The dead HP ML115 – the plot thickens…

So, I’ve now replaced my dead HP ML115 G5 server with one bought on eBay and built a second one from a combination of parts from my original broken one and another bought for a bargain price on eBay.

Once the second ML115 G5 was built, I just thought I’d try the old “broken” motherboard in this new chassis… and lo and behold, it works!

When I previously investigated the problems with my original server, there was no sign of life when powered up. No motherboard LEDs lit, no fans and no response to the on/off switch. So I tested the HP power supply out of the chassis with a couple of hard drives connected and shorting the connectors for the on/off switch. The PSU fan and hard drives span up suggesting the PSU was OK. I then tried an old, spare non-HP ATX PSU I had lying around and this didn’t seem to work either. So my conclusion was that either the motherboard or the chassis wiring was at fault – with the motherboard being my strong suspicion.

Well now I know that the motherboard is OK. The original motherboard works fine in the original chassis with one of the “new” PSUs. I’ve also just tried again with the spare non-HP ATX PSU and it works! So my investigation and testing of the PSU was woefully inadequate.

I suspect that genuine replacement HP PSUs are going to be prohibitively expensive so I’ll either look for a used one on eBay or look at using a non-HP ATX power supply instead (the only downside of the latter being that the HP PSU is a non-standard size – it’s smaller – and so fitting a standard ATX PSU in the chassis needs some minor modifications for additional mounting holes and also leaves a gap between the PSU and the top of the case).

I’m going to have enough HP ML115 G5 servers before I’m done to start my own mini datacentre!

Unable to SSH from one ESXi host to another – solved

While setting up ESXi 5 on my new HP ML115 G5 server I needed to migrate some guest VMs from another ESXi host I have. I found a couple of online blog posts about how to enable the ESXi shell and SSH services for the two hosts, but I was still unable to ssh from one host to another, repeatedly getting connection timeouts.

I could reliably SSH to both ESXi hosts from other places, just not from the hosts themselves. I also could not SSH to other hosts from either of the ESXi hosts – so this strongly suggested a firewall type issue.

It wasn’t until I checked the Firewall settings in the vSphere client under Configuration -> Security Profile that I realised that SSH Server and SSH Client have separate firewall controls for inbound and outbound SSH connections. The SSH Server option (i.e. for inbound connections) was enabled but not the SSH Client option. As soon as I enabled the client option I was then able to establish SSH client connections from my ESXi hosts.

Replacing my dead HP ML115 G5

Following on from a previous post relating to the death of my HP ML115 G5 server, I’ve been busy on eBay over the last few days looking for a replacement. As a result, I’ve managed to secure not one but two used ML115 G5s.

The first is exactly the same model as my original with the quad core Opteron 1352 CPU albeit having been upgraded to 8GB RAM and with a new 250GB hard drive to replace the original 160GB drive. It’s in very good condition and looks like it’s been well looked after. I managed to get this for £120 as a Best Offer which seems to be a typical sort of price for a good condition ML115 G5. It’s a little more than I wanted to pay but I don’t mind too much given that it has 8GB RAM which would probably cost £30-£40 anyway.

The second was a last minute purchase which was too good an opportunity to miss. It’s a dual core Opteron 1214 model with 1GB RAM and separate video and sound cards and a Hansol LCD monitor which has actually been used as a cheap desktop machine, but I managed to get this all for the princely sum of only £31. What a bargain! The auction for this started with an initial bid of £30 or a Buy It Now of £50. After a couple of email exchanges with the seller to confirm details of the item I was just about to go for the Buy It Now option when someone actually placed a £30 bid and the Buy It Now option disappeared! Bad eBay timing again! However, as it turned out I managed to win the auction in the end with a bid of only £31, so I actually saved myself £19 on what I was prepared to pay. I will most likely replace the dual core CPU in this model with the quad core from my original and may get an extra 4GB RAM to add to my original 4GB so that I end up with two equivalent 8GB models.

So all in all I’m pretty pleased with how things have turned out.

Next step is to get one of the ML115s configured as my main server again. More on this later…