I’ve been speaking with friends recently asking them what’s going on for a number of reasons really. There are a few of my extended team (colleagues and good friends) that are out of work (I’m trying to find them roles and know what’s going on), equally though I have been rather shamelessly asking them about the HP Proliant MicroServer (I know you see quite a few have bought them) after they had discovered that I had bought one and called it Marjorie – the naming at work kept us going for a few days. HP then sent me Harvey the MicroServer, he’s a N40L and therefore kind of looks over at Marjorie the N36L in satisfaction at his superior configuration.
The HP Proliant MicroServer then in all intensive purposes has become and industry leader amongst my colleagues, all are server guys, you see many of them were after either a media server, a small NAS solution, or wanted a server that they could test things on. Before the MicroServer they had to either buy an old rackmount of ebay, or look at a Tower server which quoting one of them ‘isn’t the same’ and the rack server ‘sounded like a bus’. The MicroServer therefore bridges these gaps, in light of this I sent an email to ask them some questions about the MicroServer.
So what do you use them for? A quick email survey was done combined with a meeting after work:
“Media server, its perfect, small and lives hidden beside the tv, works very well and running Windows Home Server”
“I replaced my DL380 G3 with a MicroServer using it for VMware lab so to speak, it’s fine put a few Windows VMs on it and try different things on it, love it. So much quieter and smaller than the old one.”
“I found it to be the best low cost NAS solution, rather than mess about with one of those SMB NAS hard disks with a wifi connection, I just bought a MicroServer, filled it with disks and RAM, it’s brilliant and much easier, wouldn’t use anything else”
What was the key feature of the MicroServer for you then?
“Price – it was just low enough to make me think about one of those, previously I’d been using a Dell Optiplex which I bought of ebay, you know the kind of thing Pentium 4 or maybe a bit newer and adding a few bits.”
“Form factor – it’s just the right size and so much quieter than my DL380 G3, it lives somewhere under my desk and I use the remote card to mange it, or just rdp to it.”
“Performance/cost balance – it’s actually not a bad little unit, and for me balanced with price it’s good enough and expandable enough for me to use for the time being, and what attracted me was that I could put Linux or Windows on it and give it to someone else as a file/media server when I’ve finished. A desktop or a server might not be as re-useable immediately.”
“Brand name and support – I didn’t want some obscure vendor supplying me with something put together, I know HP or the equivalent will have tested it and put together a package and range of components that I can use.”
Has it made you think about HP differently? Any comments about your MicroServer?
“I love the MicroServer, I don’t know if it has necessarily changed my viewpoint, but it has highlighted the offers they have and made me lean towards one of their ML110 G7′s, after I’ve finished with the MicroServer.”
“I found them incredibly useful, it allowed me to use it as the bridge between a client that were using a desktop as a ‘server’ and separate the roles in several sites. The price point and the value highlighted how much they’re working on their products for the small business – the only similar thing was the Fujitsu something.”
“Think it’s fine, have read some reviews going on about RAID, OS support and everything, but key thing is, shove linux on it, put in a few extra disks and it’s your first low maintenance file server, which can also do a few other things, it’s great, no issues. For that SMB that want something physical, something to begin with, complemented with an online backup service, it’s out of the box servering.”
“I love HP, anything Proliant based gets my thumbs up, I love SmartStart, HP Survey Utility and their WebAgent, it was great to see that they had put the same level of commitment into their MicroServer, sure there were a few things I didn’t like, would like more RAID options, no DVD drive as standard also could do with more USB, but ultimately thoroughly HP from the ground up – very impressed.”
So how many people have I converted to adopting a MicroServer?
Amongst my immediate colleagues 6 so far with a mixture of usage cases as above. The debate over dinner was if a colleague who has managed to collect a range of heritage Proliant G2 and G3 servers which fills his garage, could be tempted him towards one or two MicroServer’s? But he seems quite attached to his DL580G2′s..