VMware vSphere Review

The Dell PowerEdge M520 is a general purpose server that scales very well.

The Dell PowerEdge M520 is a dual cpu socket, half-height blade server that offers up to 20 processor cores and 12 DIMMs per node with up to 16 other half height blades being deployed in a single M1000e blade enclosure. This powerful yet compact server is a great general purpose machine that offers scalability and performance in any size business.

Like other PowerEdge M series blade servers, the M520 operates independently of other blades in the m1000e and has the ability to mix different types of M series servers in the same enclosure.

The M520 uses the Intel C602 chipset and take up to two Intel Xeon E5-2400 or E5-2400 V2 series chips.

For each blade, a total of 12 DIMM slots are available for a potential total of 384GB of RAM spread between 3 channels for each CPU. Depending on the choice of cpu, it is able to operate memory with speeds of up to 1600 MT/s (megatransfers per second) with module sizes of up to 32 GBs DDR3 registered RAM.

On the front of the bezel are 2 USB ports, power button, blade release handle, and slots for 2 2.5” SATA, SSD, or SAS drives.

This server comes with an embedded PERC 110 SATA software RAID controller and can be upgraded to support SAS drives with the PERC H310, H710, H710p mini RAID controllers featuring 6Gb/s of throughput on a dedicated connection to the system board and RAID 0 and 1 capabilities.

Two mezzanine slots are available in the Fabric B and C I/O ports with options that include 1Gbit, 10Gbit adapters, Infiniband or Fibre Channel interfaces on a PCIe 3.0 bus. The M520 also comes with LOM (LAN on motherboard) in the two Broadcom dual port 1Gbit controllers. You’ll need to populate the rear I/O modules with the right types of switches to utilize your server’s network capabilities.

Up to 16 M520s can be installed in an m1000e. The power and cooling for the M520 is drawn from the M1000e enclosure which can hold up to 6 2700W hot-plug power supplies.

This is a 10U modular chassis capable of being populated with different PowerEdge M series blade servers.

Empty, the chassis weighs 98 lbs., fully loaded this modular can weigh a total of 394 lbs.!

The maximum weight of a M520 server is 12 lbs. and are 7.8” tall 2” wide and 21.5” deep.

Each blade can be remotely managed with iDRAC7 Express for Blades with Lifecycle Controller, or with a software upgrade license, iDRAC7 Enterprise for greater control options.

The M520 can run various Windows Server Editions Operating Systems as well as LINUX Red Hat Enterprise. Here is a lively video overview of the M520:

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment

author avatarctsanders

Interesting, I wonder how Dell's server solution compares to the following systems:

• IBM Blade Center
• HP C7000 Blade Server
• HP Moonshot

Just curious, especially when we talk about power consumption, total memory & speed, latency, manageability, interoperability with other servers, modular, integrated security features, monitoring software, 10-40Gb switching fabric (NPIV) and extensibility and integration with SAN capability, IPv6 enabled, GPU/Cuda capable.

This would be an interesting conversation.