Dell PowerEdge 830
The new Dell PowerEdge 830 server straddles the line between bare-bones servers, such as Dell's own , and fully loaded machines, such as . The PowerEdge 830 offers a broad range of components that serve everyone from budget-minded small businesses to medium-size companies: Celeron D, Pentium 4, or dual-core Pentium D processors; slower SATA or scorching SCSI hard drives; and more. Every PowerEdge 830 ships with Dell's handy OpenManage program, which helps companies keep tabs on the systems attached to the server. The only reason for small to medium-size businesses not to consider this generally well-rounded server is if they need the power of dual processors; in that case, they can consider buying a slightly more full-featured system, such as the .
Businesses that will choose the midrange PowerEdge 830 have probably been around a while, meaning they likely have someone on staff with technical know-how. Though these people should be able to set up the server, they can still fall back on Dell's OpenManage Server Assistant software for help. The application guides you through essential steps in the setup process, prompting you for information on your company's network and how you plan to implement the server. It also steers you through the maze of installing whatever operating system you've picked for the system and assists with advanced capabilities, such as choosing a level of RAID protection for your SCSI hard drives (if you've configured the server with them). While the OpenManage Server Assistant software could stand a more comprehensive user guide, it's a general, helpful way to get through the sometimes-painful steps involved in setting up a server.
Unlike the PowerEdge SC430, the PowerEdge 830 offers management software beyond the OpenManage Server Assistant. The PowerEdge 830 comes equipped with the complete OpenManage suite, which features several individual programs for observing and upgrading the systems on your network. Those programs include Server Administrator, which monitors the health of network systems, lets you perform system upgrades, and alerts you in advance of impending system failures; Array Manager, which helps specifically with storage-device management; and IT Assistant, which keeps an inventory of devices on the network and also provides further fault-monitoring capabilities. Dell goes above and beyond the usual standard of documentation by shipping the PowerEdge 830 with dozens of comprehensive user guides pertaining to each OpenManage application.