Original author: StorageReview Enterprise Lab
PowerEdge VRTX Server- This is a platform with the Tower form factor that provides data storage using 25 small form factor (SFF) drives or 12 large form factor (LFF) drives, and also supports up to four server nodes with two SFF drives in each. Regardless of the type of node, the Dell PowerEdge M620 or M520s, the server supports up to 64 processor cores (128 logical cores). The M620 demonstrates maximum performance with the Intel E5-2680 processor at 2, 7 GHz, while the maximum performance of the M520 with the Intel E5-2470 processor is 2.3 GHz. The M620 server node is equipped with 24 DIMM slots with support for up to 32 GB of RAM for each, which makes a total of 3072 GB of RAM on four server nodes. The M520 server node has 12 slots for DIMMs with support for up to 32 GB of RAM for each slot. The 5T rack-mount VRTX server is rack-mountable, but was originally designed for organizations that require a single system to run smoothly for ease of management and reduced hardware footprint and information technology costs. ServerVRTX is an ideal solution for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as remote offices and branches, avoiding to allocate space or funds for a regular rack server and welcome the integration of IT equipment into a single enclosure.

PCIe slots provide system functionality; a unique feature of the Dell PowerEdge VRTX is its eight PCIe slots, which can be assigned to compute nodes using the management interface for greater flexibility and functionality. The server is equipped with three connectors of maximum height and maximum length with support for a double-width board (225W), as well as 5 connectors of half height and half length (75W). This level of connectivity ensures that you can use your existing IT infrastructure and / or upgrade to install InfiniBand, Ethernet, PCIe SSD, or similar PCIe devices. In addition, the VRTX server uses 86% less cables for redundant power supplies and external connections than four separate servers, two external network switchesand two external memory devices. This fact will save time for system administrators to organize and manage cables.

With 8 PCIe slots, up to 25 SFF drives, uninterrupted system memory, and the processing power of the Dell PowerEdge M620 and M520 servers, businesses can avoid the cost of purchasing and integrating a rack server . In this configuration, the M620 server is equipped with 64 GB of DDR3 RAM, as well as two six-core Intel Xeon E5-2640 processors. It is distinguished by availability, reasonable price, as well as ease of management in small and medium-sized businesses, etc.

Technical specifications Dell PowerEdge VRTX

- Up to 12 2.5-inch NLSAS, SAS, or SAS SSD drives
- Up to 25 2.5-inch NLSAS, SAS, or SAS SSD drives
Integrated network adapter
- Internal 1GbE Switch Module with 16 internal 1GbE ports and 8 external ports
- Ethernet pass-through module with 8 external ports (optional)
RAID controllers: shared PERC controller Redundant
power supplies:
- 100 / 220V with automatic recognition
- Supports 2 + 2 redundant power supply (AC redundancy), and 3 + 1 modes, 2 + 1, 1 + 1 (redundancy of power supplies)
Cooling: 6 deputy redundant fan modules and 4 air blower modules that can be changed in the “hot” mode
Server server options:Servers Dell PowerEdge M620 and M520
Configuration Tower
- Dimensions 19.1 inches (48.4cm) with the leg x 12.2 inches (31.0cm) with the leg x 28.7 inches (73.0cm)
- Weight (empty server) 69.7 pounds (31.7kg); Weight (maximum): 164.9 pounds (74.8 kg) Rack-mount
configuration (5U)
- Dimensions: 8.6 inches (21.9 cm) x 19 inches (48.2 cm) x 28.7 inches (73.0 cm)
- Weight (empty server): 54.5 pounds (24.7 kg); Weight (maximum): 151.5 lbs (68.7 kg)
- Guides: Sliding rails for rack mounting with 4 legs with square or round threaded holes.

VRTX video review


North Dell PowerEdge VRTX delivered to StorageReview lab has tremendous performance. Each of the four PowerEdge M620 server nodes that form the core of VRTX is equipped with 24 DIMM slots; the server configuration in question has 64 GB of RAM, consisting of 8 modules of 8 GB. Each server node of the M620 also supports the Intel E5-2600 (M620) Sandy Bridge processor family, in which at the time of the review the best model was an 8-core E5-2680 2.7 GHz processor.

The M520 server node is equipped with a 4-core 1.8 GHz E5-2403 processor. The server configuration under consideration includes a dual processor E5-2640 2.5 GHz. Server-node storage capabilities are limited to two 2.5-inch SAS / SATA RAID or JBOD drives, depending on requirements. In terms of hardware, the M620 supports the same high-performance processors as the best-selling PowerEdge R720 server , and also has the same RAM settings, but with less footprint and fewer PCIe and storage options.

The uniqueness of Dell PowerEdge VRTX lies in the fact that four server nodes are placed in the Desktop form factor with a locally accessible memory area with 25 drives, which is loaded in addition to hard drives or solid state drives. This allows users to allocate portions of memory to separate RAID pools and assign them to specific server nodes, as if they were locally attached in a typical 1U or 2U server configuration. The same applies to PCIe drives, which can be assigned to specific server nodes (up to 4 per node) to achieve the same hardware extension that is available in a regular-sized server. All this, of course, with a smaller footprint, which facilitates control, does not require a rack, as well as switching hardware.

Control and management

The Dell PowerEdge VRTX Server is easy to manage and compatible with other Dell Enterprise platforms. The VRTX server chassis is equipped with its own control controller, which regulates basic settings, such as chassis cooling mode, power supply, memory allocation, internal PCIe slots, and network switch settings with 8 1GbE ports located on the board. All this is combined by a graphical user interface corresponding to the format and structure of the iDRAC server remote control module for individual servers, which is also included in each server node. This level of integration makes server management accessible for both beginners and experienced system administrators, which allows you to quickly enter the server into work without any help.

The server model under consideration is equipped with 9 solid-state drives and 16 hard drives connected via a shared internal controller PERC8. At start-up, the VRTX server only supports VMware and Windows, primarily because of the multi-user drive support required by each server node to connect to the logical unit number (LUN) of the memory. If you do not take into account the locally attached storage device, then each PowerEdge M620 node can technically support a standard range of operating systems, but then the main element of the VRTX chassis will be missed.

The process of allocating memory using the Chassis Management Controller (CMC) is extremely simple, you just need to select the type of drive on the virtual disk, the type of RAID array and the corresponding parameters, and then the individual drives. Below we selected three 200 GB SAS SSDs to populate a RAID5 array for attachment to a single server node.

We also provided one virtual disk with six 400 GB SAS SSDs in a RAID10 array and one virtual disk with 16 300 GB SAS HDDs in a RAID50 array. In this configuration, access to both SSD arrays is possible, as well as to a large RAID50 HDD array. The total memory allocation time takes about 4 minutes. After creating the memory, you can assign it to the server nodes inside the chassis, allocating it for one node or allowing it to be shared among several servers for a cluster environment.

Design and manufacture

The Dell PowerEdge VRTX is truly a marvel of engineering. The device can be mounted in a 5U rack or ordered in a Tower enclosure. The Tower case is quite compact, considering the hardware included in it and the smooth operation. At 165 pounds, it has an incredible density and weight of an adult. Additional wheels make moving the server convenient.

Most of the body is made of solid metal in black, the upper panels and part of the grille are made of black plastic. The front panel of the case is equipped with a lockable grill with keys to prevent unauthorized access. The kit also includes a spare key. In addition, the front panel of the case is equipped with a small color LCD display, as well as a keyboard for quick setup and control. There is also a KVM module that can be assigned to a node using the keyboard. This allows users to tie external USB and VGA ports to the display, keyboard, and mouse to control individual server nodes in the chassis. An external optical drive can be attached to any server node to assist with software installation.

With regard to hardware, in the model under consideration 25 drives of small form factor in five columns and five rows are presented, which can be easily removed for maintenance. Instead, it is possible to use 12 drives of a large form factor. On the left are 4 server nodes, each of which has 2 2.5-inch spare spaces for HDD / SSD devices, which are serviced in the same way. To remove an entire node, the user needs to press the blue button and pull out the node. Server nodes can be either the Dell PowerEdge M620 model or the M520 (the M620 is present in the server in question).

If the left side of the case is inexpressive, then on the right side is a lockable handle that provides access to PCIe-connectors, providing simplified maintenance and updating. On the rear panel are redundant power supplies and fans, and there is also the ability to connect to control. From left to right, there are four redundant power supplies in the chassis with support for several modes: 2 + 2 (redundant AC), 3 + 1, 2 + 1, and 1 + 1 (redundant power). In addition, there are four fans in mesh drums, working with six internal hot-swappable fans for low noise and powerful airflow for cooling.
In addition, there are Ethernet ports and serial ports necessary for the management interface, as well as eight external 1GbE ports located near power sources for network connectivity.


The PowerEdge VRTX server is equipped with a unique cooling system with fans in mesh drums instead of conventional small fans. The size of these fans is slightly larger, but they allow you to pump huge airflows with little noise (similar to a climate control system) to best suit the working environment. Because Dell is positioning its invention as a server / storage platform for anything, the server needs to be able to stay under the workplace without attracting attention. Another advantage of fans is that they can handle large volumes of air when needed, giving the VRTX server unlimited outdoor options. With storage, network connections and computing in one small package, VRTX Serveradapted to work in the absence of climate control cooling systems.

Mesh drum fans are easily removable for maintenance or replacement by the general user. They are located on the rear panel of the case, and after pressing and unlocking the button, you can extend any of the four fans. An important feature is that when the fan is removed in the space behind them, the door closes to maintain the necessary pressure for ventilation. In an environment with high or medium load, this means that there is a stream of cold air passing through the memory devices and server nodes, which does not require removing the fan hole.

Power Modes and Efficiency

Dell ServerPowerEdge VRTX is equipped with a rich assortment of options and power options, including power planning and up to four central processors that can balance the load among themselves for maximum uptime. With a built-in energy meter and heat meter, users can set the necessary settings and make sure that the chassis does not consume more energy than the specified limit and does not generate more heat than it can dissipate in the environment. In the configuration under consideration with four central processors of 1050 W each, 100% energy planning allowed a maximum power of 5000 W or approximately 17,000 British thermal units. Planning for redundancy in a load balancing configuration that distributes the load between three processors (one spare),
To work with the backup power system in a specific environment (load balancing in several circuits or through several power supplies), the VRTX server can be set to AC backup mode. In this mode, the first and second processors, as well as the third and fourth, are separated into separate circuits, between which a load balance is maintained. In this case, even when the power is turned off in one circuit, the server remains operational while the remaining processors can correspond to the power supply. If the power supply exceeds the capabilities of the processor, VRTX will reduce the activity of the server nodes to maintain operation at the expense of the server.


The VRTX server is a Tower form factor system for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as remote offices and branches, avoiding to allocate space or funds for a regular rack server. The primary storage device of the VRTX server is equipped with 25 small form factor drives or 12 large form factor drives, the system also includes four server nodes (Dell PowerEdge M620 or M520), each of which has two small form factor drives. In the model in question, they are also equipped with dual six-core Intel Xeon E5 2640 processors and 64 GB of DDR3 RAM. ServerVRTX provides the ability to increase functionality with three PCIe slots (FHFL) and five slots (HHHL) - each of which can be assigned to server nodes. This again refers to the issue of budget, since the company can get the most out of investments already made in IT, or implement PCIe SSDs, InfiniBand, etc.

In terms of development uniqueness, Dell has indeed set a high standard for products designed specifically for remote offices or small and medium-sized businesses that require computing power and storage capabilities to work together in an environment that often does not have a separate technical department. The improvement of the VRTX server is noticeable at all levels, in particular, it is necessary to note the simplicity of managing the chassis using the CMC WebGUI console, which allows users to control the operation of the chassis, configure shared memory, allocate PCIe-connectors and much more. In addition, if we talk about server performance in a wide range of office environments, VRTX impresses with other qualities. For starters, not all organizations have their own IT department or data center,Dell VRTX server hardware can be hosted with other Desktop form factor systems. In addition, when developing a cooling system, Dell found a way to not only increase airflow, but also reduce noise. In conclusion, Dell developed the VRTX server , which is the easiest to use for introducing a “single-block memory cluster” into the market, which no company has tried before.


• Unbelievable Density Tower Form Factor
• PCIe Buses and Greater Memory Expandability
• Four-Node Configuration Provides Enough Flexibility
• Low Noise


• Currently does not support Linux


Dell has achieved its goals in developing a Tower form factor system for small and medium-sized businesses and remote offices that require uninterrupted operation, processing power and storage, as well as an original management interface with a huge number of properties. Equipped with a large assortment of hardware, organizations can optimize the technologies needed in a cluster environment, regardless of whether they are combined drive pools of a small or large form factor, the best model of the Intel E5-2600 processor family, or other device.

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