HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Review This is Super

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HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Topology

Topology is important. We have seen the system block diagram but did not obtain permission to post it here. Instead, here is what the topology of the base system looks like:

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Topology Base
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Topology Base

As you can see, this is the Intel Xeon E-2224 version with 32GB of memory (2x16GB.) Since this is an entry server SKU, it has four cores and only four threads.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus iLO Enablement Kit

By default, the HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus does not support remote management or out-of-band management even though there is an iLO 5 controller onboard. Instead, one needs the iLO Enablement Kit to activate remote management features. For our readers, this is HPE part number P13788-B21.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO Enablement Kit P13788 B21
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO Enablement Kit P13788 B21

The iLO Enablement Kit is really a very small card that almost looks like a PCIe x1 NIC. It comes with the necessary backplate and metal bracing. This part installs into the top slot on the PCIe and iLO riser.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO Enablement Kit In Its Riser Slot
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO Enablement Kit In Its Riser Slot

Once this is installed, remote management is activated at a iLO 5 Essentials level. There is no need for manual key entry. Instead, once the hardware is installed, new remote management functionality is unlocked.

With the iLO Enablement Kit one gets:

  • A dedicated management port for out-of-band iLO 5 management access.
  • E-mail based alerting
  • Integrated remote console with remote media (often called IRC or iKVM plus media)
The list price for the enablement kit is just over $100. With channel discounts, these can be purchased for under $70. That price is easily justified if one can avoid having to go on-site to service the MicroServer Gen10 Plus.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Management

The HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus looks just like a standard HPE ProLiant server. You can see the iLO Essentials license level, but the look and feel is exactly like other ProLiant Gen10 machines.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Essentials Dashboard
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Essentials Dashboard

Some time ago, we did a walk-through of some of the differences between the iLO 5 Standard v. Advanced. The MicroServer Gen10 Plus is slightly different. It does, however, follow the same general look-and-feel. If you want to quickly see the video here is that:

We have not yet purchased a iLO 5 advanced key for the MicroServer Gen10 Plus, so the above should help you see what is different.

Since this is HPE’s mainstream management solution, it collects inventory data which can be viewed either here, or in higher-level server management tools. This entire solution also rolls-up into HPE InfoSight for management when one has the iLO 5 Enablement Kit.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Essentials CPU Inventory
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Essentials CPU Inventory

If one wishes, higher-levels of iLO functionality can be activated such as iLO Advanced with features such as security and group management.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Essentials With ILO Enablement Kit
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Essentials With ILO Enablement Kit

An example of what higher license levels get you can be seen in the iLO Federation Group Configuration where Essentials does not support the feature. We cover this in the article and video linked above.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Group Management Need License
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Group Management Need License

One of the most useful features is the remote console and media. With this feature, one can use HTML5, .NET, or Java remote consoles to get a keyboard, video, and mouse remotely attached to the server. For organizations without on-site IT this can save an enormous amount of time troubleshooting. We actually used this remote console with remote media mounting to install 10 OSes on the server remotely which we will show on the next page.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 IKVM With Remote Media
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 IKVM With Remote Media

Most HPE ProLiant Gen10 servers have a power meter so you can see how much power the system is using. Since the MSG10+ is using a DC power supply, it does not support this feature.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Essentials Power Meter Not Available
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Essentials Power Meter Not Available

Even though power metering is not available, one can still see features such as HPE’s temperature graph and monitoring.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Thermal 3D
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus ILO 5 Thermal 3D

Beyond what iLO 5 Essentials offers, one can also upgrade the MSG10+ to iLO Advanced and unlock the additional security features. One can also utilize HPE InfoSight to manage the MicroServer Gen10 Plus just like any other HPE server. For organizations using centralized management but with these MicroServers at the edge, this can be a huge time saver as can iLO Essentials (and higher) features such as e-mail notifications.

Overall, this is an excellent solution for a server in its class. We are happy to see HPE is not charging for a full iLO license in order to get e-mail alerts and iKVM with remote media.

Next up, we are going to try the MicroServer Gen10 Plus with ten different operating systems before moving to our performance and power sections.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.5
Performance
9.3
Feature Set
9.2
Value
9.4
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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

37 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve skimmed this and wow. This is another STH Magnum Opus. I’ll read the full thing later today and pass it along to our IT team that manages branch offices.

  2. I made it to page 4 before I ordered one. That iLO enablement kit isn’t stocked in the channel so watch out. I’m now excited beyond compare for this.

  3. A really nice review, thanks a lot. impressed with the Xeon performance at this kind of low power system. I should/really want to get one, replacing my old gen 7 microserver home server.

  4. I like seeing bloggers and other guys review stuff, but STH ya’ll are in a different league. It’s like someone who understands both the technical and market aspects doing reviews. I think this format is even better than the GPU server review you did earlier this week.

    I’d like to know your thoughts about two or three of these versus a single ML110 or ML350. Is it worth going smaller and getting HA even if you’ve got 3 servers? I know that’s not part of this review. Maybe it’s a future guide.

  5. You’re Windows 10 testing is genius but you missed why. What you’ve created is a Windows 10 Pro remote desktop system that can be managed using iLO, is small and compact and it’s got 4 internal 3.5″ bays.

    If you plug RDP in, it’s a high-storage compact desktop when others this small in the market have shunned 3.5″.

  6. gentle suggestion: perhaps when taking photos of “small” items like this, have another human hold a ruler to give perspective of size (more helpful than a banana 🙂

    Thanks for mentioning the price within the article. Good info all around.

  7. Not impressed by this product nor this review; need more infos on thermal performances.

    Review lacks any discussion of thermal performance other than showing us the pretty picture of the iLO page and a brief mention of thermal limits on the PCI3 Gen3 slot with certain add-in cards.

    Complete lack of discussion of thermal performance of horizontally mounted HDD in this device where the review already admits to possible thermal issues with the design.

    For me this review looks like a Youtube “unboxing” article for HPE products and not a serious product performance review.

    Patrick, you can do better than this. Srsly.

  8. Sleepy – we used up to 7.2k RPM 10TB WD/HGST HDDs and did not see an issue. We also discussed maximum headroom for drives + PCIe + USB powered devices is around 70W given the 180W PSU and how the fan ramps at around 10min at ~110W.

    In the next piece, we have more on adding CPUs/ PCIe cards and we have touched the 180W PSU limit without thermal issues. Having done that, the thermal performance/ issue you mention is not present. If the unit can handle thermals up to the PSU’s maximum power rating, then it is essentially a non-issue.

  9. A random question, if I may : will the Gen10Plus physically stack on top of / below a Gen10 or Gen8 Microserver cleanly? It looks like it should but confirmation would be appreciated 🙂

  10. In the “comparison” article (between the MSG10 and the MSG10+), you wrote about the “missing” extra fifth internal SATA port: “[…] I think we have a solution that we will show in the full review we will publish for the MicroServer Gen10+.”
    I really had hoped to read about this solution! Or did I just miss it?

    Also, I’d like to know more about the integrated graphics: If I’m understanding it correctly, the display connectors on the back (VGA and DisplayPort, both marked blue) are for management only; meaning that even if you have a CPU with integrated GPU, that is not going to do much for you. (This is in line with the Gen8, but a definite difference with respect to the MSG10!) So … what GPU is it? A Matrox G200 like on the Gen8? Or something with a little more oomph?
    Personally, I’m saddened to see that HPE skimped on making the iGPU unusable. 🙁

  11. TomH – the Gen10 Plus is slightly wider if you look at dimensions. You can probably stack a Gen10 atop a Gen10 Plus but not the other way around.

    Nic – great point. As mentioned in the article, we ended up splitting this piece into a review of the unit for sale, and some of the customizations you can do beyond HPE’s offerings. It was already over 6K words. For this, we ended up buying 2 more MSG10+ units to test in parallel and get the next article out faster.

  12. Thanks Patrick – had hoped the “indent” on the top might be the same size as previous models, despite the overall dimensional differences, but guess not!

  13. Patrick – sounds great! Btw, next to the cmos battery, there is undocumented 60pin connector. Do you have any idea what is this for?

  14. Does iLO Enablement Kit allows you to use server after OS boot, ot is this the same as big servers where iLO advance licence is needed?

  15. Nikolas Skytter -> 4* WD40EFRX -> About 32C in idle (ambient around 20-21C), max 36C when all disks testing with badblocks. Fan speed 8% (idle).

  16. Patrick – I have found that undocumented connector exists on several supermicro motherboards as well.. and guess what.. undocumented in manual as well. Starting to be really curious..

  17. Lucky you, how were you able to install the latest Proxmox VE 6.1 on this server?
    As soon as the OS loads, the Intel Ethernet Controller I350-AM4 turns off completely :\

  18. Hi, could you please test if this unit can boot from nvme/m.2 disk in pcie slot without problem? There are some settings in bios that points to it, even there is no m.2 slot. Thanks!

  19. Having skipped the GEN10 and still owning a GEN7 and GEN8 Microserver this Plus version looks like a worthy replacement. Although I would have liked to see that HPE switched to an internal PSU, ditched the 3.5 HDD bays for 6 or 8 2.5 SSD bays (the controller can handle 12 lanes) and used 4x SODIMMS sockets to give 4 memory lanes. I also agree with Kennedy that 10Gbit would be a nice option (for at least 2 ports).

  20. How did you manage to connect to the iLO interface? My enablement board did not have the usual tag with the factory-set password on it. Is there some default password for those models?

  21. Has anyone else had / having issues when running VM’s? I have the E2224 Xeon model 16Gb RAM, but keep having performance issues. Namely storage.

    Current setup 1x Evo 850 500Gb SSD 2x Seagate Barracuda 7.2k 2Tb Spindle disks.

    Installing the Hypervisor works fine. Tried ESXi 6.5,6.7 and 7 and used the HPE images. All installed to USB and then tried to SSD all install and run ok, but when setting up a VM, it becomes slow – 1.5hrs to install a windows 10 image, then the image is unuseable.

    Installed Windows Server 2019 Eval on to bare metal, Installs ok, but then goes super sluggish when running Hyper-V to the point of being unusable. Updated to the latest BIOS etc using the SPP iso.

    Example. Copy 38Gb file from my Nas to local storage under 2k19, get full 1Gbps, start a hyper-v vm, it slows to a few kbps, even copying from USB on the Windows 2019 server, not VM, Mouse becomes jumpy and unresponsive.

    Dropped the VM vCPU to 2, then one, still no difference.

    Tried 2 other SSD’s.

    BIOS settings were set to General Compute performance, and Virtualization Max performance.

    Beginning to think I have a faulty unit.

  22. Hi! Do you think that it could be possible to add a SAS raid controller on the PCI express and use it with the provided sas connector?

    It would look a little frankenstein but with a NVME on the minipcie and a proper raid controller this would be a perfect microserver for ESXI

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