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Posted on 2013-01-25
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Hi

I'm looking at buying the HP ProLiant ML350p Gen8 Tower Server, either the 669045-035 or the 470065-713 and would like some advice please...

Basically at the moment we run a Dell PowerEdge 1800 Server which has a couple of Ultra320 SCSI drives in it, my question is will these drives work in the ProLiant or is it easier to just get new drives instead..? If so what type..? Can plain SATA's be used or do they have to be HP..? (Not to worried about Hot Pluging)

Also is there anything else I need to look out for that we will require prior to the purchase..?

Cheers

(I'm aware a sale team could answer these questions but I would prefer to ask you guys..!)
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Question by:ServTech
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by:andyalder
ID: 38819807
You can't use U320 drives in any new computer without a lot of hardware hacking, it's an old protocol replaced by Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) nowadays. You can use SATAs although they should be enterprise grade or the controller will fail them when they timeout, that goes for SAS disks too. I don't kmow of anyone who clones the new Gen8 SmartDrive caddies though so I think you'll have to buy HP.
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by:ServTech
ID: 38819847
ok thanks... The HP SATA drive is near enough the same price as the SAS drive GB for GB, which would you go for..??

And which one of the two servers would you go for..? the 669045-035 is very slightly cheaper..??

Is there anything else I need to take into mind before purchasing..??
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andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 38819946
SAS protocol is better, so if the price is near enough the same I would buy those. Bear in mind though that if the price is about the same then you must be looking at nearline 7.2K SAS disks. These can be OK but obviously don't perform anywhere near as well as 10 or 15K disks.

Both servers you listed have smart aray controller with flash backed write cache so you have RAID 1,5,10 to chose from and can even change the RAID level if you have to add more disks for more space down the line.

Presumably you found the quickspecs at http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/14226_div/14226_div.html with all the part numbers in them, if you need more RAM then note both of those come with RDIMMs so any new RAM has to be RDIMM too, not UDIMM. Although it says 24 DIMM slots you can only use half of them with a single CPU, also you can only use 4 of the 9 PCIe slots with single CPU but that ought to be plenty for most jobs (the RAID controller is onboard so diesn't take a slot, it's a proper controller though and not the Intel chipset one).
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38819966
Just a note for the future, things with moving parts wear down - hard drives have moving parts (well, except SSD).  Reusing old, out of warranty hard drives is a REALLY bad idea in my opinion.  If you had the 1800 servers and wanted to get something new, I'd get hard drives, instead of a new server.  The electronics in the server is more likely to last decades because it has no moving parts (fans aside).  (That doesn't mean I'd keep an 1800 server, but the point being if you were given a budget to cover most of a server or ALL of a set of drives, I'd be getting the drives and not the server, not the server and look to reuse the drives.
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by:ServTech
ID: 38819999
@andyalder - thanks all great info..!

@leew - Point taken, but we've had a problem with the poweredge where it just reboots randomly and have been unable to solve it..  It is a hardware based problem, and is well documented on the dell forum with reference to the 1800... So we've given up and are going to HP instead..!
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38820024
No objections... Dell has gone to SH!T.  But HP has been a sorry mess from my experience.  Sorry, I don't have an answer beyond that as to which server brand I'd go with... there's a local company I know well I'm thinking about.  Also contemplating Lenovo/IBM servers... but otherwise... it sucks... Maybe Fujitsu?
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by:ServTech
ID: 38820135
Interesting... hadn't thought of Fujitsu..? Just had a quick look at them, they seem quite generous in terms of ram etc for the same budget..?? Any thoughts / objections..??
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 38820177
Don't know where you are, but I've heard they are pretty big in Europe/outside US for the server market and they are trying to get into the US market.  I haven't used them... but when it comes to servers, I would insist on name brand.  Fujitsu is a name brand.  I'd sooner buy a Dell/HP for a client than to build one for them (I COULD build one, but I don't want THOSE headaches and I would NEVER recommend you build you own server beyond a configurator on the manufacturer's web site).  Otherwise, I have no experience with Fujitsu... but they aren't Dell or HP... so they are one I'll be considering.

Good luck... I'm not happy with the selections out there today... some because of limited (to no) experience, and some because of too many bad experiences.
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by:andyalder
ID: 38820399
Fujitsu aren't big in the x86 market (nor are Cisco) but both of them will give you good deals precisely because they want to become big there. See http://www.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2237231/committed-fujitsu-makes-overtures-to-top-hp-and-dell-partners for example.

I see Fujitsu servers all the time but that's through SPARC servers (Fujitsu do the ex Sun hardware in partnership with Oracle). Can't comment on Fujitsu x86 build quality as haven't see them.

As far as performance is concerned they're all the same as they use the same bits, differentiation is on the management side (e.g. iLO Vs DRAC) and on support.
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Author Comment

by:ServTech
ID: 38823953
Thanks again guys...

Have narrowed it down to either of these two:

http://www.serversplus.com/servers/tower_servers/hp_tower_servers/669045-035

or

http://www.serversplus.com/servers/tower_servers/fujitsu_tower_servers/SVFUJ-T2007SC020

I'm leaning towards the HP but could be persuaded either way...

Also interestingly, the HP mentions software compatibility and states Server 2008 but not not 2012, presumably because they just haven't updated the list..?

And, hard drive wise, am I correct I would need a minimum of three drives..?

Cheers
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by:andyalder
ID: 38824033
The HP server supports 2012, so that page is out of date. http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/windows/index.html

You don't need 3 drives, both should do RAID 1, again the page is wrong where it says RAID 5/6. Anything that can do RAID 5 will do RAID 1 and 10 too. 2 drives in RAID 1 will probably be faster than 3 drives in RAID 5, although there's less space available obviously.

Fujitsu has 6 cores Vs the HP having 4, but the HP clocks faster so not much difference there. Fujitsu has an 8GB stick HP only has a 4GB one, but of course you can add a load more.
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by:ServTech
ID: 38827720
What about running two smaller drives as the boot in raid 1 and at least two larger drives running in raid 5 or 6 config for data..? Does that sound about right or..?
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by:andyalder
ID: 38827924
Yes, that's quite common since it makes OS maintenance easier.
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