HP ProLiant DL385 G7 review

£4231
Price when reviewed

Despite a lukewarm reception for AMD’s Opteron 6100 processors, most blue-chip server vendors are now starting to integrate them into their server line-up. We’ve already exclusively reviewed Dell’s quad-socket PowerEdge R815, and we can now bring you a first look at HP’s seventh-generation ProLiant DL385 G7.

This 2U rack server is designed for virtualisation duties, where the Opteron 6100 has a distinct advantage over Intel’s Xeon 5600 processors. The review system came with a 2.4GHz eight-core Opteron 6136, but there’s room for a second processor, which would provide the DL385 with a high physical core count. It can handle 12-core Opterons as well, and all processor models support 1,333MHz DDR3 memory. Compared with the Xeon 5600 series, AMD’s 6100 processor options are simple: you just choose eight or 12 cores, one, two or four processor sockets and a clock speed.

HP ProLiant DL385 G7

Memory is king for virtualisation, and the DL385 G7 has had its capacity boosted from 128GB in the G6 version to 256GB. This gives it an advantage over HP’s DL380 G7 and Dell’s PowerEdge R710, since these 2U Xeon rack servers can muster support for “only” 192GB.

As with all the latest ProLiant servers, the DL385 comes with an embedded SD memory card slot that allows it to boot an embedded hypervisor. However, if you want boot media redundancy, you should look towards the R710; Dell upgraded this server earlier this year with dual internal SD card slots.

The DL385 has plenty of potential for expansion, since its internal mounting cage comes with a triple-slot riser card, with room for a second for a total of six PCI Express cards. Network bandwidth is another high priority for virtualisation and HP offers riser cards with dual-port 10Gb options.

Storage capacity is the best in its class. The DL385 can handle up to 16 hot-swap SFF hard disks, a figure matched only by IBM’s x3650 M3 and Gateway’s GR380 F1. RAID options are also good thanks to the motherboard’s embedded Smart Array P410i controller. This has a pair of embedded 6Gbits/sec SAS ports that are cabled to the backplane of the first disk bay. The review model came with the 256MB cache module in a dedicated slot, but you can opt for the entry version with no cache or a performance kit with 1GB of cache and a battery backup pack.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr on-site next business day

Ratings

Physical

Server format Rack
Server configuration 2U

Processor

CPU family AMD Opteron
CPU nominal frequency 2.40GHz
Processors supplied 1
CPU socket count 2

Memory

RAM capacity 256GB
Memory type DDR3

Storage

Hard disk configuration 3 x 146GB HP SFF 15K 6Gbps SAS hard disks in hot-swap carriers
Total hard disk capacity 438
RAID module HP embedded Smart Array P410i with 256MB cache
RAID levels supported 0, 1, 10, 5

Networking

Gigabit LAN ports 4
ILO? yes

Power supply

Power supply rating 460W

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 103W
Peak power consumption 186W

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