Dell 6850 power requirements

We recently updated some lagging DB servers to new hardware. We installed some new Dell 6850 quad processor machines with 8GB ram, internal Perc raid mirror and external PowerVault 2200s storage. The hardware provisioning went fine with the exception of one odd matter, Dell PowerEdge 6850’s only run on 220volt AC!

All our existing PDU’s were 20 amp 110v and running at 70% utilization so even if the the servers worked on 110 they would put us over capacity. I just thought it was odd that the servers only ran on 220 when their non-rackmount counterparts, the 6800’s run on either 110 or 220. Dell says it’s due to space constraints on the new 6850’s, they don’t have the room to have a larger power supply.

Anyway, if you’re ordering 6850’s make sure you get dell to include a 16 amp 220v PDU and the proper power cables. Thanks to the quick response time of the guys at Savvis we had our power divation installed in 3 days, which made my life a lot easier.

As a side note, if you’re building a DB server that needs to really haul you should spend some serious time evaluating the fastest possible I/O configuration for your budget. Moving from raid5 to raid 1+0 and separating innodb storage from binlogs and temp tables has made our MySQL server at least 2-3 X faster.

9 Replies to “Dell 6850 power requirements”

  1. Could you be so kind as to tell me the PDU you’re using with your 6850’s, and how many 6850’s you have plugged into it? I’m working through this problem now, and Dell is trying to sell me a $1,000 UPS and a $5,000 high-power PDU that will feed the 2 ($70) 12amp PDUs a different rep (who agreed with my electrician that we could install 6-15(15 amp) plugs, that I seem to have to remove for 6-20(20 amp) plugs) sold me.


  2. We have a 20 amp 208V circuit from our colo, their UPS/PDU is all Liebert stuff, not sure on the model #’s. From there that connects to a Dell 16A PDU strip. I don’t have the specific model handy. We run both PE6850’s off the single 208V 20A circuit with no problems. I’ve booted both at the same time to simulate the most load these boxes would produce and we haven’t tripped the breaker in the PDU.

  3. If you live in a house or appartment, you can also plug the 220 volts line coming from the panel, directly to the 6850 power wire. Cut the power wire, put some nuts
    and voilà. No need for a PDU.

    But the PDU has the advantage to have a breaker.

    Me too I brought the 6850 server, for the same reason, my DB was lagging too much.

  4. Hey Guys anybody know where to get a 110v to 220v converter that will work with the PowerEdge 6850 or any wiring requirements/schematics i can do to my location to achieve 220v, im not that familiar with this server’s power requirements and it will be housed on our location as standby servers. thanks…

  5. All I know is that they do sell step-up transformers out there.

    My only issue is if the Server will need Two Phase or Single Phase. Since I would be converting a 110v to 220v with the transformer it would lack the power vibration or sine wave from a two phase circuit.

    My only question is if the server will need two phase power.

    I have contacted Dell and have had not luck in researching the matter. They stated that the server only likes 220v and they had no knowledge about the power handling on a two phase circuit.

  6. Hi everyone,

    I know this power supply is for a server but I will like to use for another thinks in the house. The power supply is connected to 220 v, how can get the 12 v in the out or the only way to get that volts is working with the server?

  7. Garwil,

    I have no idea, you might have some luck online looking for pinouts but since it’s a proprietary power supply it may be hard to use for another purpose. There is a lot of information online on how to use a regular ATX computer power supply for electronics work. As always, when working with electricity use caution!

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