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HPE ProLiant Server Names: Your Cheat Sheet - Even HPE Experts Can Learn Something New

HPE ProLiant servers are a go-to for many businesses, big and small. They're crafted to tackle everything from cloud tasks to edge computing challenges. ProLiant servers started with Compaq but are now a key product of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). When Compaq joined forces with Hewlett-Packard, HP decided to focus on ProLiant and moved away from their NetServer line. By the start of 2010, HP ProLiant was a leader in the server market.

But let's take a look at these servers from a different perspective. Ever scratched your head over the mix of letters and numbers in their names? You're not alone. We're here to simplify the naming puzzle of HPE ProLiant servers for you. Even those who've been using HPE for years might find a nugget of new info. So, let's break down these server names and see what each bit stands for.

Understanding HPE ProLiant Server Names and Generations

Let's start with the basics: HPE stands for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Founded on November 1, 2015, in Palo Alto, California, HPE emerged following the division of the original Hewlett-Packard company. While HP Inc. zeroes in on PCs and printers, HPE is all about business IT solutions, encompassing servers, storage, networking, and consulting. Many individuals, particularly long-time IT professionals (including some of our colleagues), still say HP - there are servers still in operation from the period before HPE times.

The initial letter indicates the type of the server:

  • ProLiant DL (Density Line) - DL server models are rack-based. They are a good mix of size and computing power.

  • ProLiant ML (Maximum Expansion) - ML server models are tower-based. They are designed for optimal expandability.

  • ProLiant BL (Blades) - BL server models are enclosure-based. They are made specially for use in a blade enclosure and cannot be used without such (C7000 and C3000). Blade systems are designed for high density and easy management within tight rack spaces. More information on this: Latest Blade Servers.

  • ProLiant SL (Scalable Line) - SL server models are rack-based. They're used when a lot of computing power is needed, like in big data centers.

  • HPE ProLiant MicroServer: These are small servers. You can lay them flat or stand them up, depending on your space. They're great for small businesses or home offices.

The number naming convention:

  • The first number after the initial letter signifies the system's class. Numbers 1, 3, 5 indicate the HPE series, higher number means higher performance.

  • The second number - 0,6,8 marks the ranking within the series, higher number means more features.

  • The third number identifies the CPU manufacturer: 0 for Intel and 5 for AMD.

For example, the DL380 model is a rack-mountable, midle ranked server, equipped with Intel processors.

The Letter(s) after the number

HPE ProLiant servers sometimes include a letter after the model number to indicate specific features or generations. Here are some of the letters with meanings:

  • p: Performance - Optimized for superior performance.

  • e: Efficiency/Economic - Designed for energy efficiency or budget-friendliness.

  • h: High-density - Optimized for maximum computing in a compact space.

  • m: Maximum memory - Designed for tasks requiring a large amount of RAM.

  • s: Storage - Optimized for storage with support for more or larger drives.

  • t: Telecom - Rugged or features suitable for telecom environments.

  • xd: Extreme Density - Optimized for storage density, supporting a large number of drives.


HPE ProLiant servers, like many server product lines, have evolved through multiple generations. Each generation typically signifies advancements in technology, with enhancements in performance, efficiency, and other features. The generation is often denoted by a "G" or "Gen" followed by a number, such as "G11" for the eleventh generation. As of the time this article was written, the latest generation is Gen11.

Also, some of the newer generations have a "Plus" in the name which means an enhanced or improved version of the base model. The "Plus" models often come with additional features, better performance, or other improvements over the standard version.

Check out all HPE ProLiant models here: HPE ProLiant Product Family. Get in touch with us if you are looking for refurbished or new HPE systems or parts:

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