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Gateway GR360 F1 review

Verdict

Gateway is back in town and HP had better watch out, with its new server putting up strong competition to the DL360

Review Date: 30 Jul 2010

Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell

Price when reviewed: £1,499 (£1,761 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

It's been a long time since we've seen the Gateway server brand in the UK, but thanks to the Acer Group it's back, and this time it means business. Gateway's launching a big family of rack, pedestal and blade servers, with a firm focus on SMBs and medium-sized businesses. In this exclusive review, we bring you the first look at its GR360 F1 rack server, which takes on HP's ProLiant DL360 G6 (web ID: 256303).

Other servers in the Gateway family are also pitted against HP models: the Gateway GR380 2U rack server targets the top-selling HP ProLiant DL380 G6 and the pedestal-based GR350, the ML350 G6.

Gateway isn't implementing a direct sales model but is targeting the channel only. It plans to compete in the 1,000-seat space, where it sees plenty of room for a creditable second place - so IBM and Dell are also in its sights.

Gateway GR360 F1

So does the GR360 F1 give Gateway the ammunition to take on the big boys in the 1U rack world? First impressions are certainly positive. Build quality and design are good, and it has the measure of HP's DL360 G6 in the storage department, as the server's front panel has room for up to eight hot-swap SFF SAS or SATA hard disks. RAID options start with an embedded Intel controller that supports the six embedded SATA ports on the motherboard.

It can handle mirrors, stripes and RAID5, but these are implemented in software only. HP has the edge here, since the DL360 comes as standard with an embedded P410i controller and a pair of four-port SAS interfaces on the motherboard.

The GR360 can be easily upgraded to improve its storage outlook, as the L-shaped motherboard accepts Gateway's Flex I/O cards. These offer some unusual expansion options: the cards plug directly into an interface slot at the bottom of the central riser.

They sit flush with the motherboard, so don't obstruct the riser's own PCI Express expansion slot above. There's also room for another PCI Express card on the other side, although it would have to be very short so as not to obstruct the processor's heatsink in front of it.

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