HP Proliant MicroServer Gen8

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The MicroServer Gen8 is almost a perfect steel cube with dimensions of 23.0 x 24.5 x 23.2 or 9.1 x 9.6 x 9.1 inches (W x H x D), giving it a total volume of 13.1 liters. It's about an inch deeper than the original but both the width and height have been slimmed down; overall it's about 10% smaller.

A peek at rear reveals a removable motherboard tray with a low profile expansion slot, a 40 mm fan for the internal power supply, and a 140 mm exhaust fan servicing the rest of the system. The cover is held on with a pair of permanently-attached thumbscrews.

While there is a Kensington lock slot at the back, there's nothing to stop an thief from simply swiping all your hard drives in a matter of seconds as the door covering them doesn't have a lock. The power button, USB ports, and optical drive are all exposed at the top as well so clearly security was not on HP's priority list.

While HP claims the new MicroServer is tool-less, low and behold, there's a service tool attached to the front bezel. Torx screws are used to secure the drives to their caddies.

The drive trays are sturdy enough. Slits have been cut into the front to maximize airflow though the drives appear to block them fairly effectively.

The rails guiding the caddies are shallow but work well enough. Several holes have been cut to improve airflow.

Despite having only two thumbscrews, the cover fits snugly. We have to point out that like on the original Microserver, these are our favorite type of case cover screws: Beefy, spring loaded, captive thumbscrews that cannot be lost.

There is a bit more connectivity at the back than the previous MicroServer. There are 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0 ports, a VGA connector, and two gigabit ethernet jacks. A third RJ45 port is separated from the others and is used to access HP's ILO feature (Integrated Lights-Out) which allows access and maintenance to be performed remotely.

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