SuperMicro S2DGE motherboard)
PCWorld September: "First Place in
Rugged Construction, Fast Performance
NetRAIDer is driven by dual PIII-550 Xeons and an AMI three-channel RAID
controller with 64MB of cache. The test results confirm the value of those
components: The Xi placed first in the SQL
test in a close finish, and third in the network service
test, trailing the first-place SAG by about 7 percent. But
the Xi really distinguished itself in the file service test, beating out its
nearest competitor by more than 20 percent and propelling itself into first
place in overall performance.
Open the two massive side-by-side front doors and you'll find ten 5.25-inch
drive bays; in our unit, however, only three bays contained backplane drive
connectors. For each drive you add, you must also install a $63 backplane
unit. The Xi has only two open PCI slots (plus two ISA slots).
The three 9GB drives ride in fan-cooled carriers that have handles and use
the same effective key-lock mechanism we found on the SAG. Each individual
carrier shows power and drive activity. A CD-ROM drive and a floppy drive
occupy two of the four 5.25-inch bays housed on the left side of the unit.
Removing the 1100X NetRAIDer's side panels is technically tool free, but you
do need the system's key to take off and replace the panels. That's a good
security feature if you can't keep the server locked away in
a secure closet or cage. Behind the left panel you'll find plenty
of room to upgrade or replace the two processor modules,
memory modules, cooling fans, and expansion cards. Removing the right panel
gives you wide-open access to the rear of the drive cage for servicing the
hot-swappable drives. Our evaluation system came equipped with two
hot-swappable power supplies, the maximum number available.
Even at $9997, the Xi comes without any server management software, though
it does have LANDesk Client Manager for accessing clients attached to the
server. Documentation is sparse, and you're pretty much on your own when it
comes to setup. But if you can overlook those shortcomings, this
server is a hot performer in almost any setting.