HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 Server Delivers Versatile Data Center Service

 
 
By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2014-12-29
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 Server Delivers Versatile Data Center Service
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    HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 Server Delivers Versatile Data Center Service

    by Wayne Rash
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    2 - Meet the DL380 Gen9
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    Meet the DL380 Gen9

    The most obvious feature of the DL380 Gen9 is the space for storage drive bays. There are three, of which only one in this server is populated. The bays on the left of the photo and in the center are empty. There are two hard drives and six blanks on the right. There's also a small front panel. On the outside edges are the rack-mounting points. If you flip down the lower part, it exposes a rack-mounting screw. If you look on the top cover of the server toward the back, you'll see the latch for quick removal of the cover.
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    3 - The Control Panel
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    The Control Panel

    The drive bay on the right of the front on this server contains a drive cage with two hot-swappable SATA drives. There is room for a total of eight. You can remove a drive by pressing the red button and lowering a lever on the front. You can also see the power button and the unit identification (UID) button, as well as indicators for server health and network activity. There's also a USB 3.0 port in the corner.
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    4 - The Blue Modular Backplane
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    The Blue Modular Backplane

    Directly behind the drives on the front of the server is a backplane (it's blue in the photo), into which the drives plug. SATA cables attach to the backplane and connect to the drive controller. Just in front of the backplane are the hot-swap fans. The pink levers in front of the backplane are for removing the hot-swap fans.
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    5 - A Clear View to Airflow Control
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    A Clear View to Airflow Control

    The clear plastic rectangular object is the airflow baffle that directs air from the fans so that the proper parts of the server are cooled as needed. This baffle is clear so that visual access is easy, and it's easily removable so that the computer can be serviced. The two blue rectangular objects on the baffle slide to the side to unlock it.
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    6 - Hot-Swap Fans
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    Hot-Swap Fans

    You can remove the cooling fans while the server is running by simply pinching the hot pink lever at the top of each fan and pulling up on the fan and removing it. You can then plug in the replacement, and everything keeps going without any downtime.
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    7 - Heat Sinks and Cooling
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    Heat Sinks and Cooling

    Shown here are the heat sinks and cooling fins for two Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors with cores ranging from four to 18. You can also see the DDR4 dual inline memory modules (DIMMs). This server can support up to 768GB of RAM. On the far right side of the photo you can see two blue internal USB 3.0 USB connectors.
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    8 - Driving Force
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    Driving Force

    This is the standard HP Dynamic Smart Array B140i. You can also get a selection of other array controllers or HBA controllers for use in other types of storage arrays or storage area networks. Note that maintenance-related items inside this server are colored bright blue for easy service.
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    9 - The Expansion Riser
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    The Expansion Riser

    The DL380 Gen9 can use up to six PCIe expansion cards. This riser can handle three of them. To the right are access covers for PCIe cards that need to expose connectors on the rear of the server. The ribbon cable behind the riser connects to the serial port, which is optional.
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    10 - Power to the Server
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    Power to the Server

    This metal shield covers two hot-swappable redundant HP Flexible Slot Power supplies. Either one of these can handle the load of the server, while the other acts as a source of redundant power.
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    11 - Expansion Point
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    Expansion Point

    On the lower left side of the ProLiant DL380 Gen9 you see the expansion slot covers for the PCIe riser. Below that is a space where you can install additional Gigabit Ethernet ports, which are optional. Also in that corner are two more USB 3.0 ports and a UID light that can be lit to help technicians locate which server out of many may need added attention.
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    12 - Communications Ports
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    Communications Ports

    Near the center of the rear panel of the DL380 are four Gigabit Ethernet ports. The blue connector is for a VGA monitor connection. Just shown to the left of the Ethernet ports is an RJ45 that's for the Ethernet connection to the server's integrated lights out (iLO) management system. HP's iLO is designed so that added capability can be added as needed.
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    13 - More Cooling
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    More Cooling

    The two fans on the rear of the DL380 are there to cool the power supplies. Adjacent to each fan is a power connector and a cable management support. Note the Velcro ties that are there to keep the power cables from being knocked out by mistake. There's also an RS232 serial port above the left fan, but it's optional. You can remove each power supply by moving the gray handle to the left and pulling.
 

In some ways, the Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL380 Gen9 server is the perfect server for most businesses. On one hand, it's small enough to fit the needs of most small and medium-size businesses, while on the other, it's designed with all of the features necessary to be a data center server in a large organization. In addition, it's flexible enough to meet a wide variety of needs—ranging from offering general-purpose file and print services to providing vast quantities of storage to delivering remote compute services. This dual-Xeon 2U platform includes a flexible remote monitoring server built in. You can order it with processors ranging from four to 18 cores, and it's designed for easy servicing, even by companies that don't have a dedicated IT staff. But the DL380 is also fully capable of service in any IT department, and it has all of the features necessary to stay online with minimal downtime, including hot-swappable drives, power supplies and cooling fans. Plus, it's designed for installation as a headless server in a rack with hundreds of others running in a data center. And it includes the lights-out monitoring and management necessary for that type of service. If you can only pick one type of server, this might be the one.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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