Thursday, December 6, 2012

HP ProLiant DL380p Gen8: The Good, Bad and Not-So Ugly

Continuing with our review of the latest product generations, this week we are going to take a hard look at the HP ProLiant DL380p Gen8 rack server.  The design of the server differs drastically from the HP ProLiant DL380 G7, with the power supply being the sole shared component. HP has stated that these changes were made based off of customer feedback that they received on the G7.

While this may certainly be true, and the new LRDIMM’s definitely offer faster memory speed and doubled capacity (all the way up to 768GB!), it will cause some difficulties for customers who are used to working off of a G6 and G7 built-up supply of spares that will not be usable with the DL380p Gen8. And Gen8 servers can be incompatible with some datacenter OS's because they only run Windows 2008R2 and above.

Other generational changes that the HP DL380p Gen8 server has delivered include the Intel Xeon E5 processor family. As a brand, spanking new processor, the Intel Xeon E5 offers performance boosts, and advanced features such as reduced I/O network latency and increased energy efficiency. Another generational change includes the new HP Integrated Lights Out 4 (iLO 4). With iLO 4, the HP DL380p Gen8 server comes equipped with new automated capabilities including HP Agentless Management, HP Active Health System and HP Sea of Sensors 3D. Also, the new FlexLOM modules that the DL380p Gen8 offers is a much improved alternative when it comes to dealing with LAN on the motherboard.

With all of the new advanced features and the overhaul when it comes to system design, the HP ProLiant DL380 Gen8 may be an intimidating leap to make. But the field serviceability of the Gen8 server is actually pretty simplified with the new levels of automation it offers, easing the load of any datacenter management chores. So when it comes to performance, it’s no contest between the Gen8 and G7, but when it comes to being the right fit for your datacenter, it’s totally dependent on your set-up.

-KH

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