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Product Review: HP ProLiant DL380p Gen 8 Server

This server delivers easy configuration and management.

Whether used as a standalone or as part of a buildingwide data center, the HP ProLiant DL380p Generation 8 server works effectively in any computing environment.

HP designed the DL380p to reduce the workload on IT staff while maximizing uptime and reliability, building in powerful Intel Xeon E5-2600 series processors, up to 768 gigabytes of RAM, and Gigabit Ethernet/10 Gig-E networking. IT managers can order the versatile server with onboard RAID storage or connect it to an existing storage area network, and deploy it as a stand-alone server or as part of a group.

We tested the server using Microsoft Windows Server 2012, but it also supports Linux, VMware and other operating systems. The test unit came equipped with two six-core Intel Xeon E5-2640 processors, 64GB of RAM and four 15,000 RPM SAS drives in a RAID array.

Advantages

The DL380p provides an optimum of efficiency and power, as well as significant flexibility. HP provides a nearly endless set of configuration choices. For example, the DL380p can support as many as 25 small hard drives in its 2U chassis, but IT managers can also configure it for large drives and include space for a DVD drive.

One major cost advantage: Organizations can buy the DL380p and upgrade it as needed, rather than replacing the server as requirements change. The machine's tool-free chassis design enables quick and easy replacement of components. Because the server features transparent air cooling baffles, maintenance technicians can see inside the machine without removing anything.

Why It Works for IT

With the launch of the DL series, HP began designing servers with the goal of reducing the workload on IT staff. Now in its eighth generation, the server features many productivity enhancements, including setup software embedded in the firmware to eliminate the stack of DVDs that was previously required. Likewise, the integrated lights-out management system provides for remote monitoring, management and consolidated reporting for a group of servers.

Built with ease of maintenance in mind, the DL380p's intuitive design lets operators see at a glance what's not working so they can swap it out. For instance, if a drive in the array needs to be replaced, the server illuminates that drive and flashes a "do not touch" warning on the others. Small touches like that go a long way toward eliminating errors, expediting maintenance and reducing total cost of ownership. HP also provides toll-free access when more help is needed.

The DL380p is available with solid-state drives to reduce maintenance even further, and the onboard management system includes an SSD wear indicator so that devices can be replaced before they fail. If an IT staff were to design their ideal server, it's very likely this machine would meet everything on their wish list.

Disadvantages

Experienced HP technicians may be confused when first installing the Gen 8 version of the DL380 because the Smart Start disc package has been eliminated in favor of firmware that automates the update and operating system installation process.

HP
Jul 18 2013