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Buy a MS Gen 8, or wait?


loozhengyuan
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Hi all,

 

We're a small biz company looking to procure 2-3 Microservers for some file sharing/AD purposes. I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not to wait for Microserver Gen9 or to buy a Gen8 right now. Either way, I'm not exactly rushed for time. But what do you all think? When Gen9 comes out, will it be 'stable' enough to buy immediately? Or do I have to wait some time for the product to stabilize?

 

Thanks in advance :)

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I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not to wait for Microserver Gen9 or to buy a Gen8 right now.

No indication that HP are releasing a Gen9 Microserver anytime soon. They did the usual big discounts last year which usually is because they're trying to clear the channel of stock and the Gen8 Microserver is getting old now. However, they fairly recently added several new brand new SKUs with i3 CPUs and make a custom heatsink to handle the new CPUs. The price has also shot up again. All of this together is a bit confusing so no idea what is going on with HP.

 

I expect the Gen9 Microserver just to be a minor refresh with a new chipset to support current generation CPUs. It would be odd if they went back to the old Gen7 Microserver design which were basically regular PCs in a custom box since the Gen8 uses a lot of Proliant technology.

 

When Gen9 comes out, will it be 'stable' enough to buy immediately? Or do I have to wait some time for the product to stabilize?

I don't see why you would need to wait if you did get a brand new Gen9 Microserver. The other Gen9 Proliants have been out quite a while now and haven't had any horrific issues.

 

As schoondoggy said, you may find the ML10v2 better suited. It uses Haswell CPUs which are significantly easier to find than old Ivy/Sandy Bridge CPUs in the Gen8 Microserver which are getting extremely expensive now.

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I have been struggling with this question in the past weeks as well. And decided to get the Microserver G8 for good. The main rationale was that a certain German seller is offering the base config (G1610T + 4GB) at a very good price (~200EUR), and if and when HP decided to release the Microserverver G9/G10, it certainly won't be this cheap.

 

As others have pointed out, the Gen9 is out for a year already. It is more likely HP will wait for the next server refresh (Gen10) to release a new Microserver, if ever. And judging by Intel's schedule, it won't happen until 2017.

Edited by Notbugged
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Thank you for your replies :)

 

Yes, I prefer the server to be small because we're putting it on a table-top, and the ML10v2 is a little too bulky for the area we intend to put the servers. And we also prefer the hot-swap bays to swap drives easily from outside. I think the Microserver fits what we need really well, except the fact that it's a little old (which makes me worry about parts replacement) and it doesn't have a USB3 front port (which really isn't a problem with USB3 extenders).

 

As such, I think we will go ahead to purchase them because I don't think the specs of HP MS Gen9/10 would make a very big difference to what I'm using it for. Thank you all for helping!

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Gen8's bays maybe "hot-swap" designs but they're not "hotswappable" AFAIK, right?

 

If you put in a E3-1265L v2 in a Gen8, it's going to rival the low-end Has/Broadwell or perhaps even some Skylake.

 

There are lots of Microserver sold, and the PSU is standard size so I'm not too worried. The fan is also standard sized IIRC. Mainboard could be a problem though.

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Gen8's bays maybe "hot-swap" designs but they're not "hotswappable" AFAIK, right?

The built-in B120i SATA controller is not hotswap capable. You need to fit a SmartArray P222 card to have hotswap capability.

 

If you put in a E3-1265L v2 in a Gen8, it's going to rival the low-end Has/Broadwell or perhaps even some Skylake.

Good luck finding a E3-1265Lv2 that isn't extortionately priced though. They were fairly expensive when stock was available but now that the usual retail channels have dried up, the price has shot up massively. Updating the BIOS on the Microserver and then using one of the newly supported i3s may be a better idea. Only issue is that the stock heatsink isn't rated for that TDP. HP supply a newer larger version which has a heatpipe with the i3 SKUs but nobody seems able to buy the heatsink by itself as a spare.

 

There are lots of Microserver sold, and the PSU is standard size so I'm not too worried.

The PSU is a standard FlexATX unit.

 

The fan is also standard sized IIRC. Mainboard could be a problem though.

The chassis fan isn't a standard PC fan as it has an unusual tachometer output and a non-standard connector.

The motherboard, heatsink, front panel connector and chassis are all custom. Some people have had luck with mounting certain PC fans after modifying the brackets.

 

And we also prefer the hot-swap bays to swap drives easily from outside.

As noted above, if you're using the SATA controller built into the motherboard then it is not hotswap capable. You need to power down to swap out HDs. If you've purchased the HP SmartArray P222 RAID controller then you can hotswap.

 

I think the Microserver fits what we need really well, except the fact that it's a little old (which makes me worry about parts replacement)

I recommend the HP Care Pack that gives you 3 years of NBD repair. It isn't very much especially if you're a business. If you can get it on rebate then it is a very good deal.

 

I figure after 3 years if it fails so badly that part replacement is difficult that I'd just pick up whatever the cheap replacement is for the Microserver at the time and get another 3 year care pack.

 

it doesn't have a USB3 front port (which really isn't a problem with USB3 extenders).

Yes. I just use USB3 extension cables. You could just use a USB3 hub instead. Be aware that you can't boot from the USB3 ports. Edited by GotNoTime
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