HP ProLiant DL360 G5 review

£3339
Price when reviewed

Opting for low profile rack servers has often meant a sacrifice in areas such as storage capacity and fault tolerance but HP’s latest ProLiant DL360 G5 shows clearly this is no longer the case.

HP was the first blue-chip server vendor to made the jump to smaller 2.5in. SFF hard disks and the upshot is the DL360 has enough room for six drives across its front panel.

Team this up with the standard Smart Array controller and you have a wide range of RAID and data protection possibilities.

HP’s remote server management also sets a standard as its iLO2 (integrated lights out) chip is common across all bar the entry-level ProLiant servers. If you need secure remote access to your server and the facilities to monitor and configure it then this really is worth checking out.

The iLO2 chip has its own dedicated Fast Ethernet management port and offers a smart web interface from where you can control the server as long as it has power. You can reset the server, power it off and on and emulate pressing the power button and iLO2 provides tools for monitoring the status of the controller and server and viewing installed components.

Power monitoring and control is very high on HP’s agenda as the iLO2 web interface provides access to the optional Power Meter, Power Regulator and Power Cap features and we tested using a 60-day evaluation which activates all optional features.

The Power Regulator supports both AMD and Intel processors and dynamically controls power consumption by throttling the processors back during periods of low demand.

You can also set them to run at their lowest possible speed or highest possible performance. The Power Meter provides a graph showing peak and average consumption in watts or Btu/hr along with a table showing average, maximum and minimum values as well.

The Power Cap feature allows you to set physical limits in Watts or Btu/hr for your servers to reduce overall power consumption and heat output.

There’s much more on the management front as you get HP’s Systems Management Homepage which opens with a complete rundown on the status of all server components plus colour coded alerts if anything is amiss.

HP’s additional Systems Insight Manager (SIM) software suite delivers enhanced browser-based remote server management and monitoring.

This can remotely access any HP server with an Insight agent installed where it provides a wealth of information about system operations plus extensive alerting facilities. SIM now includes options to discover and manage virtual machines as well as physical servers and its optional Power Meter component uses the iLO2 chip to gather information about consumption.

And so to the DL360 itself which exhibits a classy built quality and design. There’s a lot going on at the front with four of the six hot-swap drive bays on the review system fitted with 36GB SAS hard disks.

A monitor port is routed through to one side and up above is a DVD-ROM drive along with HP’s nifty Systems Insight Display. This little pop-out panel offers a complete status readout on all critical components so you can see at a glance what has failed.

Internally, every looks ship-shape with the hard disk backplane cabled directly to the Smart Array RAID controller mounted to one side. On the review system you have both SAS cables installed so all six drives bays are activated but you can opt a model with single SAS cable and only four bays active.

The RAID card came with 256MB cache and the battery backup pack which is neatly stowed in a small compartment behind the front panel.

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