I’ve been using the Dell CS24-SC servers at work now for about two years, so I figured I’d post about them. While they are Dell-branded systems, they are manufactured for Dell by Quanta. Most of them were manufactured for Facebook. The most common hardware configuration we’ve seen is a Dual Xeon L5420 with 16GB RAM.
The BIOS and BMC firmware that comes on most of these systems are horribly outdated. There are a few BIOS and BMC firmware versions floating around, but the most stable ones I’ve found are BIOS 3A25 and BMC version 2.50. They are available on robwillis.info.
The systems perform very well and are reasonable on power usage compared to other servers utilizing these CPUs, thanks to the DDR2 ECC PC2-5300P Registered RAM modules. These RAM modules use a fraction of the power that Fully Buffered DIMMs use, which was the most common RAM used on the Xeon 5400 series. The CS24-SC is limited to a maximum of 24GB RAM using 4GB modules. The RAM is also available very inexpensively on the used market.
They run all modern operating systems with no issues that we’ve run into so far.
Based on performance per dollar, these systems are a great value, even though they are as much as 7 years old now.