HP ProLiant ML350p Gen8 review

HP’s biggest 2P server to date boasts a mighty chassis which combines a high storage capacity, support for E5-2600 Xeons and excellent remote management.

Huge expansion potential

The price of our review sample includes a pair of 8-core 2GHz E5-2650 Xeons along with 16GB of DDR3 RDIMM memory. RDIMMs support up to 384GB for a dual CPU server but more expensive LR-DIMMs allow you to max out at the full 768GB. If you go for cheap UDIMM memory, the maximum supported in dual CPU configurations is 192GB.

With both CPUs in place you also get all eight PCI-e Gen3 slots and the single Gen2 slot activated two more than the T620. The ML350 already has four embedded Gigabit network ports but if you want more there's plenty of room and HP offers a good selection of Gigabit and 10GbE HBAs.

The server will sit well in a small or remote office as it's extremely quiet. Four large hot-swap fans service the entire chassis we found they barely made a whisper. Each is simple to replace and the entire assembly with all four fans can be pulled out just as easily.

HP ML530p - Powe Metering

HP ML530p - Powe Metering

HP's iLO4 provides power metering although you'll need to buy an upgrade to get it

Power testing

Power options are good with the review system sporting a pair of 750W hotplug supplies. For lighter duties you can opt for 460W modules but if you go for the highest CPU speeds you'll want the 1200W versions.

We found the ML350p a thrifty customer for power as with Windows Server 2008 R2 in idle we measured a modest draw of 96W. With SiSoft Sandra pushing all 32 logical cores to the max, this peaked at only 248W. Test results from a similarly specified Dell T620 saw it consume 126W in idle and 278W under heavy load.

HP ML530p - Remote/Virtual Media

HP ML530p - Remote/Virtual Media

The iLO4 can also be upgraded to provide full remote control and virtual media services

Dave Mitchell

Dave is an IT consultant and freelance journalist specialising in hands-on reviews of computer networking products covering all market sectors from small businesses to enterprises. Founder of Binary Testing Ltd – the UK’s premier independent network testing laboratory - Dave has over 45 years of experience in the IT industry.

Dave has produced many thousands of in-depth business networking product reviews from his lab which have been reproduced globally. Writing for ITPro and its sister title, PC Pro, he covers all areas of business IT infrastructure, including servers, storage, network security, data protection, cloud, infrastructure and services.