Hardware: HP MicroServer

Today brings a new section to this blog, namely Hardware.  In it I will be posting about computer hardware that I have purchased or looking at purchasing in the hopes to help you decide if you want to purchase as well.

In February 2011 I was looking at a small form factor server, something that could replace the Windows Home Server that I had built up 2 years previously.

My “server”, consisted of a Full Tower Case (that has fulfilled different roles over the last 12 years), Foxconn Mars Motherboard, P4 CPU, 2Gb RAM, 6x Seagate 500Gb SATA drives (those crap ones that were recalled due to firmware failure).  All this was running Microsoft Windows Home Server (version 1) quite happily – but far from quietly.  With the server just idling in my study I could hear the hum in my bedroom…

When one by one the Seagate (crap) hard drives started failing I realized I needed an easier method to remove failed drives from the system.  So I started looking around.  I wanted something that was:

  1. Quiet – I did not want to hear if from the bedroom never mind in the study!
  2. Small Form Factor – but could take at least 4 Hard Drives
  3. Ease of Access – be able to replace a failed drive in less than 5 minutes (and not strip the machine down to the bare metal)
  4. Low Power – I scheduled my server to shutdown at 01h00 and automatically power on at 17h00 to conserve electricity.

I looked at Lenovo’s, and Acers, and the HP range of MediaSmart servers.

The Lenovo’s were not available in SA, and then I heard would be discontinued.  Acer I have been a bit weary of due to warranty issues in the past and also that were not officially supported/available locally. As I was leaning towards the HP MediaSmart servers HP announced they were discontinuing the range

I was running out of options and started looking at buying a mini-tower case and getting an Icydock 4-in-3 SATA bay enclosure, when HP came to the rescue and released the HP Proliant MicroServer.

In February, HP released them locally and they were priced at R2999.  I was on the verge of purchasing one then when all of a sudden the “doors started closing on the deal” and I took it as a sign not to get one – even though my heart yearned for one…(ask my wife if you don’t believe me)

Fast forward to May 2011.  HPShop sent me a promotion email for the MicrosServer – this time only R1299 INCLUDING VAT!  (Update 27/05: They updated their website and the link to the special below is no longer working – but Elmarie at PC Palace can assist (Tell her Michael referred you and she will make a plan on the price 🙂 ))

I contacted my local retail supplier and asked if they could beat or match the offer – they said they match, so I got a colleague (Richard)  in on the deal and we each ordered.

In the coming posts you will read about the specs, unboxing, setup and overall impression of the HP MicroServer.

Till next time…

MadMike posted at 2011-5-19 Category: Hardware

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