HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 Plus V2 Server ReviewMarch 28, 2023
The HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen 10 Plus v2 server is a 1U system with a single socket designed to take advantage of AMDs EPYC core count with up to 64 cores. There is a lot of extra verbiage in this name. First off, the 5 on the end of DL325 means this platform supports AMD EPYC processors. The “V2” portion further identifies this system as compatible with 3rd generation AMD EPYC processors. The “PLUS” part… now that’s kind of hard to say really. Maybe every list needs a third item…?
First off, there are 3 basic chassis configurations. The “plus” part was first used after the OG DL325 Gen10, which initially only supported 1st Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. After the OG Gen10, they added a plus with no V2. And no, OG is not part of the name just another acronym for Original Gangster or just original, in case you are reading this from another country.
The PLUS is a completely different animal from the OG base model. The DL325 Gen 10 PLUS has a longer chassis length to accommodate more storage than the OG DL325 Gen10, but also only compatible with 1st and 2nd generation EPYCs. At this point we will mention 2nd generation EPYCs were made compatible with a software update on the OG model, you know the original, and included an increase in performance and the ability to handle Intel Optane PMem modules while Non-Volatile DIMMs were discontinued but still can be used on Gen 1 CPUs.
This latest “Plus V2” chassis, The HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen10 PLUS V2 to be specific, is compatible with 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors with more cores at up to 40, more PCIe lanes at 64 compared to only 48 previously, and PCIe 4.0. It can support a larger memory footprint and faster memory speeds than previous generations. Not sure why this DL325 PLUS V2 still has the “plus” as the chassis length is shorter than the other PLUS version. It doesn’t support as much storage either. So really no PLUS. We suppose they had to keep the PLUS, because what are you going to do? Call it a minus? However, if the PLUS is in reference to storage in general, then we can say there is a storage improvement with HPE’s Tri-Mode storage controllers that can support not only SATA and SAS drive formats but also NVMe storage devices in a hardware RAID. This is a new thing with this version.
The DL325 Gen10 Plus V2 server has chassis options for 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drive formats. With the 3.5-inch option, there are 4x bays across the front of the system. With the 2.5-inch drive option, up to 8x bays plus 2x for 10. Both will support SATA and SAS but if you want NVMe U.2 or U.3 then that’s only available on the 2.5-inch chassis.
The 2.5-inch option comes with either 8SFF SATA SAS and 2x more SAS, SATA or NVMe drives in the media bay or 8SFF NVMe U.2 or U.3 with an option for 2 more SAS, SATA or NVMe drives. With that last one you can have up to 10x NVMe drive bays.
Both also support an Optical drive in the media bay instead of adding additional drives but then you are limited to 8X bays up front.
Aside from drive bay options, the 2.5-inch chassis has a control panel in the right server ear which includes the Power ON button, Unit ID button both of which have an integrated LED, then Health LED, and NIC status LED. The 3.5-inch chassis has the same buttons but in a horizontally arranged media bay type thing. Oh, and on the 2.5-inch chassis, with optional Optical drive there is also a display port and USB 2.0 port, also optional. The universal media bay is where you can install 2x more drive bays or the optical drive, hence the name…
Turning to the back of the system, there are 2x redundant Flex slot PSUs that come in a number of different capacities depending on how the system is configured. Next to those a serial port, 2x USB 3.0 ports with a unit ID LED squeezed in between, an iLO management port and a VGA port. Right beside that VGA port is a slot for an OCP network interface controller, which you might need given there are no integrated NIC ports on the back of the system.
The OCP card does provide more flexibility but come on! What happened to relatively free NIC ports? There are a few LED status lights on the iLO port and PSUs too. Right above all of that, PCIe slots 1, 2, and 3. #3 is listed as optional.
HPE’s integrated Lights Out system, or iLO, offers up to the nano second, intelligent server status monitoring. A range of automation and software-defined controls make managing, provisioning and deployment much easier for Administrators. With local and remote access to the system, iLO can also help quickly resolve any problems that may arise. Especially, when you factor in HPE infoSight which can help predict and prevent problems before they even become a problem. Nothing like having a pre-cognition AI do your bidding…
HPE’s iLO Mobile application allows you to access this server, anytime, from anywhere using a smart phone or tablet, which is pretty cool. This platform also has a nice bezel with an optional Kensington security lock for security. But make no mistake there’s a lot of built-in security features too. Once all is said and done, and this system has exhausted its useful life, at least for your business needs, HPE Secure Erase simplifies removing critical data.
Inside the case, is where it gets interesting. The backplane right behind the storage bays are supported by either a SAS/SATA backplane, or NVMe U.2, or NVMe U.3 backplane. NVMe ports are scattered around the system board to connect to the up-front storage bays.
A dedicated slot for a type A modular storage controller slot for a Tri-mode SAS/SATA/NVMe controller is right next to the CPU and memory module slots. It can support all three drive types, and can provide RAID functions.
That slot in back is for the optional OCP 3.0 Mezzanine card which can provide for the network interface on this system given there are no integrated Network LAN ports in back. You could also use one or two of the PCIe slots supporting PCIe 4.0 speeds for improved I/O throughput like installing a half-height, half-length DSC-25 2-port SFP card port with activity LEDs. A dual internal USB 3.0 connector is available on the motherboard for use with a light OS or hypervisor.
8x fans located just behind that backplane keeping it all cool and can be either standard or high-performance fans depending on your hardware allocation and cooling needs.
CPUs supported on this system include the full range of 2nd Generation ROME, and 3rd Generation MILAN AMD EPYC processors with a thermal Design point of up to 280W.
Either generation of these processors can also support up to 4TB of memory using Load-Reduced memory modules in all slots. With 8x memory channels and 16 memory module slots, that means 256GB of LRDIMMs in all slots. With a single LRDIMM memory module in each memory channel, you can attain memory speeds of 3200MHz or only 2933MHz using two in each channel. If you go with Registered DIMMs, RDIMMs, then using 1 or 2 DIMMs per channel you can still get speeds of 3200Mhz, just ¼ the memory capacity at 1TB. I will mention there are some limitations if you use 2nd gen CPUs instead of the latest and greatest 3rd gen varieties. With ROME there is no Tri-Mode controller support.
All slots on this system are PCIe 4.0 and there are 128 PCIe lanes in total. The primary riser is a butterfly riser with slots 1 and 2 located on opposite sides. Both have a x16 physical slot length but that slot has a negotiable slot link width of 1, 4, 8, or 16. A secondary riser is where that optional PCIe slot 3 is located, but maybe it should be slot 2 that’s optional because if you have a full-height card in slot three, no more slot 2. Slot 3 also has the same negotiable slot link widths, which basically means it can support just about any card from a PCIe bus standpoint.
There might not be any M.2 slots on the system board but you can install an optional NVMe OS boot device in one of those PCIe slots that will support 1x M.2 drive or 2x M.2 drives in a hardware RAID.
With the HPE ProLiant DL325 Gen 10 Plus v2 server you have 2P performance in a 1P, 1U platform, which will definitely impact your total cost of ownership in a good way. This system is highly adaptable with storage options and a fairly large memory footprint at up to 4TB with just a single processor. AMD EPYC processors do deliver too, with a large core count rivaling a 2x processor Intel alternative. At least for the 1st and 2nd generation Intel processors.
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