HP Proliant ML350 G6 Server Review

Posted by Umair Abbasi on Sept. 19, 2009 in Technology

I had bought the HP Proliant ML350 G6 about 2 months ago from Newegg. My objective was to run VMware vSphere4 with initially 3 virtual machines – FreeNas (Media Server), Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7 Professional Client. Before I start the review here is what the custom upgrade was going to be:

  • Upgrade the processor from the supplied 2.0 GHz Quad Core Xeon to dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon 2.4o GHz (E5530)
  • RAM Upgrade from the initial supplied 4GB to 12GB
  • 4TB Hard Drives (Note to hard drives or hard drive cages are supplied)

I had the RAM upgrade in place with 12GB and the hard drive upgraded to 2TB.

My initial impressions, the server is a solid built. Its gorgeous to look at from the outside and on the inside. The cable management is spectacular. Nice neatly tucked away cables on the interior, fantastic upgrade options on the server such as dual Quad Core processors, memory upgrades to a maximum of 12 GB with one processor and 24 GB with two processors using 2-GB single- or dual-rank UDIMMs, redundant power supplies, just to name a few.

Server wise this machine performed magnificently but when it came down to upgrading the processor that is where the trouble started.

I bought my Quad processors from eBay for an awesome deal. Very close to half the price for both the processors combined. I was just dying to see the server in action with all that power under the hood. So I open her up to see what is involved for the upgrade. I required 3 parts to perform the processor upgrade. One was the DIMM baffle for second set of DIMM slots next to the second processor slot. Second was the heat sink for the processor. Finally a case fan to cool the second processor and the DIMM’s.

I obtained the part numbers from the already installed parts in the server. Searched on HP and every other site on the Internet for the parts but with no luck. Called HP Parts store, their authorized and unauthorized dealers, used 3 different set of part numbers supplied from 3 different HP manuals, went down to G5 parts to see if any of those parts were compatible but nothing. Basically what HP was telling me was if you want to upgrade the processor, you need to buy the processor kit from us. My argument was, alright so if my Processor heat sink needed to be replaced for some reason or the other you (HP) are going to make me buy another processor instead of just selling me the heat sink. There were a lot of aahhss and ummss. I have had a call from the Support manager, the product manager all assuring me they are working on the issue.

This was in June 2009, and I have yet to receive a call back from HP’s managers. My advice Do Not Buy this server from HP. I don’t know if things have changed since then, but if this is the support you are going to receive for a brand new recently release server from HP you might want to reconsider buying anything HP. Since then I have returned the server for a full refund (thank you Newegg). Following is an actual excerpt from my still open (to date) URGENT case below:

I just recently bought the HP Proliant ML350 G6 Entry level tower LFF. The Produ
ct number is 487932-001. It originally came with 1 processor. I have bought 2 E5
530 XEON Processors for the server to create a 8 core server.

The problem I am having is I can’t find the parts for this server anywhere on th
is planet. Specifically here are the parts I am looking for:
DIMM Baffle 512109-001
AC 1200W 498152-001 (I have had some luck finding this)
Fan Assembly 92mm 508110-001
Heatsink 499258-001

I got the parts numbers off HP’s Illustrated parts catalog for this specific ser
ver. I have called HP Parts center, 2 of HP’s authorized parts dealers and searc
hed extensively on the Internet including eBay. The parts are not to be found an
ywhere. HP’s Parts center, the authorized parts dealers and HP technical support
all have tried to find parts of G5 server that they may be substitute with for
my G6 but were not sure if those parts would fit or work.

This has been a frustrating and very disappointing experience so far and am hopi
ng HP has a solution soon before I decide to ship the server back and extensivel
y market my experience with HP support so far. Thanks.

Comments added: Jun 10, 2009 4:57:17 PM CDT

Hi Joshua,

A very good morning to you.

This is with reference to the case ID 3606226460 logged to inform about the unavailability of the spare parts for an HP ProLiant ML350 G6 Server.

Customer has checked with HP Parts Store as well as with Parts dealers however did not find the spare parts. He’s a bit frustrated on this. Finally he contacted the e-Sol support team for help. I tried ordering the parts through wfm too but couldn?t. Please refer to the case# 3606226460.

I alled the customer to know why he requires these many spare parts. He replied that he is trying to install one more CPU. As this is a brand new server and to keep up the customer satisfaction, I have informed him that I will be following up this case till the issue gets resolved.

I understand that you are the product support manager for HP ProLiant ML350 G6 Server. Hence seeking your advice and assistance in this matter.

Please revert for any further information you may need.

Comments added: Jun 15, 2009 3:36:30 PM CDT
Called 1-800-731-5544 after escalating the case. Got Maynor on line.They informed they are not the right person to handle the case as this is a hardware issue. Also informed to forward the case to MC team as they are the right team. Also he gave the direct number 1 800 314 1873 of MC team.

Comments added: Jun 16, 2009 9:55:48 PM CDT

Hi Umair,

This is regarding the Case: 3606226460

Thank you for your patience.

I have escalated the case to higher levels and they have come up informing that as the parts are not setup and the server is being built by subcontractor, we cannot get the parts right now. Customer should be directed to go through sales.

Hence I suggest you to contact the Parts Store.

That is the complete jest of it so far. Ofcourse I am planning on returning the server, any lawyers out there want to get in on this? Its like selling a car and not having any parts for it.

proliant, ml350, hp, server

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