy­ment in re­mote of­fices will like the in­te­grated iDRAC8 con­troller. Shar­ing ac­cess with ei­ther of the server’s Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net ports, this hosts a web in­ter­face pro­vid­ing de­tailed sen­sor read­outs of all hard­ware com­po­nents, and re­mote ac­cess for power con­trols. All T130 mod­els come with an iDRAC8 Ba­sic li­cence, al­though to get fea­tures such as email alerts, you need to spend £122 on an Ex­press up­grade. Full re­mote con­trol plus vir­tual me­dia sup­port re­quires an En­ter­prise up­grade, with prices start­ing at £294.

The lack of hot-swap stor­age means the T130 isn’t per­fect for ev­ery role, but it packs a pow­er­ful spec into a space-sav­ing tower. Its re­mote-man­age­ment fea­tures make it a good choice for re­mote and branch of­fices, and a broad range of cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions mean it’s worth con­sid­er­ing.

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS Tower chas­sis 3.9GHz Xeon E3-1280 v6 16GB 2,400MHz DDR4 RAM (max 64GB) 2 x 2TB Dell SATA cold-swap HDDs (max 4) Dell PERC S130 RAID con­troller sup­ports RAID0, 1, 5, 10 4 x PCI-E 3 2 x Gi­ga­bit 290W fixed PSU Dell iDRAC8 Ba­sic 176 x 460 x 363mm (WDH) 1yr on-site NBD war­ranty Power: 38W idle, 112W peak

LEFT Man­age­ment tools in­clude OpenMan­age Es­sen­tials and the handy OpenMan­age Mo­bile iOS app

ABOVE The T130 has phys­i­cal se­cu­rity cov­ered: you can lock both the side panel and front bezel

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