Before we go any deeper into this “experience”. I have to explain that this is not a professional review. It is an “opinionated review” (if there is such word) which derive from my experience on using this product.
For the past few years, a new market niche has started to evolve rapidly. This thanks to the emergent of fast internet broadband service and cheaper by the days hardware price. Users start to build their own server at home. Some do it for fun, some for learning, some for work and some for all. Not only that, even small companies can start to afford investing into better and cheaper server systems. This is also due to the fact that a lot of things has gone digital. Gone are the days when people store racks for CDs/DVDs. Those media be it audio or video can now be stored in digital format. Having them all stored in a large storage for easy access is now easier than ever. Thus come the home NAS (Network Attached Storage) which are targeted at home users and small companies. Most of these home NAS are build using cheap solutions such as software/fake RAID system. It might not be as good compared to a full blown server RAID system but sufficient for home usage. These home NAS are selling like hotcakes which I think prompted HP to come up with this microserver.
HP Proliant MicroServer is a little step up from a normal home NAS. Not only it is a storage device, it is also a server where one can install all imaginable OS thrown at it. However, at this moment, HP only provide drivers support for Windows Server 2008/R2 and Linux Redhat.
|»||Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Foundation Edition|
|»||Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2|
|»||Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Small Business|
|»||Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server (x86)|
|»||Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server (x86-64)|
Here is the specifications of the server:
|Processor family||AMD Athlon™ II|
|Number of processors||1|
|Processor core available||2|
|Maximum memory||8 GB|
|Memory slots||2 DIMM slots|
|Memory type||PC3 DDR3|
|Expansion slots||1 half-height, half-length PCIe x16 Gen 21 half-height, half-length PCIe x1 Gen 2|
|Network Controller||1GbE NC107i 1 Port|
|Maximum drive bays||(4) LFF SATA|
|Supported drives||Non-hot plug 3.5-inch SATA|
|Storage Controller||Integrated 4 port SATA RAID|
Now, let’s look at the product itself. For starters, we will unpack the server from the box. Using recycled paper which is a normal practice for big companies.
The unit I got comes in 2 boxes. One with the server itself and another with the DVDwriter. Yup, you will need to install the DVDwriter yourself and it is not that simple if you are a noob. However, I am guessing HP was thinking anyone who is going to handle this server is going to have the knowledge or ability to figure out how to install a DVDwriter onto the server. More about installing this later.