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Upgrading Motherboard Dell PowerEdge 2550

Posted on 2011-05-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi all,

We have recently been handed a Dell PowerEdge 2550 server in perfect working order (it's been in incredibly stable/clean environment).  The spec. is to low for anything we could use it for but we loathe waste and were wondering if anyone knew if the motherboards in rackmount poweredges were standard and if we could upgrade this baby to something beefier?

Here's a link to the specific (service tag based) unit on the Dell website:

http://support.dell.com/support/DPP/Index.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&redirect=1&ServiceTag=CGBV011

Thanks!

Bob
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Question by:Mango-Man
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vabello earned 1000 total points
ID: 35743179
Disclaimer: I work for Dell and have deployed hundreds of PowerEdge Servers, however I do not work for any group that makes the PowerEdge series servers themselves.

All Dell PowerEdge rackmount servers are very unique and different from each other. Some of the newer generation machines have multiple revisions (2850 generation I and II, 2950 generation I, II, and III, etc.) where you can technically swap the motherboard out to gain slight improvements so you can support slightly newer revisions of CPU's, but you generally cannot go from one generation server to the next. The chassis design, power requirements and board layouts are all different. The boards are also non-standard form factor unfortunately, so you cannot transplant them to a non-Dell chassis.

The 2550 is an extremely old model server. Honestly you can get a used 2850 or 2950 for a few hundred dollars if you really want something that's half way usable for modern workloads. The age of the 2550 probably has spare parts costing more than a newer generation machine because they are more rare, although I haven't actually checked into this and don't follow the used markets too extremely closely for the PE Servers.

Probably not a useful answer, but I hope it does answer your question.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 1000 total points
ID: 35743259
No, there are too many complications to even attempting this.  For one, the board from any other server would probably not fit.  Two, the backplane, riser(s), memory, power supplies or power distribution boards, remote access controllers, and/or RAID components would not work from the 2550 on any other board and vice versa.  Even attempting this would cost way to much in procuring all the necessary parts, to the point that vabello's suggestion of simply buying a better model would be easier and way more cost-effective.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 1000 total points
ID: 35743272
Some things I've done with older systems like the 2550 (even with 2550's):  Donate to high school or university for educational purposes, low-traffic web servers, backup domain controllers, sell to local startups or enthusiasts (you could sell it on eBay, but the shipping makes it difficult to sell a server of this age and still profit anything), etc.
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by:Mango-Man
ID: 35888378
Thanks guys!  That's pretty much what I figured!
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