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DL580

Here is what we can say about DL580 based on two years in service a dozen bought:

HP ProLiant DL580 G7 Server series - Specifications and Warranty

You can buy a preconfigured model with 4 E7-4870 CPUs (10 cores, 2.4 GHz, 30 MB cache, 130W) with 128G of RAM for $33K.

Specs

ILO firmware upgrades: www.hp.com/go/ILO3

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Boerlowie's Blog

Hardware, VMware, vSphere > Recommended BIOS Settings on HP ProLiant DL580 G7 for VMware vSphere

Recommended BIOS Settings on HP ProLiant DL580 G7 for VMware vSphere

September 3, 2010Leave a commentGo to comments

The HP Proliant DL580 G7 has several important BIOS Settings which need to be set.

The default options are in Italic while the non-default (recommended) options are in Bold.

Options which are not relevant are left out.

You might need to change options if you have a specific configuration or specific needs. This list is only a general guideline for most of the settings tuned for vSphere.

Option Value Description
System Options
–Serial Port Options
--Embedded Serial Port COM 1; IRQ4; IO: 3F8h-3FFh The onboard Serial Port is left enabled in case Serial-Line logging at the server is needed.
--Virtual Serial Port COM 2; IRQ3; IO: 2F8h-2FFh The Virtual Serial Port is needed to do Serial-Line logging through iLO 3.
–Embedded NICs
--Embedded NIC Boot Options Disabled If you don't PXE boot the server, set it to disabled. Otherwise, leave it enabled. Setting it to disabled saves you 2 seconds when booting the server :-)
–Advanced Memory Protection Advanced ECC Support Depending on your needs, you might want to select improved Memory Protection
–USB Options
--USB Control USB Enabled Allows the use of Keyboard and Mouse during vSphere setup.
--USB 2.0 Controller Enabled Allows USB 2.0 high speed transfers.
--Removable Flash Media Boot Sequence External DriveKeys First Allows the host to boot from external USB keys (and iLO). Necessary for firmware updates, …
–Processor Options
--No-Execute Memory Protection Enabled Needed for vSphere
--Intel® Virtualization Technology Enabled Needed for vSphere
--Intel® Hyperthreading Options Enabled Divides each core in 2 logical CPU's, improving the vSphere CPU schedulers possibilities.
--Processor Core Disable All Cores Enabled No reason to disable cores.
--Intel® Turbo Boost Technology Enabled When not all cores are used, ESX will park those cores and over clock the other ones. When an ESX host is not using all its cores, the active cores will run faster resulting in faster VM speeds.
--Intel® VT-d Enabled Needed for vSphere (VMDirectIO, …)
–NUMLOCK Power-On State Disabled In most server rooms or when using a laptop to access the server console, a numeric keypad is not available.
Power Management Options
–HP Power Profile Custom Allows to enable custom Power settings specific for vSphere
–HP Power Regulator OS Control Mode Hands over the Power Management to vSphere. The other options give this control to the server itself.
–Redundant Power Supply Mode High Efficiency Mode (Auto) By default (Balanced Mode), the server uses all installed PSU's. This might look like the most efficient use, but the more power is drawn from a PSU, the more efficient it operates. The less power you draw from a PSU, the more gets lost to keep the PSU working. Thus, it is best to use the minimum amount of PSU's so they deliver the highest possible output. The remaining PSU's are placed in standby. This settings does not affect redundancy as the standby PSU's jump in as soon as an active one fails. By using the 'Auto' mode, the active PSU's are chosen based on the server's serial number (odd or even number = odd or even PSU numbers). This makes sure that all power circuits in the racks are evenly used.
–Advanced Power Management Options
--Minimum Processor Idle Power State C3 State Needed for vSphere Dynamic Voltage and Frequency Scaling (DVFS). Allows vSphere to halt unneeded cores.
--Maximum Memory Bus Frequency Auto Memory only runs at 1 speed in these servers -> 1066 MHz
--PCI Express Generation 2.0 Support Auto Server will detect PCIe Generation itself. Forcing it to PCIe 2.0 will make all PCIe 1.0 cards unusable.
--Dynamic Power Savings Mode Response Fast Switch faster between processor states.
--Collaborative Power Control Enabled Allows vSphere to control the PCC Interface
--DIMM Idle Power Saving Mode Enabled DIMMs can put themselves into Low Power mode when not used. This will save some power if not all memory is used on the host.
Server Availability
–ASR Status Disabled ASR monitors an agent running in the Service Console. When this does not respond within 10 minutes, the host is rebooted. However, if the agent fails or the Service Console becomes sluggish (even though the VM's are perfectly fine), ASR will detect this as a system hang and will reboot the server. Furthermore, in case of a PSOD, ASR will reboot the server as well. This reboot might cause a loss of some logfiles.
–ASR Timeout 10 Minutes This has no effect since ASR is disabled.
–Thermal Shutdown Enabled To protect your server, it will be shutdown in case it gets too hot.
–Wake-On LAN Enabled vSphere DPM uses Wake-On LAN to power on servers (it uses iLO first, but falls back on Wake-On LAN)
–POST F1 Prompt Disabled The system boots if critical components fail.
–Power Button Enabled Power Button behaves like it should
–Automatic Power-On Disabled If set to enabled, the server will power-on as soon as AC Power is available. When set to disabled, power is restored to its previous state when AC Power is available.
–Power-On Delay No Delay When AC Power is restored, all systems will come online at the same time causing a power spike. If the power system is unable to handle this, a random delay will solve this problem.
BIOS Serial Console & EMS
–BIOS Serial Console Port Auto
–BIOS Serial Console Baud Rate 9600
–EMS Console Disabled
–BIOS Interface Mode Auto
Advanced Options
–Advanced System ROM Options
--Option ROM Loading Sequence Load Embedded Devices First Embedded devices should be loaded first so PXE boot from onboard NICs is always possible.
--MPS Table Mode Full Table APIC vSphere needs this set to Full Table APIC
--ROM Selection Use Current ROM Backup ROM is only needed when a firmware flash was unsuccessful.
--NMI Debug Button Enabled Can be used to generate a NMI through the button on the system board.
--Virtual Install Disk Disabled This Virtual Install Disk only contains drivers for Microsoft Windows Operating system.
--PCI Bus Padding Options Enabled Disabling this option is only necessary for certain older expansion cards.
--Power-On Logo Enabled Disabling has no improvements on boot-times.
–Video Options Optional Video Primary, Embedded Video Disabled Default setting.
–Power Supply Requirements Override Default Power Supply Requirements PSU requirements will be calculated depending on server power requirements.
–Thermal Configuration Optimal Cooling Fans will run at their minimum speed for adequate cooling. Saves some power since they don't run at full speed (less noise as well)
–Advanced Performance Tuning Options
--HW Prefetcher Enabled In previous CPU generations, disabling this options gave better performance. With the Nahalem architecture, it does provide benefits (better caching)
--Adjacent Sector Prefetch Enabled Similar to HW Prefetcher.
--Hemisphere Mode Auto Hemisphere will be enabled if your memory configuration allows it (see HP QuickSpecs for optimal Hemisphere modes)
--Node Interleaving Disabled Since vSphere utilizes NUMA nodes, there is no need to disable NUMA (= enable Node Interleaving)
–Drive Write Cache Disabled Only the DVD-ROM drive is attached to the onboard SATA controller. Writes are not possible to this device thus it can be left disabled. This setting has NO effect on the Smart Array Controller settings.
–Asset Tag Protection Unlocked

[Oct 28, 2011] Notice: ProLiant Servers - HP Service Pack for ProLiant 2011.09.0 Is Available Beginning on October 5, 2011 (c03065190)

Products: HP ProLiant DL Servers, HP ProLiant ML Servers, HP ProLiant BL Server Blades, HP ProLiant SL Servers Description: Notice: ProLiant Servers - HP Service Pack for ProLiant 2011.09.0 Is Available Beginning on October 5, 2011

[Oct 24, 2011] RECOMMENDED Systems ROMPaq Firmware Upgrade for HP ProLiant DL580 G7 (P65) Servers (For USB Key-Media) - HP Business Support Center

This release provides updated system ROM images for the latest maintenance releases of HP ProLiant DL580 G7 (P65) Servers.

SP54712.exe (4.4 MB)

To ensure the integrity of your download, HP recommends verifying your results with this MD5

File: SP54712.exe

Installation:

USB Key - HPQUSB.exe is a Windows-based utility to locally partition, format and copy necessary files to a USB flash media device (e.g. HP Drive Key) through the Windows environment. The created USB flash media device is made bootable and ready to locally restore and/or update the firmware on the system.

1. Obtain a formatted USB Key media.

2. Download the SoftPaq to a directory on a system running Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, or Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and change to that directory.

3. From that drive and directory, execute the downloaded SoftPaq file: Simply double click on the SPxxxxx.exe file and follow the installation wizard to complete the SoftPaq installation process. At the end of a successful installation of the SoftPaq a web page will automatically appear to provide you with the different methods for restoring and/or upgrading the firmware on the system.

4. After the USB Key is created, you may delete the downloaded file if you wish.

5. Insert this USB Key into the USB Key port of the system to be updated and power the system on to boot to the USB Key.

[Oct 24, 2011] RECOMMENDED Online ROM Flash Component for Linux - HP ProLiant DL580 G7 (P65) Servers - HP Business Support Center

Version: 2011.05.23 (27 Sep 2011)

This component provides updated system firmware that can be installed directly on supported Operating Systems. Additionally, when used in conjunction with HP Smart Update Manager (HPSUM), this Smart Component allows the user to update firmware on remote servers from a central location. This remote deployment capability eliminates the need for the user to be physically present at the server in order to perform a firmware update.

CP016066.scexe

Installation:

To update firmware from Linux operating system on target server:

1. Login as root. (You must be root in order to apply the ROM update.)
2. Place the Smart Component in a temporary directory.
3. From the same directory, run the Smart Component.
For example: ./CPXXXXXX.scexe
4. Follow the directions displayed by the Smart Component to complete the firmware update.
5. Reboot your system if you would like the update to take effect immediately.


To use HPSUM on the HP Smart Update Firmware DVD (version 9.00 and later) or the Service Pack for ProLiant 2011.07.0 (and later):

1. Place the Firmware DVD or Service Pack for ProLiant on a USB key using the HP USB Key Creator Utility.
2. Place the firmware to be used for updating in the directory, /HPFWUPxxx/hp/swpackages on the USB key.
3. Boot from the newly created USB key.
4. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the firmware update.



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