The SuperServer has four drive bays, the most 3.5-inch bays you can have in the front of a 1U appliance. Though the one we reviewed came with a single 250G drive, as many as three more can be added in a RAID configuration.
It does have only eight memory slots, which are the fewest that servers tend to come with these days. However, four of them have 2G modules, yielding 8G, and an upgrade potential of 24G before replacement. The SuperServer also has two hot-swappable redundant power supplies and two Gigabit Ethernet network ports.
Supermicro also managed to squeeze in space for three PCIe x8 expansion slots, two of which allow full-height cards. The beauty of these slots was that nothing had to be moved or disconnected to access them. This is quite unusual in the often cramped 1U environment, and we found it refreshing. While the four mini-fans in the SuperServer were high-power, we weren’t sure if it was enough to keep the system cool in the harshest of environments. Fortunately, there is room for two more fans to be inserted, which can be helpful if any peripheral cards are installed.
There were a few minor things missing in the SuperServer. One was an RJ-45 service port, which is needed on rare occasions. And there were no USB ports located on the front of the unit. Although there are two on the rear, not having at least one on the front means a network administrator would have to go around to the back even to use a key drive with the server, a negative in a rack-mount system where the back of the unit might be inaccessible.
In our performance benchmark test, the SuperServer scored 2,257, which was right up with the pack. For file transfers, it moved files at a rate of 35.47 megabits/sec when copying to the server and 43.11 megabits/sec in the other direction, about average in this department.
Supermicro, (408) 503-8000 www.supermicro.com