VMWARE Poweredge 2850 fans loud

I have a poweredge 2850 that runs fine for 40 mins and then the jet engines take off.  I will do this in moderation ever hour.  I have heard it is the bios A07 that does this on purpose if you have a raid card in place.  I am running VMWARE 4ESXi with 2 3.2Xeon processors 8 gigs of ram. I have 2 server 2000's guests running on the host Any configs for this would be great (ram/processor allocation).  The servers themselves are not maxing out ram or cpu at all.  The temps on the VM host show normal.  The fans rev up to 10 or 11K rpm and then back down to 4500. Any help?
bjewell03Asked:
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DavidPresidentCommented:
This system normally runs the front fans at around 5K RPM, the rear around 12K. Then if CPU usage is low, they spin down.  In your case, they probably go back to 5/12K RPM, then quickly crank up to full, a la Concorde.

You can't change this "feature", as it is part of the firmware .. but you can prevent it.  Actually under normal conditions the fans are supposed to step up slowly.  They aren't because you have dirt and grime on the fan blades, or perhaps even blocked airflow in the machine.

SOLUTION:
Get a shopvac or a decent vacuum, suck out the grime and dust, then blow it out.  Get a qtip and clean the fan blades.  It is  that simple.  The fans are not efficient and the computer is impatient, so it goes to full rather than risk thermal shutdown or fire.


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DavidPresidentCommented:
P.S. Use proper grounding procedures, and really do a good job on the fan blades.  A clean fan is a quiet fan.
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
One thing to keep in mind ... it is the ESM/BMC that controls the fans.  If your BIOS is at A07, you should have also updated your ESM/BMC controller to 1.83 to match.  This will ensure that the fans are running as designed.
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Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
2850's are realy loud even when turned off (but plugged in), yours doesn't sound any different.....I ended up getting shot of mine after getting a 2950 which is a lot quiter (but still loud being a server etc)

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bjewell03Author Commented:
Is there a way to see the BMC firmware version with a reboot?  My fans are clear and clean.  It does step up and step down like it is supposed to. I have another 2850 right up under it running server 2003 and it does not do it.  Its not a heat issue. To give a better time frame it happens about every 20 mins.  It is so wierd.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
The only way it can't be a heat issue is if the thermal sensors all died.  If that happened it would always run on highest speed, so unless something bizarre happened recently, then it has to be heat.  CPU core temperatures are a function of CPU overhead, and this is a big factor when it comes to calculating fan speed.

So look at the temperatures it reports, including the CPU temperatures of this box, and your other to compare.

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bjewell03Author Commented:
Well I notice on one of my virtual hosts (SERVER2), I can make the cpu usage go to 100% and the fans will take off like jets.  This server is running SQL for a project management pack we use.  When queries are being requested the cpu usage taps out and the fans will crank up.  So I guess this leads me to whether or not I have this system configured properly.  The guest system is configure for 1 cpu and 2gigs of ram.  
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bjewell03Author Commented:
Excuse me I said virtual host and meant guest....
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DavidPresidentCommented:
So there you go ... confirmation of root cause.  100% CPU usage causes fan noise to increase.  if you can redistribute the load a bit, you may be able to prevent one CPU from hitting the ceiling.
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bjewell03Author Commented:
I am still not certain I have my VM Host configured to allocate my resources properly.  On the host I only have 2 server 2000 machines.  I upped the ram to 4 gig on server2 and gave it 2 processors.  I have 2 gigs on the other server1 as it does not seem to need as much.  This only seem to make matters worse as the fans stayed on at 10k and 12k and never really idled down once the multiprocessor was introduced.  So I put them back to single processors.

If simply terminal service into server2, the fans rev up.  I look at my task manger and the cpu is @ 4-5% sometimes going up as normal.  I know at times my cpu will tack out at 100% but it wont stay there.  It's like any little process make these fans roar.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
No, you have it configured correctly.  If the CPU gets busy, it gets louder.  Adding more RAM postpones the inevitable. This is just a noisy computer.
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bjewell03Author Commented:
I have a feeling dell purposely did this to the fans so everyone would get rid of the old servers and come up with new.  If this how this server is going to function I don't think I can live with the noise.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Been there, done that ... I have some 1U Dell servers that I no longer use just because they were twice as loud as everything else.  rule of thumb .. the smaller the enclosure, the louder the enclosure.  Big enclosures don't have as many thermal issues.
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bjewell03Author Commented:
Ok take a look at this.  I am really having an issue with this.  I think there has to be something else going on with this vm guest to make it do this in a timed manner.  It is just too odd.
Print-Screent.pdf
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DavidPresidentCommented:
That is weird, but at least since it is a regular interval you can figure it out.  use task manager & perfmon to see what is causing the spike.
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bjewell03Author Commented:
Well to update everyone, I have moved my vm's to an PowerEdge 1850 for temp purposes.  The 1850 does not replicate the same issues as the 2850 I am running.  Before I moved my vm's I made sure all bios and BMC updates were done on the 1850.  So I am going to try to see if an update to the BMC on the 2850 is what will cure the problem.  
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bjewell03Author Commented:
I have found my issue with this 2850 server.  I did do all bios and BMC updates but nothing help.  I noticed that the server was fanning up right out of the gate at post.  So I figured I would look inside the unit once more to see if any thing was loose and low and behold, the company that put this unit together did not seat the heat sink down on one of the processors well enough.  I am totally embarrassed to have even posted this.  Thanks to all of you that tried to help.  I do want you to know that the now at least I can go through some of your steps and try to figure these out.  Sorry for the head aches.
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