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I have been thinking about purchasing a HP DL580 G4 for ~$300.00. I would like to use it for testing, virtualization, etc. It's more of a learning toy than anything. I'm also curious if anyone knows what kind of power this thing sucks down.

Here are the specs:

  • 4x 2.6GHz Dual Core Xeon 7110 (800MHz Bus, 4MB Cache)
  • 8GB ECC RAM (64GB capable), 3x RAM carriers
  • SAS RAID with 256MB Cache
  • 2x Power Supply
  • Dual Gigabit
  • 2x 2.5" SAS drive sleds
  • SIXTEEN cores with hyperthreading
  • 64-Bit
  • VMX Virtualization capable.

Will this thing run ESXi well or will it be slow as a dog compared to Xeon servers with 5160 series processors?

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It does look like old versions of ESXi will work on the DL580 G4, but nothing newer than ESXi 3.5 U5. (direct link to HCL entry) At this point, the 3.5 release is getting pretty long in the tooth. Many of the pieces of functionality are present in both 3.5 and 4.1, but due to the age of your hardware, the platform you are using as a learning environment will slowly get more and more behind what's actually happening in the industry.

So - will it work? Looks like it will, as long as you don't mind running an old version. If it's an option, though, I'd highly recommend possibly picking up a G5 or G6 model, which will be useful to you for a much longer time.

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Will run ESXi fine. 5160s aren't very quick btw but anyhow your config is very well spec'd for what you're looking to do. I have dozens of servers with 7110 in a production ESX 3.5 environment without issue. As for power. Goto and use their power sizer. Should give you an approx idea of what they're sucking down.

Also, be very aware of the fact that this thing will not be quiet. You'd probably be better off pulling a few of the cpus. Since you won't need the processing power. So no need to pay for the actual power. :) Trust me, I way overbought for my home lab. Numerous multi-cpu quad core systems with no load.

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The HP ProLiant DL580 G4 still works well for virtualization. I have the DL580 G4 and ML570 G4 units used in ESX 3.5 and ESX/ESXi 4 installations.

  • The hardware is supported for use with the HP Management Agents and the probes in the ESXi console.
  • Storage is supported, as the unit uses the Smart Array P400 controller.
  • Make sure to install the current firmware for the model.
  • Enable the CPU's virtualization technology switch in the BIOS.
  • SCSI passthrough works (I've used these as standalone hosts with an attached tape drive directed to a VM).
  • The only thing that WILL NOT work on this model is Intel VT-D for PCI device pass-through.

If you're talking about production use, you may find that you'll get a better value out of a current 2-socket G7 unit (DL360, DL380, etc.). They're more future-proof at the moment.

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Agreed on the DL3X0 G7s. We're slowly switching over from the Sun x4XXX line to the HP line. I have four of the HPs in production at the moment running ESXi and they're quite nice. I still much prefer Sun's iLOM to HP's iLO, though. – EEAA Jun 6 '11 at 2:02

The HP DL580 G4 with the 71xx series Xeon is on the HCL for Vmware ESXi (Linked Here). The 70xx series is not.

So yes, ESXi is supported.

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