Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Home lab upgrade: HP ML110 G7

My home vSphere infrastructure has, until very recently, consisted of:
  • 2 x HP Microserver N36L
  • 1 x HP ML110 G5
  • 1 x HP ML115 G5
The Microservers run my domain controllers, DNS servers, Nexenta NAS/SAN VMs and vCenter Server, vMA etc., leaving the ML servers to run any test servers I needed.

Unfortunately, the ML115 G5 PSU died recently, leaving me with a single server. While looking at the options (the PSU was really expensive to replace!), I came across the ML110 G7 cash back offer (£150!). Having counted the pennies and done some reading up, I ordered two of these to replace the existing ML servers. I replaced the included 2GB DIMM with 4x4GB DIMMs. (side question: what do people do with the 1GB and 2GB DIMMs that come with servers that we immediately replace with something bigger???).

This arrived today:

The inside of the ML110 G7 is pretty clean and fitting the extra RAM was very straightforward:

The G7 is roughly the same size as the G5:

And with both of them in place (with the Cisco SG200-26 and Belkin SOHO 4 port KVM on top):

In order to make the ML110 G7 work with VMware ESXi, the BIOS needs to be configured with the correct "C State". I used this very useful blog post to set mine.

I installed ESXi using a USB CD-ROM drive and everything went very smoothly. Added both to vCenter Server, mounted an NFS datastore, setup iSCSI and configured the vSwitch for correct VLAN membership and everything is now ready to go. This upgrade means I'll be in a better position to test vCloud Director, vShield etc.


Matt said...

Very pretty and nice cabling. Do you leave these running all the time? If so any ideas on the power consumption and is that something you consider?

I'm interested in something like this for another purpose.

Gabi said...


This is exactly what I want to setup.

I am torn between two NL40's or two ML110 G7's.

I will be using an SG300-28.

How are you finding the setup? Is everything working ok?

Would be really good to hear from you.

Kind regards,


Gabi said...

Oh, and just wondering how much your RAM set you back?

Researching, it appears that 8GB modules work.



JR said...

Hi Gabi

Thanks for the comments.

The ML110G7 is more powerful than the NL40s (mine are quad core vs the low power dual core in the Microserver). The setup is good, although ESXi does seem to cause one of the fans inside to spin up more than I'd like. Something for me to dig into at some point. I've got a couple of N36L Microservers which are part of the lab as well and run the vCenter Server, my NexentaStor SAN/NAS appliance, Domain Controllers and DNS servers. I keep the Microservers on all the time because they are very quiet and don't use much power, but shutdown the ML110G7's when not using them.

The RAM I got from Ebuyer is Crucial, use the quickfind code: 195155 and came in at £20 for 4GB (so £80 per server).



JR said...

Hi Matt

Thanks for the comment.

I haven't measured the power consumption of the ML110G7 and I don't keep them on all the time. I have two Microservers that are always on, but I believe they only consume about 40W each.


fanatikhamsi said...

Hi Matt,
I'm interesting in something like this on my home. I have a hp ml110 g7.
I wil be using the diagram http://www.gliffy.com/go/publish/image/5292734/L.png
What do you think for my network diagram?
Thank you