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I'm having fan speeds and noise level issues from my most recent batch of HP ProLiant DL380 G7 servers. Most of the systems are nearly silent with low fan speeds (as reported by hplog -f). The majority of systems causing issues are running an operating system that cannot accommodate the HP Insight Management agents or drivers (NexentaStor 3.1). I also have a few CentOS servers running the HP drivers that have the same issue. Some of these systems have 2 or more PCIe cards installed.

Is there any way to force a lower fan speed on these servers? I've seen the advisory on the BIOS cooling option. I'm more curious about the random nature of the issue and if there's any means to control this via software.

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They're in a proper server room, right? If so, what's the big deal? –  EEAA Sep 15 '11 at 23:53
    
Some go to client sites, where the temps are regulated in the server rooms, but the noise is noticeable. Having 20 servers that are silent and 5 that are noticeably louder makes me curious. –  ewwhite Sep 15 '11 at 23:57
    
Sure. I wish I knew the answer to this, but I don't. Fortunately all of mine are locked away well out of hearing distance. :) –  EEAA Sep 15 '11 at 23:58
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2 Answers

You can set a power policy via the iLO configuration. By setting the CPU power modes to lower settings, the fans may also spin down accordingly.

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The ILO power policies didn't have an impact on fan speed. I did try working with the CPU power modes, but no change. The major factor seems to be related to PCIe riser population. –  ewwhite Sep 19 '11 at 15:37
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The issue here is related to PCIe riser population. I worked with zero installed cards to a fully-populated enclosure. At around 3 installed cards, the fan speeds settled at higher levels. According to HP, this is by design. It also depends on the types of cards installed, and their power draw. My worst systems had legacy PCI-X risers installed with 5V cards or were running 4 or 5 HBAs and a PCIe flash device.

Edit: Newer BIOS revisions on the G6 tower models (ML350/370) now include a "reduced acoustics" mode that lowers fan speed and noise output considerably.

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