Little ProLiant (Just Right Home Server)

    The smallest proliant.

    On September 8, Hewlett-Packard announced the release of a new product - the smallest server in the large ProLiant family. The model does not have the traditional DL / ML / ... prefix, but is simply called HP ProLiant MicroServer.
    The solution is positioned as the first server for small structures (up to 10 users), respectively, the price starts at $ 500.

    The first deliveries have just reached the distributors' warehouses, and one of the servers has already settled in my house.

    Dry numbers:

    • AMD Athlon II Neo N36L - Atom classmate with two cores at 1.3 GHz
    • 1GB DDR3 RAM expandable up to 8GB (2 slots)
    • 4 slots for 3.5 "SATA hard drives
    • 1Gb Ethernet
    • PCI-express x16 slot, PCI-express x1 slot
    • slot for 5.25 "device with interface
    • integrated SATA RAID 0/1
    • 7 USB ports, including 1 internal and 4 on the front panel
    • external eSATA port
    • 150W PSU
    • two cooling fans operating with a maximum noise level of ~ 24dB

    The most detailed details can be found in QuickSpec.

    Before turning on the server was carefully reviewed, disassembled and studied. Impressions are exceptionally positive: materials and build quality are on top. Perhaps the 100th series in some places looks and feels worse. It can be seen that the server is designed to be installed in the front corner, and not in a dusty cabinet (nevertheless, at my server the far corner on the mezzanine was prepared for the server). Smooth shapes made of matte plastic, neat illuminated logo. The HP logo, in addition to the aesthetic, also has a diagnostic function - the logo can blink in different colors and report error codes.

    Behind a perforated door with a lock, 4 hard drive bays are hidden. One 160GB drive is included in the basic configuration. The drive rails are included and you can screw any SATA drive into them. For little money (without spending money on branded components) you can get 8 TB of RAW space, which is quite a lot for SOHO. The vendor’s concern for the user is especially touching - in the door you can find 16 spare screws and the traditional L-shaped key for Proliants under the hexagonal screws.

    The motherboard is located on a small movable bed - convenient for installing memory / expansion cards. Cables, alas, have to be unfastened manually - not HotSwap. There is enough space on the board and in the chassis to install a good LowProfile video card, and / or Ethernet / Wifi card.

    The processor and chipset have extremely low heat dissipation and do not require active cooling. Thanks to this, the server turned out to be surprisingly quiet. The manufacturer did not deceive about “beyond hearing” - in normal operation, only noisy screws are audible - vibrations from them are transmitted to the case. The huge fan on the back wall runs at low speeds and is almost inaudible. Confuses only a small cooler in the power supply.

    Having collected everything back, I was faced with a choice of OS: the manufacturer officially supports Windows Server 2008 and RHEL. This is of course True Enterprise, but not our choice. The processor supports AMD Virtualization Technology - you can try to start some kind of hypervisor. I found reviews on the Internet about running ESXi, but without onboard RAID support.

    This same RAID did not work out of the box under fresh Debian. Fiddling was terribly lazy, so I installed Ubuntu Server, where everything worked perfectly.

    Now the server is spinning:

    - Transmission downloads and distributes torrents
    - FlexGet parses RSS feeds of trackers and gives news in Transmission
    - Time Machine puts backups on the server
    - UPnP media server distributes music and video
    files via AFP protocol - native protocol for Macs. The data exchange speed is 2 times higher than that of Samba: AFP shows 90MB / s read / write, against 45 for Samba.

    At the same time, the load by process / memory is minimal and there are enough free resources for additional services.

    In the near future, I’ll put a couple of 2TB screws, a video card with an HDMI output, connect it to the TV with a 20-meter HDMI cable and launch XBMC.

    Office application

    Another of these glands took its place in our local office. Serves as a fileshare for 10 people. Almost all the services in the company are centralized, and before, you had to use mail or, damn where, SharePoint Server to exchange 10-megapixel presentations with each other.

    We plan to install the DAT72 tape drive found in the bins in the server - backup to the alienated medium!

    You don’t have to worry about the reliability of iron - just like for the older Proliant brothers, you can buy one of the extended service packages for Microserver. The most critical of them - 3Y 6h Call-to-Repair, implies that over the next 3 years, a maximum of 6 hours after your call to HP service, the server will already work.

    Small server - great sailing

    I hope Microserver will be a great success both in home systems and in small offices. At a price comparable to various SOHO NASs, scalability and flexibility are incomparably greater.


    I got a lot of feedback about the fact that the motherboard does not hold PCIe devices with a consumption of more than 25W, and therefore no decent video card can be delivered.
    My answer is: ATI HD 4350 has a TDP of 20W - this is the card I'm going to use

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