Dell Server Guts
These are 3 machines that were laid out pretty cleanly. You probably can't see it, but there are 4 fans in front of each CPU. Several fans on the power supply and another across the motherboard make this one noisy server. Of course, since heat is the natural enemy of computers, I don't really care that it has more fans than all of the PC's in my office combined. I think that's a good thing.
As you can see from the picture above, the memory is easy to get at, and the wiring is pretty straight forward. There wasn't even a need for an add-on board in these servers. Of course, pretty much anything failing means the motherboard needs to be replaced in a Dell, but that's the way most any name brand server is these days.
The mail server that we'll be using was a little shorter, but what amazed me most about it was that it had no drive controller at all on the motherboard. The memory is much more difficult to get at, many fewer fans (two across the processor and one for the power supply was it). If you look closely, you can see two added-on drive controllers. One is a small daughterboard that contains an IDE and two SATA controllers which sticks out just behind the divider for the motherboard and drive portions of the case. The second is the SCSI card that was added on for the mirrored drives.
This has got to be one of the smallest server motherboards I've seen in a while. There really isn't any room wasted on the board, which is why the drive controllers had to be added as an afterthought. Seems rather funny to me to have a machine without a drive controller included on the motherboard, but then again - it is a Dell.