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My First Review of HPE ProLiant Gen10 MicroServer BETA

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Joe_Miner

My First Review of HPE ProLiant Gen10 MicroServer BETA

June 5, 2017

 

 

DSC_0016_CROP.jpg

HPE ProLiant Gen10 MicroServer BETA Unit on April 7, 2017 (you can see a "gray" filter behind the front mesh - a nice addition)

 

For the last two months I have had the opportunity to BETA test the HPE ProLiant Gen10 MicroServer BETA and in that time I came to one conclusion, I love it!  Now, starting at 4PM Central time on June 5, 2017 I can talk about it!

This machine checks many of the boxes on my wish list since my early days with the N40L, N54L, and later the Gen8 MicroServers!

  • It can support 32GB of ECC RAM
  • The PSU has been upgraded to 200W
  • Gone is the single VGA port, now I have TWO DP 1.2 ports PLUS a VGA port and I have watched streamed video on one monitor while working on tasks on two other monitors – The RADEON graphics seems great on all monitors
  • I have enabled Hyper-V and have several virtual machines running while doing other tasks
  • It has 2 PCIe slots!
  • It has 2 NICs!
  • Loading Windows 10 Pro on this machine was painless (It came with Clear OS but I wanted to load Windows 10 Pro - with plans on trying Clear OS later)
  • AND!! It has SIX (6) SATA III Ports – 4 in the main drive cage (via the SAS connector on the System Board) and two SATA Ports (Ports 5 & 6) on the System Board.  NOTE: SATA Port6 was not well documented but in one of the pictures in the Components thread I point out where I found it.

Things I missed but I don’t see as show stoppers:

  • The door is now a removable panel – The first time I took it off I thought I had broken the machine.  Not much of an issue once I got used to it, just note that removing the door/panel is a challenge if you have the Gen10 stacked with a Gen8.
  • The Gen10 doesn’t have iLO.  When I got my Gen8 I fell in love with iLO and how it opened many doors via ease of use when I would use other HPE servers (like the ML10v2 or the ML30G9) but if loosing iLO is the price I have to pay for 32GB RAM, 6 SATA III ports, and 3 video ports in a MicroServer then that’s OK in my estimate.

 

Specs of BETA Unit.JPG

The PassMark performance of the Gen10 MicroServer is outstanding, in my opinion. It shows analytically that this is the most powerful MicroServer yet – something I could feel by just using the MicroServer.

2017-06-04 PassMark Performance.JPG

So, bottom line, I believe the HPE ProLiant Gen10 MicroServer builds on past MicroServers and addresses many items that were on users wish lists.  This should be a fine machine for many home enthusiast applications.

The MicroServer arrived in the following configuration:

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BETA Configuration on arrival April 2017

  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB HD
  • Clear OS installed on 1TB HD

 

But it wasn’t long before I was adding SATA Cables for PORTS 5 & 6

2017-04-14 01 SATA Port6.JPG

 

2017-04-14 05 SATA Port5.JPG

 

2017-04-14 06 SATA Port5.JPG

 

And removing the 1TB LFF HDD with Clear OS…..

2017-04-14 08 EmptyDrvCage.JPG

 

2017-04-14 11 EmptyDrvCage.JPG

 

DSC_0037_CROP.jpg

Powered off, pulling 2.4W

 

Until I had this Configuration:

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BETA

  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB HD
  • Clear OS installed on 1TB HD
  • Main Monitor attached with HDMI cable via : Passive “4K DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI Adapter by Benfei DP Display Port to HDMI UHD 2K 3D Audio and Video Converter Male to Female Gold-Plated Cord” 
  • Misc. Cables: 2 SATAIII, Dell MX714 Floppy FDD to SATA Power Converter Cable

 

2017-04-14 12 FirstPower.JPG

Then I installed Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD in ODD Space attached to SATA III Port5 of System Board.

2017-04-14 13 W10onSSD.JPG

Note: USB Flash Drive with Windows 10 iso on it inserted in USB port

 

For this Configuration:

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BETA

  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB HD
  • Clear OS installed on 1TB HD
  • Windows 10 Pro x64
  • OS Drive: SATA Port 5 – Samsung 840 Pro 256GB located in ODD bay
  • Main Monitor attached with HDMI cable via : Passive “4K DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI Adapter by Benfei DP Display Port to HDMI UHD 2K 3D Audio and Video Converter Male to Female Gold-Plated Cord” 
  • Misc. Cables: 2 SATAIII, Dell MX714 Floppy FDD to SATA Power Converter Cable

 

DSC_0040_CROP.jpg

And after many iterations it wasn’t long before this Configuration:  

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BETA

  • 32GB RAM (2 x KVR24E17D8/16)
  • Windows 10 Pro x64 with HyperV enabled
  • OS Drive: SATA Port 5 – Samsung 840 Pro 256GB located in ODD bay
  • Data Drive: SATA Port 6 – Samsung 840 Pro 256GB located on revised SDM 3.5 located on side of PSU (the first drive I attached to SATA PORT6 was a Corsair Force GT 60GB and originally both were located in the ODD bay with the OS drive before later moving the Samsung on Port6 down by the PSU)
  • Data Drive: SATA Ports 1&2 in SW RAID0 2 x WD3000HLHX in drive bays 1&2
  • Data Drive: SATA Ports 3&4 in SW RAID1 2 x WD5001F9YZ in drive bays 3&4
  • Main Monitor attached with HDMI cable via : Passive “4K DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI Adapter by Benfei DP Display Port to HDMI UHD 2K 3D Audio and Video Converter Male to Female Gold-Plated Cord” 
  • 2nd Monitor attached with HDMI cable via: “Active DisplayPort to HDMI 4K Adapter, Benfei DP to HDMI Ultra HD Converter”   
  • 3rd Monitor attached to VGA Port (I went quite a while before attaching the 3rd Monitor - I was using it in other places in my home lab)
  • Misc. Cables: 2 SATAIII, Dell MX714 Floppy FDD to SATA Power Converter Cable, SATA Power to two SATA Power Y splitter cable
  • SDM 3.5 (revised)

 

2017-05-01 DiskManagement.JPG

 

2017-05-01 SystemInformation.JPG

 

After many more changes I am now at As-Built June 5, 2017:

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 BETA (see Picture below)

  • 32GB RAM (2 x KVR24E17D8/16)
  • Windows 10 Pro x64 with HyperV enabled
  • OS Drive: SATA Port 5 – Samsung 840 Pro 256GB located in ODD bay
  • Data Drive: SATA Port 6 – WL500GLSA8100 500GB 10K RPM 2.5” HDD mounted on revised SDM 3.5 that I mounted on side of PSU
  • Data Drive: SATA Ports 1&2 in SW RAID0 2 x WD3000HLHX in drive bays 1&2
  • Data Drive: SATA Ports 3&4 in SW RAID1 2 x 2.5” WD10JVCX Red Drives in Icy Dock’s EZConvert’s in drive bays 3&4
  • Main Monitor attached with HDMI cable via : Passive “4K DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI Adapter by Benfei DP Display Port to HDMI UHD 2K 3D Audio and Video Converter Male to Female Gold-Plated Cord” 
  • 2nd Monitor attached with HDMI cable via: “Active DisplayPort to HDMI 4K Adapter, Benfei DP to HDMI Ultra HD Converter”   
  • 3rd Monitor attached to VGA Port
  • Misc. Cables: 2 SATAIII, Dell MX714 Floppy FDD to SATA Power Converter Cable, SATA Power to two SATA Power Y splitter cable
  • SDM 3.5 (revised)
  • MicroSoft wireless Keyboard & Mouse

 

WP_20170604_13_03_45_Pro__highresCROP.jpg

HPE ProLiant Gen10 MicroServer with streaming movie playing (Batman vs Superman – Monitor 1), six VMs loaded and powered up (Hyper-V Manager window open – Monitor 2), and Excel spreadsheet opened crunching 19 years of daily data for multiple graphs (Monitor 3) all using about 49% of installed 32GB RAM.  The disk activity that can be made out on the Task Manager is from the VMs – the Excel spreadsheet is on my home server.

See other Threads in this Forum for more information about what Schoondoggy and I have tested so far.

 

 

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schoondoggy

Instead of starting another thread I will add my thoughts to John's thread:

June 2, 2017

Initial thoughts on MicroServer Gen10 beta:

For a few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to play with the MicroServer Gen10 Beta.

Let’s look at what is similar and what is different. Basic similarities, the case is identical in size so it will stack with the Gen8, it has four removable drive bays and two Gigabit ethernet ports.

Things that are new or different, it will be using the AMD x3000 family series APU, not socketed. It will have UEFI bios. Support for 32 Gb of memory. The four bay drives will be a tray-less design. There is no longer a front door, to remove the drives you will need to remove the front bezel. Standard 200 W power supply. Marvell SATA controller for the four bays. One or two additional SATA of ports, one is documented the other is functional, but not listed. All SATA 6 Gb/s. Two open ended PCIe slots, x8 and x1. Lower noise than the Gen8.

In the category of what is missing from the GEN8 there is no iLo, no Intelligent Provisioning or no B120i. Much like the ML10 Gen9, the MicroServer Gen10 is a bit of a departure from the standard features of traditional Proliant servers. I really like iLo, but it comes at two costs. First off, iLo requires adding the iLo controller to the design. Secondarily, iLo limits onboard video to the Matrox G200 built into the iLo controller. Remote access will be an issue for some. I had hope AMD had some type of chipset based function like Intel AMT, but it appears not. Intelligent Provisioning is great for rapidly deploying servers or remotely deploying servers, but I am not sure how often IT departments used it with the MicroServer Gen8. The B120i is a firmware based RAID. It was nice to have a ESXi friendly RAID controller that was compatible with other HP RAID controllers built-in, but performance and features were issues. If iLo, IP and built in RAID are important to you, there are plenty of HP servers up stream that will meet your needs.

So far, I have mainly played with Windows 10 and Server 2016 on the MicroServer Gen10. Everything works as expected. Next area’s I plan to work on are ESXi 6.5, FreeNAS and ClearOS. Also, will be looking at external storage using a H221 HBA.

When I look through posts in the forum over the last year, I think users of MicroServer’s break into three categories; media server/HTPC, home IT lab, traditional home server.

The x3421 is in the 5000+ range in Passmark, the graphics are R7 and the Gen10 is very quiet. For users looking for a HTPC or media server the Gen10 will be a better choice than a Gen8.

Much like the ML10 Gen9, ESXi is not listed as a supported OS, but I have no reason to believe it will not work on the MicroServer Gen10. The MicroServer Gen10 could be good choice for a home lab server.

ClearOS that comes installed on the MicroServer Gen10 may be a good choice for a traditional home server OS or you could use any number of Microsoft or Linux flavors making the MicroServer Gen10 a good choice for a home server.

All said and done some of this will come down to cost. I have always found HPE to be competitive in their pricing of MicroServers. Just as the MicroServer Gen8 was very different than MicroServer N36l/N40l/N54l, the MicroServer Gen10 is very different as well. Some will find the missing features of the MicroServer Gen8 to be deal breakers, but I think others will find the new features of the MicroServer Gen 10 a good reason to explore this new server. Depending on your use case there’s a lot to like in the new MicroServer Gen10. I’m sure we will discuss it heavily in the forums. Please let me know other things you would like to see tested and I will try to find the time to work through your questions.

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Joe_Miner

New Forum Live

 

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FreeN@S

Hello,

Can you Beta-testers test if those APU's support aka vt-d ( don't know how it is called by AMD). Can we passthrough HBA( like IBM M1015)  or other device to a VM ? And how it is working with ESXi 6.5

Edited by FreeN@S

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fury

Great review and detailed information. 

Does the fan in this use the same 6 pin configuration as the gen 8?

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Trig0r

How does the unit "feel", we already know that the CPU isnt as strong as the Xeon, but given the other upgrades to the unit does it feel slower for having less actaul CPU grunt?

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JackoUK

Thanks Joe ... used up my daily 'like' limit for the first time today :wub:

I see the power users on the forum are already lamenting the loss of iLo and the restriction to a fixed CPU ...

... but those with more modest needs like myself will I suspect like the improvements.

Whether we will like the price remains to be seen!

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JackoUK
16 hours ago, schoondoggy said:

Please let me know other things you would like to see tested and I will try to find the time to work through your questions.

I agree with your 3-way use-case assessment ... and would like to know how the G10 performs as a 4K video streamer.

HP are citing this as a use-case too but the displayports are only rev. 1.2 which I believe is limited to a 60/75 Hz refresh rate, New TV's have moved up to 120Hz.

https://www.hpe.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=a00008776enw&doctype=Solution

If you don't own a 4K TV then I'll understand why you can't do the test!

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Joe_Miner
48 minutes ago, Trig0r said:

How does the unit "feel", we already know that the CPU isnt as strong as the Xeon, but given the other upgrades to the unit does it feel slower for having less actaul CPU grunt?

It "feels" zippy.  Very subjective I know but compared to to previous machines I feel it has some muscle behind it.  I have brought it to it's knees a few times -- with over a half dozen VMs running I've gotten hit with major updated on all the VMs at once and that pegs the CPU but the same has happened before with the Xeon in the Gen8 and ML30G9.  I REALLY like the Video - and if I had a 4K monitor in the house I would be hooking it up to that -- but 3 monitors out of the box is pretty cool in itself.

I've loaded WHS2011 & WS2012Storage to VMs and I was going to try passing thru HDD's soon.

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schoondoggy
Hello,
Can you Beta-testers test if those APU's support aka vt-d ( don't know how it is called by AMD). Can we passthrough HBA( like IBM M1015)  or other device to a VM ? And how it is working with ESXi 6.5

I will start working on ESXi today. Will let you know what I find.

Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk

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