ProLiant Servers (ML,DL,SL)
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

DL380 G4 fan noise

SOLVED
Go to solution

DL380 G4 fan noise

we just got one of these. it is a fantastic product but the fan noise is unacceptably loud with 5 fans even in a closed cabinet. the problem is not the air sound but the whine of the fans. we did not install an os but ran smart start and checked the fan speed which was reported to be normal.

can you tell me if installing an os and the drivers would reduce the fan noise according to the temperature. is normal speed the lowest setting for the fans. thanks
21 REPLIES
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Hi,

I'm not sure on the DL380 G4, but our BL20pG2's sound similar.

Without the OS running, the fan speed is considerably higher than when it is.

I'm not sure how many fan speeds there are, but I do recall sitting in the computer room when things were a bit on the warm side and could here the fans gradually step up in speed.

Cheers,
Rob

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Once you have an OS installed and the System Health Drivers installed, the fan speed will step down considerably and so will the noise.

All Proliants do this, you want to hear a DL360!!!! They whine at a very high pitch until drivers are installed. :)
Colin_29
Trusted Contributor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

John is right, there was a load of activity on the forum about DL360 G3s. You may want to check the following link: http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=59952

You will see that the fans are considerably louder that the older and larger diameter ones ("you canae change the laws of physics" as Scotty once said). I think that they will slow in speed but you may still find them loud.

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Thanks for your replies which are greatly appreciated, we are considering exchanging for a ML350 if we cannot find a solution in the next few days after installing the os.

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

many thanks for your replies, we installed the os via smart start today which made the installation a breeze. however there does not appear to be a reduction in fan noise after installing all the hp software. can you please advise what app/agent is controlling the fans.

would also appreciate advice as to whether the ML350 g4 is considerably quieter (considering the larger fans) than the DL380 g4 or there is not too much difference.
Colin_29
Trusted Contributor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

I believe that it is CPQHEALTH that controlls the fan speed.

With regard to the noise. No matter what server you put in, it will need to remove the heat from within the case. Fan design dictates that the smaller the diameter then the faster the speed and therefore mode motor noise.

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

ML350s are noisier than a 380 until the health driver is installed, when you first switch them on they sound like a Dyson vacuum cleaner, ie very loud!!!

They are resonably quiet in normal operation though, although the fans do speed up if the box is under heavey load (due to more heat output). 350 would deffinitly be the better choice if the server was to be in contact with people (ie you want it by your desk).
HGN
Honored Contributor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Hi

This problem is related to the CPQHEALTH once this is installed on the system it should take care of the fan noise issue. The fan noise seem to increase when there is no proper ventillation and the server generates a lot of heat. There are also many threads for this issue in this forum you can take a look at them also.

Rgds

HGN

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

we have decided to keep the unit but i do not see an agent cpqhealth installed by the smart start utility. the management utility for environment communicates with the fans and reports the temps and which fans are active and whether their speed is normal. Are you sure that the G4 series includes the cpqhealth agent.

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Is there a utility you can run on a netware 6 server that is similar to the CPQHealth?
Jace_2
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

William,

Did you ever get this issue resolved?? I am building a DL380 G4 right now and the fan noise is too much. I have used smart start and done all the normal things but the fan speed just won't reduce. Any solutions would be greatly appreciated.

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Jace, we are still in the same situation. Actually i have noticed the top of the case also vibrates/resonates making additional sound. If you find a solution I would be most appreciative if you could post. I have been informed that latest dell/apple xserve are pretty awful as well. IBM is reported to be quieter. We will go back to building our own based on intel serverboards/4u oem rackcases in future, if this is how the new rack products are going.

i got our reseller to send the technical manager out and he reassured that the sound was typical for that model. If you have a good relationship with HP i would recommend to get somebody to visit and demonstrate correct operation of the unit and fan control software. Or otherwise get a refund if it is not acceptable to you.

it is unlikely for HP to spec out different fans on future models because these units are designed for installation in a full rack cabinet so max cooling. Noise doesnt seem to be an issue for most admins from what I have seen on the forums. I guess we are the few. A bios upgrade/software upgrade would be more likely but chances are slim.

you can check a thread I made on dslreports, there were a few interesting comments but not useful. dont bother resurrecting that old thread though.

http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/remark,12230890~mode=flat

I am going to go back to installing that unit soon because i have been majorly sidetracked. i will report here if i find something.

Hope you have success, stay in touch.
David Claypool
Honored Contributor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

There are ProLiant Support Packs for NetWare, Windows and Linux. All have the aforementioned "health driver." The health driver communicates with the ProLiant Advanced Systems Management Controller to control a number of aspects including the fans.

http://www.hp.com/go/swupdate and fill in your model and OS version.

There should be a noticeable difference in speed and sound of the fans from bootup (fastest) to when the OS loads the health driver and the fans will resort to a nominal fan speed if environmental conditions are appropriate.

Interestingly, while HP publishes acoustic measures for all ProLiants in the QuickSpecs, our major competitors do not. For reference, the DL380G4 Acoustic Noise figures are:

Idle Minimum (Fixed Disk Drives Spinning)
L WAd (BELS) 7.4
L pAm (dBA) 58
Operating Minimum (Random Seeks to Fixed Disks)
L WAd (BELS) 7.4
L pAm (dBA) 58

That's not that much of a jump compared to the G3:

Idle Minimum (Fixed Disk Drives Spinning)
L WAd (BELS) 7.2
L pAm (dBA) 56
Operating Minimum (Random Seeks to Fixed Disks)
L WAd (BELS) 7.3
L pAm (dBA) 57

...which is pretty remarkable because the amount of heat being generated has grown enormously:

Thermal Design Power:
-----------------------------------
1.0GHz Xeon - 29W
1.4GHz Xeon - 56W
2.0GHz Xeon - 77W (130nm)
2.0GHz Xeon - 58W (90nm)
2.4GHz Xeon - 65W
2.8GHz Xeon - 74W
3.0GHz Xeon - 85W
3.2GHz Xeon - 92W
3.6GHz Xeon - 103W

In other words, the DL380 G4 isn't loud because of bad design, rather it's good design; we're moving a significantly larger volume of air to meet the processor's needs to be cool. There are some laws of physics that are hard to break. Fan technology is pretty rudimentary - in other words, no one has a solution that is better than ours (as long as we're talking about air cooling and not water cooling). If you find a system with the same spec (2U, 3.6GHz) and you think it sounds quieter, I would have to be suspect of the system's ability to keep the processor cool -- with the result of a drastically shortened life cycle.

(Hope I don't slip as I get down off this soapbox...)


Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

David, thanks for your extensive reply. I do appreciate the cooling requirements and apart from the noise the unit is of fantastic design.

we are in the same position as Jace, the fan speed remains constant through bootup and health driver loading. i can see the health drivers are working because i did not plug in the second psu and the health drivers reported a psu fail.

Are you sure that the G4 series has the same function as the G3. I was indicated that the G4 server probably starts up with normal fan speed and then when the health drivers are loaded the fan speed remains normal. Whereas the G3 starts up with max fan speed and then goes to normal when the health drivers load.
Jace_2
Occasional Visitor
Solution

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

William,

I believe this is the case with the G4. Our service technician came out to confirm that the fan noise was normal and explained to us that the fans are on normal speed from boot up. He then removed one fan forcing the fans to run "high" demonstrating the different speeds.

We are now returning our DL and are looking into an ML series server which we have been told runs quieter. The DL would have been fine for our server room but as this particular server will be in a rack in an open environment we need something a little bit quieter.

Thank you everyone for your help.

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Thanks Jace. I think you would like the ML370. Tell us about the difference in sound when you get the new server and then i guess the thread should be closed.
Goldyfarbs
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

I have read this thread and have loaded the latest support back as well.

I even tried removing the fan to see if it kicks into high gear. and apparently they are on high already

what am I missing?

William_197
Occasional Visitor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

i think you would realise the difference between normal and high which sounds like the unit might take off.....i have heard that once during some installation of drivers. it is certainly very much higher than the default bios controlled normal setting.

we did not find solution for this issue and installed it in a rack away from humans....it is a very good server and i appreciate that the chipset and procs are hot. nevertheless the cooling solution is excessive. if you check the photos here http://www.yachtmati.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61
if you scroll down you will see our server which is maintaining the coolest temperature which we have ever seen in a rack, with single proc but all fans populated.

its very nice but not quiet. i understand the G5 are much quieter and this problem is no longer an issue.
Goldyfarbs
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Thanks for the reply.

The fans are the same speed as when the server is turned on. When I pulled two fans, there was no difference. Same speed. That is why I think I am missing something

I hear people talk about the CPQHEALTH driver, and how that might help throttle the fan control. But I have all of the support back installed and I don't see that.

Also, my system homepage is timing out on me which is bothering the heck out of me
Storage-Manager
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

Hi,

CPQHEALTH is part of the HP Insight Management Agents. You can find them here:

http://h18007.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/index.html

Only when the HP Health Driver is loaded the fans will reduce speed when no overheating condition exists.

You need to configure SNMP on your server (read/write communities) to avoid the System Management Homepage timeout.

If the timeout still persists try to stop the System Management Homepage service and the Version Control Agent. Then start SMH service. Timeout should not occur anymore.




Goldyfarbs
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 G4 fan noise

What's wierd is I loaded all the agents, and fixed the time out issue by uninstall the Insight agents and the uninstalling SNMP and reinstallting SNMp and then reinstallting the insight agents.

I don't see cpqhealth anywhere,but I have all the agents loaded and the reporting in insight manager says the fans are "NORMAL", but they seem like they are really loud and running high.

Perhaps I am missing something.. How can I check to see if CPQhealth driver is installed?