HPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10 review

HPE’s ProLiant DL560 Gen10 offers a high density Xeon Scalable power station at a tempting price

Editor's Choice
Price
£5,730
  • Easy upgrade from 2P to 4P; Top value; Versatile storage choices; Great iLO 5 management; Platform security
  • Upgrade the S100i RAID chip to avoid OS install issues

HPE steals a march on the competition as its ProLiant DL560 Gen10 is one of the first 2U-high 4P Xeon Scalable rack servers to market. Targeting SMEs and enterprises that want the best rack processing density, the DL560 Gen10 is designed to be highly scalable, allowing you to start small and grow as demand increases.

Base systems support two Xeon Scalable CPUs teamed up with 24 DIMM memory slots. When the time is right to step up to 4P processing, just add HPE's mezzanine board kit which delivers two more CPU sockets and another 24 DIMM slots.

A 4P system supports 6TB of DDR4 SmartMemory and can handle up to 24 of HPE's latest 16GB Persistent Memory NVDIMMs. These target high-demand apps such as analytics or databases and combine 16GB of high-performance DRAM plus 16GB of flash mounted on a standard DIMM module and protected by HPE's Smart Storage Battery.

The DL560 Gen10 is certified for all 4P-capable Xeon Scalable CPUs up to 205W TDPs so you can choose from low-cost Xeon 5100 models and scale right up to 28-core Platinums. HPE has also announced support for Intel's latest Gold 6143 and Platinum 8165 high-performance CPUs.

HPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10: Specs and internal design

On review is the entry 840369-B21 model, which gets you out of the starting blocks with a pair of 14-core 2.2GHz Intel Xeon Gold 5120 CPUs partnered by 32GB of DDR4 memory. Remember that the three members of the Xeon 5100 family support memory speeds up to 2,400MHz so to get the higher 2,666MHz speed, you need to specify Gold 6100 or Platinum 8100 CPUs.

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Internally, the server exudes a classy built quality and its tidy design affords quick access to all critical components for upgrades and maintenance. The two CPUs are mounted with solid passive heatsinks and the sockets are flanked on each side by 12 DIMM slots apiece.

Cooling is handled efficiently by a bank of 6 hot-plug fans behind the drive backplane and the entire assembly can be released and removed if required. Entry-level systems come with a single 3-slot PCI-Express riser card at the rear and there's room for a second 3-slot riser alongside, plus a 2-slot riser over the PSU bay.

On 2P systems, a large air shroud covers the CPU sockets and memory and is discarded to make way for the mezzanine board upgrade. This is a simple process, as the new board drops neatly into the metal support bracket and is secured by flipping down and locking its release handle.

HPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10: Storage choices

All models start with HPE's embedded Smart Array S100i controller which supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays for up to 14 SATA drives. It's not a great choice, as it only supports UEFI boot mode and Windows, doesn't cooperate with HPE's Intelligent Provisioning and won't talk to its integral Smart Array Administrator tool.

To get Windows Server 2016 on our system, we booted the server from a UEFI USB stick with the ISO and manually injected the Windows S100i driver during a standard installation. To avoid these issues, we recommend one of HPE's Smart Array snap-in modules which are far more amenable and offer advanced features such as SAS3 support, more RAID array options plus a choice of cache capacities.

Storage choices are extensive; the DL560 Gen10 employs HPE's standard 8+8+8 drive bay configuration layout, allowing up to 24 SFF drives to be installed in blocks. You can also fit HPE's universal media unit in the left bay which provides dual USB3, a DisplayPort plus optical drive and room for two SFF drives.

Up to 12 NVMe SSDs are supported with 2 in the first bay, 8 in the second bay and 2 more in the third bay. The mainboard also offers a pair of USB 2 ports and a microSD card slot for booting into an embedded hypervisor.

HPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10: Power, networks and management

Our system includes a single 1,600W hot-plug PSU and the bay has room for a second alongside. Dispense with the 2-slot riser and you can add another Flex Slot power backplane with two more PSUs connected to a separate power supply for extra redundancy.

A single locking tab on the right-hand PCI-Express riser means it can be released with a flick of the wrist and underneath you'll find HPE's FlexibleLOM slot. The price of our system includes a quad Gigabit module and HPE also offers a range of 10GbE and 25GbE adapters.

With HPE's iLO5 embedded management controller on the case, the DL560 Gen10 offers stiff platform security. This includes Secure Start, Secure Recovery and firmware validation using HPE's Silicon Root of Trust fingerprinting which will stop the server booting if it fails this test.

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The iLO5 web interface is packed with useful information about critical components and if you upgrade to an Advanced or Essentials license, you'll get power metering, full OS remote control and virtual media services. We also added the server's iLO5 details to the lab's virtualized Hyper-V OneView app where we could closely monitor CPUs, power plus temperatures and use its tools for controlling power and running remote control sessions.

HPE ProLiant DL560 Gen10: Verdict

The ProLiant DL560 Gen10 is in a class of its own - it crams a remarkable Xeon Scalable package into a low-profile 2U chassis and teams this up with good storage choices and reassuringly tough platform security. It's ideal for businesses that want to pay only for what they need now but have the option to add more horsepower in the future as it can be upgraded from 2P to 4P capabilities in an instant.

Verdict

Growing businesses that want a low-profile Xeon Scalable server that can keep up with them will find a lot to like about HPE’s highly scalable ProLiant DL560 Gen10

Chassis: 2U rack CPU: 2 x 14-core 2.2GHz Intel Xeon Gold 5120 (max 4) Memory: 32GB ECC DDR4 2,400MHz (max 6TB, 2,666MHz) Drive bays: 8 x hot-plug SFF (max 24) Storage: No HDDs included as standard RAID: HPE Smart Array S100i Gen10 SW RAID Array support: RAID0, 1, 5, 10 Expansion: 3 x PCI-e Gen3 slots (max 8) Network: 4 x Gigabit FlexibleLOM Other: Internal USB 2 (2), microSD card slot Power: 1 x 1600W hot-plug PSU (max 4) Management: HPE iLO5 Standard with Gigabit Warranty: 3yrs on-site NBD

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