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HP Microserver with Vmware ESXi 5.5 Power Management


venturis
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With VWWare preparing to drop version 5.5 of Vsphere (ESXi) in the coming week I read with some interest that one of the enhancements in this new version is the improved Host Power Management features that uses additional C-States of the processor to reduce power consumption.

 

Currently my N40L consumes 45Watts of power when idling on ESXi 5.1 with 2 VM's running.

 

Previously when running ESXi 5.0 I recorded the power consumption at a steady 50Watts under the same operating conditions.

 

Without doing any conclusive testing, it appeared that there might have been improvements in ESXi's power management in 5.1 that translated to the reduction of 5 watts of power consumption.

 

I'm interested if anyone has an experience with a developer release of 5.5 that might give some indicators if the power management features might reduce consumptioin even further.

 

I've constantly looked at ways to reduce power usage.  The HDD's all spin down when not in use.  The VMware OS store is located on SSD to improve performance and reduce power usage over a mechanical drive.

 

The only other improvement that I could potentially make would be to drop in a MicroATX PSU but I'm not at the stage where I'm ready to spring for the $150 dollars plus the time I'd spend trying to install.

 

Either way, I'm going to install ESXi 5.5 on my box as soon as it is released.  

 

 

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I can't help wondering how long it would take to pay back the $150 for the new PSU @45 watts. I suspect it would be years, but I don't know what electricity costs in your area.

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Try Hyper-V if you can, it idles much lower on everything I've tested, sometimes 50% less. Boot 2012 on USB and see what happens.

Edited by Magsy
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I was ready to try out Hyper-V as suggested but I found that VM's in Hyper-V do not support USB passthrough.

 

I have a single VM running Windows XP due to a USB device only having WindowsXP drivers.  Its not worth the cost or trouble to replace the device.

 

Looks like I'll stick with ESXi for the time being and see if Version 5.5 provides any further power usage improvements but I'll definitely try to find the time to test Hyper-V.

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Try Hyper-V if you can, it idles much lower on everything I've tested, sometimes 50% less. Boot 2012 on USB and see what happens.

 

My experience is the oposite, Hyper-V takes more Resources on the VMs i run (20+) and it impossible to manage without System Center.

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I'd argue that Hyper-V uses more resources at idle than ESXi. I'd also argue that the buying of a microATX PSU will not bring down power costs a great deal - if at all. I mean the same number of drives will be running, doing the exact same things, with the exact same OS, RAM and CPU setup - why would the form factor of the PSU make a difference to how much it's gulping down?

I might be missing something here but I wouldn't revert to shrinking the form factor of my PSU if I wanted power usage savings..

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The statements about the PSU are correct: getting a smaller PSU won't lower the power draw. Ideally, the PSU should be around double the average power draw of the system.

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The statements about the PSU are correct: getting a smaller PSU won't lower the power draw. Ideally, the PSU should be around double the average power draw of the system.

 

I think you will find, after a quick search on Google, that there are forum postings on a couple of sites were people have replaced the original HP PSU with a MicroATX PSU and significantly lowered the power consumption.

 

Whilst this might seem counterintuative, the reality is that the the switchmode PSU in the microserver are extremely inefficient.  This is a well known fact.  Something in the order of 60%-70% efficient.

 

The microPSU's are on the other hand extremely efficient at 95% or greater.  The effect is that the losses are lowered and hence the total power consumption reduces.

 

People who have done the modification have managed to reduce the total power consumption (for exactly the same operating hardware) by between 20%-40% over the standard HP PSU.

 

In fact, I calculated that based on my current power costs and some conservative efficiency gains, the MicroPSU would pay for itself within 18months by the electricity savings so its not as crazy as it sounds.

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I think you will find, after a quick search on Google, that there are forum postings on a couple of sites were people have replaced the original HP PSU with a MicroATX PSU and significantly lowered the power consumption.

 

Whilst this might seem counterintuative, the reality is that the the switchmode PSU in the microserver are extremely inefficient.  This is a well known fact.  Something in the order of 60%-70% efficient.

 

The microPSU's are on the other hand extremely efficient at 95% or greater.  The effect is that the losses are lowered and hence the total power consumption reduces.

 

People who have done the modification have managed to reduce the total power consumption (for exactly the same operating hardware) by between 20%-40% over the standard HP PSU.

 

In fact, I calculated that based on my current power costs and some conservative efficiency gains, the MicroPSU would pay for itself within 18months by the electricity savings so its not as crazy as it sounds.

That's extraordinary.. I'm a bit shocked that HP would throw such a rubbish PSU in one of their Proliant line of hardware..

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