Hp Proliant N40L Micro Tower Server – Review


The Hp Proliant N40L Micro Tower Server can be used with the Windows Home Server 2011 to create a complete home server package to be used in homes having 2-10 users/computers. This Hp machine is a low cost micro-server that can run many other server operating systems/applications and is geared towards home and SOHO – Small Office Home Office usage.

The biggest pull of the Hp N40L micro-server is its low cost. Imagine getting a home server at a price that is less than an average home PC. A server is a stand-alone box that can be connected to the network and expected to work 24×7. Please note that monitor, keyboard and mouse are not included with the machine as it is not meant to be used like a PC (though it can be used that way).

This server comes with its own advantages, as discussed below. A few important ones include ECC memory (RAM that is reliable), RAID support (protection of data against disk failures), expandable configuration (8 TB hard-disk/ 8 GB RAM capacity), reliability of Hp being an enterprise grade server manufacturer and small size.

Applications and Softwares that people run on the Hp Proliant N40L Micro Server: Among other applications, this machine can be used as a NAS storage appliance/file sharing appliance, back-up, media server/streaming applications, cloud server, simple DNS, DHCP and Firewall applications, simple web and email applications.

People mostly use this server to host the following softwares: Windows Home Server 2011, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Server 2008 R2, NAS software (FreeNAS, OpenMediaVault, etc), FreeBSD, Linux Server – Ubuntu, RHEL, etc. You can use it to host any other server applications that don’t demand heavier workloads than what is supported by the processor.

Important features/specifications of the Hp Proliant N40L Micro Tower Server:

  • Processor/Motherboard: AMD Turion II Neo N401 (1.5 Ghz)/AMD RS785E-SB820M chipset
  • Memory: 2 GB (Expandable up to 8 GB), ECC Memory protection, 2 x DIMM slots
  • Cache memory: 2 x 1 MB, Level 2
  • Hard-drive: 1 x 256 GB SATA 7200 RPM (Maximum: 8 TB)
  • USB Ports: 4 Front, 2 Rear, 1 Internal
  • Network: 1 x 1 GE Ethernet port (RJ-45 connectivity)
  • Expansion: PCI Express slots
  • VGA port: 1
  • Optical drive: Optional
  • Dimensions/Weight: 15.2″ x 12.5″ x 15.2″/ 17.6 pounds
  • Warranty: 1-Year

Advantages:

  • Server at a price comparable to a PC
  • One fan, 22 dB noise level, quiet operation
  • Optimized for expansion – It’s easy to add drives and peripherals
  • ECC memory – Server class and reliable
  • Support for RAID 0,1 (data protection against disk failures). Optional support for RAID 5 by adding Hp Smart Array P410
  • Supports up to 4 SATA pluggable Hard disk drives and up to 8 GB RAM
  • Small size
  • Easy access to drives
  • Internal USB port enables the server to boot from USB sticks, Sufficient number of USB ports
  • 24×7 operation

Limitations:

  • The 250 GB hard-disk/2 GB RAM supplied along with the system may not be useful to few people as they buy higher capacity hard drives and RAM modules anyway. These two components could have been eliminated to enable users to choose their own configuration
  • One serial port could have been included
  • Optical drive needs to be purchased at additional cost
  • The hard-drives are not hot-swappable

The Hp Proliant N40L Micro Tower server is a good option for home users/SOHO users to set up and run a small server on their network. The price of this server is less than most computers available in the market and it comes from a reliable enterprise grade server manufacturer. It’s a good buy if you want to use it for one of the applications mentioned above. You could buy the Hp Proliant N40L micro-server in the United States from Amazon. You can also buy 8 GB RAM modules/ 4 GB RAM modules separately, to increase the performance of this server.

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