Just received new Dell R720 VMware hosts

Have just taken delivery of ten Dell R720 servers, spec as follows:

  • 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2690 2.90GHz CPUs (8 core, 20M cache, 8GT/s)
  • 192GB RAM (1600MHz RDIMMs, 12 x 16GB sticks so will run at full speed)
  • Emulex LPe12002-E dual port 8Gb Fibre Channel HBA
  • Broadcom 57800 2 x 10Gb DA/SFP+ & 2 x 1Gb BT network daughter card
  • 2 x Broadcom 5719 Quad 1Gb NIC
  • iDRAC7 Enterprise

Will be running memtest86 for a few days, then replacing ten old HP DL580 G5 quad boxes.

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7 Responses to Just received new Dell R720 VMware hosts

  1. Gabi says:


    Just wondering how you are getting on with the R720’s,

    I have a very small project, which will be virtualising around 15 servers with around 1.5TB and thinking of getting a couple of these with local storage on a raid 10.




  2. Gabi says:


    Thanks for the reply and additional information, do you know if you can use any disk or does it have to be an SSD with Dells firmware?

    Excellent, seems like you have a great setup. Any reason why you went for the Broadcom NICs instead of the Intel?

    Additionally, are you serving up any desktops with that infrastructure, such as XenApp? Would be great to hear :)

    Thank you a million,

    Best wishes,



    • rcmtech says:

      According to this guy, with the right PERC firmware a non-Dell SSD will work but you might not want the side effects (and no doubt lack of Dell support) http://www.modelcar.hk/?p=5933
      I think I went for Broadcom cards because of price, I’d had no problems with them before. Just seems to be that particular model’s driver that has issues with VMware. The workaround to disable NetQueue seems to work fine.
      I’m not running any XenApp on the R720s, but I am running all my XenApp on 16 R710s (and have been since 2009) using free XenServer 5.5 (but probably changing to Server 2012 soon).


  3. Gabi says:

    Using XenServer, cool. That is a nice setup.

    2012 isn’t going to be free through, directly, any particular reason why?

    Do you have any more info in your setup, sounds great :) possibly will be doing something similar to you, but on a smaller scale.

    Are you providing full desktops with XenApp or published apps?

    Thanks a million,



  4. rcmtech says:

    2012 Hyper-V will give me better features than XenServer or vSphere. I picked XenServer (5.5) originally because of the central management console and the fast disk clone feature, but 2012 wins because Windows is easy to manage, I can live migrate VMs to a different host even though I’m using local storage, I still get a central management console but I can now also use PowerShell to script XenApp farm rebuilds etc.

    I’m running both full desktops and published apps through XenApp, but am currently thinking about ditching it in favour of RDP, which would save on XenApp licensing. RDP v7 and especially v8 have all the features I need.


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