HPE ProLiant ML350 Gen10 Server ReviewJuly 31, 2018
In this review, we are taking a look at one of HPE’s most powerful servers, the ProLiant ML350 Gen10. HPE says this platform delivers a 71% increase in performance over the Gen9 version. The HPE ProLiant ML350 Gen 10 offers excellent scalability with support for dual processors, lots of memory, and impressive storage. As a tower server it’s designed for a small to medium-sized business, remote, or branch office location, but it can easily be rack mounted to support future company growth.
What’s new on this system? The entire platform has been redesigned. The system itself is now a little shorter than the previous version and the security bezel is standard equipment. The processors and memory modules line up with each other, presumably for better cooling. Additionally, four variable speed fans are located just behind the hard drive bays, and two more on the back panel are standard for basic cooling needs. The Gen9 version had up to 8x fans mounted just behind the hard drive, 4x of which provided redundancy in a two-processor performance application. In general, the Gen10 version may be a little smaller but still packs more punch with Intel Scalable processors supporting 24x DIMM slots at up to 2666MHz, and support for more NVMe solid state drives.
You can install one or two Intel Xeon Scalable processors from the Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum families with up to 28 cores, like the Platinum 8180.
When comparing the top of the line 8180 processors with the previous generation E5-2699 v4 processors you get a 71% increase in performance and a 27% increase in core count from 22 cores to 28 cores. The new processors also deliver six memory channels, which is two more than the E5 v4 processors.
However, if you want to hit that maximum capacity of 3TB of memory, you will need a processor that supports 1.5TB of memory each, that have an “M’ after the model number. Those without the “M” only support up to 768GB, each.
With dual processors and the addition of GPUs, the system will require the fan cage supporting four fans behind the HD drive cages.
Both Registered or Load-Reduced DIMM modules can be installed, but only LRDIMM memory modules will support the maximum memory capacity of 3TB. If you plan on using Registered DIMM modules, expect to have only 768GB of total memory available.
Storage is similar compared to the Gen9 ML350 with configurations for both large and small form factor HDDs and SSDs. However, there are a few of the high capacity storage configurations missing, like support for 24x LFF drives and 48x SFF.
Surprisingly, the maximum supported storage is less than the Gen 9 version but you can still get up to 184TB using 7.68TB LFF SAS SSDs. The Gen 9 version supported a maximum storage capacity of 288TB using SAS or SATA LFF drives of 12TB each. By the numbers, that would be a 38% reduction in maximum storage capacity. However, as mentioned earlier, you can also install up to 8x NVMe solid state drives using an NVMe SSD Express Bay enablement kit, which will provide two more NVMe drives than the Gen9 version. The NVMe cage can only be installed in box 2, which is the middle drive bay on the SFF drive configuration. NVMe drives will also require one PCIe riser per four NVMe drives or a total of two risers for eight drives. NVMe is only supported using the integrated S140i SATA controller.
Each of the configurations supports a default drive cage at the bottom of the chassis with either 4x 3.5-inch drives or 8x 2.5-inch drives. Two more drive cages can be installed in each of the configurations to support two or three times as much storage. Or without the calculation 4, 8 or 12 LFF drives or 8, 16 or 24 2.5-inch drives.
The upper drive cage can also be converted to support a slimline optical device and 2 HH media devices, like a tape drive for data protection.
A single internal SD Card slot provides Hypervisor support.
For super-fast OS boot, you can install a single M.2 universal enablement kit with a maximum of two M.2 drives with up to 960GB each. The M.2 card must be installed in slot 1, 2, 3, or 4 and is only supported by the integrated S100i SATA controller.
Depending on your business needs there are several HD/RAID controllers available including the integrated Smart Array S100i. The Smart Array S100i will provide limited software RAID functionality for SATA devices, but with the Windows Operating System only.
Other RAID controllers offer more RAID options, and if you go with a performance RAID option, you will need an HPE Smart Storage Battery to support the non-volatile caching feature.
There are 8x PCIe 3.0 slots total on the system board, not including the dedicated slot for a Smart Array HD/RAID controller.
You can install a maximum of 4x double-wide GPUs for graphics-intensive applications or extend your virtual desktop deployments.
With a single processor installed, slots 1-4 are active.
With a second CPU, all slots 1-8 are active.
iLO Standard with intelligent provisioning for remote and out-of-band management has been updated to Version 5 and offers a more robust set of features for managing and monitoring the system. HPE OneView also works with iLO to help manage the system with a template approach to managing infrastructure assets. The newest versions offer native support for the most popular browsers, including Microsoft’s new Edge browser. A host of other labor-saving features help automate your maintenance processes both on-site and remotely, all using a standard browser. Both can also be updated to advanced, with the purchase of a license key for even more functionality.
Power is provided by either a 500W, 800W, or 1600W flex slot power supplies that can be used 1+1 for redundancy. The 500W PSU is also available as a non-redundant, wired connection power supply.
On the back of the system, you’ll find two USB ports, serial and display ports, and four embedded 1GbE ports plus a dedicated RJ-45 iLO management port plus one iLO port on the front of the system. There are many options for network communications with 1, 10, 25, and single and dual port 100Gb InfiniBand options, which translates to 50Gb/s bi-directional per port—at least theoretically.
The HPE ProLiant ML350 Gen10 offers remote and branch offices a very flexible server platform that can be configured to support a number of common business workloads. With two Scalable processors, support for up to 3TB of memory, plus top-of-the-line GPUs, it can also be used to support high-performance computing and graphics-intensive workloads. Once your small business grows and you’re looking for more space, the ML350 Gen10 can be converted to a rack mount configuration to support your future needs as part of a larger infrastructure.
Click this link for pricing and documentation on HPE ProLiant ML350 G10 Tower server, and if you have any comments or questions post them in the section below or give us a call at (800) 237-0402.