Video: HP Proliant MicroServer Power Consumption

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A question I have seen asked a quite frequently is “how much power does an HP Proliant MicroServer actually consume”.  You’d kind of expect with the quoted 72.3W maximum of power consumption that it should make quite a cost effective small lab server to run.
 
To help answer the question I’ve put together this basic video which demonstrates the power consumed by the MicroServer during standby and also during a VMware vSphere ESXi boot process.
 
This low power consumption is partially traded off through the use of the MicroServer’s low powered CPU though I have found in my own home vSphere lab that the dual core 1.3GHz CPU very rarely hits the 90-95% utilisation mark during standard lab use.

 

 

ServersPlus are kindly offering FREE delivery on all MicroServer purchases for TechHead readers.  To take advantage of this deal give them a call and mention ‘TechHead’.  Check out the Hot Deals section at the very top of this page for any decent current HP MicroServer deals.

 

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About Simon Seagrave

Simon is a UK based Virtualization, Cloud & IT Technology Evangelist working as a Senior Technology Consultant and vSpecialist for EMC. He loves working in the ever changing IT industry & spends most of his time working with Virtualization, Cloud & other Enterprise IT based technologies, in particular VMware, EMC and HP products.

As well as on this site, you can find him on Twitter and Google+

Comments

  1. Very Interesting. I have just purchased one of these.

    Could you clarify what your disk config is for me. Are you running Esxi off the included hard disk or off a USB pen. And are there any other Hard disks in the box

    Thanks

    • Hi James,

      I have the single SATA disk in the server and am booting ESXi off of the disk.

      Hope this helps and enjoy your new MicroServer. :)

      Cheers,

      Simon

  2. Andy Cranston says:

    Hello Simon,

    I am thinking of buying a HP Proliant Microserver to run ESXi for a few virtual machines.

    While HP only officially offer supported drivers for Windows Server 2008 and RedHat does ESXi work “out of the box” on the Microserver using the built in hard drive for ESXi and the virtual machines storage?

    Kind regards,

    Andy.

    • Hi Andy,

      I’m a few days late in replying to your question, but in case you haven’t rushed out and bought a MicroServer yet I can confirm that VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1 works on it just fine and can see any hard disks presented through to it from the MicroServer.

      Hope this helps. :)

      Cheers,

      Simon

      • Hi Simon

        Do you know if it is possible to use the onboard SATA controller for RAID-1 with ESXi?

        I’d have to find a RAID-1 controller card on the ESXi HCL if not.

        Thanks.

        • Hi Jason,

          I’m afraid not with the HP MicroServer as it’s onboard array controller isn’t a true hardware based version and has to use software drivers that VMware ESX/ESXi doesn’t support. An alternative to buying a PCIe based array controller (which would need to be of a half height format to fit in the HP MicroServer – watch out for falling into this trap) would be to buy an entry level NAS device such as the iomega IX2 which offers RAID 1 and you could then also share this out to any other ESX/ESXi hosts you may add to your lab in the future.

          Hope this helps, :)

          Simon

  3. Thanks Simon (there is not option to reply to your comment reply)

    I was actually intending to make this Microserver a power efficient iSCSI target itself. I guess that its performance would be good enough for this.

    Having seen your Celerra tutorials, it looks like I could actualy use two Celerra VMs instead, to get RAID-1-like redundancy?

    I have a way to go before I can start getting into complicated stuff like that, so I think I will try finding a cheap RAID-1 card for now, or possibly a RAID-5 capable card, with the view of moving to RAID-5 later.

    Have you got any recommendations on a low-profile and affordable RAID-1 and/or RAID-5 card thatis on the ESXi HCL?

    Thanks for your help.

  4. Hi all,

    Im looking to buy this server shortly but I’m stuck! Not sure if I’m getting the wrong messages. I’m looking to install ESXi on it and run 3 VMs on it however will I still be able to set RAID 1 as I will be installing ESXi on USB Device and using 1TB for OS however ill have another 1TB for the RAID 1. Will this work?

    Refer to my planned diagram that I have uploaded which can be found on:

    http://www.MegaShare.com/3075610

    Could you please reply asap or email me on: [email protected].

    Thanks for all your help people shame HP didn’t kit it out abit more.

  5. Hi Simon,

    just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the very useful video.

    Most home enthousiasts use the MicroServer for vSphere labs, but I’m looking at buying one of these to use as a pfSense firewall/router. I looked around for micro appliances based on low-power cpu’s, but once you need a few extra NIC’s, those things get expensive as well.

    The MicroServer has acceptable power consumption to keep it running 24/7 (especially compared to any generic old pc running pfSense) but the one drawback are the PCIe slots which are half-heigth AND half-length.

    That last bit poses a problem for finding dual NIC cards and especially quad NIC cards.

    If you or anybody reading this post knows of cards fitting the requirements I’d be very happy to learn about it!

    Cheers,

    Sveno

  6. Hi Sveno,

    I can’t see I know of any half height dual/quad core PCIe based network cards that are compatible with ESX/ESXi though I’d imagine there must be some. Many of the HP network cards usually come with a half height converter bracket though unfortunately off the top of my head I don’t know the exact models.

    The other option would be to add a single port NIC (giving you two 1Gb ports in total) and just use vLANs. You don’t often see a Gb port being saturated, at least not in a lab environment.

    All the best,

    Simon :)

  7. I have now got two of these servers. I am using KVM on both. One acts as a file/media/test server for my home network and runs two VM’s. The other is a firewall and running mail/squid/dns in one VM, with motion (security camera) in the other VM. I installed a 4GB memory stick in each machine, giving me 5GB in total. So far no performance problems.

    My old power hungry server ran Xen for years with several VM’s. Initially I installed Xen on both HP boxes. However, the firewall box has an ADSL modem attached to eth1 and the xen kernel wouldn’t boot with a pppoe interface. This seemed to be a bug in Xen as if I remove the pppoe interface everything works as expected.

    Ian.

    • Hi Ian,

      Thanks for letting us know about your setup – sounds like you’re putting your HP Microservers to good use. Despite the lower spec CPU and 8GB memory limit I’ve found them to perform well for most of my lab requirements. I only wish they had a hardware based storage controller option as the onboard one lacks performance which is to be expected I guess.

      Cheers,

      Simon

  8. All,

    Have two HP microservers running an eval of ESX5 which works well within a home VMware lab..

    Has anyone found any half height/half length PCI-e cards which are VMware certified

    Thanks, Angus

  9. @Angus

    Did you ever get an answer to this?

    Cheers, Nick

  10. Simon Seagrave says:

    Hi Nick,

    You may want to take a look at this half height NIC: HP NC112T PCI Express Gigabit Server Adapter

    It is included in the VMware HCL:

    http://partnerweb.vmware.com/comp_guide2/detail.php?deviceCategory=io&productid=12703&vcl=true

    Hope this helps.

    Simon

  11. Hi Simon,

    Thank you for the reply. Price has put me off this one so far. Is there an unbranded version? The HP NC112T looks very much like the Intel PRO/1000 CT Desktop Adaptor PCI Express. Do you know if this is right?

    Cheers, Nick

  12. ebay £40 new NIC’s e.g. 503746-B21 – HP NC112T PCIe Gigabit Server Adapter

  13. Hi Nick,

    I did find the correct cards finally as supported with Vsphere5, 503746-B21 – HP NC112T PCIe Gigabit Server Adapter ebay £40 the same chap has two still left…

  14. Simon Seagrave says:

    Hi Nick,

    Also check out ServersPlus. They currently have them for £37.00 ex VAT.

    http://www.serversplus.com/servers/network_adapters/hp_network_adapters/503746-b21

    Cheers,

    Simon

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Installing the server was straightforward – I created a bootable USB drive and popped it in the front, then told the server to boot it (it defaults to PXE boot when there's no OS installed). Once up and running, it's nice and quiet thanks to the single large fan, although it does vibrate slightly. Placing the server on my wooden desk amplified this somewhat beyond acceptable levels, so I ended up sitting it on some of the plastic foam that came in the box (as shown in the first picture) which fixed the problem straight away. The 1GB of RAM is easily enough for my purposes (more on that in the next few posts), although the processor isn't going to win you any races. You get a dual-core 1.3GHz Athlon, which spends a lot of its time dynamically throttled down to 0.8GHz. This can make some things (like installing updates) take longer than you might expect, but it does give the machine a big advantage – very low power consumption. [...]

  2. [...] Installing the server was straightforward – I created a bootable USB drive and popped it in the front, then told the server to boot it (it defaults to PXE boot when there’s no OS installed). Once up and running, it’s nice and quiet thanks to the single large fan, although it does vibrate slightly. Placing the server on my wooden desk amplified this somewhat beyond acceptable levels, so I ended up sitting it on some of the plastic foam that came in the box (as shown in the first picture) which fixed the problem straight away. The 1GB of RAM is easily enough for my purposes (more on that in the next few posts), although the processor isn’t going to win you any races. You get a dual-core 1.3GHz Athlon, which spends a lot of its time dynamically throttled down to 0.8GHz. This can make some things (like installing updates) take longer than you might expect, but it does give the machine a big advantage – very low power consumption. [...]

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