I’ve been building a few new HP DL 380 G7 servers as ESX 4.1 hosts and was having the usual nightmare finding anything on HP’s website. I was specifically looking for HP Insight Management Agent downloads and I’d been searching for ages when I came across a page called VMware from HP for Proliant. I’ve still no idea how I stumbled across it but I’m writing this down now so I never loose it.
The screenshot below which is from the bottom of the web page and lists all the HP Insight management agents for V4.x that I could possibly need.
As you can see from the next screenshot the web page covers all versions of ESX. It also has an extensive list of servers covering the BL, DL, ML and SL Proliant ranges. Click on the tick and it will take you straight to the appropriate page for that server so you can download everything you may need regardless of end operating system. So it acts as a support matrix and also acts as a collection of links to the correct product download page, can’t ask for much more than that. Good work HP, not often I say that about your web site.
ESX, ESXi, Servers, VMware
I recently purchased 3 new DL 380 G7’s for a new ESX deployment and as part of that purchase I had multiple options when it came to choosing power supplies. I tend to default to the larger power supplies when purchasing servers as usually this means it can support the maximum configuration, i.e. built in scalability.
Recently we had a service provider change their cost model from a flat fee to a metered power cost model. As a result I decided to take a closer look at the actual power consumption of the DL380 G7’s I was buying. That’s when I discovered another really useful HP online tool called the HP Power Advisor Tool.
This tool does still appear to be a work in progress, as some features are not available when you click on it, but in general there is still a lot of very useful functionality in there. You can build a single server, configure it and get your power specifications based on the components within. This is what I did with my DL 380 G7’s as you can see by clicking the thumbnail below.
If your configuration is a little more advanced, you can drop in a rack and then configure it with all manner of HP Server goodness. You can even drop in blade enclosures and then configure the interconnects and individual blades as you can see by clicking the thumbnails below.
I’m quite impressed with some of the extra tools I’ve been finding on HP’s website, I blogged recently about the HP Server DDR3 Memory Configuration Tool which helped me out when a reseller was trying to give me the wrong memory configuration. I’m just wondering what I’m going to find next!!
I’ve recently been lucky enough to be looking at purchasing a few additional ESX servers. I have spent a good few years now working with HP servers so have been looking at the HP Proliant DL380 G7 model for my particular needs.
I tend to spend a bit of time ensuring that the servers are specified correctly using the HP server quick specs. It can take a bit of time but I want to make sure that I am getting the right configuration for my virtualisation solution. To see an example follow the link to see the current quick specs for the HP Proliant DL 380 G7 server.
While reviewing the quick specs for the DL 380 G7 I noticed the following section which I’d not seen before when buying other HP Proliant servers.
NOTE: Depending on the memory configuration and processor model, the memory speed may run at 1333MHz, 1066MHz, or 800MHz. Please see the Online Memory Configuration Tool at: www.hp.com/go/ddr3memory-configurator.
Now I usually buy memory as follows 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, most people probably do I imagine. However as it turns out that the new Nehalem (Xeon 5500) and Westmere (5600) processors have some specific rules that need to be abided by to ensure optimal performance. This is where this particular HP tool comes in handy, whether you are configuring a new server or attempting to upgrade a current one.
As it turned 32GB is not an optimal configuration, something that certain resellers never picked up on. As it turned out I needed either 24GB or 36GB to ensure my server memory runs at 1333MHz and performs at its best.
If you are looking at buying a new HP server, or simply looking to add memory to an existing server I strongly suggest taking a look at this tool to ensure you get it right.
I’ve been considering building myself an ESX3i host at home for a little while now, specifically for training and testing out new software. Mike DiPetrillo has posted a blog entry yesterday on how he went about building his ESX3i box at home.
Think I’ll start looking at the price of parts in the UK and set about doing something similar, I had been eyeing up the HP ML110 G5 which at one point was selling for £93, then £143 but now appears to be back up at £265. However there are some articles out there about people who have ESX3i running on this server so it might not be a bad option or I suppose you could just build your own.