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HP Proliant ML110 G6 Server series vSphere 5 ESXi Compatability

July 28, 2011

The ever versitile HP Proliant ML110 G6 Sever series has been my choice for the Home Lab environment.  In the summer of 2010 I purchased two Intel® Xeon® X3430 (4 core, 2.40 GHz, 8 MB L3, 95W) models to use for my vSphere 4.0 environment, more recently I have purchased the Intel® Core i3-530 (2 core, 2.93 GHz, 4MB L3, 73W) version and have been pleased with its performance.

Here are some of the attributes that make this Server series attractive in a Home Lab environment.

1. Cost – Although the Intel® Xeon® (4 core, 2.40 GHz, 8 MB L3, 95W) models retail at $815.00, HP introduced an Intel® Core i3-530 (2 core, 2.93 GHz, 4MB L3, 73W) that retails at $409.00.

2. Maximum Memory – 16GB, with 4 memory slots. Having 4 memory slots accommodates memory configurations without using extremely expensive high density DIMMs. For example, installing 16GB in 2 slots is more expensive than installing 16GB in 4 slots (2 x 8GB DIMMs vs. 4 x 4GB DIMMs).  Furthermore, these slots can be populated one at a time, giving you the option of adding memory incrementally.

Note: The amount of physical memory accessible to the free license of VMware vSphere 5.0 Hypervisor Based on ESXi has been reduced to 8GB, to use the full 16GB you must use the 60-day evaluation copy.

3. Noise – The ML110 G6 Server series is no louder than a desktop computer, according to the HP Proliant ML110 G6 Server – Maintenance and Service Guide acoustic noise at idle speed (with fixed disk drives spinning) is 24.9 dBA.  To put that in perspective see Wikipedia Sound pressure.

4. Build Quality – Although I enjoy building Servers, I loathe troubleshooting the incompatibility problems typically associated with custom built solutions. HP has built a reputation of dependability by conducting some of the most rigorous and thorough testing in the industry, out-of-the-box I know the HP Server will be ready to go, no time wasted troubleshooting incompatible hardware.  Now that vendors such as HP and DELL have price conscious solutions for the SMB market, cost savings for custom solutions have disappeared.  The modular design of ML110 G6 requires less upfront investment and allows for expandability as needed.  All major components are designed to be removed or installed with minimal effort.  Weighing in at under 14 pounds the Server is lightweight making it easy to move around in a Home Lab environment.  For those of you who need a rack mounted solution the costly HP Tower to Rack Conversion Tray Universal Kit (417705-B21) is available on Google shopping.

5. Power Consumption – Using a Kill-A-Watt meter, my power consumption at idle for each HP ML110 G6 Servers was under 45 watts!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2011 10:56 pm

    Nice box – are the SATA and power cables for extra drives already staged, and organized too?

  2. Darryl permalink
    October 25, 2011 7:27 pm

    I too own an ML110 G6, I completely agree with your comments, and was pleasantly surprised by the power consumption report. However I’m currently sat on my sofa, with vSphere 5 usb installer in-hand wondering if I’m going to have any problems after the upgrade from 4.1 to 5. When I installed 4.1 I needed a HP customised installer to overcome some compatibility issues. Did you have any issues you can report on?

    Thanks
    Darryl

  3. sh0dan permalink
    February 18, 2012 11:28 am

    I was wondering if I could ask for some help? I have exactly the same ML110 but even in the bios configuration screens it draws about 102 watts, and 82 watts when esxi 5 has loaded but no vm’s are running.

    Any ideas on how I can get the power usage down?

    I’ve tried tweaking the cpu performance settings in the bios and enabled low power in the vpshere client.

    Thanks!

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