HP ProLiant DL585 G7 review
More costly than Dell's R815, but the DL585 G7 can't be beaten on storage features and remote management
Review Date: 20 Dec 2010
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £10,008 (£11,759 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
AMD is on to a winner with its Opteron 6100 processors. It wasn't long ago we were bemoaning the dearth of AMD review servers, but now we're being inundated by them. Dell was first through the labs with its quad-socket PowerEdge R815; we have Gateway's GR585 F1 this month; and now HP has given us exclusive access to a full production ProLiant DL585 G7.
The DL585 G7 is different to the 2U systems from Dell and Gateway. For starters, it's twice the height. The main reason for this is the full-width drawer at the front that contains primary and secondary daughterboards holding the processors and memory.
The drawer can be removed by pressing the clip at the top, which releases a large handle. Locking the tabs on the sides of the drawer stop it accidentally falling out, and with these depressed it can be slid out completely.
The daughterboards are stacked vertically, with each presenting two processor sockets and a total of 24 DIMM sockets. The top board has two release handles and can be easily removed to access the one underneath.
HP dedicates 12 DIMM sockets to each processor, although AMD's chipset supports a maximum of 512GB. Using costly 16GB DDR3 RDIMMs will take up only 32 of the available sockets, or you can go up to 384GB with a full house of 8GB modules.
Although the drawer takes up most of the front panel, HP has squeezed in eight SFF hot-swap disk bays. We were supplied with two 300GB 6Gbits/sec SAS drives, but HP also offers near-line SAS models so you can focus on capacity and price rather than performance.
The primary processor board in the base mates with a power distribution connector and a horizontal system board that takes up half the width of the chassis. There's a dedicated slot for a vertical SPI board packed with embedded features: it has a Smart Array P410i RAID controller and cache memory slot, with the pair of SAS ports cabled directly to the drive backplane.
I am reading your Enterprise reviews with great respect for many years already. (ItPro & PcPro). I am sure that you are the best reviewer that Dennis Publishing has (ever had?). But sometimes - maybe that's because I am getting old myself - I am getting impression that your standard physical criteria for a server haven't changed to properly reflect virtualization issues or actual power (as in performance) of the server itself.
I agree that if the server in question is not used for virtualization, then upgradeability and versatility is the most important criterion. But in the world of virtualization I am not so sure whether the maximum number of hard disks plays any role of importance as customers would most likely consider the purchase a storage array. Especially when the server in question sports as many as 48cores.
With this remark I maneuvered myself into a position where I have no other choice but to suggest to have separate criteria for virtualized and not virtualized servers.
The target group of 48cores servers are not SME’s looking for an SBS rollout, but larger enterprises purchasing not one, not two, but full racks of 48core servers. For this target group, the difference between 2U and 4U is far more significant than the technical statistic whether given server can handle 6 or 8 disks.
From this point of view, for larger enterprises 2U servers would be superior to 4U servers.
By stasi47 on 20 Dec 2010
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