HP ProLiant ML350p Gen8 review

Reviews 5 Nov, 2012

HP’s biggest 2P server to date boasts a mighty chassis which combines a high storage capacity, support for E5-2600 Xeons and excellent remote management.

4
Price: 
£4,633
ex VAT
Verdict: 
This high capacity pedestal server covers a lot of bases and its versatility will appeal to SMBs and enterprises alike. HP’s remote management is the best on the market and its low noise levels make it well suited to remote or small office deployments.

The ML350 family is one of a small number of ProLiant servers which skipped a generation. Consequently, the latest Gen8 system on review represents a significant update of the elderly G6 model which was launched way back in 2009.

First up is the dual function chassis as the ML350p Gen8 has flip-out carry handles in its base and can be specified at the order stage as a 5U rack server instead. There’s much more as out go the Xeon 5500/5600 CPUs and in comes Intel’s E5 Xeons with their higher core count, faster QPI and much bigger memory capacity.

HP offers two distinct versions of this server. The ‘p’ performance model on review here supports E5-2600 Xeons whilst the ‘e’ efficiency model uses lower cost E5-2400 processors.

The ML350p Gen8 presents a superbly designed interior and the big air shroud drops noise levels to a whisper

Storage features

The ML350p scores highly for storage capacity as it accepts up to three bays at the front with room for a total of 24 SFF hard disks. If you want even more then check out Dell’s equally huge PowerEdge T620 (web ID:641593) which supports up to 32 SFF drives. However, the ML350 is a better bet if you want large capacity LFF drives as it can squeeze in 18 as opposed to 12 for the T620.

The drive carriers show off HP’s SmartDrive feature. Each is packed with coloured LEDs so you can see at a glance which are being accessed or updated, any that have failed or are about to fail and those that must not be removed.

The server comes with HP’s integral Smart Array P420i RAID controller. A range of cache options are available and the price we’ve shown includes the full 2GB FBWC (flash backed write cache) module. This uses a small capacitor instead of a battery pack and only takes five minutes to charge up.

Internal design is extremely efficient and the large transparent air shroud covering the entire motherboard makes the server look like an exhibition model. The whole assembly slides out easily and behind it you have the two CPU sockets mounted centrally and surrounded by 24 DIMM sockets.

HP’s Sea of Sensors 3D provides a wealth of data about server operations and health

Specifications: 

Chassis: Tower or 5U rack

CPU: 2 x 2GHz Xeon E5-2650

Memory: 16GB DDR3 RDIMM expandable to 384GB (768GB with LR-DIMMs)

Storage: 2 x 600GB HP SAS 10K hot-swap SFF hard disks (max.24)

RAID: Smart Array P420i with 2GB FBWC/capacitor

Array support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5, 50, 6, 60

Expansion: 8 x PCI-e Gen3, 1 x PCI-e Gen2

Network: 4 x Gigabit

Power: 2 x 750W hot-plug supplies

Management: HP iLO4 Standard with 10/100

Warranty: 3yrs on site NBD

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