Quiet please! – Silent fans for the Homelab

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.

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Monitoring HPE Switches with Log Insight

Using Log Insight as Syslog Server for HPE 5000 series Switches

In one of my last posts I’ve shown how to collect and monitor status logs of many different systems wit vRealize Log Insight. In this post I will show how to leverage Log Insight as syslog target for HPE switches.

Basically you can use Log Insight for any system that uses the syslog protocol, but there might be slight differences in the data structure of the transmitted datasets. For example some HPE FlexFabric 5000 series switches sent the year of the timestamp where Log Insight expected to find the hostname. Not very useful, because you want to know WHO sent that dataset.

The following commands on the switch shell will prepare the switch for logging to a remotehost and adjust the dataset to read properly by Log Insight. Finally you tell the switch which VLAN interface should be used to communicate with the loghost. In my simple example it’s VLAN interface 1. You’ll have to adjust values for loghost and interface according to your infrastructure.

info-center enable
info-center loghost s-vlog.mydomain.local port 514
info-center timestamp loghost no-year-date 
info-center loghost source Vlan-interface 1