The HP ProLiant DL580 is the ideal server for organizations looking to support memory-intensive workloads and business-critical enterprise applications. The HP ProLiant DL580 Gen8 combines the advanced serviceable design of HP’s Gen8 system architecture with Intel’s latest Xeon E7-48000/8800 processing power. HP designed this system to deliver mission-critical performance, extreme reliability, and energy efficiency. The HP DL580 Gen8’s huge memory capabilities and extreme processing power make it perfect for use in the private cloud, running intensive virtualization workloads or running memory-intensive applications such as SQL Server 2014’s In-Memory OLTP.

HP’s DL580 family has always been geared toward enterprise computing, which makes the advances that HP put into the new DL580 Gen8 pretty darned impressive. The newest DL580 Gen provides a 2.3x system performance improvement over the previous generation. To achieve that, it has 50 percent more cores and 1.5x more memory slots (96 DIMMs). It also provides 2.7x more I/O bandwidth with a 2x SSD performance improvement using 12Gbps SAS controllers. You can see the new HP DL580 Gen8 in Figure 1.

HP ProLiant DL580 Gen8

The HP DL580 Gen8 is a 4U rack-mounted server that’s built around Intel’s latest Xeon E7-8800/4800 v2 processor, which offers a maximum processor speed of 3.4Ghz. It offers a very high degree of flexibility and scalability. The HP DL580 Gen8 can be ordered with 2, 3, or 4 processors, and the processors can support 6, 8, 10, 12, or 15 cores. In its fully loaded configuration, the system can support up to 60 processor cores and up to 3TB of RAM using its 96 DDR3 DIMM slots. For storage, the HP DL580 Gen8 provides the HP Smart Array P830i controller with the new 12Gbps SAS controller. It supports up to 10 SFF drives. Network support is also highly configurable. You can get the unit with HP’s Flexible LOM that provides a choice of 4 x 1GbE, 2 x 10GbE, or 2 x 10Gb CAN. For internal expansion and the addition of SSDs, the system provides nine PCIe Gen3 slots. To support the system’s processing and memory capabilities, the system has up to four 1,500-watt power supplies.

The power button is located on front of the unit, along with two USB 3.0 ports and a 15-pin VGA video port. The system also has four hot-swap fans on the front of the chassis. The back of the system has one iLO management port, four 1GB LOM NICs, four USB 3.0 ports, one 15 VGA port, and one 9-pin serial port. Notably, the HP DL580 Gen8 doesn’t provide a built-in optical drive. If you want to access DVD media, you’ll need an external USB-connected optical drive.

HP provides several unique features to the ProLiant DL that boost server reliability. The HP ProLiant DL580 Gen8 reliability features include HP Advanced Error Recovery, HP Memory Quarantine, HP Advanced Fault Resiliency, and HP Advanced Error Containment. HP Advanced Error Recovery enables the system to recover from fatal processor errors. HP Memory Quarantine deallocates memory if serious errors are found by the memory subsystem. HP Advanced Fault Resiliency provides fault tolerance for the memory and the chipset with support for memory mirroring. HP Advanced Error Containment detects and contains PCIe I/O errors.

Like the other HP Gen8 servers that I’ve tested in the Windows IT Pro labs, the HP DL580 Gen8 provides an efficient, tool-free design. The chassis is easily accessible, and internal cabling is extremely minimal, enabling maximum airflow through the system. Intelligent Provisioning streamlines the initial system setup. Full-featured out-of-band management is provided by HP’s Integrated Lights-Out (iLo) subsystems. Active Health provides continuous monitoring of over 1,600 system values. Insight Remote Support enables important service events to be sent to HP’s support center for quick problem resolution.

The HP ProLiant DL580 pricing starts at $13,079, and it ranges up to $50,279 for the fully loaded configuration. The server is available for order after February 18, 2014. Server warranty includes three years of parts, labor, and on-site support coverage.