The last few generations of HP ProLiant systems have featured an option to share the ILO functionality with the first network interface. I'm in a situation where per-port costs on the switch I'm using the a co-lo facility are fairly high. I can save a port per server by not using the dedicated ILO interface. Is there any disadvantage to doing so? I've run with it on a few systems, and it works, but I'm sure there's a reason it's not the standard. I'd appreciate any insight.

7 Answers 7


I believe that you need to weigh up the pro's and cons of the sharing the hardware.

Sharing the NIC would allow you to save a little bit of money on your colo costs which is a good thing, however by going down a shared ILO route you should consider:

  1. Utilisation of the first NIC, if you have a heavy network load how will you access the server via the ILO? If you have a separate NIC then you have the full bandwidth to use to access the server remotely.
  2. A hardware failure of the first NIC will also nix your ability to remotely manage the server, this may not be something that matters much to you but in my experience (With Dell iDRAC cards) having the second NIC is a benefit when things go really wrong.

At the end of the day I can't give concrete advice, its just a decision you need to make based on your business needs and available funds.

  • I never considered the NIC failure scenario.
    – ewwhite
    Feb 13, 2011 at 1:02
  • It's only the benefit of experience which means I think about it :)
    – ITHedgeHog
    Feb 13, 2011 at 1:25

Another disadvantage (don't know if this applies to all iLO versions and all Proliant models) is that when iLO is on shared port, it cannot communicate with host computer. So server can't even ping its own iLO IP address, although all other devices can - this is because of how this NIC sharing works.

  • This is true... also some complexity with VLANs and bonded interfaces. But the ping thing is an issue.
    – ewwhite
    Aug 3, 2015 at 10:51
  • 1
    I just ran into this with a DL360 Gen9 and the latest version of iLO4. So this still seems to be valid :(
    – silent
    Aug 29, 2016 at 11:49
  • This was a really confusing problem to run into unexpectedly. Thanks for clarifying this. Any ideas for working around it? Sep 7, 2021 at 9:12
  • @forresthopkinsa the only workaround is to ping the iLO from another server :(
    – Marki555
    Sep 7, 2021 at 9:21

There is another issue as well, in the current iLO 4 (version 2.40 Dec 02 2015) the "Shared Network Port currently does not support IPv6".

  • Try updating to the current 2.42.
    – ewwhite
    May 25, 2016 at 7:34
  • I cannot find a version 2.42. The iLO 4 version 2.40 is bundled with the latest Service Pack for Proliant (SPP) 2016.04.0. May 26, 2016 at 6:25
  • Thanks @ewwhite, I had trouble finding 2.42, but it's still a no-go: iLO 4 firmware v2.42 - Networking Features not supported by IPv6 in this release: IPv6 Over Shared Network Port Connections May 26, 2016 at 6:39

I've seen no differences between the two styles expect if you start to max out BW on the NIC, If it saves you co-lo costs then I'd get it except if you think you will run above 90% utilization but at that point you need a better NIC. Although you still need a separate IP to assign to it.


The only real disadvantages I can see are that you have your 'OOB' traffic on the same physical wires as your 'In Band' traffic, which could be a security issue - and that one type of traffic could flood and interfere with the other.

Otherwise it sounds workable and in your case preferable.


I've seen many environments with separate switches for ILO/iDrac and other management (like cisco consoles).


The most frustrating issue is here:

Virtual media disconnect in the middle of the OS installation mostly due to OS resetting the NIC while installation


  • Yes... and the same happens also when using iDRAC on Dell servers with shared port... disconnects during the boot process when OS resets the NIC.
    – Marki555
    Nov 16, 2021 at 9:06

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