Dell PowerEdge R730 Server Review

May 30, 2017 3 By Doug Stuman

The Dell PowerEdge R730 server is part of the 13th generation PowerEdge server line. These systems are ideal for transaction databases, large virtual infrastructures and other data intensive workloads. Featuring greater expandability, more storage, and enhanced compute density, the Dell R730 offers a significant increase in performance over the R720 PowerEdge. It can handle nearly any workload configuration and run intensive mission critical applications for both large and small enterprise environments. The compact 2U design and impressive storage allows you to consolidate your data center operations adding to the affordability of the system.

Dell PowerEdge R730 front of system detail

Dell PowerEdge R730 16-bay chassis detail.

Dell’s 13th Generation PowerEdge servers introduce Intel’s new 4th generation Haswell micro architecture to the versatile 2U form factor with the Xeon E5-2600 v3 and E5-2600 v4 processors. The E5-2600 processors deliver more cores, additional cache, and better power efficiency over the previous generation of Xeon Ivy Bridge processors. Intel’s C610 chipset supports a maximum of two E5-2600 V3, 18 core processors for a total of 72 threads with Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology. Or choose the E5-2600 v4 series with up to 22 cores, and 88 threads in a two processor configuration.

Dell R730 detail of motherboard with two empty CPU slots and 24 DIMM slots.

Dell PowerEdge R730 motherboard with dual CPU sockets and 24 memory slots.

The Dell R730 supports DDR4 DIMMs, which provide faster speeds, higher compute density, and lower power consumption than the DDR3 series memory modules. When used in a dual CPU configuration, a maximum of 24 DDR4 DIMMs can provide an impressive 768GBs when loaded with 32GB LRDIMM modules and achieve memory speeds of up to 2133MT/s. With HPE’s upgrade to E5-2600 v4 processors, the R730 can now support up to 3TB of memory using 128GB memory modules and run at speeds of up to 2400MHz depending on your choice of processor.

Several storage configurations are available allowing you to choose between SATA, SSD, or SAS drive options to best suit your needs. For base models, choose up to 16x 2.5-inch drives or eight 3.5-inch SAS or SATA SSD or HDD drives.

poweredge r730 front with 16 SFF HDs

Dell PowerEdge R730 16-bay chassis, front.

If you need more storage, a 16-bay model features a longer backplane and an SAS expander to support all 16 SSD drives for 29TB of storage using 1.8TB storage devices.  However, the eight-bay LFF chassis cannot be modified to accommodate the 16 SFF SSDs configuration so you will have to determine your storage and expansion needs prior to purchasing.

The new line of PERC controllers feature 12Gb/s performance on a PCIe 3.0 interface and supports RAID configurations 0, 1, 10, 5, 50, 6, 60 with onboard, non-volatile, flash backed write cache options. Several different RAID cards are supported including the PERC H330, H730P, H830, S130 and the H730 controller.

PERC controllers supported on the Dell Poweredge R730.

Dell PowerEdge R730 RAID/HD controller options.

The front of the PowerEdge R730:

  • power ON button,
  • Non-Maskable Interrupt
  • system ID buttons,
  • An LCD information panel,
  • 2 USB 2.0 and iDRAC ports,
  • Optional optical drive,
  • Video connector,
  • Optional Quick Sync
  • iDRAC vFlash SD card slot 
poweredge r730 front panel features.

Dell PowerEdge R730 front panel features.

Offering remote support features similar to HPs Integrated Lights-Out 4, Dell’s iDRAC 8 Express Level Management Technology comes standard and is embedded in every Dell PowerEdge R730. Extended features require an iDRAC Enterprise license.

poweredge r730 front with SD card slot

Dell PowerEdge R730 server with optional SD card slot highlighted.

Upgrading to iDRAC 8 Enterprise activates the dedicated Gigabit management port and vFlash SD slot. This allows administrators to maintain complete control from any remote location using a browser to provide a virtual console, automatic updates, and power capping. Administrators can also monitor and manage the R730 using Dell’s optional iDRAC Quick Sync remote monitoring solution. An optional iDRAC Quick Sync bezel utilizes Near Field Communication technology (NFC) to connect directly to the server. With NFC technology the administrator can “bump” the iDRAC Quick Sync bezel with their mobile device for instant local management using Dell’s OpenManage Server Administrator mobile app. Once enabled, administrators can quickly and easily read and configure basic server functions through the app or at the OS command line. With NFC, data transfer happens in less than two seconds and the bezel times-out after 30 seconds.

manage dell R730 using optional quicksync bezel and mobile app

Dell PowerEdge R730 with optional quick sync bezel for use with Dell’s OpenManage Server Administrator mobile app.

Used mainly for mobile payment transactions NFC Technology is very secure, requiring close proximity of 3cm or less and administrative access. However, this feature only works with a mobile device running Android operating system 4.0.3 or higher, with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

On the back of the Dell R730:

  • 2 USB 3.0 connections
  • VGA connector
  • System identification button,
  • Dedicated iDRAC  8 Enterprise port
  • a serial port
    Integrated NIC options
  • PCIe slots
  • Redundant power supplies.
image of PSUs for poweredge r730 server

Dell PowerEdge R730 1100W redundant power supplies.

Choose between 495W, 750W and 1100W Platinum rated power supplies or Titanium rated 750w power supplies.

Various PCie cards can be installed depending on your business needs including additional NIC’s, Infiniband cards, Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters (HBA’s), and Fusion IO drives. Here’s a list of options: 

Here are a fwe optional riser configurations:

  • Riser 1 – Two CPUs
    • Slot 1: Low Profile, Half-Length, PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 connector)
    • Slot 2: Low Profile, Half-Length, PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 connector)
    • Slot 3: Low Profile Half-Length, PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 connector)
  • Riser 2 – Two CPUs
    • Slot 4: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x16
    • Slot5: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 connector)
  • Riser 3 – One CPU
    • Slot 6: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 connector)
    • Slot7: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 connector)
  • Riser 3 – One CPU option two:
    • 1 CPU
    • Slot 6: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x16
    • Slot7: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 connector)

The R730 can weigh up to 70 lbs. and is 3.44” tall…….18.98” wide…..and 29.75” deep. Supported operating systems include Microsoft Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, VMware, and Citrix XenServer.

Dell PowerEdge R730 weight and dimensions

Dell PowerEdge R730 weight and dimensions

While the R730 offers slightly less storage capacity than HP’s comparable 9th generation DL380 2U rack server, the R730 matches HP’s scalability, remote management controls, and overall build quality. If you need more storage, Dell’s PowerVault storage line offers Direct-Attached Storage and Network-Attached Storage options to suit your needs.

Click this link for pricing and documentation on Dell’s PowerEdge R730 rack server, and if you have any comments or questions post them in the section below or give us a call at (800) 237-0402.