HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 Server ReviewNovember 16, 2019
Admittedly, this platform has been out for a while, but sometimes we’ve sold all of our units before we get a chance to review them. I’m talking about the HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 server tower (SHOP HERE)! This is a mid-tier platform that’s not the most powerful, but it does provide a very compelling assortment of enterprise features that you could easily put to work in your remote or branch office—even your home office!
“The HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 server has a single-socket for an Intel Xeon Scalable processor, six memory slots, and up to 16x drive bays up front.”
As an entry to mid-level system, it offers an impressive performance to cost ratio, which we’re not going to get into because pricing information never ages well. But what I will tell you is that the HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 server has a single-socket for an Intel Xeon Scalable processor, six memory slots, and up to 16x drive bays up front. It’s also very quiet for those front office or living room deployments putting out a modest 30 decibels under load.
The case itself has a perforated bezel up front. The black satin finish and vertical perforations definitely make you think they used the same designer who did the interiors for the Death Star. Behind the bezel you will either have 4x or 8x 3.5-inch storage bays in one or two separate drive cages. Another configuration would be 8x 2.5-inch drive bays with the option for another 8x in a separate drive cage, for a total of 16x drives.
From the top down, there’s a small control panel on the upper right with tell-tale lights for health and NIC status, plus a power ON button. Below the control panel at the bottom of the chassis, are two USB 3.0 slots plus a dedicated port on the left for access to iLO.
On the back of the ProLiant ML110 Gen 10, again starting at the top, you have either a fixed PSU supporting either a 350W or 550W PSU for a cost-effective solution. Alternatively, you could go with dual redundant flex slot 500W or 800W PSUs offering redundancy and support for other features like redundant fans.
Just below, there’s an exhaust fan for the CPUs and memory and on the left you’ll find a UID button, VGA port, 2x RJ-45 network ports, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, and a management port to access the integrated Lights Out module. Below those are the PCIe slots and the knob next to the PCIe slots secures the PCIe cards.
Once we remove the side panel, you can see two removable plastic cowls that direct fresh air over the processors, memory, and PCIe slots. To the right, a sliding lock secures the front bezel to access the drive bays. Additionally, there is a large fan in the lower portion and just above that, drive cage 1. A second drive cage supporting either 4x 3.5-inch drives or up to 8x 2.5-inch drives can be installed above the first drive cage, but I should mention there is no mixing of LFF with SFF drive cages. For now, we only have the one drive cage on both of our chassis.
Management of the system is through HPE’s integrated Lights Out Version 5, out-of-band management module. It offers alerting, reporting and remote management of the system, at no extra cost. Of course, that would be for the standard version, which doesn’t offer the full feature set as on the Premium or Premium Security edition. Those cost extra. HPE’s “silicon root of trust” ensures the security of the product from manufacture until it’s shipped out to the customer. Enhanced security features ensure your data is not compromised and any firmware like BIOS or OS updates are authenticated before installation. If any software is found to be compromised, the server will default to the last know “Good” state. There’s also a new workload performance advisor and an iLO Security dashboard.
“Enhanced security features ensure your data is not compromised and any firmware like BIOS or OS updates are authenticated before installation.”
Processors supported on this system include those from the Bronze, Silver and Gold categories with up to 16 cores and 110W, and that includes both 1st and 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Of course, with 2nd generation processors you get faster memory speeds of up to 2933MT/s instead of a top speed of only 2666MT/s. Although, I should note that only one of the supported processors supports that top memory speed, the Gold 5222. The two other processors will support 2666MT/s, or 2133MT/s respectively. We didn’t have the Bronze 3204, but we do have the 3104 which has a very similar spec and supports the same memory speed.
Three memory module slots to each side of the processor support a maximum 192GB of memory using 32GB Registered DIMM modules. Unfortunately, Load-Reduced, non-volatile, and Intel’s new Optane memory modules are not supported. I mean what did you expect? The HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 is an entry-level system. But I’m a little surprised they didn’t give a bump on memory capacity with the 2nd generation processors. One more thing to note is that there’s no turbo boost or hyper-threading support on the Bronze processors—at least not any that are supported on this machine.
This system supports SAS and SATA hot-plug and non-hot-plug drives either 3.5-Inch or 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs. As I said mentioned earlier, mixing of drive cages is not supported. Unfortunately, there are no M.2 slots on the motherboard. M.2 drives are only supported using an optional HPE universal SATA half-height, half-length M.2 kit, which can support two M.2 drives in a RAID using the integrated S100I SATA controller for redundancy, or just a single M.2 drive. M.2 SSDS are a great option for booting the system so you can use all those up-front drives for storage.
There’s also a micro SD card slot on the system board for hypervisor support. Up to 14 drives are supported using the integrated S100i controller, but for more control over your storage, or for support of SAS drives, you will need an HPE Smart Array controller. And again, you have options for HPE Essential controllers like the E208i or e-P SR Gen10 RAID controller, or for performance applications the P408i or e -p SR Gen10 controllers. Although a performance RAID controller will require a Smart Storage Battery, you guessed it, purchased separately.
Five PCIe 3.0 slots can be used to support additional workloads with advanced HD/RAID controllers, like we just talked about. You can also install additional network controllers that support two to four ports with either 10Gb Ethernet or 1Gb Ethernet connection speeds−that would be in addition to the integrated dual 1Gb Ethernet ports on the back of the system. A maximum of two Nvidia Quadro P2000 or an AMD Radeon Pro WX2100 Graphics Accelerator, both of which are single-width cards, can be installed in the HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 for graphic support.
If you’re a little short on space or simply don’t have a need for a separate server room, the HPE ProLiant ML110 Gen10 server is a great choice. It’s so quiet you won’t even know it’s there, especially if you outfit this system with SSDs. With room for up to 16 storage devices, there’s room to grow. Make no mistake this is an enterprise server with the same high-end features you’ll find on HPE’s workhorse servers. Power consumption is also not going to break the bank.