HPE Proliant DL360 Gen 10 Plus Server Review

January 6, 2023 0 By Lorena Mejia

The 1U HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 Plus supports the 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (SHOP HERE). All of the Gen 10 servers without the “PLUS” support AMD EPYCs or Intel Xeon Scalable processors from either the 1st or 2nd generation. This 1U server is on the Intel side, and the PLUS means it supports the 3rd generation Intel Xeons, which have a completely different socket, so 1st or 2nd generation CPUs are not an option.

Intel’s 3rd Gen CPUs offer significantly more, with up to 40 cores, PCIe 4.0, support for more and faster memory plus PCIe 3.0 compatibility. 3rd generation AMD EPYC processors with up to 64 cores, PCIe 4.0 and other stuff also have a place in the PLUS line up but we’re talking Intel here.

With a “0” on the end of the product name, like this HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 Plus, you get an Intel CPU based system. With a “5” on the end, like say a DL365 Gen10 Plus, you get AMD EPYCs for processing power. Easy right!? Compared to some other companies’ naming conventions like…Tyan.

Basic storage options include either an 8-bay chassis with 2.5-inch hot swap drives plus an optional media bay that can be converted to hold 2x additional drives. Or a 3.5-inch hot-swap drive bay configuration with 4x hot-swap drive bays up front plus an optical drive. The 4.5-inch drive bay chassis only supports a SAS/SATA backplane. However, there are a few storage options for the 2.5-inch chassis, depending on the choice of backplane.

The 2.5-inch drive bay chassis supports SATA, SAS, plus U.2 or U.3 NVMe drives, and the same for the media bay options. You can get all 10x NVMe U.2 or U.3 drives up front with a TriMode U.3 backplane, plus an optional 2-bay drive cage in the media Bay. Also, a combination of 2x NVMe U.3 drives with the rest SAS or SATA. And then there’s all SATA, or all SAS.

HPE’s fairly new Tri-Mode controllers provide support for the Gen 10 servers and feature advanced RAID controls for SAS, SATA and NVMe devices plus 8GB of Cache. They can operate in Mixed Mode combining RAID and Host Bus adapter (HBA) features simultaneously. All these configurations also support an embedded storage controller providing RAID capabilities for up to 14x SATA drives or 2x NVMe SSDs. So perhaps a Smart Storage RAID controller with SAS in the standard front bays and NVMe using an optional HD cage in the media bay.

Also supported is Virtual RAID on CPU or vROC, which is an enterprise grade hybrid RAID solution that includes a small hardware key. It can RAID up to 8x direct attached NVMe SSD drives with a two-processor configuration using the 2x PCIe 4.0 x8 slots on the system board. There is also an option for 2x more if you want to add in another 2x drive bays through the optional media bay. The 3.5-inch chassis is listed as just SATA or SAS drives and only has a single backplane associated with that configuration.

Yes, you will need an HD/RAID controller for SAS drive formats.

A maximum storage capacity of up to 153TB on the 2.5-inch HPE ProLiant DL360 is possible using SAS or NVMe drive types. But you could get up to 200TB with a SATA implementation. That would also be incorporating 2x additional drives in the media bay for a total of 10x up front. In general, you get significantly less storage using the 3.5-inch bay chassis. For both, an optical drive is optional.

A control panel on the right side of the 2.5-inch drive bay chassis has a USB port with a dedicated integrated Lights Out port for management right beside it. Above that, a power ON button with LED, plus a health status LED, NIC status LED, and a unit ID button LED. The 4-bay 3.5-inch chassis also has a control panel right above drive bay #4 on the right. The far left can be outfitted with the optional optical drive tray. There is also an optional System Insight Display panel that pops out with the press of a button and provides more granular information on individual components installed, which is great for troubleshooting. The SID panel is available on both the 8-Bay and 4-bay chassis but you will lose the iLO service port on the 2.5-inch chassis if you use this option.

HPE DL360 front panel ports

On the back of the HPE ProLiant DL360 there are up to 3x PCIe slots arranged across the top of the chassis with dual redundant PSUs on the far right, supporting 500W, 800W, and 1600W options. Next to the PSUs, a VGA port, and an OCP 3.0 mezzanine card slot next to that. The OCP card comes with several connection speed and port options, including up to 200Gb Ethernet. You could also use a NIC in one or two of those PCIe slots. There’s a serial port knock out next to that, and then the USB 3.0 slots and the dedicated iLO management port. That management port on the back of the system grants access to HPE’s integrated Lights Out Advanced for health management, remote management, service alerting and reporting, all from a standard web browser.

There is also iLO Mobile for smartphones and tablets for at-chassis management of the system. HPE OneView takes it a step further and is a comprehensive management program for multiple servers providing asset overview, provisioning, updating and integrating compute storage, and networking. Another optional feature is HPE InfoSight for Servers offering a predictive maintenance utility combining cloud-based machine learning with iLO and active health systems.

Inside the chassis, we see the somewhat larger sockets for the 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. This platform supports processors from the Platinum, Gold, and Silver CPU categories. Bronze is no more with the Ice Lake series, which kind of makes it easier. We will mention that only the platinum processors support up to 40 cores, while gold has up to 32 cores and silver has a maximum of 20 cores. There are also various suffixes added to the processor model numbers which denote their targeted capabilities. All 3x support PCIe 4.0 for vastly improved throughput for I/O and NVMe devices, plus each processor has 8x memory channels to work with.

Intel Xeon CPUs for HPE DL360 server

Memory speeds are dependent on the processor and memory configuration. In the DL360 Gen10 Plus, each processor supports 16x memory module slots, with 2x DIMMs per channel, for a total of 32x active module slots with both processors installed. Only Gold and Platinum processors provide memory speeds of 3200MT/s, while Silver will provide a top speed of 2666MT/s.

Registered, Load-reduced and Intel Persistent Memory Modules can be installed. Persistent memory modules are paired with either RDIMMs or LRDIMMs. 3rd gen CPUs enable twice the memory compared to the previous generations at 6TB per CPU.

That said, this platform is limited to 4TB per CPU for up to 8TB of memory at capacity using a combination of DRAMs and persistent memory modules.

In the event of a power failure, an HPE Smart Storage battery is required to back-up write cached data on the HPE Smart Array Gen10 RAID controllers providing just enough juice to power the system until data can be transferred from cache to Flash.

HPE Smart Storage Battery

The CPUs and memory modules are cooled by a bank of hot-swap high-performance, dual-rotor fan modules. Easy as pie to replace them in the event of a failure as long as you don’t have the cover off for more than 60 seconds.

There are a few PCIe slot options for the primary riser including two x16 PCIe 4.0 slots or a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot paired with a x8 slot. There is also an M.2 riser option again with a x16 and x8 slot plus hardware RAID support for 2x M.2 drives, for fast boot of the operating system. You could also go with a dual M.2 PCIe card in one of the PCIe slots if you don’t get the M.2 riser option.

The Secondary Riser supports a single PCIe 4.0 x16 slot with either a low-profile or full-height option. If you go with the full height option, that will take out slot #2 on the Primary Riser. With the compute power of this system, high-speed I/O NICs are a good move. This system doesn’t have any integrated Ethernet ports for network connectivity aside from the dedicated management port. You will need either an OCP mezzanine card, PCIe-based I/O card, or a combination of the two for network connectivity.

This platform will take a single Nvidia Turing-powered T4 tensor core card in one of those PCIe slots offering compute acceleration and support for distributed environments.

NVIDIA Turing T4

As you can see, the HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 PLUS server is a definite high-performance powerhouse with Intel’s 3rd generation processors. It’s funny, because every time a new processor comes out, we’re like oooh! Look at that… so many cores, oh and the clock speed!  A few months later the honeymoon is over and we’re wondering why there weren’t more cores, more PCIe lanes, just… more. 

If you have any questions about this or any other system, give us a call or check out our website. We have lots to offer!