HP ProLiant SL2x170z G6 review

£5592
Price when reviewed

HP’s move into multinode server production indicates it may have spotted a gap in the server market. Blade server business is good for HP, but although many businesses want to improve processing density in their rack, not all are prepared to invest in this technology.

The SL6000 family of ProLiant servers focuses on cost, power efficiency and flexibility, and in this review we look at the top of the range ProLiant SL2x170z G6. It provides two hot-swap trays in its 2U chassis, each kitted out with a pair of Xeon 5500 DP motherboards.

By sharing power, the SL2x170z G6 aims to reduce consumption significantly, and with four servers per 2U of rack height it can squeeze up to 672 Xeon cores into a standard 42U cabinet. At the front of each tray you have a serial port, monitor and pair of USB ports for each server, along with two Gigabit connections.

HP ProLiant SL2x170z G6

There’s nothing much to see at the rear, since the trays link up to a power backplane behind which is a bank of four powerful cooling fans. The review system came with a single 750W supply, and there’s room for another.

Each tray is held in place with a single release catch. Slipping one out shows that the two motherboards are arranged side by side and are both cabled through at the back to a small power distribution board on one side.

Each node came with a single 2.26GHz L5520 Xeon partnered by 6GB of DDR3 UDIMM memory. A total of 16 DIMM sockets are available, allowing UDIMM memory to be increased to 24GB per node. Note the L5520 Xeon in the review system supports memory speeds only up to 1,066MHz.

Its general design is good, as the processors are staggered to avoid interfering with each other’s airflow, and all major chips have small finned heatsinks. The power cabling is a little messy, but it’s held firmly in place with cable ties and doesn’t get in the way of upgrade manoeuvres.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site next business day

Ratings

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 2U

Processor

CPU family Intel Xeon
CPU nominal frequency 2.26GHz
Processors supplied 1

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 160GB SATA 7.2K cold swap hard disk
Total hard disk capacity 160
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 2

Motherboard

PCI-E x16 slots total 1

Power supply

Power supply rating 750W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 242W
Peak power consumption 408W

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