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 Intels 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.
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 p in DL380p stands for performance 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 arent 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.