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We bought an HP ProLiant DL320e Gen8 v2 server at office, to be used to run internal applications under Linux.

Our OS choice runs between CentOS 6.5 and openSUSE 13.1, though the server is certified for RHEL/SLES.

The first difference we noticed between Windows (another identical machine running it) and Linux is fan noise: it's been a common problem around the Internet for HP servers.

Today I have successfully installed and upgraded (via zypper dist-upgrade) openSUSE 13.1 to get the latest version of kernel and modules. I also took care to install lm_sensors, ipmitool and their related sensor packages. The fans are still noisy when compared to Windows.

I know that HP released drivers for RHEL/SLES and they are freely downloadable. But these drivers don't seem to include thermal/fan sensors: they are mainly RAID and Ethernet drivers.

Anyway, running ipmitool sdr displays fan speed for 3 fans at 33%. Well, the server has only 2 fans mounted in the front panel. So it seems not a driver/module issue on my kernel version.

The question is

Given the experience with my personal laptop running openSUSE 13.1, in which the system fan is not always at maximum speed but spins at a much higher speed than Windows on the same machine, is it possible to govern fan speed in this server machine to reasonable noise levels?

  • The reason why you see 3 fans is because you have the possibility to handle 3 fans. And for the noise, in my experience there's no need for you Server to be quit because you usually mount it somewhere where the only things which can hear it are your other servers, if they are too loud there's also the possibility to buy more quiet ones but that's just my opinion. – Jeredepp Sep 23 '14 at 13:08
  • By the way, to clarify any temperature issue: during configuration these days, the server is on a desk instead of a rack – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Sep 23 '14 at 13:42
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This is an HP ProLiant server. In order to maximize the benefit of the hardware and its monitoring and temperature regulation features, you should install the HP Management Agents (for RHEL6) or (SuSE) on the system. There's no need to use ipmitool and lm_sensors on HP equipment, as purpose-built tools exist.

Despite this, the ILO4 governs many of these features and out of the box, most Gen8 servers are pretty quiet. Do you have a problem with ambient temperature in your environment? See: HP DL380 G6: Where is Temperature Sensor 30 (I/O Board Zone)?

You should be able to see a 3-D heat map of the server using your ILO's temperature menu.

  • Are you certain you're on current firmware with the system?
  • Can you post the output of the temperature and fan status?

To install the agents, you can subscribe to the HP SDR YUM repo and simply:

yum install hp-snmp-agents hpssa hp-health hp-smh-templates hpsmh hpssacli hponcfg

This will provide you with some additional tools.

The hplog -t and hplog -f will show temperature and fan speed respectively. This can also be viewed in the ILO4.

  • Let's see if this works on openSUSE... And no, I don't have any temperature problems (around 25°C) – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Sep 23 '14 at 13:30
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    Make sure the firmware is up-to-date. You can run the Intelligent Provisioning tool from the BIOS during boot, and the system can update itself to the current firmware revision for all installed components. – ewwhite Sep 23 '14 at 13:33
  • As stated at downloads.linux.hp.com/SDR/repo/spp/openSUSE.ReadMe, no kernel modules are required. Only MCP repository can be installed, but downloads.linux.hp.com/SDR/repo/mcp contains no directory for openSUSE (and add_repo.sh doesn't autodetect URL) – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Sep 24 '14 at 11:10
  • You said CentOS was an option. – ewwhite Sep 24 '14 at 11:49
  • Oh yes, but the hard drive currently holds openSUSE. We'd have to reformat to CentOS to try again ;-) – usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Sep 24 '14 at 11:53
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Eventually we bought a licensed SLES and installed software from the following YaST repository:

http://downloads.linux.hpe.com/SDR/repo/spp/SUSE_LINUX/SLES11-SP3/x86_64/current/

It works like this: for SLES there is SPP repository, for openSUSE modules are in the upstream kernel and the most we can get from HP is the MCP, but at the MCP url there is no YaST repositories.

Package hpvsa solved the problem for my first server. Now configuring the second.

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