It seems like an eternity ago now when the HP MicroServer N36L was thrust into the spotlight in what could be considered by accident or pure marketing genius. Either way, what it offered for AUD$169-$299 (at the time) could not be beaten by any whitebox or branded deal.
It became a phenomenon and established a cult following very quickly as people realised how versatile they were. A low power consuming, ESXi/WHS compatible business grade server. Arguably, back from the dead, the N36 was followed up with the N40L and N54L. Both offering incremental performance increases over the original. Even I was bitten by the MicroServer bug, replacing my 2 QNAP Pros with 2 N36L’s running FreeNAS and later updating to the N40L and N54L.
HP are now again hoping to leverage of the MicroServer success with the release of 2 Gen 8 devices – G1610T & G2020T. Moving away from the AMD chipset, the newer Gen8 MicroServers are based on Intel architecture.
The G1610T is based on the Intel Celeron G1610T (2.3Ghz) whilst the G2020T is running the Intel Pentium G2020T processor (2.5Ghz). These appear to be much more powerful than the predecessors and will support up to 16GB of ECC RAM (previously officially limited to 8GB on the N series). For those of us that have used MicroServers as virtualisation servers (e.g. ESXi) this is great news indeed. More processing power and more RAM can only mean good things for VMs.