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DL380 variable fan speed

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martin van es
Occasional Advisor

DL380 variable fan speed

We have 2 DL380 servers which run perfectly on windows2003. They are in a climate controlled room. So temperature is constantly low.

Beacause of this, there is no need for all 8 fans per server to be working on full power.

Is there a way (utility) to make the vans temperature controlled? so under normal conditions the vans turn a lot slower and thus produce less noise. right now they produce a lot op sound. this is totaly not neccesary.

Hope someone can help
13 REPLIES
NMory
Respected Contributor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

Have you tried loading the latest BIOS on the server?

LN
martin van es
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

yes, i have the latest bios...but...

I found out yesterday, that the fans ARE running on low speed :-S

In each server there are 8 fans. I read somewhere that the minimum amout of fans is 4, so i thought... what would happen when i pull out 4 fans.

So i opened the server and pulled out 4 fans. at first it looked ok, less noise and still more then enough airflow. But i noticed a red light come up in front of the server, and whitin a minute, the remaining 4 fans turned to high speed....!

Wow... i didn't know they can blow so hard... it was like a huricane in there!!

So the problemm is not that the fans not get turned down...beacasue they do...

But now the problemm is, that at the lowest speed, the fans still produce a lot of sound.
And i still don't see any reason why this should be this way.

first of all i think the fans themselves are pretty noisy. Why can they not put in fans that produce less sound? Normal computer fans produce far less sound.

second, i think the fans can be turned down even more. in the current state, the most slow rpm state of the fans, there is still A LOT of air moved thru the server. This is totaly un-necassary in a climate controled room. Why not implement real step-less variable fan-speeds depending on the temperature??

So...still the question remains...

Does anybody know how to get these servers a bit more silent???
RGP
Frequent Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

What is the generation of DL380? is it a DL380 G2/G3/G4?
martin van es
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

They are 2 G4 servers...
RGP
Frequent Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

I guess it is a G3 or G4...

With the Health Driver loaded and Thermal Shutdown enabled in RBSU, the Health Driver performs an orderly shutdown if it detects a cautionary temperature level. If the server detects a critical temperature level before the orderly shutdown occurs, the server performs an immediate shutdown.

Additionally, the Health Driver performs an orderly shutdown if the following minimum requirements are not met: one working fan in the I/O zone, five working fans in the processor zone, and one working fan in the power supply zone.

With the Health Driver loaded and Thermal Shutdown disabled in RBSU, the server performs an immediate shutdown if it detects a critical temperature level.

Without Health Driver loaded, the server performs an immediate shutdown if it detects a critical temperature level.

So.. I am coming at disabling the Thermal Shutdown & unload the Health Driver.. at your risk!!!
martin van es
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

Ok... so it was normal for the server to shut down when i pulled out 4 fans. :-)
It performed a normal shutdown.

Disabling the Termal Shutdown and unloading the Health Driver is not something i would like to do.

If i do this...there is no control over the server temperature... so i guess the fans wil not speed up if the temperature rises.

maybe i think to simple, but :
The fans can be software controlled i guess.

so why is it not possible to write a simple little program that controls the fan speed according to the server temperature?

Programs that can do this for desktop pc's (like speedfan) don't recognise the fan control on the server.
RGP
Frequent Advisor
Solution

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

The ProLiant DL380 G4 features hardware fan control. With earlier fan control versions, the fan ran at 100% speed when the server was started. The fan stayed at 100% speed until the system health driver was installed and took control of the fan. For customers who chose not to install the system health driver, the fan continued to run at 100% speed all the time. In the ProLiant DL380 G4, the system PAL automatically initializes the fan at low speed and a temperature-sensing device begins monitoring conditions inside the server as soon as the server is started. There are temperature-sensing devices in each of three zones; I/O, processor, and power supply. When any of these zones reaches a predefined limit, the fans in that zone are kicked to 100% to ensure proper temperature control in the system. A hand-off of fan control occurs when the system health driver is installed or removed. Once installed, the health driver lets the system PAL know that it is ready to take over and all fan control is handed over to the health driver. If the health driver is uninstalled or turned off, fan control is handed back over to the system PAL. One advantage of using the health driver for fan control instead of the system PAL is that the health driver has the capability to step the fan speed up and down in increments to account for changes in temperature. The System PAL only knows two speeds: low and full.
martin van es
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

ok... that is a good explanation. Thank you.

But then i have a next question....
Can the health driver step down the fans below the "LOW" point of the system PAL?

And how do i check if the health driver is loaded?
RGP
Frequent Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

Hey Martin,

That was good question....

You can not change the fan settings with the Health Driver. It is automatic...

You may check the SMH .. if you find the temparature and fan speeds there.. you can be sure that the health driver is loaded.
I am not sure abt the device manager / services.. :(

In case of Servers its better to let the health driver / hardware controle the temparature and fan speeds because they are "Servers" which run 24*7 - 365 days in a Server Room! Noise is not a major concern but reliability and performance is..unlike Desktops!
martin van es
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

hey RGP (don't know your name),

I will have a look later on to see if i can read the temperature/fan speeds. I think i saw them once a while back. so i guess the health driver is loaded.

I know they are servers, and normaly noise is not realy a big concern on them. We also have them in a seperate room. But the door to the room is in the office, and since it is not a real good isolating door... you can hear the servers in the office.

And i also don't see any reliabillity concerns when turning the fans down more if temperature allows it.

Noice should be taken into concideration more i think in servers. I also worked for a internet company a while.. and when i had to work in the server room for a while, where A LOT of servers were located, i realy get crazy with all the noice.

But... reading your replies, and surfing a bit, i'm beginning to think there is no solution for this problem right now :-S

Also part of the problem i think is the fan quality. they are good quality i guess, but also produce quite some noice...there are fans that produce far less noice. But i guess they can not be replaced with other brands of fans?
And also the airflow is a part of the problem i think. tin the front there is almost no room for the air to be sucked in. so it has to be sucked thru the little openings between the hard drives, and arround the hard drive connecting prints. this causes a lot of turbulence and thus noice.

p.s. excuse me if i make some english spellign mistakes. I'm dutch and my english is not as perfect as i would have liked it to be :-)
RGP
Frequent Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

Hi Martin,
You are right.. it looks like.. we have to live with it for now. HP may think of some sort of software / user control over the fan and temp control in future. Atleast lets hope so. I am sorry.. if I sounded rude..
Rgds,
Roy
martin van es
Occasional Advisor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

ok...

Thanks for your help so far...
and you never sounded rude :-)

see you again on the next problem ;-)

Martin
NMory
Respected Contributor

Re: DL380 variable fan speed

Martin:

I know that the DL360G4 are lowder than the DL380G4, in fcat, DL 380G4 always start in full speed and then they slow their fan speed, til reach and normal sound (not like a huracane). I have seen plenty DL380G4 and they are not that loud. Again the 360s are louder. Have you called HP at some point.

This is what I would do:

1-Make sure I have the latest BIOS.
2-Download and install the latest Proliant Support Pack: the whole thing, including System Management Homepage to monitor the fans.

I am assuming you have Windows 2003:
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/locate/69_5561.html

In that link you can download everything related to your Servers and Windows 2003.

4-Apply all the available firmwares in that link, according to the hardware you have.

If you have done that, you can call HP, to see if they can send an engineer to check your server, and to bring a couple of fans and the fan cage (could be a problem with it).

5-Also make sure to reseat hard enough all the components available.

Regards,

LNassar