Dell PowerEdge R730XD Server Review

Posted to YouTube: March 24, 2015
Updated transcript for Blog: May 31, 2017

The Dell PowerEdge R730XD server offers a significant increase in performance over the PowerEdge R720XD and can handle nearly any workload configuration and run mission critical applications for both large and small enterprise environments. The R730xd offers a similar architecture to the Dell R730 but supports significantly more storage. Dells’ new 13th generation PowerEdge servers are Ideal for transactional databases, large virtual infrastructures and other data intensive workloads. Featuring greater expandability, more storage, and enhanced compute density. The compact 2U design and impressive storage, allows you to consolidate your datacenter operations adding to the affordability of the system.

Poweredge R730xd front of 2U system
The Dell PowerEdge R730xd has a 2U form factor.

Dell’s 13th Generation PowerEdge servers introduce Intel’s 4th generation Haswell microarchitecture to the versatile 2U form factor with the Xeon E5-2600 v3 processor. Of course, since the release of this video in early 2015, the Dell R730xd now supports Intel’s Broadwell Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors.

deail of Dell r730xd MoBo with CPU sockets and DIMM slots
Dell PowerEdge R730xd motherboard showing 2 CPU sockets with 24 dimm slots.

There’s room for two E5-2600 V3, 18 core processors for a total of 36 cores and 72 threads with Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology. Also supported are Intel’s E5-2600 v4 processors, which offer better power consumption and can provide up to 22 cores per processor, for 44 cores and 88 threads in a two processor configuration. Intel’s C610 chipset supports DDR4 DIMMs providing faster speeds, higher compute density, and power consumption is reduced by 30% over the previous generation of DDR3 RAM. When used in a dual CPU configuration, with all 24 DIMM slots outfitted with 128GB LRDIMM modules the R730xd can support an impressive 3TB of memory and achieve memory speeds of up to 2400MT/s with a compatible processor.

The R730XD is available in three different chassis layouts supporting standard and hybrid storage configurations allowing you to choose between SATA, SSD, or SAS drive options. An optional rear expansion unit can hold two more 2.5-inch HDs:

The 24-bay, front accessible 2.5-inch chassis supports SAS, SATA, or nearline SAS drives with and optional drive cage in back for two 2.5-inch drives. As an option, this chassis can be configured to support up to four Dell PCIe Express Flash drives in the front bays. And can support up to 46.8 TB.

r730xd 24-bay chassis image
Dell PowerEdge R730xd 24-Bay chassis configuration.
  • An 18-bay front-accessible 1.8-inch SATA, with 8 3.5-inch SAS, SATA drive bays, or nearline SAS drives, and two optional rear 2.5-inch drives can support up to 81TB of data and offers the best I/O performance.

Lastly, a 12-bay 3.5-inch front-accessible chassis supports SAS, SATA, or nearline SAS drives with four optional internal hot plug 3.5-inch drives and two optional rear 2.5-inch bays supports up to 131.6 TB to maximize storage.

r730xd with 12 LFF drives.
Dell PowerEdge R730xd with 12-bay chassis configuration.

The 24-bay SFF and 12-bay LFF chassis cannot be modified to accommodate the 18-bay SSD configuration so you will have to determine your storage and expansion needs before purchasing.

Several different RAID cards are supported including the PERC H330, H730P, H830, S130 and the H730. The new line of PERC controllers feature 6GB/s and or 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.

PERC H730 HD/RAID controller
Dell R730xd PERC H730 HD/RAID controller.

On the front of the PowerEdge R730XD

  • Power ON button,
  • Non-Maskable Interrupt
  • System ID buttons,
  • LED indicators
  • USB 2.0 port,
  • iDRAC Direct ports,
  • Video connector,
  • Optional Quick Sync bezel. 
r730xd front of system
Dell R730xd front of system features.

Dell’s iDRAC 8 Express Level Management Technology comes standard on the R730xd server.

iDRAC8 modules on R730xd motherboard.
iDRAC8 is embedded on the Dell R730xd motherboard.

Upgrading to iDRAC 8 Enterprise enables the dedicated Gigabit management port and vFlash SD slot. Allowing administrators to maintain complete control from any remote location using a browser and provides a virtual console, automatic updates and power capping. Administrators can monitor and manage the R730XD using Dell’s optional iDRAC Quick Sync remote monitoring solution. The 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.

mobile app with quick sync bezel on r730xd
The Dell R730xd supports the optional Quick-Sync bezel for on site updates using the Mobile App.

With NFC, data transfer happens in less than two seconds, and the bezel times-out after 30 seconds. 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.

Back of the server:

  • System identification button
  • Dedicated iDRAC 8 Enterprise connection
  • Serial port
  • VGA connector
  • 2 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connections
  • integrated NIC options
  • 6 PCIe slots
  • 2 rear SFF drive slots (optional)
  • Redundant power supplies,
  • iDRAC vFlash SD card slot (requires an iDRAC Enterprise license to activate)
view of back panel on teh r730xd
Dell PowerEdge R730xd back of system features.

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

back of r730xd wkith single 750W PSU
Dell PowerEdge R730xd back of sysetm with single 750W PSU and optional 2 SFF HD drive cage.

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

  • Riser 1 – CPU2 :
    • 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 – CPU2:
    • Slot 4: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x16
    • Slot5: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x8 (x16 connector)
  • Riser 3 – CPU1:
    • Slot 6: Full Height, Full Length, PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 connector)

The R730XD can weigh up to 81 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. If you need more storage, Dell’s PowerVault storage line offers Direct-Attached Storage and Network-Attached Storage options to suit your needs. In summary, the R730XD delivers powerful performance in a 2U forma factor with lots of room to grow.

Click for pricing and documentation on the dell PowerEdge R730xd server or leave a comment or question in the section below. If you have more urgent questions, contact IT Creations directly at (800_ 237-0402.