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.