HP ProLiant DL580 Gen8 review

HP goes RISC hunting with the first Xeon E7 v2 server to market.

Editor's Choice
  • Top build; High core count and memory capacity; Low power usage; High reliability
  • 6TB of memory isn't cheap

HP's ProLiant DL580 Gen8 is the first server to market with Intel's Xeon E7 v2 processors. 

We take a look to see what the full production server is able to offer enterprises looking for a cost-effective alternative to expensive RISC systems. Designed to be used for big data, server consolidation, virtualisation and business intelligence, the DL580 Gen8 offers is a powerhouse.

Packing support for quad E7-8800/4800 v2 Xeons and a 3TB memory capacity can be pushed to 6TB when 64GB DIMMs become available. It Smart Array P830i card also makes it the first server to deliver a 12Gbps SAS RAID solution.

The entire drawer section is removed from the front to reveal the four CPU sockets and eight memory cartridges

Drawers and cartridges

The DL580 Gen8 takes many design features from the DL580 G7 as it uses a similar style drawer assembly. This houses four hot-swap cooling fans, all four processor sockets, eight memory slots and the lower five drive bays. 

The drawer is removed by pressing the button at the top which releases a large handle. Locking tabs on both sides of the drawer stop it accidentally falling out and with these depressed the drawer can be slid out completely. 

The high memory capacity has been achieved using cartridges each containing 12 DIMM slots. They are easily removed from the drawer and can be flipped open like a book with each side offering six DIMM slots. 

The cartridges have diagnostics LEDs identifying faulty DIMMs. Reliability is a key requirement and HP has a lot of memory resiliency features including advanced error recovery, automatic memory quarantine, DDDC, SDDC, mirroring and online sparing.

HP's new Smart Array P830i can have 2GB or 4GB FBWC and supports 12Gbps SAS drives

Storage options

HP's SPI (system peripheral interconnect) board fits in a dedicated slot at the rear and has the P830i RAID controller and cache memory slot onboard. It also has dual USB ports and a micro SD card slot for embedded hypervisors.

The P830i can have 2GB or 4GB of flash backed write cache and capacitor. It has the same features as the standard P830 PCI-e card and supports HP's SmartCache read caching and Smart Path which optimises SSD read operations.

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 review system came with four 15-core E7 v2 Xeons giving us a total of 120 logical cores

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