Patch build 16324942 for ESXi 7.0 has been released on June 23rd 2020. It will raise ESXi 7.0 GA to ESXi 7.0b. As usual I’m patching my homelab systems ASAP. As all hosts are fully compliant with HCL, I chose a fully automated cluster remediation by vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM).
7.0 GA build 15843807 (before) / 7.0b build 16324942 (after)
During host reboot I realized a temperature warning LED on the chassis. A look into IPMI revealed a critical CPU temperature state. Also the fans responsible for CPU airflow ran at maximum speed.
As you can see, system temperature was moderate and fans usually run at low to medium speed under these conditions. Air intake temperature was 25°C.
My ESXi nodes rebooted with the new build 16324942 and there were no errors in vLCM. But I could hear there’s somethin wrong. A fan running at speed over 8000 RPM will tell you there IS something to look after. Also the boot procedure took much longer than usual.
I quickly shut down the whole cluster in order to avoid a core meltdown.
Servers and switches are built for use in data centers where noise pollution is only a minor issue. The focus is on maximum performance and cooling. In the Homelab, however, things look different. Server rooms in private households are probably the exception and so most homelabs are located somewhere near the desk. A case fan with high speed can be very annoying.
For my vSAN cluster I use a Netgear XS716T 10 Gigabit switch. During system startup the fans rotate at maximum speed and then settle down a bit in normal mode. But even the lower noise level is still annoying.
We need new fans
As part of a handicraft experiment, I tried to get the noise problem under control and bought some Noctua fans which are popular in the homlab scene. The Netgear switch is equipped with two 40 mm fans. These will be replaced by two Noctua NF-A4x20 fans. A simple exchange would be somewhat unsatisfactory, though. There should be at least some kind of quantification (just a science habit).
In the picture below you can see the original fans of the Netgear 10G switch. The 16-port model is equipped with two fans while the 8-port model has just one.
Disclaimer No.1: Before removing the casing cover, the power supply must be disconnected!
Disclaimer No.2: Opening the casing may void your warranty.
The VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. The vExpert program was designed by VMware to reward community members for evangelizing VMware’s products and services. Each year the title vExpert is awarded to people who have contributed to the community in an outstanding way. That can be bloggers, book authors, public speakers, VMUG leaders, VMTN contributors, VCDX and other IT professionals who share their knowledge.
Yes there are benefits (I will come back to that later), but that’s not the point. Being a vExpert is not about what to get, but what you can give. Many vExperts put a lot of their spare time into the community. Preparing a blog post, a VMUG presentation or organizing a VMUG meeting consumes a lot of time. For those community warriors is the vExpert program.
Since I’ve joined the vExpert program I made a lot of friends in the community. I also witnessed a very warm welcome as a newcomer by seasoned vExperts. To name just a few there was Ather Beg from Britain, Andreas Lesslhumer from Austria and Vladan Seget from Reunion Island.