The much anticipated, at least by me 🙂 , HP Proliant ML110 G6 server is finally here! Bringing up the rear of HP’s Proliant G6 server refresh the ML110 entry level server offers some improved performance and features over the previous Generation 5 (G5) model that I have been using extensively in my home virtualisation lab over the last 12-18 months.
*** IMPORTANT NOTE – MEMORY ***
A few readers have reported issues with using Corsair memory in the HP ML110 G6 as such I would recommend that you use official HP memory (though this is the most expensive option) or memory that others have confirmed will work in this server.
I have my HP ML110 G6 running 16GB (4 x 4GB ECC) Kingston memory, details below:
KINGSTON 4GB 1333MHz ECC
Manufacturer Part Code: KTH-PL313E/4G
Also it would be worth taking a look at Crucial’s approved memory for this server and this will also almost certainly work.
*** UPDATE *** (26/01/2010)
I have now managed to get my hands on an ML110 G6 and as mentioned below, can confirm that the CPU and network cards work just fine – as they are on the VMware HCL. Unfortunately the new B110i disk controller isn’t detected by ESX(i) at all when trying to install or run ESX(i) against it. Hopefully it will be added to the list of installed drivers sometime in the near future but in the meantime bear this in mind when going to purchase one of these new G6’s for a VMware ESX(i) host. Just to confirm, you can still run ESXi from a USB memory stick in the ML110 G6 which in turn can access VMs over an iSCSI connection to a NAS or SAN device – it’s just the local disk controller that doesn’t work with ESX(i).
So What’s New Under The Hood?
Here’s a summary of what’s new with the ML110 G6:
- Processor: Intel Xeon 3400 Series Quad Core Processor
- Memory: DDD3 PC3-10600E (>1333MHz) Memory (instead of DDR2 in the G5)
- Remote Management: Integrated LO100i Lights Out Controller (this was an optional component with the ML110 G4/G5)
- Power Supply: ‘Energy Efficient’ 300W PSU on all models
- Security: Optional Trusted Platform Module (TPM) module
- Case: The facia plate has been redesigned bringing it in line with the styling of other Proliant G6 servers.
So What’s Not New?
As would be expected there are a number of areas that remain the same with the server such as memory – a 16GB max would have been nice though this would mean the ML110 would start encroaching on the ML/DL300 Proliant Series server space.
- Memory: Maximum 16GB
- Disk: SATA Non-hot plug as standard (though can support SAS based disk)
- Disk Controller: SATA integrated
- Network: Single 1Gb NIC Port
- Expansion: 3 x PCI Express slots (Gen1 x4, Gen1 x8 and Gen2 x16) and 1 x 3.3 V PCI
- Warranty: 1 Year (Although the original ML110/115 G5’s came with a 3 year warranty this was scaled back about 9 months ago to a 1 year warranty)
For more technical details check out this HP Proliant ML110 G6 Data Sheet.
HP Proliant ML110 G6 Models:
The following table (click to visit the HP site) provides a summary of the various ML110 G6 servers:
VMware ESX/ESXi Compatibility?
With the increased range of devices now on the VMware ESX/ESXi compatibility list the news is good for the ML110 G6 with both the CPU and Network Adapter being on the list. Although the actual ML110 G6 is not on the ESX/ESXi systems compatibility list it will still work ok at least as far as the CPU and NIC are concerned. It is not clear from the ML110 G6 release documentation what onboard disk controller it is using so I am unable to confirm at this stage if it is compatible though worse case scenario boot it off of the internal USB port with ESXi installed.
Show Me The Money!
So how much is the ML110 G6 I hear you ask? Well this is the downside in my opinion as where you could pick up a the Xeon based dual core ML110 G5 for about £250 inc VAT a new G6 model with a Xeon X3430 Quad Core CPU, 1GB memory and a 250GB SATA hard disk will set you back £409 ex VAT bringing it closer in price to a HP Proliant 300 series server (eg: ML330 or ML350) which is a couple of hundred pounds extra but more fully featured.
TechHead Final Thoughts…
The G6 release of HP’s ML110 comes with a decent increase in performance around the areas of CPU and memory and with the inclusion of an integrated LO100i remote management controller as standard being a welcomed addition.
From the perspective of purchasing one for use in a work or home virtualization lab the initial advertised price of over £400 makes me start looking at other alternatives. What always made the ML110, as well as the ML115, so special was its fantastic price (ie: sub £250). Another alternative would be to build a VMware ESX/ESXi compatible white box for less – though admittedly not it would not have with the same specification Xeon CPU.
The price of the ML110 G6 just emphasises the value of money that the HP Proliant ML115 G5 Quad Core currently offers at £230’ish, sure it is using DDR2 memory though this will be more than sufficient for most lab and small business production IT environments. Check out my ‘Hot Deals’ sections for some good pricing on the ML115 G5.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the ML110 G6 is a decent server for the money though there are other kids on the block offering similar, if not slightly better value for money on a comparable server offering. I just hope HP decides to drop the price a little to sway the balance back in the favour of the ML110 as the G5 has proven to be a fantastic little server and that when updating the ML115 to a G6 that they don’t bump up its price too much.