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The SmallBizWindows Server of the Year 2010: HP Proliant DL385 G7

2010 server - croppedHP Proliant DL385 G7

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.

Just how cool is the DL385 G7?G11189001112009_JPGHighres_JPG

“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!

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Reader Comments (4)

Cool John!

Minor point. BL465 G7 blade more equivalent to DL385G7. The BL465G7 (up to 256GB RAM) now includes the FCoE/iSCSI, 6 nics "embedded" 10Gb LOMs, coupled with VC FlexFabric for the extra benefits of these options without losing a mezz slot! Just one of these Virtual Connects in your c3000 and all 8 half-height BL46x G7s enabled for same. Yes two drives, but if you "couple" a sb40c SAN blade (6 SFF drives), and now the D2200sb (12 SFF drives), to any of the half-height BL465s you're as good or better!! than the DL385G7 which is already HOT box. HP c-Class Blades rule in the Enterprise and Service Provider virtualization space.
February 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercpufox
Thanks for the update, CPUfox!

Now, I'm educated
February 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterJohn Obeto
how is this relevant to small business....256GB RAM....awesome it can support up to that but when in the world have you walked into a small business enviroment where "oh hey come look at my server with 256 GB RAM...." somewhat misleading Title on the blog, the interview with the HP Manager shows that it was intended for the data center.....

another point that should be addressed is pricing....

on the test you did, are they both comparable in pricing?
April 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersurtur
SMB...small & medium businesses?

If you go from there, you'd understand.

BTW, quite a few medium businesses use this same server in their little datacenters
April 22, 2011 | Registered CommenterJohn Obeto

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