HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Review

9

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Power Consumption

We used our Extech TrueRMS Power Analyzer 380803 to take measurements at different points of the HPE Microserver Gen10’s use on 120V power in the embedded lab.

  • Power off: 2.1W
  • Idle: 15.2W
  • Average power: 33.8W
  • Max power observed: 50.5W

By removing ILO functionality, there is no need for a BMC. This removes a SoC from the motherboard along with a DRAM chip, a ROM chip, and surrounding components. For our purposes that means that the system uses several watts less than a system with a BMC.

Overall power consumption is excellent, and far below what we are seeing with the current generation of Intel Xeon E-2100 series platforms.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Noise

On the noise front, the HPE ProLiant Microserver Gen10 is sub 30dba in our testing. It is quiet enough that when we add hard drives, and the drives are spinning to create power draw and heat, that the drives are the most audible part of the system.

Overall, the system was not absolutely silent, but close enough that if it is more than a meter away you are unlikely to notice the sound.

STH Server Spider: HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10

We started using the STH Server Spider as a quick way to give an easy visual representation of a server’s capabilities.

STH Server Spider HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10
STH Server Spider HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10

Here, the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 has the capability set one would expect from a sub $400 system. This is not the system you get for density or high-performance applications. Instead, this is a lower-density, lower performance server when one needs to deploy a lightweight server and storage at the edge.

Final Words

For lower-end deployments, the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 makes a lot of sense. It sips power and is quiet, which means you can put it on a shelf or a desk instead of in a data center. The AMD Opteron X3421 is fast enough for lightweight tasks such as storage, providing network services, and displaying dashboards or menus on 4K displays, but it is far from “powerful.”

Undoubtedly, the four 3.5″ bays are a standout feature. With low-cost 10TB drives, one can have an edge storage server these days with 20TB of storage at under $1200. HPE made some trade-offs to make this happen. We understand all of them but would urge the company to consider adopting an IPMI/ iKVM solution in the future.

Taking a step back from this as a pure server, one could also look at it as a NAS replacement. Comparing the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 to a SMB/ SOHO focused NAS, like a Synology DS418play, one gets a faster processor and four times the RAM with more expansion capabilities with HPE. The Synology benefits from their DSM software which is leaps and bounds a better solution than HPE’s ClearOS. On the other hand, if you are a company or individual that likes to install Linux-based NAS and Docker for applications, then the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 is by far a better solution.

Cost is perhaps the prevailing factor when one looks at the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10. HPE managed to keep cost as low as possible and while keeping the unit compact and well-built given its design direction. For a few hundred dollars more, an organization can get into a HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 or a ML30 Gen10 which carry larger footprints as well. HPE did a great job segmenting the market to where the MicroServer Gen10 has a defined segment below its other tower servers, something that other vendors are not necessarily as good at.

After owning and using the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 for a few months, this much is clear: the units are great small compact and quiet storage appliances, akin to a basic SMB NAS. Since getting the first unit, the temptation to turn one unit into a cluster of units for an office Ceph cluster has been constant. It is easy to see why the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 has an almost cult-like following in the market. HPE’s product team did an excellent job with designing the machine for its target segment. Even if I personally may have drawn the line differently for some features, I appreciate the choices made that culminate in the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 being perhaps the best sub-$400 and sub 10″x10″x10″ server on the market.

1
2
3
4
5
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
8.9
Performance
8.9
Feature Set
8.8
Value
9.5
SHARE
Previous articleNew HPE SGI 8600 14PF Jean Zay Platform Announced
Next articleIntel Xeon E-2174G Benchmarks and Review
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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here