Recently I bought an HP Proliant DL180 G6 from Digitec. The machine looked wonderful on the paper and looks perfect for running VMware ESXi and Solaris. Unfortunately I had some relatively bad experiences with it.
The first minor problem I’ll talk about in this post is related to the drive trays. The machine comes with no pre-installed disks, which is perfect. I already have 4 SATA disks that I want to use on this machine. But as it turned out, the 4 plastic trays that came with the machine can’t be used to install any disk. These plastic trays are just meant to fill the empty space in the cage and to provide for adequate air flow when the trays are empty. So, in the end, I had to buy 4 HP plastic trays for my disks on eBay, which cost me about 150USD extra.
What I find frustrating is that a vendor tries to artificially lock one into buying their hard disks. On a free market, I believe a vendor can encourage one to buy their drives because they are superior, more reliable, or provide something appealing. But trying to force customers to buy HP disks by providing useless plastic trays is not fair, in my humble opinion. Particularly when the trays can be bought on eBay. In the end, the machine was sitting idle for a week while the trays where shipped to me.
Besides that, after placing my 4 drives in their trays and slipping them into the cage, everything was working wonderfully. The next problem comes with the HP SmartArray P212 controller and its interaction problems with VMWare ESXi and Solaris, but that’s something for a later post.