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Compaq Proliant DL380 G3 Noise

Posted on 2009-04-27
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I've just gained a Compaq Proliant DL380 G3 Server for a small office, and allthough its just what we want, the noise the fans generate is immense!, it sounds like ive just parked up a 747 in the office, and the workers are moaning.  We dont have a spare office or storeroom we can hide it in, and we can't afford the expence of a server cabinet for 1 single server.

I saw in some other posts that with the Compaq Management System (Proliant Support Pack) that should be a way to set the fans to a quieter speed/tone? Is this indeed possible?  I have already removed the 3 'redundant' fans from the system, but this hasnt really affected the noise all that much. Can someone advise on the best course of action
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Question by:tiranathon
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by:
-Q- earned 252 total points
ID: 24242075
Unfortunately the DL380's are built to be a rackmount unit, to be used in a rack, in a server room.

If you think the fans are loud now, try heating the server up (eg warm room), as they get even nosier!

The way they are designed are to suck air from the front and pass them through the unit. HP have a warning that removing fans and baffling will modify airflow and potentially damage the hardware as it won't be able to sufficiently cool itself.

You wont be able to get this server quiet enough to not be annoying in the office, unless you were sitting far enough away from it.  HP's ML series serves are tower based and are much more quiet.
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by:bcoyxp
bcoyxp earned 252 total points
ID: 24242179
Tiranathon,

even though server hardware fan noise can be minimized, you still have to expect noise. Server hardware normally generate more noise than an ordinary desktop (though both can not really be compared when it comes to noise).

for server hardware, it is always recommended to be housed on an isolated room so as to maintain security, temperature (cooling) as well as "noise reduction". since servers are expected to be noisy due to it's mega fans.

even if you acquire a cabinet, you still can experience noise. in fact some cabinets comes with it's own fans.

i hope this gives you an info.

Regards,
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by:victorjones1
victorjones1 earned 249 total points
ID: 24242396
There is no real way to silence the server fans, other than if a 'Quiet Mode' is available in the BIOS, but the fans will still speed up if the system get too hot.  You definitely want to put all the fans back in regardless of the noise.  The excess heat will shorten the life of the system considerably.

Check out the following small rack:

http://www.rackmountsolutions.net/Table_top_Server_Racks.asp

I would get the smallest 1 that will fit your server with the Plexi front door and enough blanks to fill all exposed openings (front & back).  You will still have noise, but this should cut down on it some.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 747 total points
ID: 24243812
You do have to install the Proliant Support Pack for it to quieten down but as others have said it won't get very quiet, in an office environment you'd be better off with a bigger box like a ML 350 or 370, you can still rack these but they have bigger fans which don't need to spin so fast to move the air.

57 dBA according to the quickspecs - http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/11473_div/11473_div.HTML#Technical%20Specifications , ML350 G3 is only 46.5 dBA. (G6 is even quieter, ML370 G6 39dBA)
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by:tiranathon
ID: 24410320
ok having installed the support pack, where would i find options to do the quieting down, no matter how small, i cant seem to find it anywhere!
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 747 total points
ID: 24410540
Have you rebooted since that install? the loudness during power on is the normal loudness, but of course it's pretty dificult to compare if you've only got one of them. You can force the fans to go on full power by removing redundant fans and comparing that volume. There are only two fan speeds, normal and high. I think yours is running at normal.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&objectID=c01214901&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316558 
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by:tiranathon
ID: 24410594
yes ive rebooted many times since then, the server is still in test mode. however i dont see any change in sound.  is there an option? or configuration screen somewhere?
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 747 total points
ID: 24410667
If it's the same noise as when it starts up that's normal. There's no configuration options.

Maybe a heat sensor has failed but these things are very loud as already pointed out.
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by:tiranathon
ID: 24410701
ok thanks for all the help guys... not sure how to award points as there is no solution so perhapes i should split points evenly among those who commented?
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by:tiranathon
ID: 31574923
question unasnwered totally
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