Hardware Spotlight: Dell XR11 – datacentre performance in a compact, rugged server

Our C-100 and C-200 encoders and decoders run on Commercial-of-the-Shelf (COTS) server hardware meaning users are not constrained by the fixed form factors and sizes of traditional encoder vendors.

Servers come in all shapes and sizes from many vendors, but the Dell XR11 is unique enough to deserve its own blog post. Our encoders and decoders are often installed in portable kits for use on outside broadcast events. But most servers don’t fit into traditional broadcast flight cases as they are designed for datacentres with deep racks. The servers that do fit often have limited processing power, constraining the number of encode and decode channels. So, users have had to build custom deep flight-cases which are difficult to transport and store. But the Dell XR11 solves these problems.

You can have it all!

The Dell XR11 means you can have it all, tremendous processing power in a short-depth form factor, meaning lots of encode/decode channels. Many fixed function encode/decode manufacturers don’t give you a choice of chassis but with a software based encoder/decoder you can use any suitable server hardware from server manufacturers. But packing that valuable equipment – with high spec CPUs and I/O cards onboard – into a flight case is inherently risky. But this server has been tested with vibration, shocks and dust to US MIL-STD so you can ship servers around the world in peace.

Tech Specs

The XR11 is a compact, ruggedised 1U server, supporting 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable CPU with up to 36 cores, giving excellent encode/decode channel density. With dual redundant power supplies, at less than 500mm (19”) rack depth and weighing under 11kg (24lb), it is ideal for flight case deployments and is built to cope with harsh environments (dust, extreme temperatures, vibration, etc).


Hosting several SDI (or ST 2110) channels on a single unit of course requires sufficient I/O capacity. By having two full full-height rear PCIe slots, up to sixteen SDI ports can be presented for use as either encoder inputs, or decoder outputs.

Global Support

As events take place around the world, it’s important to have the assurance of hardware support and warranty. Dell offer a global support agreement, including next business day on-site warranty, meaning replacement parts can be made available in the event of any hardware issues.

Find out more about how our C-100 and C-200 encoders and decoders are changing the way professional video is transported.

Open Broadcast Systems

About Open Broadcast Systems