The new dual-core HP DL585 is the fastest system I've ever tested. The rugged, 132-pound, 4U rack-mounted server was equipped with four AMD 880 Opteron dualcore 2.4GHz CPUs, 2GB of RAM, and a battery-backed embedded Ultra3 Smart Array 5i drive connected to four 36GB, 15,000rpm hard disks (see Figure 1). The system supports a maximum of 128GB of RAM and uses AMD HyperTransport system technology. It has two 64-bit, 133MHz PCI Extended (PCI-X) slots, six 64-bit 100MHz PCI-X slots, a 1GB dual-port NIC, two USB 2.0 ports, a slimline floppy-disk drive and CD-ROM combination unit, a serial port, and hot-pluggable redundant power supplies.

The DL585 is bundled with HP Systems Insight Manager and Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) management technology. Insight Manager lets you manage systems remotely over the network, using a browser interface, and interactively, using the Insight Manager console. Insight Manager provides system monitoring, alerts, and asset management. The iLO feature enables remote management using virtual KVM over IP through an embedded Web server.

You can purchase the DL585 with 32-bit Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition or with the 64-bit Windows 2003 Standard or Enterprise x64 Edition OS. Other options include VMware ESX Server, Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.

The system's performance was stellar. In fact, I found it difficult to create a workload that would stress the server. Not surprisingly, the DL585 holds the top 4-way TPC-C score of 202,557 tpmC. The server used in the TPC-C tests ran Windows 2003 Enterprise x64 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 x64 Enterprise Edition and was the first 4-way server ever to score in excess of 200,000 tpmC—something other more expensive 64-bit platforms, such as the IBM Power5 RISC processor and the Intel Itanium 2 processors, had been unable to do. In addition, the price per tpmC was 40 percent less than that of the system that posted the next fastest benchmark. The move to dual-core could make a significant impact on your workload; the SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) Standard Application Benchmarks showed a 75 percent performance improvement simply by moving the DL585 from a single-core to a dual-core configuration.

If you're looking for a rack-mounted enterprise-class server, you can't go wrong with the ProLiant DL585. The system's 4-way dual-core Opteron configuration provides amazing performance, and HP's Insight Manager and iLO enable effective remote management for enterprise deployments.

HP PROLIANT DL585

PROS: Enterprise-level performance; 64-bit compatability; built-in systems management tools
CONS: No DVD Drive
RATING: 4 1/2 out of 5
PRICE: Starts at $10,905; tested configuration, $31,677. Base price includes two 2.66GHz AMD 852 Opteron processors, 2GB of RAM, and two 1GB Ethernet adapters. Tested configuration includes four 2.4GHz AMD 880 Opteron dual-core processors, 16GB RAM, four 36.4GB Ultra3 Smart Array 5i drives, and four 1GB Ethernet adapters.
RECOMMENDATION: I recommend this high-performance 4-way 64-bit server for midsized and large businesses
CONTACT: HP * 800-752-0900 * http://www.hp.com