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Sep 05 2015

HP Proliant Microserver Gen 8 Unboxing

A bit out of order given that I’ve already put up a video showing how to install a micro SD card or USB stick in the HP Microserver but I can’t let that get in the way of  a good unboxing!

 

So, why did I choose the HP Proliant Microserver (Gen 8) over building my own box?

I guess what appealed to me was the small form factor and the functionality it could pack in such a small case. The case for our existing server can hold oodles of drives and the motherboard itself can handle up to ten hard drives. However, the server has never had any more than four drives in it at any one time as I’ve retired older, smaller drives after a few years with newer, larger drives. Given that this microserver can officially handle four hard drives (more if you get creative) then there shouldn’t be an issue.

Another neat feature is the iLO capability built into the microserver. iLO stands for “Integrated Lights Out” and has long been a staple of high grade servers. Basically, this capability allows you to connect to and control the device remotely as if you had a keyboard, mouse and monitor connected. This isn’t just your normal remote desktop though – you can get right into the guts of the BIOS watch the POST (power-on self test) take place) and even select a boot device. This functionality works even if the server itself is shutdown although the power at the wall still needs to be turned on.

The other value add with its server are the upgrade options.

By default, the entry level model ships with a fairly modest dual core G1610T Celeton CPU @ 2.3GHz and 35W. As this CPU lacks hyper-threading, you are limited to two threads. However, you can drop in a beefier CPU such as the quad core Xeon E3-1265L V2 CPU which does have hyper-threading enabling a more substantial eight threads – perfect for handling multiple virtual machines!

The HP Microserver also accepts up to 16GB RAM which again makes it a good candidate for handling VMs.

So, I’m still procuring some bits and pieces (I’ve got the Xeon CPU, just need to get the RAM and hard drives) but I’ve got Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 running off the internal USB port

2 comments

  1. Alan Laz

    I’ve bought one of these and they are very well made and great value. ($260 from a Sydney supplier in January 2016)

    – 2GB RAM is low end, but I had a spare 2GB RAM chip = 4GB
    – Installed Server 2012 on it but it never saw my main WD drives (I had 2 SSD as well as 2 WD NAS drives).

    Gave up any more effort on the windows server, (i’m not really a techie but like playing) so I then bought a Seagate 4 BAY NAS which arrived diskless but within about an hour I have a 2 volume NAS total storage 12TB but with RAID 1, so I have 1 2TB volume and 1 4TB volume. Took about a day to move all my data across from an excellent but ageing volume MEDION unit. . Seagate NAS build quality not a patch on HP of course. Although it is in service, the HP is back in the box.

    Thanks for your video on YouTube on inserting a MicroSD card; I’m going to install FREENAS on this tonight with the remaining SSD and the 32 GB card. Looking forward to trying this out.

    1. Boyd Chan

      I installed Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 on mine with several guests installed on it. Originally, Hyper-V was installed on an internal USB stick but it was just painfully slow. Ended up chucking that on an SSD that I connected to the ODD SATA port.

      It is weird how the drives don’t show up in Windows though. I’ve just left it in RAID mode and allocated each drive as its own separate RAID 0 array. I use Drive Bender under my Windows Server 2012 R2 guest to pool all of the virtualised storage drives into one big drive.

      Anyway, hope things go off without a hitch for your go at FreeNAS!

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