HP ProLiant ML350p Gen8 review
A whisper-quiet pedestal server that combines good value, enormous expansion potential and class-leading remote management features in a flexible package
Review Date: 23 Oct 2012
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £4,633 (£5,560 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
HP’s latest pedestal server, the ML350p Gen8, is one of a small group of ProLiant models to skip a generation. Out go the Xeon 5500/5600 CPUs of the ML350 G6, and in come Intel’s E5-2600 chips with their higher core count, faster QPI and extra memory.
HP offers two versions of this server. The “performance” model reviewed here supports E5-2600 Xeons, while the “efficiency” model uses lower-cost E5-2400 processors. Whichever model you choose, though, this floor-stander has a split personality: it has flip-out carry handles in its base and can be specified as a 5U rack server instead.
Internally its design is efficient, and the transparent air shroud covering the motherboard makes the server look like an exhibition model. The entire assembly slides out easily and behind it the two CPU sockets are mounted centrally and surrounded by 24 DIMM sockets.
The price we’ve quoted here buys you a pair of eight-core 2GHz E5-2650 Xeons along with 16GB of RDIMM memory. RDIMMs support up to 384GB for a dual-CPU server, but with more expensive LR-DIMMs you can max out at the full 768GB. If you opt for cheap UDIMM memory, the maximum supported in dual-CPU configurations is 192GB.
With both CPUs in place, all eight PCI Express Gen3 slots and the single Gen2 slot are activated – two more than the Dell PowerEdge T620 offers. The ML350 comes with four embedded Gigabit network ports, but if you want more there’s plenty of room and HP offers a good selection of Gigabit and 10GbE HBAs.
In storage terms, the ML350p can’t match the T620, though. Its three storage bays at the front can accommodate only up to 24 SFF hard disks, where the T620 can handle up to 32. The ML350p is a better choice if you want large-capacity LFF drives, though, since it can squeeze in 18 as opposed to 12 for the T620.
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