HP ProLiant MicroServer review
As you’d expect, it’s cramped inside. The only way to access the pair of PCI-E slots and memory sockets is to release the motherboard in the base and slowly slide it forward, unplugging the various interface and power cables as they become exposed. It takes time, but your patience will be rewarded.
The embedded AMD processor may not be overly powerful, but its TDP of 12W keeps consumption right down. We measured the review system drawing a mere 22W with Foundation in idle, which rose to only 31W with SiSoft Sandra pushing the processor to the max.
The MicroServer is also very quiet. A single 12cm diameter fan looks after chassis and hard disk cooling, and this could only be heard by getting close to the back of the server.
Another feature that sets the MicroServer apart from a standard desktop is HP’s optional Remote Access Card (RAC). Costing £55 exc VAT, it slots into the x1 PCI-E slot and provides a dedicated network port for remotely managing and monitoring the server.
Once it’s installed, a new IPMI option appears in the BIOS menu, where you can assign a fixed IP address to the card or leave DHCP to hand one out to it. In terms of features, we put the RAC in between HPÕs entry-level Lights Out 100i and its top-end iLO3.
The web interface provides details on fan speeds and temperatures, plus the ability to power the server on and off or reset it remotely. Platform event filters can be used to assign actions to specific events, so if the fans fail or temperatures rise the server can be automatically powered down, reset or rebooted.
Two features that make the RAC great value are KVM-over-IP remote control and virtual media services. The former provides full remote access to the BIOS menu and OS, while the latter allows you to present devices such as optical drives over the network for the server to use.
The MicroServer is definitely worth considering as a first server since it’s good value, small, quiet, has decent storage potential and can be remotely managed. It’s short on performance and upgrades will be time-consuming, so if you want more processing power and easier internal access then consider Dell’s PowerEdge T110, although this costs at least twice as much.
|Server configuration||Desktop chassis|
|CPU family||AMD Athlon|
|CPU nominal frequency||1.30GHz|
|CPU socket count||1|
|Hard disk configuration||250GB Seagate Barracuda SATA hard disk in cold-swap carrier|
|Total hard disk capacity||250GB|
|RAID module||embedded AMD SATA RAID controller|
|RAID levels supported||0, 1, JBOD|
|Gigabit LAN ports||1|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||22W|
|Peak power consumption||31W|