When we started looking at candidates for SOTY greatness, we quickly glommed onto blade servers. For the blade server category has received the most amount of engineering investment from all vendors, and an incredible amount of ink. Rack mount servers were a distant number two, and tower servers seemed like an afterthought.
After settling on blade servers, we then zeroed in on HP blades. However, we kept on coming back to the Proliant DL385 G7, which is actually a rack server. (It does have a blade cousin, the Proliant BL385, but that blade is limited to ‘just’ two hard drives.)
Little did we know that we would select an AMD Opteron-based server, the HP Proliant DL385 G7.
However, this is not just a simple CPU. It is a 12-core Opteron actually capable of trouncing comparable Intel Xeon processors in performance.
“Twenty-four cores, 256 gigabytes, 16 drives…It’s the server the Old Spice Guy would use.” Daniel Bowers, HP.
Daniel Bowers is a Marketing manager at HP, and the guy responsible for sic'ing this beast upon the unsuspecting world. And the quote above says it all: you can equip a Proliant DL385 G7 with 16 hard drives, up to 256 GB of RAM, and in a typical dual-socket configuration, you have the use of 24 physical x86 cores.
In fact, Dan adds, “The Proliant DL385 G7 brings high memory capacity and bandwidth, plus the highest x86 core count for a 2-processor server. It’s helping bring about a resurgence of Opteron in the data center.”
“The Proliant DL385 G7 brings high memory capacity and bandwidth, plus the highest x86 core count for a 2-processor server. It’s helping bring about a resurgence of Opteron in the data center.” Daniel Bowers, HP.
How then, is performance.
A look at the video below shows the performance of this monster, where it beats the Intel Xeon-based Proliant DL380 on a memory test.
With chops like this, is there any doubt why we chose it as our Server of The Year 2010?
An ideal review configuration is below:
- Two 12-core AMD Opteron 6172 (2.1GHz) Processors
- 32GB of PC3-10600R Memory (8 x 4GB)
- HP SmartArray P410i RAID Controller with 512MB Flash-Backed Write Cache (FBWC)
- Three (3) 146GB SAS hard drives (6Gb/s, 10k rpm) in a RAID5 configuration
- Four 1Gb NIC ports (Two dual-port 1GbE NC382i Multifunction NICs)
- Two hot pluggable 750 watt Platinum Power Supplies
- 3-year, labor and onsite service standard warranty
- HP Insight Control license
We are already in possession of the nicey-nice HP C3000 blade enclosure (Tower config), and we’d gladly take the above for a test period of no less than 385 days. <<wink-wink, nod-nod>>
Oh, and by the way, the HP Proliant DL385 is the most popular AMD Opteron-based server in the world.
There you go!