An acoustical approach to the Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers

Posted on behalf of Chris E. Peterson, Senior Mechanical Acoustical Engineer

In early 2010, we started getting feedback from our customers on the acoustics of our 11th generation of PowerEdge servers. You said that you were concerned about the fan noise. You told us that some of our tower servers were not suitably quiet for a small office environment. We also heard that customers were choosing to put racks in office environments and were objecting to the sound. We had some work to do.

In preparing for the Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers, we took that feedback very seriously. In fact, these servers were designed and built based on input from over 7,700 customer interactions in 17 countries across four continents. In the acoustics lab, we took new approaches for our 12th generation of PowerEdge servers. For example, we set specific acoustical signatures for different product configurations. This allows a minimum configurations or low utilization to run a much lower fan speed than in previous generations of products, resulting in much lower acoustical output. We also refined our thermal control algorithms to consider and respond appropriately to many different usage cases. This means that components are still assured to meet thermal requirements yet allow fans to accomplish a combination of fan speeds for lowest acoustical output. You can read more about this in the Dell Server Advanced Thermal Control Whitepaper .

We are proud of the acoustical progress in 12th generation, and look forward to your continued feedback, as we innovate solutions for your evolving acoustical needs. The video below captures some of the history and our acoustical strategy.

Sarah Vela

About the Author: Sarah Vela

Sarah is the Chief Blog Strategist for Dell Technologies. Born in New York and raised in New England, she has been living and working in the Austin area for over 20 years, but she knows that doesn't make her a true Texan. She joined Dell in the spring of 2011, left briefly for another company, but realized her mistake and returned in November of 2019. Sarah has five kids, two dogs, two cats, and no free time.