Two 2.5in drive bays are provided for SAS, SATA and/or SSD drives. These are connected to an enhanced HP Smart Array Controller that now ships with 512MB Flash Back Write Cache as standard, delivering up to 3x the performance of its predecessor. This is an integrated SAS controller that supports RAID 0 and RAID 1 for the two internal drives, and has a 512MB flash backed write cache standard.
The entry-level version is driven by one four-core Intel Xeon E5 2.5GHz CPU though there's a socket for a second CPU, with 16GB of RAM, expandable to 512GB. At this price-point throughput is the name of the game and accordingly the BL460c has two FlexFabric 10 Gigabit ports.
To add to the laundry-list of features, the BL460c features next-generation HP iLO and cloud-enabled Insight Management.
All this high spec power doesn't come cheap: the fully-loaded model carries no less than a £6K price tag – and the hard drives are extra.
10/ IBM System x3650 M4
The x3650 M4 is the latest version of IBM's popular 2U form-factor rack-mounted server.
The server is feature-rich and very scalable, with the capacity to cope with 16 Small Form-Factor drives or 32 1.8in SSDs, giving a maximum of 18TB.
It can take up to two Intel Xeon CPUs, 24 DDR3 DIMMs or 768GB, up to 6 PCI Express slots and four Gigabit network ports, upgradable to two 10GB ports with a mezzanine card. There are no less than six RAID options available, too, so you can really mix 'n' match to suit your needs here, to 'grow' the server with the business.
Virtualisation options are supported by an internal bootable USB port. A notable feature of this range is IBM's new UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface), which offers a setup menu for general server configuration, a boot device manager and a diagnostics GUI.
Power consumption is important for racked servers and the x3650 M4 pulls only modest power even under maximum load, something you can monitor with IBM's IMM2 management software. This makes the x3650 M4 easy to deploy, integrate, service and manage.