HPE’s powerful ProLiant DL360 Gen10 packs your rack with Xeon Scalable goodness

Server
Verdict
A great choice for power hungry businesses, the low-profile ProLiant DL360 Gen10 is well designed, surprisingly expandable and eminently manageable

Targeting businesses looking for a high density rack server that can handle demanding workloads, HPE’s ProLiant DL360 Gen10 packs a remarkable range of features into its slim-line 1U chassis. Along with support for Intel’s core-heavy Xeon Scalable CPUs, it sees a major internal redesign, allowing it to offer an extensive choice of storage options including up to 10 NVMe drives.

In this exclusive review we look at HPE’s Performance model 867963-B21, which brings together a pair of Xeon Gold CPUs and teams them up with a decent 32GB of DDR4 SmartMemory. No drives are included in the price, but the chassis has eight SFF hot-swap bays ready and waiting.

Usefully, the 8-bay SFF model we have can be field-upgraded to support 10 NVMe drives. Costing around £740, the kit includes a new backplane and requires all seven cooling fans, which are already fitted in our server so it’s ready to go.

In fact, storage versatility is a key design feature of the DL360 Gen10. Even with the NVMe backplane fitted, it allows you to mix up NVMe drives with SAS/SATA SFF hard disks so you can tailor it to fit your workload demands.

Design

HPE has done a fine job with internal design, as it’s all remarkably tidy inside. The two 12-core 2.3GHz Xeon Gold 5118 CPUs are fitted with solid passive heatsinks and flanked by 24 DIMM slots, allowing memory to be pushed to a massive 3TB.

There are a couple of provisos though, as the Xeon Gold 5118 CPUs only support memory speeds up to 2,400MHz. Furthermore, if you want to expand to 3TB of memory, you’ll need to specify Gold 6100 or Platinum 8100 CPUs with an ‘M’ suffix as these support 1.5TB per socket.

As this server is a Performance model, it comes with all seven cooling fans lined up between the motherboard and drive backplane. These are the hot-plug variety so they can be replaced without powering the server down, although we found their small size makes them fiddly to remove and replace.

There’s plenty of room to expand and the server has two risers at the back offering a total of three PCI-Express slots. You won’t need to use them for network expansion though, as the server has quad embedded Gigabit ports and the price includes HPE’s FlexibleLOM snap-in adapter with dual 10/25GbE fibre ports.

Server

Specifications :

Chassis: 1U rack
CPU: 2 x 12-core 2.3GHz Intel Xeon Gold 5118
Memory: 32GB ECC DDR4 2,400MHz (max 3TB/2,667MHz)
Drive bays: 8 x hot-plug SFF (max 11)
Storage: No HDDs included as standard
RAID: HPE Smart Array S100i and P408i-a SAS3/2GB with FBWC/BBU
Array support: RAID0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, 1 ADM, 10 ADM
Expansion: 3 x PCI-e Gen3 slots
Network: 4 x Gigabit, dual 10/25GbE FlexibleLOM
Other: Internal USB 2 (2), MicroSD card slot
Cooling: 7 x hot-plug fans
Power: 2 x 800W hot-plug PSUs
Management: HPE iLO5 Standard with Gigabit
Warranty: 3yrs on-site NBD

Storage features

Entry-level models start with HPE’s S100i controller chip, which employs the motherboard’s three embedded SATA ports to support up to twelve drives and RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 arrays. The S100i can actually handle fourteen drives and the remaining two are used for HPE’s new dual uFF M.2 flash cartridge which fits at the rear and only occupies a single SFF drive bay.

All hard disks and NVMe drives use HPE’s SmartDrive carriers which are loaded with status LEDs. Their white LED avoids costly mistakes, as any carrier with this illuminated mustn’t be removed while the server is running.

The review server comes SAS3 ready and includes HPE’s Smart Array P408i-a Gen10 snap-in module, which adds RAID5, 6, 50 and 60 arrays to the storage equation. It includes 2GB of flash-backed write cache (FBWC) protected by a 96W high performance Li-Ion battery.

Virtualization fans will find a pair of internal USB 3 ports for booting into an embedded hypervisor. There’s a MicroSD card slot next door for the same function and HPE now offers a dual 8GB MicroSD USB 3 kit for hypervisor redundancy.

HP Server

Management features

The DL360 Gen10 shows off HPE’s new iLO5 management controller and its freshly designed web interface. This is a big improvement over the iLO4 as it provides even more information about critical components, a new agentless management service (AMS), enhanced OS provisioning tools and a big boost in performance.

Security is a key focus as the iLO5’s new ASIC uses HPE’s Silicon Root of Trust fingerprinting for firmware validation and will stop the server booting if any tampering is detected. The iLO5 firmware is also validated and will be flashed with a fresh copy if it fails this test while the Advanced Premium Security Edition license runs scheduled firmware scans and repair processes.

With the lab’s virtualized OneView app updated to v3.1, we added the DL360 Gen10 as a new monitored element. OneView is free if you’re only using it to monitor your server and storage environment and we found it provides plenty of information about the CPUs, power and temperatures, plus tools for controlling power and running remote control sessions.

We used HPE’s iLO Mobile iOS app on our iPad to remotely access the server and were presented with the same detailed interface as provided by a web browser. It’s easy to add the server; we used a free QR code generator furnished with the server’s address and credentials and scanned it in from the app.

ILO

Verdict

The DL360 G10 is a little powerhouse of a server, ideally suited to rack dense applications requiring a lot of processing horsepower. Support for the entire Xeon Scalable CPU family means it can be easily customized to suit just about any workload and the redesigned storage sub-system makes it highly versatile. Add in the great value and top-notch iLO5 management and security and we have no hesitation in awarding the ProLiant DL360 Gen10 a coveted IT Pro Editor’s Choice award.

Specifications :

Chassis: 1U rack
CPU: 2 x 12-core 2.3GHz Intel Xeon Gold 5118
Memory: 32GB ECC DDR4 2,400MHz (max 3TB/2,667MHz)
Drive bays: 8 x hot-plug SFF (max 11)
Storage: No HDDs included as standard
RAID: HPE Smart Array S100i and P408i-a SAS3/2GB with FBWC/BBU
Array support: RAID0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60, 1 ADM, 10 ADM
Expansion: 3 x PCI-e Gen3 slots
Network: 4 x Gigabit, dual 10/25GbE FlexibleLOM
Other: Internal USB 2 (2), MicroSD card slot
Cooling: 7 x hot-plug fans
Power: 2 x 800W hot-plug PSUs
Management: HPE iLO5 Standard with Gigabit
Warranty: 3yrs on-site NBD

Source : itpro

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