HP Crafts ProLiant MicroServer Cube for Small Business

1 - HP Crafts ProLiant MicroServer Cube for Small Business
2 - The ProLiant MicroServer Is HP's Server in a Cube
3 - The Silver Door Hides Four Removable Hard Disks
4 - Removing the Cover Is Easy and Reveals All
5 - Even the Power Supply Is Easy to Replace if Necessary
6 - HP Designed the ProLiant MicroServer for Easy Service
7 - DVD Removal Is a Snap
8 - Even Memory Module Access Is Easy
9 - Cables Discreetly at the Rear
10 - Make a Fashion Statement in Your Server Room
11 - Gigabit Ethernet Switch in Precarious Perch
12 - Tying Down the PS1810 Ethernet Switch
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HP Crafts ProLiant MicroServer Cube for Small Business

by Wayne Rash

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The ProLiant MicroServer Is HP's Server in a Cube

The HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen 8 comes out of the box with a pair of USB connectors in the front and a silver door that conceals up to four hard disks. When the unit is turned on, there's a blue glow that shines from the bottom. The DVD drive shown here is optional.

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The Silver Door Hides Four Removable Hard Disks

The door on the front of the HP ProLiant MicroServer swings open to reveal four easily removable hard disks. Note that these are not hot plug drives. Also behind the door is the single tool necessary for servicing the MicroServer—a wrench that fits two sizes of machine screws. I never actually discovered where this wrench was necessary, since everything seemed to be accessible without tools.

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Removing the Cover Is Easy and Reveals All

The cover of the ProLiant MicroServer comes free after loosening two thumbscrews on the back of the server, allowing it to be moved slightly to the rear, then lifted straight up. Note the blue labels showing how other components are removed.

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Even the Power Supply Is Easy to Replace if Necessary

The power supply of the HP ProLiant MicroServer is easily accessible and clearly labeled. If necessary, the 150-watt power supply can be removed easily and replaced.

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HP Designed the ProLiant MicroServer for Easy Service

Ever find that your server's CMOS backup battery had died and replacement required taking the whole server apart, then breaking out the soldering iron for what should have been a simple job? Here it's a simple job. There's the battery behind the main motherboard power connector where replacing it requires only that you lift the battery out and pop a new one in. Note that other connectors are also readily accessible.

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DVD Removal Is a Snap

The DVD drive is easy to remove and replace. Just press down on the blue tab with the arrow, then remove the power and data connector. That's it. You can see here that the entire job can be accomplished in seconds.

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Even Memory Module Access Is Easy

Rotate the ProLiant MicroServer to the other side and you'll find the memory DIMMs at your fingertips. You can also remove the front bezel by unlocking the blue tab.

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Cables Discreetly at the Rear

Most of the connections on the HP ProLiant MicroServer are at the rear so cables can stay out of sight. On the upper right you'll see the standard NEMA power connector and a cable fastener to keep the power plug from being pulled out by accident. Note that there's only one power connector; this server doesn't have redundant power supplies. Below the power connector is the cover plate for the expansion card. The two blue knobs halfway down are the thumbscrews for removing the cover. Next to the expansion card cover is an Ethernet connector for the HP Integrated Lights Out functionality. In the lower left corner are two more Ethernet ports, a VGA connector and four USB connectors. The two that are next to the VGA connector are USB 3.0.

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Make a Fashion Statement in Your Server Room

Suppose you're not happy with the boring silver door that comes on the HP ProLiant MicroServer. You can choose other colors, including a sleek black door, or you can have blue or red. There is no functional difference, but you can choose colors that you find snazzy.

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Gigabit Ethernet Switch in Precarious Perch

The square indentation in the top of the server is there to keep the matching Gigabit Ethernet switch from sliding off. As you can tell from how shallow it is, it's not very effective.

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Tying Down the PS1810 Ethernet Switch

This is the Ethernet switch that's designed to fit on top of the ProLiant MicroServer. While it fits nicely, by the time you add a power cable and eight Ethernet cables, this becomes a very insecure perch. Your best shot at getting the switch to stay in place will involve a little after-market Velcro. The PS1810 is a fully managed switch that supports non-blocking throughput at 8G bps. HP's management software controls the switch.

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