HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Review

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HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Management

This is set to be one of our shortest management sections. On the HPE MicroServer Gen8, the company had iLO management onboard. That meant a user had access to a full suite of remote management tools.

With the HPE MicroServer Gen10, one does not have access to iLO. Remote management tools have become one of the most important features to manage servers in data centers and the edge. The fact that the HPE MicroServer Gen10 does not have iLO we can understand. A one-off iLO Advanced license, like the one we used in our HPE ProLiant DL20 Gen10 Review, costs almost as much as the MicroServer Gen10.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 POST Screen
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 POST Screen

From a HPE product manager perspective, we get the trade-off. You save money on the BOM without the iLO SoC and associated components. You get a lower cost system as a result that also uses less power. At the same time, that trade-off comes with missing a key feature that we consider mandatory on virtually any other server.

In the future, HPE needs to either utilize a generic IPMI solution here, or the company needs to have an iLO board with a lower-cost special version of iLO which is basic plus iKVM. Tens of dollars as an upgrade would make it a must-have feature. Hundreds of dollars for an iLO Advanced license to get iKVM is not worth it for most users here.

Again, we understand the trade-off, but make no mistake, this is huge. Without iKVM if you are a SMB service provider or a corporation installing these as edge servers, an issue with the server likely will not be detected beforehand and it will require an onsite visit to fix. This is one case where a generic IPMI solution with remote reboot, sensor alerting, and iKVM can save a lot on a TCO basis.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BIOS

Since there is no management feature onboard, we had to use an external KVM device to remotely manage the server. That gave us the opportunity to show some BIOS screens since there are not a lot of information on this. BIOS is a fairly standard Aptio American Megatrends setup.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BIOS Main
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BIOS Main

One can find basic information about the system, such as how the APU is configured.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 X3421 CPU BIOS
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 X3421 CPU BIOS

One can also set features like PXE booting. Here we can see the Broadcom NICs branded as HP Ethernet 1Gb 2-port 332i Adapter – NICs. Note that this has not been changed to reflect HPE branding yet.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BIOS Advanced
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BIOS Advanced

One feature that we wanted to highlight here is the Restore On Power Loss setting. This is one that we recommend to all of our users to set to Power On for their servers. If you do not do this, a power outage may cause the system not to turn on when power returns.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BIOS Restore On Power Loss To ON
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BIOS Restore On Power Loss To ON

Our unit was not set to Power On so that is a primary reason we had to go into the BIOS to change the setting. Note here, this is not the same look and feel that you get with the higher-end HPE ProLiant servers. Instead, this is a more generic BIOS implementation for the lower-cost HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10.

Now that we have looked at the server hardware and software, it is time to see the performance of the solution.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
8.9
Performance
8.9
Feature Set
8.8
Value
9.5
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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.

9 COMMENTS

  1. That conclusion is really insightful. If you want multiple low cost servers with hard drives for clustered storage, this is a really good platform. If you just want more power, I keep buying up into the ML110 G10 because that’s so much more powerful. It’s also larger so sometimes you can’t afford the space.

  2. Finally, an honest review that actually shows cons as well was what’s good.

    We use MSG10s at our branch offices. They’re great, but servicing them sucks. We’ve been training finance people to do the physical service on the MSG10s.

    One issue you didn’t bring up is that there’s a lock for the front to secure all the drives. We had one where it wasn’t locked, employee flipped the lock and ended breaking the bezel.

    I hope you guys do more ProLiant reviews. They need a site with technical depth and business sense reviewing their products not just getting lame 5 paragraph “it’s great” reviews.

    To anyone not using the MSG10, they do have downsides, but they’re cheap so you have to expect that it isn’t a Rolls Royce at a KIA price tag

  3. It’s too bad this doesn’t have dual x8 PCIe. It also needs 10G. This is 2019. To get 10G or 25G you’ve gotta burn the x8 which leaves you with only a x1 slot left. Can’t do much with that.

  4. What about the virtualization capabilities? In your article on the APU, your lscpu output reported AMD-V. It would be nice to know if it’s fully implemented in BIOS and if there are reasonable IOMMU groups. Also, Intel consumer/entry level processors lack Access Control Services support on the processors PCIe root ports, so would be nice to see what this AMD APU offers.

    Why do I care? Because it would be nice to have a dedicated VM running less trusted graphical applications for digital signage. In a home office use case, one could use virtualization to combine a Linux NAS and a Kodi HTPC on the same hardware. Exposing the Kodi VM instead of the server OS to your family might have advantages.

  5. Like the others small HPE ProLiant MicroServers in the past, an attractive looking little box. I wish it were possible to install an externally accessible SFF x8 mobile rack such as a Supermicro CSE-M28SAB and the motherboard had x2 SFF 8087 ports or better M28SACB and 8643, thus could have x2 RAID 10 volumes.

  6. Well, I suppose you could put a ZOTAC GT 710 1GB graphics card in the spare slot, as it is a purpose-built PCIe x1 card. Marginally better than the iGPU if you have the need, and handy to keep around if your onboard graphics quits working on a server and a small x1 slot is all you have left to work with.

  7. It is a very good system, I got two with the dual core APU and 16G memory. It is possible to use the PCIe slt for an SSD card as well, I have an intel i750 that fits inside and works fine. I reckon that a couple of modifications to a future design could really make it quite good.

    Running latest version of Solaris on this works a treat hosting files over NFS.

  8. The price of these just doesn’t justify the performance. I have an older model I was able to pick up for a great price (NEW) and works great for very small stuffs, but choked when I attempted a large ZFS Freenas setup.

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