HP ProLiant DL165 G5p and DL360 G6 - Your thoughts...
I've got two servers to replace this summer, and I've got £10k (pos. £12k) to do it.
One of the servers that needs replaced is an administrative server that hosts a Raisers Edge (Fundraising) database and the admin dept file store. After the summer, I envisage that this server will also host the new library management system (Softlink Oliver). Its currently running on an older RM AX3 server (WinSrv2003, 1GB RAM, P4 XEON 3.2, 3 x 73GB SCSI Disks (non-RAID).
The other server hosts our financial database and application (WCBS PASS), and thats it! Its on a Dell Poweredge 2600 (WinSrv2003, 2.5GB RAM, XEON 3.06, 1 x 68GB SCSI Disk (non-RAID).
I've been allocated that budget because it was ASSUMED I would be buying RM servers. But I'm not gonna do that this year. About two years back, we paid over 6K to RM to have our FRDC brought up to spec. They charged us about £3.5K for the hardware and £2.5K for the re-commsioning process. At the time, I wasn't the NetMan, although I did have input to the spec. This year I invited them back to talk to me about servers - all they were banging on about was virtualisation - We have 4 operational servers! - At that point, I realised I was getting the hard sell. Reflecting back, I think we were ripped off - but, hey...you live...you learn!
This year, I want to try something different. Rather than go down the RM route, I've thought about doing the work myself, for 3 reasons. 1. Value for money, 2. I'll have a complete understanding of however the server and its associated services are put together - kind of like when you do maintenance on your own car/bike, you develop a bond and understanding (or is that just me?) 3. I'll be getting something out of it - a learning experience.
I am thinking I might be able to squeeze a third server on the shopping list. I would envisage using this one as a Disk to Disk to Tape backup server. Buts thats a wish, rather than a need.
Anyways, I've been thinking about some HP servers. Having a look around the site, I've got my eye on the DL165 G5p and the DL360 G6. The top spec DL165 G5p (HP ProLiant DL165 G5p Server series (507551-421)) seems (at first glance) excellent value for money. Twin, Quad-core AMD Opertons, 8GB of RAM, Internal SAS HBA's. Although that doesn't come with HDD's.
The DL 360 G6 range also look good. A bit pricer, but beefy - but I can't help but think that I'd be spending money on power that wouldn't be used.
Alas, would anyone here have some impressions of each server? What about the process of procuring from HP? And getting HDD's for the bloody things!
Given the tasks that I am aiming to achieve, I would be more than interested in opinions about other hardware (Dell, Fujitsu, IBM (Can I afford that!)) too!
We use a DL 360 G5 as our Facility, ePortal and Truancy server. Steady as a rock, never had a problem with it.
We have DL 160 G5 as our storage server for work area and shared drive. We chose thr 160 for this as it takes the 3.5" discs, instead of the 2.5"s. No idea why, it was a choice made before my time!
Regardless those two servers are fantastic value for money, and more than stable for critical deployments.
In fact we have a 360 with 8GB of RAM running eight virtual servers on Hyper-V, with no problems at all.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your comments. Your advocation of the servers has helped. Can I ask, how did you go about obtaining your servers? Did you order yours with HDD's? How do you find HP after-sales? Have you ever had to use thier support channels?
I'm just about to take delivery of my HP DL360s that I've ordered for my new LAN setup, they should be absolutely fine for your needs. I will be running Citrix XenServer on them (they are fully Xen certified) and should be great, I wouldn't worry about there suitability, for something like VM's I would want something a step up from Entry Level which the 1 series are. I have a DL180 as well actually and that's used for App Storage, running dodgy educational programs (dodgy in the sense of pants installers / weird ways of setting up etc) etc and its fine as well, but does lack a bit of the finess of the 3 series that I was used to with my usage of the DL and ML3's in the past.
When all my stuff arrives I am happy to give you a more actual hands on impression of the kit, but I am expecting the usual high quality HP Standards that I've been used to over the last 5 years of using HP Servers.