HP ProLiant DL380 G6 server review

HP is a late arrival at the Xeon 5500 party and in this exclusive review we see whether the wait for the new sixth generation ProLiants was worthwhile.

In single processor systems cooling is handled by four hot-swap fans, which are upgraded to six for dual processors. Sensors control fan speeds carefully and we were very impressed with the low noise levels as the review system was almost silent during testing.

For local and remote server management HP hasn't made the sweeping changes we've seen with Dell's new servers. The motherboard sports HP's trusty iLO2 chip, which offers a dedicated Fast Ethernet port at the rear and a tidy web interface, which provides plenty of control over the server.

You can reset the server, power it off and on and emulate pressing the power button and iLO2 provides tools for monitoring the status of the controller or server and viewing installed components. It offers full remote control and with the optional advanced feature key you get the power management tools. This adds manual power capping and graphs showing peak and average consumption.

HP's Insight Control Suite software delivers enhanced browser-based remote server monitoring. Any HP server with an Insight agent can be accessed remotely and it provides detailed reports on system operations, asset management, options to remotely upgrade firmware and the ability to set alerting thresholds on critical components. Most significantly, it introduces HP's dynamic power capping, which manages consumption across multiple servers so allowing more to be squeezed into your data centre by using the utility supply more efficiently.

Along with support for the Xeon 5500 Series of processors, HP's new DL380 G6 has a keen focus on power management. It offers an impressive storage capacity and expansion potential along with low power consumption and noise output whilst HP's management package is still one of the best on the market.

Verdict

HP’s sixth generation ProLiant DL380 builds on an already impressive reputation and delivers plenty of new features with power management and performance as key criteria. Storage potential is very good, power consumption is amongst the lowest we’ve seen for a 2U rack server and the sophisticated remote management tools now include some valuable dynamic power controls.

Chassis: 2U rack

CPU: 1 x 2.4GHz E5530 Xeon

Memory: 6GB 1333MHz DDR3

Storage: 3 x 72GB HP SAS SFF 15K hard disks in hot-swap carriers

RAID: HP embedded Smart Array P410i with 256MB cache

Array support: RAID0, 1, 10, 5

Expansion: 3 x PCI-e slots (max 6)

Network: 4 x embedded Gigabit

Power: 1 x 460W hot-plug supply

Management: HP iLO2 with 10/100

Software: HP Insight Control Suite 3.1

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