HP ProLiant SL2x170z G6 review

£5592
Price when reviewed

The space in front of the power board is used as a storage bay and has room for two 3.5in hard disks. This is the one area where the server comes up short. There’s no support for 2.5in SFF hard disks, so you’re limited to one drive per node, which makes their embedded RAID controller somewhat redundant.

Initial noise levels on power-up were so loud we involuntary stepped back in case the server took off. Fortunately, the system settled down to a gentle hum after a few minutes, but the fans will briefly go into turbo mode wherever a node is powered up or rebooted.

Each node has an embedded Lights Out 100i controller for remote management, which shares one of the Gigabit ports. Compared with HP’s iLO2 controller, its features are basic: from its web interface you can reset the node, power it on and off, and do a hard reset. The status of all critical components can be viewed, and the PEF (platform event filtering) feature allows you to select components and assign actions that will be carried out if they fail. You don’t get the power metering or capping tools as provided with the iLO2, but you can upgrade the 100i to add KVM over IP and virtual media features.

HP ProLiant SL2x170z G6

We found the remote control upgrade is well worth having, since it comes into its own during OS installation. Each node must be booted with the supplied Easy Setup CD, which provides wizard assistance, but to use a USB optical drive you’ll need to drop the mouse as each node has only two USB ports.

We had a problem trying to install an OS on each node, as none of them could see their associated hard disk. The system had been supplied with all drives connected to the sixth SATA port, and we found the solution by moving the drive to the first port. As far as we can see, although each node has six SATA ports, only the first four are active.

The DL2x170z achieves its aims with power frugality. The review system drew 19W in standby, and in idle we saw one, two, three and four nodes draw a total of 90W, 142W, 195W and 242W. Under pressure these figures peaked at 132W, 220W, 312W and 408W respectively. Each node did have a minimal specification but this is still lower than four separate servers.

The SL2x170z G6 offers an alternative for businesses that don’t want to invest in blade servers. It consumes far less power than a quartet of standalone servers and provides a high processing density for racks, although support for SFF drives would improve its storage outlook.

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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