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HP ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2 is Equipped with 2 Internal USB Ports


While reviewing the attributes of the HP ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2 Server I noted that it has a good number of USB ports – a total of eight – 4 in the front, 2 in the back and 2 inside.  I had to ask several of our engineers, channel partners and customers – what are you doing with the internal USB ports?


I received some fun feedback as well as some serious answers as well.  For fun, I was told that the USB internal port could be utilized for a Wi-Fi dongle, a light kit to make their server fancy, or USB powered fan – but of course none of these fun options are HP tested or certified.  So we don’t recommend them.


On the serious side, I learned about a couple of usages for the internal USB port that may be helpful for you to learn about.  The HP ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2 provides essential performance and features delivering exceptional value, ideal for a business with a tight budget. 




One use case for the internal USB port is to deploy VMWare ESXi.  Similar to the SD Boot (see blog on this topic), a customer can install ESXi to a supported USB device attached to the internal USB port.  Deployment using Intelligent Provisioning is not supported to USB devices; however, other methods of ESXi installation are supported such as manual installation, scripted installation, Auto Deploy stateless caching and Auto Deploy stateful installations.  Installation of other operating systems to USB devices are not supported at this time.  For a list of HP supported USB devices with VMware hypervisors, review the HP Flash Media Kits QuickSpecs (see link).


Another more interesting scenario is to use the internal port for disaster recovery. The USB internal port is inside the box, the HP ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2 has a lock on the outside as well as the ability to be racked and locked in a rack as well.  The security of physically locking and having a hidden drive provides a level of safety for some customer’s sensitive data.  Naturally another level of security would be encryption – please learn about our HP Secure Encryption solution (see link). Many customers, I learned utilize the internal USB port to store their sensitive back up file.  They do the tape back-up with the HP RDX solution (link), but also back up to the USB media as well.  This practice of storing to the USB internal media is a back up to the backup – it’s simple, low-cost, safe, and redundant.


If you aren’t familiar with the ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2, it allows your business to scale and grow as needed with support for up to two processors, 12 DIMM slots, 16 small form factor (SFF) or 8 large form factor (LFF) drives, 6 PCIe slots, and 8 USB ports.  Accommodating changing business needs is easier with the ML350e Gen8 v2 with its designed-in flexibility.


For more information about the HP ProLiant ML350e Gen8 v2 see    

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HPE ProLiant, SMB, Channels