Depending on chassis configuration, only two of the PCI Express slots may, in practice, be used so it was good to find networking handled by a Dell Select network adapter sat in a custom slot of its own. Ours had four Gigabit Ethernet ports on-board with twisted pair connectors, but cards with optical ports are also available and dual-port 10GbE adapters.
Any of the available network ports can be used for remote management, with a separate dedicated Gigabit network interface also included with the iDRAC remote management controller. All of the 12G servers include version 2 of Dell's market-leading Lifecycle Controller. The basic iDRAC 7 Express implementation comes as standard while ours also had the optional Enterprise upgrade, adding valuable KVM over IP capabilities complete with virtual media support.
We really appreciated this option, using the iDRAC interface to both remotely configure BIOS options and install and manage our Windows Server 2008 R2 setup from a desktop PC.
We could also remotely manage the embedded VMware hypervisor installed on the review system, Dell employing its unique dual redundant SD card technology here to enable the hypervisor to still boot in the event of one of the images becoming unreadable. Just how common that is nobody could tell us, but it is a “nice to have” option and doesn’t cost much.
What you ultimately get with the PowerEdge R620 is down to the options you put in it, but with a high base spec and remarkable scope for expansion it’s an impressive platform and one that can be used to handle a broad spectrum of datacentre tasks.