Fast PC2-4200 memory is supported and the price includes 2GB which can be expanded up to 8GB. Storage features on the review model get even better as the embedded Ultra320 SCSI controller is connected directly to the hard disk backplane but the review system also came equipped with an LSI MegaRAID ZCR (zero channel RAID) PCI-X card. This takes over the SCSI channel and brings RAID-0, -1, -10, -5 and -50 to the table for greater fault tolerance. Expansion options are good as you get x1 and x8 PCI Express, three 32-bit PCI and two PCI-X slots in total. Along with the embedded Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet adapter you also get an extra Intel Gigabit Ethernet card. Usefully, the server comes with Broadcom’s Advanced Control Suite utility which allows both adapters to be teamed together into a single, virtual network connection where the load can be balanced across them both, so if one fails the network connection won’t be lost.
Fujitsu Siemens impresses with its remote management features as you get its standard ServerView software bundle included. The suite accesses any system running the relevant agent component over SNMP (simple network management protocol) and provides a detailed report on operational information. You can monitor processors, temperatures, voltages, fans and any expansion cards and tie in alarms or errors to notifications by email, network messages and pagers. The power supply can also be remotely accessed so you can schedule server power cycles and use a watchdog timer to automatically reboot the server if it hangs. The ASR (automatic server restart) tool allows you to set thresholds on fans speeds and temperatures and force a server shutdown if these reach critical values.
There’s much more as the system also came with a RemoteView Service Board (RSB) allowing the server to be accessed from a browser on another system irrespective of its operational status. This is a slick remote access feature as the board has its own processor, memory, network port, power source and operating system so it can act autonomously of the server. It interacts with the motherboard’s embedded IPMI (intelligent platform management interface) 1.5 controller allowing an administrator on a remote system to power the server on and off, schedule power cycles and monitor critical components.
The TX150 S4 looks a more costly alternative when compared with Dell’s PowerEdge 830 but it does offer equally good remote management tools and the extra outlay gets you top build quality plus RAID protected SCSI storage, while the unique cooling design makes for virtually silent running.