Is HP ProLian DL 380 G5 Compatible with ESXi 5.5?

VMware HCL ListHi,
  I have HP Proliant DL 380 G5 Server with ESXi V4.0. I am going to upgrade it to ESXi V5.5.
  However when I searched HP Proliant DL 380 G5 Server on VMware HCL List, I don't see the exact model. I see DL 380G6 and DL 380 G7 Models as seen in the screenshot.
 
http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php


 Is it OK to upgrade it to V5.5?
LVL 1
sgleeAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If it's not in the LIST, it's not supported by VMware. So you must access the risk of using ESXi 5.5 on that server.

HPs testing either did not bother certifying for testing because your server is OLD, and would rather you purchase a new server with VALID HP Support and Warranty.

OR, they did test and it failed, either CPU, Motherboard, Network Interface, Storage Controller do not meet the specifications for v5.5.

Much has changed in the processors between v4.0 and v5.5.

HOWEVER, this is not to say, that installing ESXi v5.5 on the G5 will not work.

What processors are you using ?

ESXi 5.5 does run on a DL380 G5.

It's not supported by VMware though......so any issues and your on your own!

So you may need to think quite seriously about taking a Production Environment with v4.0, to ESXi 5.5, and it's stability with a very old server.

If this was a Lab, tom play with, for research and development, we would have no issues, BUT Production 24x7x365!

Your risk!
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
VSphere ClientWhat processors are you using ? : Intel Xeon CPU E5420 @ 2.5Ghz
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
The reasons for wanting to upgrade to newer than ESXi 5.1 are:
(1) To install VM Backup Software (NAKIVO)
(2) To be able to install Windows 7 OS. This is NOT a must, but would be nice.
But the daily backup is something I am missing.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I see no reasons you have posted to go to 5.5, compared to 5.1

Nakivo works with 5.1, and Windows 7 can be installed on 5.1.

Again 5.5 works on the DL 380 G5, but not supported by VMware.

How many times, did you call VMware Support last year? because something was not working?
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gheistCommented:
You need firmware upgrade for 5.0 or 5.1
http://h17007.www1.hp.com/us/en/enterprise/servers/products/service_pack/spp/index.aspx?version=2014.06.0
(This is the latest firmware disk to support G5 servers, and the single BIOS version that is valid gor ESXi 5.1 or 5.0)

Sorry, paywall ahead, hopefully you have at least one server under warranty to get past it.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@Andy,
 "I see no reasons you have posted to go to 5.5, compared to 5.1. Nakivo works with 5.1, and Windows 7 can be installed on 5.1."  --> I have no problem upgrading it to V5.1. In fact Nakivo told me that their software will work with ESXi V5.1. I also know, as you pointed out, I can install Windows 7 and Windows 2012.
So as long as it is safer to upgrade V4.0 to V 5.1, I am all for it.

@gheist
"You need firmware upgrade for 5.0 or 5.1" --> Let me read upon that. Have you done this personally? Is there anything that I have to keep in mind?
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@gheist
"NOTICE: Access to the SPP now requires validation via the HP Support Center (HPSC). An active warranty or HP support agreement is required to download it." --> This HP Proliant DL380 G5 is 5 years old and I am 100% sure it is NOT under HP warranty.
I have not delployed ANY recent HP Servers in recent years that would have warranty coverage. I have switched to DELL server ...

Is there anyone out there with active HP warranty and download the file for me?
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gheistCommented:
Your server is old, and only the very latest system firmware is supported by new vmware versions.
*read the point of andy about not making big engineering effort to test old systems....
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gheistCommented:
What you are asking for is illegal. sorry man.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I guess my option is to take the risk and upgrade it to V5.1 or do nothing ...
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gheistCommented:
That way you get no support from vmware.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I found this youtube video and apparently this model is compatible with ESXi V5.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkoHa1DIOWM
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gheistCommented:
Yes, model is compatible, but even you pay vmware you get no support with old firmware.
Normally you get pink screens sometimes,   and with your choices - no help...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I never said the G5 is not compatible v5.x or does not work!

It works, we have many here...but.....

It's not supported by VMware or HP.

You must access the risk yourself, and I asked you a qwuestion

How many times, did you call VMware Support last year? because something was not working?

Do you have a current support contract with VMware ?

What happens if you upgrade your production server, and your host server and VMs start crashing?

If you don't care, and want to offer poor service, go ahead and run the risk and upgrade to 5.5.

Otherwise, STOP, PAUSE, and THINK.....about the risk!

If you are happy with the risk, and believe it's small and worth the benefits.....Upgrade!
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
VM CloningI will somehow get the firmware and apply it on the server. Provided that I am going to upgrade it to ESXi V5.1, let me ask you for your opinion. What would you do in this situation as to disaster recovery plan in concerned?
Other than downloading virtual machine folders using BROWSE DATABSE, what else would you do?

Will this work (please see the screenshot)? In one site that I manage, I purchased VSphere client with license and discovered that CLONE option is available. Since I purchased VSphere essentials yesterday for this site/customer, can I set up V5.5 on new hardware box/host (on a temporary basis) and add the V4 esx host host into Vshpere Client and perform "CLONE" operation on each VM so that it clones on to the new host?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@sglee This is a new question and off topic here, this new question has nothing to do with is ESXi 5.5 comptaible with a DL380 G5.

I believe your question has been answered, please assign points, and create a new question for myself or other experts to answer.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Sure.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Update:
Over the weekend, I upgraded V4.0 to V5.1 successfully.
During the week, I have talked to HP Tech Support. He confirmed that DL380 G5 Server is on V5.1 compatibility list on HP website. So I was more comfortable with proceeding with upgrade.
There were a couple of error messages that stopped the installation.  So I had to change BIOS settings on two separate occasions in BIOS:
(1) Turn on INTEL Visualization Option.
(2) Enable "No Execute Memory Protection".

After these changes, all went smooth.

Thanks for  your help.
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gheistCommented:
Uff ufff... Your old installation ran super slow.
Also in vmware knowledge base you will find that power regulator should be set into static high performance mode, because all other modes work only with windows.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
"power regulator should be set into static high performance mode" --> Thanks for the information. For now since ESXi V5.1 is running without a problem, I will keep it as it is, but  If the performance becomes an issue, I will try that.
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gheistCommented:
It is not about keeping mind, it is about once in lifetime reading vmware performance best practices...
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I got it. Can you help me with the problem that I am having? I could really use help.
ID: 28523555
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28523555.html
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