Category Archives: Network Server

Intel Network Adapters for Dell PowerEdge R710 Servers

With the growing prevalence of Dell PowerEdge Servers, Dell PowerEdge R710 servers gradually caught Ethernet users’ eyes for its competitive price, superb quality and low power consumption. As one part of the Dell PowerEdge Select Network, Intel Ethernet Network Adapters are high performance adapters for 1/10/25/40GbE Ethernet network connections. This article would give a brief introduction to Dell R710, Intel NDC for Dell R710 and optics for Intel NDC.

About Dell PowerEdge R710

The Dell PowerEdge R710 is a 2U rack server that can support up to two quad- or six-core Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors and to eight SATA or SAS hard drives, giving you up to 18TB of internal storage. It has 18 memory slots allow for a maximum of 288GB of memory, allowing the R710 to support and memory-intensive task you can throw at it. It has low power consumption and high performance capacity, which helps you save both money and time. We would provide detailed information about Dell PowerEdge R710 in the next two parts.

Dell R710 2U Rack Server

Figure1: Dell R710 2U Rack Server

Dell R710 Dimensions

Dell R710 Dimensions

Main Features:
—Processors

Dell PowerEdge R710 adapted Intel’s E5-2600 processors, which have up to 20MB cache and up to 8 cores versus the 5500 and 5600 processors which max out at 12MB Cache and 6 cores. These 8-core processors are ideal for increased security, I/O innovation and network capabilities, and overall performance.

—Storage

The R710 supports a high level of internal storage maxing out at 18TB. That includes up to six 3.5″ hard drives or eight 2.5” hard drives. It provides support for 6Gb/s SAS, SATA, and SSD drives.

—Controller

The R710 sports Dell’s new iDRAC6 management controller, which has a dedicated network port at the rear of the server. It provides a web browser interface for remote monitoring and viewing the status of critical server components, and the Enterprise upgrade key brings in virtual boot media and KVM-over-IP remote access.

—Remote Management

Based on Symantec’s Altiris Notification Server, the Management Console takes over from Dell’s elderly IT Assistant and provides the tools to manage all your IT equipment, instead of just Dell servers. Installation is a lengthy process, but it kicks off with an automated search process that populates its database with discovered systems and SNMP-enabled devices.

Intel network Adapters for Dell PowerEdge R710 servers

According to Dell PowerEdge R710 datasheet, the Dell PowerEdge R710 servers support dual port 10GB enhanced Intel Ethernet server adapter X520-DA2. This Dell Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520/I350 provides low cost, low power flexibility and scalability for the entire data center. The Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2/1350-T2 provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports as shown in Figure 2 to support 1GbE/10GbE Ethernet network connectivity.

Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2

Figure2: Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2

Cables And Optical Modules for Intel NDC X520-DA2

As we mentioned before, the Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2 provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports respectively. We can plug two Intel compatible SFP transceivers into the two 1G ports on the Intel NDC X520-DA2 respectively to achieve 1G network connection. Likewise, we can also connect Intel compatible SFP+ transceiver to the 10G port on the Intel card for making 10G data transferring. In addition, we can also use Direct Attach Cable (DAC) to achieve 10G network connectivity, such as 10Gb fibre optic cable, Intel 10G SFP+ DAC cable. DAC cables are suitable for data transmission over very short link length while optical modules are more appropriate for longer transmission distance.

Intel NDC X520-DA2 with 10G optical modules

Figure3: Intel NDC X520-DA2 with 10G optical modules

Conclusion

The Dell PowerEdge R710 server with the high performance of Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2 offers you a 2U rack to efficiently address a wide range of key business applications. With the great Intel NDC card, it also provides you a perfect solution for 1G and 10G Ethernet network connectivity. You can rest assured to enjoy a low consumption but high capacity server to keep your business.

Broadcom or Intel Network Adapter for Dell PowerEdge Server?

The NDC, Network Daughter Card (also known as Select Network Adapters), is an innovation technology developed by Dell. As an advanced technology on server, the NDC provides the customers with a flexibility of choosing what they want ( 4 x 1GbE, 2 x 10GbE or 2 x Converged Network Adapter.) With this small, removable mezzanine card, we are no longer limited to use network interface cards (NICs) on the motherboard. And it has been used in the twelfth-generation Dell PowerEdge server. This article will focus on Broadcom or Intel network adapter for Dell PowerEdge Server.

About Select Network Adapter

Network adapter plays an irreplaceable role in a server system, as it can reduce CPU usage on the server, which improves the overall system performance. NDC is a paramount member of Dell PowerEdge Select Network Adapters family. There are two form factors of Select Network Adapters—blade servers and rack servers. (You can see the two servers clearly in the following figure.) The Blade Select Network Adapter provides dual port 10GbE from various suppliers. The Rack Select Network Adapter provides a selection of 1GbE and 10GbE port options, such as 1000Base-T, 10GBASET and 10Gb SFP+.

Rack Mount Servers & Blade Servers

Figure1: Rack Mount Servers & Blade Servers

PowerEdge Platforms That Support Select Network Adapters

The Blade Select Network Adapter is offered on the PowerEdge M620 blade server.

The Rack Select Network Adapter is offered on the following PowerEdge platforms:

  • R620
  • R720
  • R720xd

PowerEdge R720 Rack Server

Figure2: PowerEdge R720 Rack Server

Available NDC options
PowerEdge rack servers:
  • Broadcom 5720 Base-T
  • Intel I350 Base-T
  • Broadcom 57800 Base-T and SFP+
  • Intel x540 Base-T
PowerEdge blade servers:
  • Broadcom 57810S KR
  • Intel x520 KR
  • QLogic QMD8262 KR
Form factors of Blade Servers & Rack Servers

Blade servers: There are three form factors of blade servers offered by Dell: Intel x520 Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC, Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC, and QLogic QMD8262-k Dual Port 10Gb KR NDC. Both the Broadcom and Intel blade NDCs will support both 1Gb and 10Gb speeds, while the QLogic blade NDC will run only at 10Gb speeds.

Rack servers: There are mainly two brands of NDC support rack servers—Intel and Broadcom, which would be further explained as follows:

Intel:
  •  Intel Ethernet x540 Dual Port 10Gb BT + i350 DP 1Gb BT NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 2 ports x 1GbE + 2 ports x 10GBASE-T based on the Intel I350 and x540 chipsets.
  • Intel Ethernet i350 Quad Port 1GbE NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 4 ports x 1GbE based on the Intel I350 chipset.
    An Intel 2x1Gb + 2x10Gb Base-T rack NDC, as shown in the following figure, offers two types of interconnects to meet various connectivity needs.

Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb BT NDC

Figure3: Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb BT NDC

Broadcom:
  • Broadcom 57800S 2x1Gb+2x10Gb SFP+ NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 2 ports x 1GbE + 2 ports x 10G SFP+ based on the Broadcom 57800S chipset. Just shown as the following figure.
  • Broadcom 5720 4x1Gb Base-T NDC: A quad-port rack NDC with 4 ports of 1GbE based on the Broadcom 5720 chipset.

Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb SFP+ NDC

Figure4: Rack 2x1Gb+ 2x10Gb SFP+ NDC

How to Choose the Optical Cables and Modules for Broadcom or Intel Network Adapter?

Just take Broadcom 57800S 2x1Gb+2x10Gb SFP+ NDC for example. A Broadcom 2 x 1G + 2 x 10G SFP+ NDC provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports as shown in Figure 6. We can plug two Dell compatible SFP transceivers into the two 1G ports on the Broadcom NDC respectively to achieve 1G network connection. Likewise, we can also connect Dell compatible SFP+ transceiver such as 10Gb Base SR connector to the 10G port on the Broadcom card for making 10G data transferring. Besides, we can also use Direct Attach Cable (DAC) to achieve 10G network connectivity, such as multimode 10Gb fiber optic cable, Dell 10G SFP+ DAC cable. DAC cables provides a cost-effective solution for very short transmission while 10G optical modules are more suitable for data transferring over long distance.

Broadcom 57800S NDC with Dell SFP+ module

Figure5: Broadcom 57800S NDC with Dell SFP+ module

Conclusion

As technology advanced and 10Gb Ethernet became more prevalent in the data center, there must be a prosperous market ahead for blade servers and rack servers. SFP+ modules and Direct Copper Attached is the current preference for 10GbE connectivity of rack servers. Boardcom and Intel are both famous vendors for providing NDCs for Dell PowerEdge Server, you can select a proper one for your server according to your port needs.