HP ProLiant ML350 G5 Server Experiences (part 2)
Well, I spent most of yesterday working with the new server. I know, I know, I should have been doing some actual work. But all this really is necessary to get my environments up and functional.
The first step was to add a couple of instances of LH Server to the machine. For the moment, we're using the Virtual Server 2k5 R2 SP1 beta. I may have to install VMWare on the server at some point if a viable build of HyperVisor isn't available soon, since Virtual Server doesn't support x64 guests. And both Cougar and Centro are pure x64 only. But for the moment, I'm working with VS.
The first instance is the Domain Controller for the Example domain. Installing Enterprise Edition of the current CTP build of Longhorn, start to finish, was about 25 minutes. Not bad. Added the necessary roleds for it (DCHP, DNS, and then AD itself), and we're on our way.
Two more instances - one a Terminal Server instance with just under 4 GB of RAM available to it. Another an instance of Server Core.
Three full Longhorn server instances running, and this machine isn't even breaking a sweat. I'm loving it already.
So, after living with it for all of a day and a half, any new thoughts? Well, those 15,000 RPM drives may be fast, and each one is fairly quiet, but having 8 of the little guys whirring away is noticeable. I expected it, but that's just a price for the extra speed they give me.
The 5 1/4 inch front accessible drive bays could do a better job of noise control. In the desire to make them easy to use (which is well achieved), they can have a tendency to transmit vibration into the case where it gets amplified a bit. Some judicious silicon rubber would be useful here, IMHO.
Heat? Yeah, well what did you expect? The new generation Xeon processors aren't nearly as bad as the old ones, but the FBDIMM modules are real heat sources. And there are eight of them in there. HP has a special deflector that comes right off the fan to the top of the modules, and that keeps them from frying, but doesn't change the total heat put out. But what's important is that HP has designed this case well to handle the heat that it can generate and it's not having any issues at all. Which is pretty impressive, since I've loaded this thing with just about every possible heat source you can imagine. Just about the only thing I didn't do was opt for quad core processors. The 5130's I chose are relatively efficient and a good deal more cost effective. And I could upgrade to quad core if I find I need the horsepower. At which point, I could actually bump up the RAM to 32 Gb, since the quad core upgrade supports 4 GB RAM modules. If you can afford them!