Review: HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8

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The tested unit was equipped with a 2.8GHz Intel Core i3-32220T dual-core processor, 8 GB of 800MHz DDR3 memory and two 2-TB SATA hard drives configured as a RAID 0 array. Testers were not particularly impressed with the Gen8 MicroServer's Geekbench scores, but we'd chalk that up to its less than stellar Matrox G200 GPU.

The ProLiant MicroServer Gen8
The ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 can sustain 117K IOPS (click to enlarge).

Testing was conducted with the unit set for its maximum resolution of 1,280 x 1,024. We downloaded Geekbench 2.4 from Primate Labs, which turned in performance scores that were never lower than 7400 and peaked at 7874. More impressive were the MicroServer's transaction processing and throughput performance numbers, as reported by IOmeter 2006. Its two-drive array was able to crank out a peak transfer rate of 195 MBps and a sustained rate of about 187 MBps when tested with 32K packets. Perhaps more important is its ability to process transactions, which we measured at a sustained 43K IOPS with 4K packets and a steady 117K with 512-byte data. In most cases, the optimal transaction queue size was determined to be eight.


HP introduced the MicroServer in 2010, pricing it at $349 with an AMD Turion II dual-core processor and 250-GB drive. It saw moderate success in EMEA, but U.S. resellers stayed away. "One of the reasons our channel partners have stayed away from this segment is because of the small revenue," said an HP spokesperson, speaking of the shared-storage market for small workgroups typically dominated by NAS devices. "You have to be reasonably technical for NAS, so we thought that with a managed, easy-to-use, remotely deployable and manageable device, channel partners could have access to the segment and make it up in volume."

The ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 now includes support for iLO 4, the company's Integrated Lights-Out embedded management engine, which makes it possible for service providers to remotely monitor, manage and configure the server. It also allows remote admins to mount media, install software and reboot, even if the machine is otherwise not responding to input.

In addition to Windows Server, the HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 also can be ordered with Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Suse Enterprise Linux Server; a VMware ESXi MN option is in the works. For its versatility of pricing and configuration, and the new ability to be remotely managed, the Test Center recommends HP's latest ProLiant MicroServer for small organizations and departments.


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