HP DL380p Gen8 Server Piles on Performance, System Monitoring Tools

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2012-05-29 Print this article Print

HP DL380p Gen8, a 2U rack mount workhorse server from HP doubles memory capacity over the previous generation while sipping power and easing management chores. eWEEK Labs’ tests showed this server should be at the top of any evaluation for new data center infrastructure.

The dual-processor Hewlett-Packard DL380p Gen8 data center rack mount server successfully marries extensive performance and capacity increases with simplified field serviceability. In an era when workload virtualization seeks to minimize hardware concerns, eWEEK Labs tests showed that IT managers still have important hardware choices and that the HP DL380p Gen8 should be at the top of any evaluation for new data center infrastructure.

Many of the performance increases now available in the HP DL380p Gen8 come from Intel€™s March release of the Xeon E5-2600 processors and the C6xx chip set family. IT managers have competitive choices, including the Dell R720 and the IBM System x3650 M4, both of which use the E5-2600 family processors.

To see images of the HP DL380p Gen8 in action, click here

The 2 HU (height unit) HP DL380p Gen8 became available April 9. Preconfigured DL380p Gen8 models start at $2,829 while configurable models start at $2,572. eWEEK Labs tested a high-performance model with a list price of $10,759. My test unit was an upgraded configuration with the 2x10GbE FlexibleLOM (LAN on motherboard) installed. As tested, my system was priced at $15,965, which is competitive with other offerings. The €œp€ in DL380p stands for €œperformance€ and designates models that also include HP Insight Control integrated management.

Under the Hood

By the numbers, the HP DL380p Gen8 is significantly more powerful than the previous generation and is comparable to competitive systems using the same Intel chipset. The HP DL380p Gen8 now has 24 dual-in-line memory module (DIMM) slots and a maximum memory capacity of 768GB of RAM, which is more than double the seventh-generation DL380.

New in the HP DL380p Gen8 is a better way to handle the LAN on motherboard with the introduction of FlexLOM modules. For example, I replaced the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) network adapter with a four-port Broadcom 1GbE network adapter module in under two minutes without reading any instructions, except those stenciled on the appropriate internal components. The ability to swap network adapters means that IT managers aren€™t stuck with a built-in network adapter. HP expects swappable network interface card (NIC) modules from Intel, Mellanox and other suppliers in the near future, giving IT managers networking choices without having to burn a PCIe slot.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at cameron.sturdevant@quinstreet.com.

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