New HP ProLiant Microserver Is Fast, Small and SMB Friendly

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2013-07-12 Print this article Print

If it looks to you like just about everything on this server is optional, you’re right. That base price includes only the server hardware itself. If you want storage, you pay extra. This, by the way, is how servers are normally sold. But the microserver competition generally sells its servers with the disks already installed. HP will sell them that way as well, but they cost extra, as does the OS.

HP designed the ProLiant Microserver Gen 8 so that likely buyers can set them up on their own. HP’s new Intelligent Provisioning, which brings the server to life, is built in and it walks you through the setup, system configuration and deployment of the server in minutes.

The Smart Start DVD stacks of old are no longer needed. Management has become easier as well with HP’s ILO (integrated lights-out) management software that allows remote management and operation of the server. Even better, ILO has become intuitive, and it’s easy to use from either a browser on another computer or by using an application on the Microserver itself.

The PS1810 Gigabit Ethernet switch integrates with ILO to provide a single view of the health and operation of both devices. The PS1810 Switch is designed to fit into a shallow depression on the top of the Microserver, giving it the look of a single unit. However, by the time you connect Ethernet cables to all eight ports, and then connect the external power supply, you have enough cables hanging out the back of this assemblage to require cable management, which is not included. Because of this, keeping the switch planted firmly on top of the Microserver is problematic. Your best bet is to get a couple of strips of Velcro at Wal-Mart to stick the units together.

The HP ProLiant Microserver is clearly designed to be visually attractive and as servers go it does look nice. But just in case black and silver aren’t your idea of cool office décor, you can also order the front door of the server in other colors. I can’t see that this is an important feature despite the hype from HP, but perhaps you can use this as a way to buy a spare door and have your graphics department paint a logo on it.

Even without the attempt at visual appeal, this server is well thought out with its tool free design its speed and its reduced impact on the workplace. This is an ideal server for small businesses that need more than a NAS server can give them. It’s fast and efficient, and if you pick the right options, the HP ProLiant Microserver Gen8 is a good, secure and effective solution.


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