For the past few weeks, we have been working on the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus. We started with why it is worth getting excited about. We then started our hands-on series with the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus v Gen10 Hardware Overview followed by our formal HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Review. As we were preparing for our review, it became obvious that we wanted to test a lot more in terms of NICs, CPUs, memory, and other options that are not on HPE’s official options list. So we did what STH does and ordered two more units. With our trio of testbeds, we were able to iterate on how one can customize the HPE MSG10+ to a fairly solid degree. In this article, we are going to go into what you can do to take this compact platform to the next level.
Before we get too far into this guide, let us first talk power. The external LiteOn DC power supply is rated for only 180W. In our testing, we found that with 2x 16GB DIMMs, a single SSD and the Intel Xeon E-2224 CPU we could push over 110W in a worst-case scenario. That leaves at most, 70W of headroom for customization, and realistically only 52W if one wants to leave a 10% margin. There are going to be people customizing this system with all kinds of outlandish configurations, but one must do a max power load test to ensure they all work together. Booting a system is fine to show the “wow” factor, but it also needs to run stable.
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Ultimate Customization Video
We have a video called the Ultimate Customization Guide to the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus. Feel free to check it out here:
We are going to keep the piece on this page updated with more up-to-date information as we get it but that is a good starting point for those who want to listen instead.
Also, as a quick note, we tested ten popular OSes that were mostly not on the HPE ProLiant compatibility list. You can reference that here.
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus 64GB RAM and Non-ECC
HPE options the machines with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM in a single DIMM stick configuration. For 2 core and 4 core systems, 8-16GB of RAM is very reasonable. If you just need this machine to be a simple NAS, then that is all you need to do.
Technically, the Intel Xeon E-2200 series supports 32GB Unbuffered ECC memory in each DIMM slot and up to 2 DIMMs per channel. There are only two slots on the MSG10+ so we wanted to do a quick matrix of 4, 8, 16, and 32GB modules in ECC and non-ECC configurations.
As you can see, all of our configurations worked as expected using the Xeon E-2224 base CPU. If you simply want more RAM, you can add DIMMs and get to 64GB without issue.
For your reference, we were using 32GB DDR4 PC4-21300 / DDR4-2666, CL19, Dual Ranked, x8, Unbuffered ECC and non-ECC DIMMs from Crucial in our testing on the 32GB sizes.
The power consumption impact of adding a second DIMM is under 5W at the wall and much less when idle. We are using 5W simply to calculate our power budget.
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus iLO 5 Advanced w/o Enablement Kit
When one utilizes the iLO 5 Enablement kit on the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus, it opens up the ability to not just use the dedicated port for out-of-band management but also allows one to use a shared network port. Installing this kit also adds the iLO 5 Essentials license level. Since the new MSG10+ has a quad-port NIC, we wondered if one could remove the iLO Enablement Kit after applying the Advanced license, and simply use the first port as a shared network iLO port.
What we did:
- Installed iLO Enablement Kit
- Changed to shared network on Port 1
- Restarted iLO controller
- Activated iLO 5 Advanced Key and restarted iLO controller
- Verified iLO responsive on Port 1 and powered off the machine
- Removed iLO Enablement Kit
- Powered on machine
- Tested if iLO responsive on Port 1 or Port 2 (the other option)
The result of the procedure above is that iLO was not responsive on either port. Our summary after we purchased a license for iLO 5 Advanced, installed the license on the MSG10+, and tried removing the enablement card is that this is currently not working functionality. One needs the iLO Enablement Kit even if a higher license level is purchased and a shared network-only port is used on one of the quad Intel i350-am4 NIC ports.
This is too bad since it would have made better use of the hardware in many situations. There is also a small power impact to using the enablement kit that this could have saved.
Next, we are going to have CPU options. The following page will have hard drive options, then SSDs, and on the last page we will discuss NIC options.