HP ProLiant DL360p Gen8 server review

HP has added a raft of improvements to its eighth generation 1U server. We take a look to see if the enhancements to the Sea of Sensors monitoring tool and increased automation capabilities are worth the £6000 asking price.

Price
£5,997

The DL360p Gen8 1U rack server delivers support for Intel's E5-2600 Xeons and targets businesses looking for a rack dense package which can handle high demand workloads.

The launch of the Gen8 ProLiants represents the culmination of Project Voyager HP's mission to automate the entire lifecycle of its servers. HP boldly claims it can reduce long term power consumption, drastically cut the time to resolve problems and slash operational costs across the board.

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A key feature of the Gen8 ProLiants is they all show off HP's new iLO4 chip. This provides the foundation for all server management and comes as standard with HP's Agentless Management, Active Health System (AHS) and Embedded Remote Support features.

Server monitoring gets even more sophisticated as HP's Sea of Sensors goes 3D. This feature was originally introduced in the seventh generation ProLiants and HP has added 28 thermal sensors throughout the server and its own PCI-e and mezzanine cards.

These sensor allow the iLO4 to keep a close eye on temperatures across the entire system and identify any hot-spots. It's surprising how much power cooling fans can suck up and the iLO4 aims to cut energy costs by firing up them up as and when required.

Intelligent Provisioning feature.

OS installation gets a whole lot easier with HP's new Intelligent Provisioning feature

Intelligent Provisioning

The AHS monitors the server and stores up to 1GB of diagnostics data which can be securely downloaded to HP support for faster problem resolution. It links up with HP's new SmartMemory and SmartDrive devices and if it identifies a problem or impending failure, arranges for replacement memory and hard drives to be ordered in advance.

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A new feature we were pleased to see was Intelligent Provisioning. This makes it possible to load an OS on an HP server without having to boot it first from the SmartStart DVD; something which is long-overdue. Accessed from the startup menu, it makes deployment much easier although it's worth noting Dell introduced a similar feature over three years ago in its PowerEdge R610.

Storage capacity has been improved over the G7 model as you have four LFF, eight SFF or ten SFF drive bay options. The disk carriers show off HP's SmartDrive feature as they are packed with status LEDs. A locate LED on each carrier glows blue whilst the drive is being identified by the host and flashes when it's being updated.

HP SmartDrive

HP's new SmartDrive carriers and integral LEDs provide plenty of visual cues to hard disk operations

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