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HPE ProLiant DL380 Comparison: Gen10 vs. Gen11 - 7 Key Takeaways and Upgrade Mistakes to Avoid

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

HPE ProLiant servers (with Dell PowerEdge) are one of the most selling servers in their category. In this article we'll analyze the differences between HPE ProLiant DL380 Gen 10 and Gen11.

1. Architectural Overview

Gen10: Launched in 2017, the Gen10 was introduced during a time when AMD had just launched its 1st Generation EPYC Processor and Intel was riding high on its Purley microarchitecture. The Gen10's messaging was heavily centered around security, particularly with its silicon root of trust technology.

Gen11: Announced in 2022, the Gen11 comes with a theme of "compute engineered for your hybrid world." It focuses on creating an intuitive cloud operating experience, delivering trusted-by-design solutions, and optimizing compute platforms for diverse workloads. The Gen11 is built around AMD's 4th Generation EPYC Processor (codenamed "Genoa") and Intel's upcoming Sapphire Rapids.

2. Performance and Efficiency

Gen10: The Gen10 was a significant leap from its predecessors, offering robust performance for its time. However, it was designed and optimized for the workloads and IT landscapes of 2017.

Gen11: The Gen11 promises up to 1.68x more virtualization performance and a 19% improvement in price/performance compared to Gen10 Plus servers. It can accommodate up to 2.2x more users for Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) and boasts up to 3.37x higher compute-intensive floating point throughput performance compared to the Gen10.

3. Security Enhancements

Gen10: The standout feature was the silicon root of trust technology, ensuring servers weren't compromised during the boot process.

Gen11: While retaining the foundational security features of the Gen10, the Gen11 has expanded its secure supply chain, supports authentication through platform certificates and iDevID, and integrates TPM by default. It also leverages the DMTF’s security protocol and data model (SPDM) to verify third-party components, adding another layer of protection.

4. Management and Cloud Integration

Gen10: HPE's iLO management controller and OneView were the primary tools for infrastructure management, providing a reliable on-premises management solution.

Gen11: HPE introduced HPE GreenLake for Compute Ops Management, a SaaS offering that extends management from on-premises to hybrid edge-to-cloud environments. This tool ships standard with all Gen11 servers and claims firmware updates can happen up to five times faster across thousands of servers. Additionally, it provides carbon footprint emission metrics and automates issue notification and case creation.

5. Workload Optimization

Gen10: Designed for the workloads of its era, the Gen10 was optimized for traditional data center tasks but lacked features tailored for modern hybrid cloud environments.

Gen11: The Gen11 is engineered for a hybrid world, optimized for both on-premises and cloud workloads. Whether it's scale-out cloud-native applications or traditional scale-up tasks, the Gen11 is built to handle them efficiently.

6. Future-Proofing and Ecosystem

Gen10: While robust for its time, the Gen10's architecture is now several years old, and its compatibility with emerging technologies might be limited.

Gen11: HPE has indicated that the Gen11 portfolio will expand to support more workloads and industry use cases in the near future. This includes enhanced support for software-defined data centers, big data workloads, Telco 5G Services, and more.

7. Conclusion

To be honest, we read a lot of HPE promotional material before writing this article. And you know how the manufactures are trying to force their newest products on their customers. We think that in a lot of cases it doesn't make sense to get the newest possible generations of servers. There are other options, like upgrading HDDs, SSDs, memory modules or even getting another server from the secondary market. On the other hand, if the budget is there and you can benefit from the new features, go for it. After all the decision hinges on several factors: current infrastructure needs, future growth plans, budget constraints, and the desire for the latest technological advancements.

Also, if the organization is leaning towards a hybrid IT environment or is looking to harness the latest in server technology for a competitive edge, the Gen11 is a compelling choice. However, if the current Gen10 infrastructure sufficiently meets the organization's needs and there's no immediate demand for hybrid cloud capabilities or the latest performance enhancements, continuing with the Gen10 might be a prudent decision.

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