Hardware

HP BIOS settings

Over the last years I’ve see the same mistake repeated over and over again, to some extend it looks like a complete denial, and even though there have been multiple consultants looking at different performance related issues none of them had questioned whether the servers and their BIOS them self have been setup correctly. More often then not what I’ve seen is that the customer had made no effort to change any BIOS setup, sort of relying on the manufacturer some how knowing what the customer has planned to install on the server.

 

So hopefully the below will help correct this problem, at least on HP blade servers which seems very popular in the datacenters I’ve seen the problem

UPDATE (Added graphs):

So what can you expect if you apply the settings below

CPU Wait
CPU Ready
CPU Contention
CPU Latency

 

HP BL465c (AMD based)

In BIOS change the following settings as needed

UPDATE: As Dave points out in the comments below, its important to choose the power profile first, as it will change a lot of setting, if you do it last. Thanks Dave for pointing this out.

SettingReason
No-Execute page-ProtectionSystem Options -> Processor Options -> No-Execute page-Protection -> EnabledEnable No-Execute page-Protection in order for EVC to support the CPU.VMware KB: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003212
AMD V (AMD Virtualization)System Options -> Processor Options -> AMD V (AMD Virtualization) -> EnabledEnable AMD V in order for EVC to support the CPU.VMware KB: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003212
Maximum PerformancePower Management Options -> HP Power Profile -> Maximum PerformanceThis setting disables power saving settings the can cause poor performance, fx. High cpu-ready times.VMware KB:  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1018206
OS Control ModePower Management Options -> HP Power Regulator -> OS Control ModeThis setting insures that VMware has control over power management settings.This setting is recommended by VMware and HP, and makes it possible to change the power management setting via the vSphere clientVMware KB:  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1018206
Memory InterleavingPower Management Options -> HP Power Regulator -> Advanced Power Management Options -> Memory Interleaving -> No InterleavingIt is recommended to disable memory interleaving, in order for ESXi to detected the server as NUMAVMware KB: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1570
Virtual Install DiskAdvanced Options -> Advanced System ROM Options -> Virtual Install Disk – DisabledThis feature is not supported by VMware and will generate errors in the ESXi log.I recommend you disabled this feature.
Date & timeData and time -> Set the date and timeThis insures correct timestamps
ASR StatusServer Availability -> ASR Status -> DisabledIn case of a software error, ASR can reboot the host. But that might not be desired! Think of it this way, would you like a host that fails for any given reason to just enter into production again after a mere reboot? And what stops it from failing that again? Letting it fail buys you time to analyze why it fail and how to fix it, without having to think about unexpected reboots.I recommend you disabled this feature.VMware KB: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010842
Thermal ShutdownServer Availability -> Thermal Shutdown -> EnabledI case the host is overheating it will shut down – Hopefully not damaging the hardware it self.I recommend you enabled this feature.
Wake-on LanServer Availability -> Wake-on Lan -> EnabledWant to use DPM, this feature enables you to wake the host up from shut down or standby state.

 

HP BL460c (Intel based)

SettingReason
Maximum PerformancePower Management Options -> HP Power Profile -> Maximum PerformanceThis setting disables power saving settings the can cause poor performance, fx. High cpu-ready times.VMware KB:  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1018206
OS Control ModePower Management Options -> HP Power Regulator -> OS Control ModeThis setting insures that VMware has control over power management settings.This setting is recommended by VMware and HP, and makes it possible to change the power management setting via the vSphere clientVMware KB:  http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1018206
Virtual Install DiskAdvanced Options -> Advanced System ROM Options -> Virtual Install Disk – DisabledThis feature is not supported by VMware and will generate errors in the ESXi log.I recommend you disabled this feature.
Date & timeData and time -> Set the date and timeThis insures correct timestamps
ASR StatusServer Availability -> ASR Status -> DisabledIn case of a software error, ASR can reboot the host. But that might not be desired! Think of it this way, would you like a host that fails for any given reason to just enter into production again after a mere reboot? And what stops it from failing that again? Letting it fail buys you time to analyze why it fail and how to fix it, without having to think about unexpected reboots.I recommend you disabled this feature.VMware KB: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010842
Thermal ShutdownServer Availability -> Thermal Shutdown -> EnabledI case the host is overheating it will shut down – Hopefully not damaging the hardware it self.I recommend you enabled this feature.
Wake-on LanServer Availability -> Wake-on Lan -> EnabledWant to use DPM, this feature enables you to wake the host up from shut down or standby state.
SR-IOVAdvanced Options -> SR-IOV -> EnabledEnables SR-IOV support in ESXi

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “HP BIOS settings

  1. Worth adding… on the bl465 particularly, although it applies to both, change the power profile first before changing the memory interleaving option (or anything else you want to change in the advanced page). Setting the power profile will overwrite anything you specify manually. What you actually want is a ‘custom’ profile based on ‘high performance’.

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