When you get to the place that you need a server for your business, it seems a daunting task to purchase one. Hewlett Packard (HP) has made it easy with a new product aimed at business owners who are setting up their first server. The HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 is a must-consider product.
Earlier this month, Small Business Trends published a small business community piece mentioning dedicated servers . One of them caught my eye because it is relevant to this article about buying a dedicated server.
Brandon Ellis authored an article about dedicated web hosting, which differs slightly, but still answers why you might want the power of a dedicated server or host. Because you need more power, more control, more space, more speed. You can get that in the cloud, too, but not necessarily in a way or at a price that works for your business.
I received a review unit and quite often companies will say, “Easy setup, right out of the box.” I never believe it, but in this case it was true. HP spent a lot of time to make it easy for those who have never set up a server before.
I connected it to an extra monitor I had and plugged it in. After just a few clicks, the machine self-configured itself (seriously) with what they call Intelligent Provisioning. You can interrupt the setup (by pressing F10) and customize various options. No CDs or software to download. It is already loaded on a flash chip.
Many business owners will want to add an Ethernet switch for better networking. HP built one to fit this design. The HP PS1810 lets you create separate local area networks (LANs), for example. You can buy a lower cost switch, but this one comes with features  that you might want to read more about.
What I Really Like:
- 4 hard drive bays: You can put at least 12 Terabytes into this machine. That silver front opens like a door and you can install or swap drives. You also can add a solid state drive.
- Affordable starting price of $469, then the cost of the hard drive. Comes with 2Gb of RAM, which you can upgrade to 16Gb.
- I like the small square form factor and that they designed it so you can stack more than one of these, or a router switch, on top or below.
- It is ultra-quiet. In a previous startup of mine, we had two servers that were so loud, we put them in the closet.
What I Would Like to See:
- If you want to use the remote console capability, you have to purchase additional software, “iLO Essentials” for $150. I would love to see a “lite version” for free.If you have been in the market for your first server, or an additional one that you can expand as you grow, the HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 is a healthy, robust machine. You can learn more  about it on the HP website (which only links to partners and doesn’t make it easy to “buy online,” but Amazon, NewEgg , and TigerDirect  have this new server available with reviews that can give you some customization ideas.)I have not purchased hardware like this from Amazon, so I would recommend going with a specialty firm like NewEgg or Tiger Direct if you are purchasing online. They are well known and have good customer service. Or, use a local computer services or installation firm.