HP ProLiant DL120 G7 review

HP's ProLiant DL120 G7 is aimed at SMBs replacing their old tower servers with rack models and for running dedicated apps in the enterprise. In this exclusive review Dave Mitchell finds out if HP's first Xeon E3 entry-level rack server is a capable dual purpose system.

Full control over power is provided so you can reset the server, power it off and on and emulate pressing the power button. An upgrade is required if you want KVM-over-IP remote control and virtual media services for presenting remote devices or folders to the server as boot devices and local storage.

HP’s Systems Management Homepage offers local and remote browser access to the server for general monitoring during system up

This upgrade also has power metering and capping features, but the DL120 G7 only has a dumb, cold-swap power supply so these features aren't available. However, when it comes to power consumption, we found the server reasonably frugal. Using our in-line power meter, we recorded a draw of 69W with Windows Server 2008 R2 in idle. With the SiSoft Sandra benchmark app pushing all eight logical processor cores to the max, usage peaked at 139W. Power draw in idle is high when compared to the PowerEdge R210 II which only pulled 44W.

This is probably due to the fans in the DL120 G7 as they seem to run slightly too fast. Noise levels are also high enough to make it unsuitable for smaller offices that may have it sitting on a desktop. The thermal controls in the server's BIOS are set to optimal cooling and the only other option is an increased cooling setting, so we couldn't drop the fan speeds.

Nevertheless, the DL120 G7 is good value compared to the competition, making this a good choice as a low-cost entry point into rack servers for SMBs. It'll also cope well as a dedicated application server and the inclusion of the iLO3 controller makes it well worth considering if remote management is a high priority.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The ProLiant DL120 G7 is a particularly good choice for SMBs that want a low cost rack server, although Dell’s PowerEdge R210 II is a better bet if you want something smaller and quieter. However, HP does pack a lot of features into this 1U chassis and enterprises will like its superior storage options and excellent iLO3 remote management controller.

Chassis: 1U rack

CPU: 3.3GHz Intel Xeon E3-1240

Memory: 4GB DDR3 UDIMM ECC expandable to 16GB

Storage: 2 x 250GB HP SATA2 hard disks in hot-swap carriers

RAID: HP Smart Array P212 PCI Express Zero Memory

Array support: RAID 0, 1, 10

Expansion: 2 x PCI Express slots

Network: 2 x Gigabit Ethernet

Management: Embedded iLO3

Software: HP SmartStart, Systems Management Homepage

Warranty: 1yr on-site Next Business Day

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