Author: Monsta

Socketed CPU confirmed for Microserver G8

Full marks to HomeServerShow and their eagle-eyed forum poster MicroMatt who have spotted the Microserver G8 Self-Repair Remove/Replace videos.

The videos can be accessed by going to the HP Customer Self Repair Services Media Library and selecting “Servers > HP ProLiant MicroServer > HP ProLiant MicroServer G8” and then following the “Remove/Replace videos” link below the selection boxes.

Then you get a Javascript popup video which will play the videos for you. I looked at the last video entitled “System Board” and found this….

HP Repair video outs the G8 Microserver as having a CPU Socket for a replaceable (and possibly upgradable) CPU.

HP Repair video outs the G8 Microserver as having a CPU Socket for a replaceable (and possibly upgradable) CPU.

Asbestos hysteria – time to fix the problem permanently

I note a fantastic blog post today from Michael Wyres who has distilled the hysteria surrounding what appears to be a massive mishandling of asbestos-containing material during remediation works by Telstra-engaged contractors.

Call me a pessimist, but the amping up of an issue by the Coalition and their supporters (just look on Twitter for the ridiculous anger) for political gain is all bluster and bother. As Wyres writes:

To their credit, Telstra seems prepared to take responsibility for the issue. Given they are contractually obliged to do so, this seems a fairly straightforward position for them to take. Steps are already underway to make good on the issue.

This appears to go against the whole Coalition Narrative of ‘Bad policy, bad asbestos, bad government (because we didn’t win the 2010 election), stop the boats’. Once again we see a complete lack of objectivity from the right. Well done guys, your continued empty slogans, lack of credible policy and xenophobic dog whistling have stopped this coalition voter from sending my vote your way.

Malcolm Turnbull has also tried to take political advantage of the asbestos issue by stating:

“Because we will simply bring fibre out to the distribution point, the street cabinet, all of the conduits and pits beyond that – the ones outside people’s houses for example – will not be disturbed at all.”

Wyres takes a big issue with the concept of leaving a dangerous substance where it is, believing it a folly:

The thing that irks me the most is that the Coalition seems to have stuck their head in the ground – (no pun intended) – on the issue. Under [the Coalition] plan, most of the asbestos lined pits in your street, in front of your house, or even in your garden, are going to be left there.

Would you be happy with that?

No Michael. I would not be happy with that at all. Do we leave any sort of chemical contamination around the streets we live? Of course we do not just leave it there. Instead it is cleaned up, any contaminated soil for proper disposal or storage.

Why is asbestos any different?

In the last few months my employer was looking to move into a larger premises. After signing a lease and starting fitout of network cabling, our cabling contractor disturbed and found asbestos in the building. Not just sheeting but loose insulation in the roof space. This was a building I spent about 3 hours in in. Since the building does not meet the regulations surrounding asbestos, we were able to terminate the lease immediately.

It is time that we as a community work towards a full removal of asbestos in our community, whether it is Telstra pit & pipe infrastructure, or is private homes or commercial buildings.

NBN Rollout update 4th June 2013

Another week rolls by, and yet more activations of NBN fibre. Today’s update was mostly incremental, with a few Fibre Distribution Hubs (FDH’s) being made active.

NBN Fibre Area 8DRW-01 activated on June 4, 2013

NBN Fibre Area 8DRW-01 activated on June 4, 2013

The biggest thing is that there has been some partial FSAM activations in Darwin, which is a first for the NT Capital. It’s good news after many delays in Darwin and it is great to see that NBNco have been able to get some premises able to order a fibre service there. Now we hope for the same in WA which is now the only state without a Brownfield Fibre activation.

Brownfield activations were made in the following suburbs and towns:
  • Ngunnawal, ACT
  • Blacktown, NSW
  • Coffs Harbour, NSW
  • Gosford, NSW
  • Aspley, QLD
  • Townsville, QLD
  • Hobart, TAS
  • Deloraine, TAS
  • George Town, TAS
  • Launceston, TAS
  • Sandy Bay, TAS
  • Brunswick, VIC
  • Maddingley (Bacchus Marsh), VIC
  • Mill Park, VIC
  • Darwin, NT
There were also some greenfield activations in the following areas:
  • Breakfast Point, NSW
  • Lavington, NSW
  • Parramatta, NSW
  • Branyan, QLD
  • Scarborough, QLD
  • Bundoora, VIC
  • Doreen, VIC
  • Moorabbin, VIC
  • Southbank, VIC
  • Sunbury, VIC
  • Torquay, VIC
  • Wallan, VIC
  • Warragul, VIC
  • Whittlesea, VIC
  • Yuroke, VIC
  • Armadale, WA
There were some Fixed Wireless areas brought online in Queensland also:
  • Aubigny, QLD
  • Biddeston, QLD
  • Linthorpe, QLD
  • Mount Tyson, QLD

EXCLUSIVE: Internal photos of the HP Microserver G8 leaked

Well here are the photos you have all been waiting for – a world exclusive of the HP Microserver G8 with all the internal photos to answer all the questions you were after,  and a full 7 days before the Official HP product announcement.

 

HP_Microserver_G8_Int_Front

First off, we have inside the door. We see a completely different design in the G8 from the outgoing G7. The biggest changes are the stock HP Non-Hot Plug LFF Drive caddies, some of you may already be familiar with these from the DL120 servers. Also the front of the server is closed with meshed steel panelling. This is quite the change from the open fronted G7 where you could open the door to gain access to not only the hard disks in the cage, but also the internal USB port.

Other features of note include a magnetically latched door, and no apparent locking mechanism. To me, this seems like a major oversight from HP as they are positioning this model as an enterprise-ready, remote branch office basic file & print server, maybe doing local Active Directory, DHCP & DNS. As a IT Consultant that specialises in hardware and networking myself, I know how inquisitive fingers can be. If I was putting any sort of server in a remote location, I would want it locked down tight. The key lock of the G7 achieves this, but is conspicuously absent in the G8.

And yes, that thing on top we cannot tell you about yet, but there will be a reveal on this blog later this week ahead of the official HP announcement of this server at HP Discover in Las Vegas on 11-13 June.

HP_Microserver_G8_Int_FBWC

Next we pop the case off and have a look on top. We see a large rubber grommet on the top of the Microserver unit, stamped with ‘FBWC’ – or in HP jargon – Flash backed Write Cache. This is what will turn your standard disinterested RAID10-level B120i controller into a much more efficient and effective RAID5 unit.

You can look up the cost of these FBWC modules yourself, but brace yourself for some sticker shock as they are not cheap. Also, we have not yet spotted a header on the motherboard where these plug in.

On the right you can also see the quick-release tab for the slimline DVD/RW optical drive. You have seen these on most of the current G8 servers and probably some of the bigger G7’s also.

HP_Microserver_G8_Ext_Rear

We now move to the rear of the unit, where we can see two Gigabit Ethernet ports, four USB3.0 ports as previously confirmed on this blog, VGA port, dedicated iLO4 port, and a low-profile PCIe x16 slot. There’s also a standard IEC power plug for the PSU, and you will notice the sound-deadening rubber grommets around the main fan screws which help to lower noise.

One thing that may slip you attention – the quick release motherboard tray tab just underneath the main fan. Push that tab down, and as long as you have unplugged all cables in the motherboard then you can pull that entire motherboard tray out bacwards without tools. For those of us with skinned knuckles after the G7, this looks extremely easy to work on.

HP_Microserver_G8_Int_RightHandSide

We now look at the right hand side, and there are two major points of interest. First and most obvious is the two memory slots which will make memory replacement one of the easiest things you have ever done, definitely easier than upgrading the RAM in a laptop. Bravo HP, you are to be congratulated on this very intelligent design.

So what is the second thing I hear you ask? That blue tab halfway up – that’s your new door locking mechanism! Close the door, push down on the blue tab and it will lock the door shut. Still not the best or most secure solution in my eyes, but will keep most inquisitive fingers at bay.

HP_Microserver_G8_Int_LeftHandSide

Now, the side you all really want to see. A standard 150W power supply could indeed be replaced by a more efficient PicoPSU supply and leave plenty of room for at least a couple more drives, maybe you could squeeze 4 2.5″ drives or SSD’s in there.

There are plenty of other goodies in here, but we need to take a closer look.

HP_Microserver_G8_Int_LeftHandSideDetail

BOOYAH! Click on it to take a closer look!

There is plenty going on here, so lets take it one step at a time.

First off is the CPU. Now that looks like a reasonably standard Northbridge heatsink, but in this case it actually does the cooling duties for an i3-3220T CPU. This CPU has a TDP of 35W and is pretty much the limit for non-active cooling with a fan. We cannot see if there is a socket under there, but the heatsink seems to be fairly high off the motherboard so initial signs look good for a socket.

Moving left, we can see the power MOSFETs for the CPU power have a heatsink on them too. This will be helpful and make the G8 more reliable.

Further left again and we can see the HP iLO chip which houses plenty of internal smarts for out-of-band remote management. In my day job, we only use HP servers and iLO is the best remote management solution out there bar none. If you haven’t experienced iLO in an enterprise server yet, then you are in for a big surprise.

Towards the front we have the single PCIe x16 expansion slot. This is a little disappointing as many of us were using the x1 slot on the G7 for another network card, possibly a TV tuner. Personally I modded the x1 and proprietary x4 slot into open slots, and dropped a HP NC360T dual-port Gigabit Ethernet card into it. that addition gave me a total of 3 network ports which is almost a requirement for an ESXi lab machine. Hopefully I can get a USB3.0 network adapter which is on the VMware Hardware compatibility list soon.

Down the very front you can spot a MICRO SD CARD SLOT! SD card slots have been on the motherboards of a number of HP servers for a while now, but I have never seen a Micro SD card slot. This is an amazing addition to the Microservers. Next to it you can see the USB2 port for booting from a USB stick – handy for BIOS flashes, or even booting ESXi or FreeNAS from instead.

To the far right we can see a single SATA3 6.0Gbps port, whereas we had documentation leaked from HP stating two SATA3 ports on the motherboard. Now we hope the final units have two ports but I can imagine HP seeing it as a non-essential port. You have got one SATA port for the DVD drive, why do you need two? It seems like HP does not want us to have extra drives.

Finally, we can see the SAS connector on the furthermost right, again providing onboard hardware RAID to the drives in the internal LFF cage.

HP_Microserver_G8_BetaUnitSpecs

Finally, the specs of the beta machine. Please remember that this is a beta unit and specifications usually do change. That said, this unit looks reasonable close to manufacturing ready and I doubt there would be too many changes to the chassis or motherboard. About the only thing to change would be the CPU I would suggest.

I hope you have enjoyed our run-through of the beta G8 model, and stay tuned for a special top-secret reveal later this week. I would suggest subscribing to our RSS feed so you get the information as soon as we post it.

NBN Rollout update 29th May 2013

For a change of pace, I note that NBNco have updated their rollout map today and the following brownfield (established areas) fibre activations have occurred:

  • Aspley QLD
  • Townsville QLD
  • Toowoomba QLD

Also a number of Greenfields (new estates) have gone live in the following locations:

  • Campsie NSW
  • Beresfield NSW
  • Holmesville NSW
  • Pitt Town NSW
  • Port Macquarie NSW
  • Buderim QLD
  • Leichardt QLD
  • Pimpama QLD
  • Epsom VIC
  • Pakenham VIC
  • Baldivis WA
  • Piara Waters WA
  • Southern River WA

In the next five weeks, we are due for around 80,000 premises to be made active which will be a massive effort. I am sure that some will miss the cut due to issues with the network not meeting testing and quality verification, but even if half of the areas go live then we will see a doubling of the premises nationally which can now access a fibre NBN connection.

The June areas to be activated are as follows:

FSAM Locality Name State Approx Premises Construction Commenced Expected Activation
3SMR-04 Mill Park VIC 2100 Apr-2012 18-May-2013
7HOB-02 Sandy Bay, Dynnyrne TAS 2300 Feb-2012 18-May-2013
3SMR-01 Mill Park VIC 2700 Mar-2012 25-May-2013
4APL-03 Aspley QLD 1400 Jun-2012 25-May-2013
7LAU-01 Launceston TAS 2000 Jan-2012 31-May-2013
4APL-04 Bridgeman Downs, Aspley QLD 2400 Jun-2012 01-Jun-2013
9CRC-02 Ngunnawal ACT 2800 Sep-2011 01-Jun-2013
2KIA-03 Kiama Heights, Kiama NSW 2200 Aug-2011 08-Jun-2013
4TOB-02 Mount Lofty, Prince Henry Heights, Redwood, East Toowoomba QLD 2600 Sep-2011 08-Jun-2013
2CFS-05 Coffs Harbour NSW 2200 Apr-2012 11-Jun-2013
9CRC-04 Palmerston ACT 2400 Mar-2012 12-Jun-2013
7STH-02 Binalong Bay TAS 400 Apr-2012 14-Jun-2013
2GOS-01 Gosford, Point Frederick, East Gosford NSW 2600 Apr-2012 15-Jun-2013
3BAC-03 Darley VIC 2300 Mar-2012 15-Jun-2013
3BRU-02 Parkville, Brunswick VIC 2500 Mar-2012 15-Jun-2013
3BRU-03 Brunswick East, Brunswick VIC 2700 Mar-2012 15-Jun-2013
4APL-02 Zillmere QLD 1400 May-2012 15-Jun-2013
2SAW-01 Toormina NSW 2700 Feb-2012 18-Jun-2013
2PTH-01 Penrith NSW 1600 Nov-2011 20-Jun-2013
2PTH-02 Penrith, Kingswood NSW 2200 Apr-2012 21-Jun-2013
8DRW-01 Darwin City NT 900 Dec-2011 21-Jun-2013
8DRW-04 Darwin City NT 900 Jan-2012 21-Jun-2013
2CFS-03 Coffs Harbour NSW 2500 Mar-2012 22-Jun-2013
2HOM-01 Strathfield NSW 2200 Jun-2012 22-Jun-2013
2HOM-02 Rookwood, Strathfield, Homebush NSW 3000 Jul-2012 22-Jun-2013
2LID-01 Rookwood, Lidcombe NSW 2200 Dec-2011 22-Jun-2013
2SAW-02 Sawtell NSW 1800 Mar-2012 22-Jun-2013
4TOB-03 South Toowoomba, Toowoomba City, East Toowoomba QLD 2600 Jan-2012 22-Jun-2013
7HOB-04 Dynnyrne, Hobart, Battery Point TAS 2600 Mar-2012 22-Jun-2013
7LAU-03 Newstead, South Launceston, East Launceston TAS 2700 Mar-2012 22-Jun-2013
2BLK-03 Lalor Park, Blacktown NSW 3200 Mar-2012 26-Jun-2013
2RCH-02 Windsor, South Windsor NSW 2200 Oct-2011 28-Jun-2013
2ARM-06 Armidale NSW 2600 Jul-2011 29-Jun-2013
2SAW-03 Bonville, Toormina, Boambee East NSW 1800 Mar-2012 29-Jun-2013
4TNS-01 Townsville City QLD 1200 Mar-2012 29-Jun-2013
4TNS-03 North Ward, Castle Hill QLD 2200 Apr-2012 29-Jun-2013
2GOS-03 Springfield, East Gosford NSW 2400 May-2012 30-Jun-2013
2RCH-04 Bligh Park NSW 2300 Dec-2011 30-Jun-2013
7KIN-03 Kingston, Blackmans Bay TAS 2500 May-2012 30-Jun-2013

 

Some extra info regarding Microserver beta units

There’s been some extra leaks of info from some beta testers:

  • CPU: One person with access to a beta testing unit says it has an i3-3220T CPU with standard HP Heatsink screwed to the motherboard. This bodes well for user-upgradable CPU’s!
  • SATA PORTS: The beta unit only has one internal SATA port, contradicting earlier reports and HP documents that it will have two. Beta units are not necessarily the same as final shipping units. In fact, they just about never are.
  • NEW BOOT DEVICE? Apart from the known USB2 port on the motherboard that many of us use a USB stick to boot ESXi or FreeNAS from, there is also now a micro-SD card slot on the motherboard. Again, this may not make the final product, but I like the idea!
  • RAID5 CAPABILITY FIRMER: There is provision for mounting a Flash-Backed Write Cache (FBWC) on a bracket near the Optical Drive bay. The FBWC is the newer version of the cache & battery for the Smart Array cards. This is required for RAID5 operation on the b120i Smart Array controller, however the connector for this is yet to be found in the unit.

There is also a whisper that with iLO4 features comes the normal Gen8 stuff – Smart Update manager (SUM), Intelligent Provisioning, Insight Manager/Insight Online, Active Health, ProLiant ‘Sea of Sensors’ and other features that are found on the higher end Gen8 ProLiants. It seems that HP are really taking the Microserver to the enterprise.

Oh, and I found this in my email box tonight:

Microserver_ML310e_Matrix

It’s not a Microserver, it’s a Micro-Ecosystem for IT

The beta program for the upcoming HP Microserver G8 is in full swing. At least two beta units are out in the field within my sphere of contacts, however I refused the offer to take part in any beta after the removal by the HP Microsevers page on Facebook.

Some of the details I have been leaked by internal HP contacts is only now becoming clear. I was given the follow images last week from someone inside HP.

Microserver_G8_Side Microserver_G8_Stacked

These show a very modular unit, indeed stackable with other Microserver-like chassis units. This feature was considered to be a part of the external storage unit, however with that also confirmed as no longer happening, the modular design seemed to have been a hangover of the previous product development and design.

That is until today. A source familiar with the beta program has passed on the information of a

“stackable unit, smaller in height than the Microserver unit itself, for backup purposes”.

This highly curious information could mean any of the following devices could be on the way:

  • A single high capacity hard disk of 3TB or 4TB;
  • An RDX unit that uses a hard drive in a removable cartridge format; or
  • An LTO4/5 tape backup unit.

Considering the four USB ports on the back, all quite possible scenarios. Of these, I think the RDX unit most likely as this unit is being targeted at the smaller remote offices where a simple backup solution is often lacking.

Another beta tester has raised the possibility of another component that they have actually received and are testing. While I cannot divulge this information yet as it may be traceable back to the end user due to forums I frequent. That said, I was surprised that this sort of module is available and currently testing with customers, but is a brilliant move by HP.

Finally, we found this on a slide from an internal HP source… I wonder what this could be?

Microserver_G8_OrangeVariant

The plot thickens!

Gen8 Microserver features dual Broadcom Network ports, teamable!

HP_Microserver_G8_Network

Here’s the image that many people have been wanting to see.

Straight out of HP’s system diagram for the Microserver G8, we can see that it will feature the Broadcom BCM5717 chip, which is a part of the BCM5718 family. It sports two Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) RJ45 ports with the following new features over the preceding model:

  • Teaming (via Broadcom driver under Windows)
  • Jumbo Frame support
  • IP Checksum offload
  • TCP Checksum offload
  • UDP Checksum offload

Unfortunately the checksum offloads will be of limited use to such a low-powered server, and having these enabled may have an impact on network performance at high CPU utilisation. This particular chip also does not support the extra Virtualisation features like VMware NetQueue for vSphere, or Microsoft Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ) but that probably is not required for something like a Microserver.

Compared to the single network port of the G7 Microserver, the new model gains quite a bit of functionality. The BCM5723-provided networking in the G7 did not support Jumbo frames, and also did not play nicely with FreeNAS, with quite a few users complaining of slow network speeds. Generally, the fix was to install a low-profile Intel PRO based network card in the PCIe x1 slot and use that instead.

Teaming is nice, and will be appreciated out of the box, however most serious ESXi users with G7’s installed a low-profile HP NC360T dual-port Gigabit Ethernet NIC which uses the Intel PRO chipset. This was available via many Server OEMS including Dell and Sun, and can be found on eBay in various guises for about $USD75-USD$80. All work the same.

Having two built-in NIC’s may also mean that the Microserver might become a viable platform for routing/firewalling 4+ GigE interfaces under a Linux solution like Vyatta or pfSense. The option of a NC360T/Intel-based Dual-Port NIC gives a cheap and easy 4-port solution.

Granted that even the Intel Dual-core CPU’s might not be up to the task of Routing and firewalling six GigE ports, if the user so desires to source one, a quad-port Gigabit NIC like the HP NC364T could be added to the x16 PCIe slot and give a total of six copper GigE interfaces.

Even with the advent of cheap hardware Router/Firewalls such as the 3-port Ubiquiti EdgeMax Lite priced around $100, it still may mean that some users may elect to use the Microserver as a home Router/Firewall.

EXCLUSIVE: What the Gen8 Microservers missed out on

More information has been leaked to me from a source inside the HP corporate machine regarding the features that were actually ruled out of appearing from the upcoming G8 Microserver models. The list appears to have a couple of items on it which at first glance seems out of place on what really is HP’s most basic server.

From what we could ascertain from our source, at the original product planning stage of the new model, the team basically throws all possible features and functionality that could possibly be put into the product onto the table, then rules each one out. Some features went further into the product planning process than others, but items taken out of the product specification is said to be ‘outscoped’.

Some of the outscoped features supplied to me were:

  • 12Gb/sec SAS support
  • Small Form Factor HDD cage (2.5″ Drives), either as an option or standard
  • External ‘SCSI’ interface (we assume SAS port)
  • Storage Expansion Unit (via SAS connector?)

There’s also something removed from the new Microserver too. So far we have ruled out any eSATA port, which the G7 did have. We think that the USB 3.0 ports will more than make up for the lack of eSATA, which could be difficult for some people to use.

SAS 12G

This one seems a bit out of place in such a low-powered ecosystem. 12G SAS is usually reserved for the high-end SSD drives, or multi-port HDD drives. Even then, if you need more storage speed, usually it would be cached to a PCIe-based SSD which has data transfer speeds well in excess of 12Gbps.

The target market for the Microserver G8 is for either SOHO storage, or for Branch offices that need a little storage but the ability to run remote Active Directory, DNS & DHCP plus maybe a print queue or two. SAS 12G just isn’t required!

Small Form Factor drive cage

The idea of an SFF cage in a device like this is not new – plenty of Microsavants have installed a 4 x 2.5″ drive cage into the 5.25″ ODD bay of the G7 Microservers. HP themselves started moving to SFF Drives in a number of the Proliant G5 range, notably the DL360 and DL380. Due to this, the DL380 G8 can now take up to 16 spindles with its SFF cages in a 2RU Chassis, whereas the DL380 G4 could only take six spindles with 3.5″ Drives in its 2RU Chassis.

The main benefit of more spindles is a higher aggregated IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) over the entire array. This means more reads and writes can be performed, and applications need to wait shorter amounts of time for the data to be written to/read from storage.

There is a downside to the 2.5″ disk format. Basically the highest density drives in a 2.5″ format is currently 1TB. There are 2TB drives available from Western Digital but they either sport a Micro-USB3 interface and come as a external storage drive, or they are the ‘Green’ models and these do not play nicely with Hardware RAID controllers.

In the case of something like the Microserver, a 3.5″ bay means that 4TB can be stored with a 4TB Hard Drive. You cannot fit 4x 1TB 2.5″ drives into the space of a single 3.5″ drive, so by doing so you would actually lose density of storage by doing this. I also cannot see how this unit would require the sorts of performance required by more than spindles UNLESS it was being used as a highly storage-contended Virtualised Host, and even then your biggest problem is going to be CPU cycles. It’s not like there would be four Database VM’s fighting over disk as your CPU will not have the capacity for that.

What the SFF drives would do for the Microserver will make it easier to design, mainly as the drive bays are smaller and the HP Designers could orientate them differently in order to gain space and reduce the physical size of the unit. They could even or even fit more disks in without sacrificing space. On my quick estimate, I think you could fit 12 SFF drives where the current 4 LFF reside, and maybe still have some space left over. Still not going to have the maximum storage capacity of the current 3.5″ setup, but would get close. If decent 2TB drive were available, it would be a different outcome.

External ‘SCSI’ interface

I personally think this is the most interesting of the outscoped features. It would mean that you would get an External SAS port that you could use to hook up to external disk arrays. I have used a Promise VessRAID unit with Dual SAS interfaces at a client site to act as a shared ESXi Datastore. There are other 3rd Party RAID or JBOD enclosures that you can plug a workstation into. This storage is then presented to the machine through a Host Bus Adapter (HBA) card.

I have used a few SAS HBA’s with ESXi hosts, and they work well. The bandwidth available is very good, in most cases 600MB/sec transfers are very possible. It all depends on the array itself and how it is configured. It would have turned the little Microserver into a unit that could store some serious amounts of data and probably would have eaten into other HP product sales, so it was taken out of scope.

Storage Expansion Unit

This External Storage Array is the other half of the External SCSI Interface. This was mooted to be a modular box that looked exactly like the upcoming Microserver, however would only contain storage bays for drives, and a small SAS interface to manage them and connect it back to the Microserver, along with a power supply.

In this case, it was very much like the units you can get from NAS vendors which you can add/stack to your NAS to increase the storage capacity. One I can think off immediately is the Synology DS-513 which you connect to a ‘host’ NAS via an eSATA port, but gives you an additional 5x 3.5″ drives for storage.

Again, probably meant that the Microserver could store too much and take sales away from more powerful enterprise level storage.

Conclusion

There is really no surprise that these features were rejected by HP. Personally I find it rather exciting that they ever considered putting these sorts of technologies and features into the Microserver in the first place. To my mind, the idea of SAS 12G being baked into a sub-$500 server is equal parts terrifying, confusing and inspiring. For this, I applaud HP’s open thinking regarding the possibilities of their products.

It is quite a shame that the Storage Expansion Unit did not make the cut. This would have been very interesting and kept the Microserver look. But on the other side of that argument there is nothing stopping us buying a SAS HBA card and running that in our Microserver and connecting something like a 8-bay external disk unit to it.

The fact is that generally, HP has heard the cries of the community and acted upon them. 16GB Memory capacity, USB 3.0 ports, Dual NICs with teaming capability, and proper iLO Management have all been added to the product along with a very reasonable CPU upgrade. I think we can all be thankful that we got what we wanted.

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