By Francis Chu  |  Posted 2004-05-24 Print this article Print

Hewlett-Packard Co.s ProLiant DL585, HPs first four-way server based on Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s Opteron processor, is a great fit for companies looking for a high-powered server to tackle 32-bit applications and planning 64-bit migration.

In eWEEK Labs tests, the ProLiant DL585 showed strong hardware redundancy, top-notch scalability and comprehensive management options. Companies ready now for 64-bit migration should consider this system, which shipped earlier this month priced from $8,299.

Its worth noting, however, that Intel Corp. will offer 64-bit extensions to its 32-bit Xeon processor line later this year. Although AMD has a head start with the Opteron, 64-bit software is still scarce. Intel will be in a strong position to compete because operating systems and software will be compatible with Xeon and Opteron platforms.

Whenever the competition arrives, the ProLiant DL585 sets a high standard as a scalable, easy-to-manage and high-performance four-way system. Accommodating four 2.2GHz Opteron 800 processors, 64GB of RAM, built-in Ultra320 RAID, PCI-X expansion slots, embedded Gigabit Ethernet ports and an iLO (Integrated Lights-Out) management processor, the ProLiant DL585 is equipped to handle demanding enterprise applications.

We tested an $11,514 ProLiant DL585 that was outfitted with dual 1.8GHz Opteron 800 processors with 1MB of Level 2 cache, 2GB of PC2100 double-data-rate synchronous dynamic RAM, dual Gigabit NICs, HPs Smart Array 5i dual-channel Ultra320 RAID controller, four 36.4GB hard disks and iLO management.

The DL585 sports a 4U (7-inch) rack-mount chassis, which is twice the size of HPs four-way Xeon-based DL560 and packs more scalability—its 32 DIMM (direct inline memory module) slots can support as much as 64GB of memory. The DL585 supports only four internal hard drives, so onboard storage is limited. Still, with plenty of PCI slots to use, IT managers can easily hook the server to NAS (network-attached storage) or SAN (storage area network) devices.

We were impressed with the DL585s chassis and internal hardware components. The internal chassis design uses few cables, and many internal components are easily removed, so servicing the DL585 will be a snap.

The DL585 has four processor/memory boards that can be easily removed for upgrades. Each board can hold eight DIMMs, for a total of 32 modules across four processor boards, or a maximum of 64GB using 2GB DIMMs.

The DL585s eight 64-bit PCI-X slots provide plenty of room for storage expansion—six slots run at 100MHz and two at 133MHz. However, the PCI-X slots are not hot-swappable.

The servers QuickFind Diagnostic Display quickly informed us of hardware failures or service alarms.

Technical Analyst Francis Chu can be reached at francis_chu@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms Server & Networking Center at http://servers.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.


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