Optimizing HP BIOS Settings For VMware vSphere

Achieving best performance on ESXi by HP ProLiant servers needs to change some default configuration on HP RBSU (ROM-Based Setup Utility) or UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface).

Some of the configurations have been mentioned on “Performance Best Practices for. VMware vSphere” but some them not mentioned.

You can change the below configuration to achieve best performance on ESXi:

Setting Default Recommended Reason
No-Execute Page Protection (AMD)System Options -> Processor Options -> No-Execute Page Protection


No-Execute Memory Protection (Intel)

System Options -> Processor Options -> No-Execute Memory Protection


Enabled Enabled It’s recommended by HP and the features protects systems against malicious code and viruses.
Intel Virtualization TechnologySystem Options -> Processor Options -> Intel Virtualization Technology


AMD V (AMD Virtualization)

System Options -> Processor Options -> AMD V (AMD Virtualization)

Enabled Enabled When enabled, a hypervisor supporting this feature can use extra hardware capabilities provided by AMD/Intel.
Intel Hyperthreading OptionsSystem Options -> Processor Options -> Intel Hyperthreading Options Enabled Enabled Intel Hyperthreading Options is a toggle setting that allows Intel Hyperthreading Technology to be enabled or disabled. Intel Hyperthreading delivers two logical processors that can execute multiple tasks simultaneously using the shared hardware resources of a single processor core.
Enhanced Processor Core Disable (Intel Core Select)System Options -> Processor Options -> Enhanced Processor Core Disable (Intel Core Select)


Processor Core Disable (Intel Core Select/AMD Core Select)

System Options -> Processor Options -> Processor Core Disable (Intel Core Select/AMD Core Select)

All All The Enhanced Processor Core Disable option allows you to specify the number of cores to enable per processor socket, in multiples of 2. Unused cores are disabled.
Intel Turbo Boost TechnologySystem Options -> Processor Options -> Intel Turbo Boost Technology


AMD Core Performance Boost

System Options -> Processor Options -> AMD Core Performance Boost

Enabled/Optimized for Performance (G7 Servers) Enabled/Optimized for Performance (G7 Servers) Intel Turbo Boost Technology enables a processor that has available power headroom and is under temperature specification to transition to a higher frequency than the rated speed.If supported by your processor, AMD Core Performance Boost enables the processor to transition

to a higher frequency than the processor`s rated speed if the processor has available power headroom and is within temperature specifications.

Intel VT-dSystem Options -> Processor Options -> Intel VT-d



System Options -> Processor Options -> AMD-Vi (IOMMU)

Enabled Enabled When enabled, a Virtual Machine Manager supporting this feature can use hardware capabilities provided by the Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O. (Passthrough)When enabled, a Virtual Machine Manager supporting this feature can use hardware capabilities provided by the AMD I/O Memory Management Unit (IOMMU).
HP Power RegulatorPower Management Options -> HP Power Regulator HP Dynamic Power Savings Mode OS Control Mode Processors run in the maximum power and performance state, unless theOS enables a power management policy.Reduce CPU ready on virtual machines.
HP Power ProfilePower Management Options -> HP Power Profile


Balanced Power and Performance Custom Provides the opportunity to configure settings for your environment.
Intel QPI Link Power ManagementAdvanced Power Management Options -> Intel QPI Link Power Management Enabled Disabled This feature places the Quick Path Interconnect links into a low power state when the links are not being used. This reduces power usage with minimal performance impact.
Minimum Processor Idle Power Core State (Intel)Advanced Power Management Options -> Minimum Processor Idle Power Core State


Minimum Processor Idle Power Core C6 State (AMD)

Advanced Power Management Options -> Minimum Processor Idle Power Core C6 State

C6 State 



C6 State 



This feature selects the lowest processor idle power state (C-state) supported by the OS. The higher the C-state, the lower the power usage of the idle power state. C6 is the lowest power idle state supported by the processor.
Energy/Performance BiasAdvanced Power Management Options -> Energy/Performance Bias Balanced Performance Maximum Performance Provides the highest performance and lowest latency, but should be used only in environments that are not sensitive to power consumption.
Channel InterleavingAdvanced Power Management Options -> Channel Interleaving

Memory Interleaving

Advanced Power Management Options -> Memory Interleaving

Enabled/Channel Interleaving/

Full Interleaving

Disabled/No Interleaving  
ACPI SLIT PreferencesAdvanced Power Management Options -> ACPI SLIT Preferences Disabled Enabled ACPI SLIT (System Locality Information Table) describes the relative access times between processors, memory subsystems, and I/O subsystems. Operating systems that support SLIT can improve performance by allocating resources and workloads more efficiently.
DIMM Idle Power Saving ModeAdvanced Power Management Options -> DIMM Idle Power Saving Mode

Memory Power Savings Mode

Advanced Power Management Options -> Memory Power Savings Mode

Enabled/Balanced Disabled/Maximum Performance In some applications, this can reduce overall system power consumption, but may also slightly reduce overall memory performance due to the increased latency associated with transitions into and out of idle power saving mode.
ASR StatusServer Availability -> ASR Status Enabled Disabled ASR can reboot server automatically, when it didn’t receive any heartbeat. You can disable it and then you have time to fix your issues on hosts and prevent unplanned downtimes.
Thermal ShutdownServer Availability -> Thermal Shutdown Enabled Enabled It can help you to reduce hardware damage when it’s overheating.
Wake-on LANServer Availability -> Wake-on LAN The default setting varies, depending on the server model. Enabled If you want to use DPM.
Automatic Power-OnServer Availability -> Automatic Power-On Enabled Disabled When power cord attached to your server, the server will be powered on automatically. But this is not good in some cases and can damage your hardware.
Virtual Install DiskAdvanced Options -> Advanced System ROM Options -> Virtual Install Disk Disabled Disabled This feature is not necessary when you have ESXi and it’s not supported by ESXi, so you should disable it.
Power-On LogoAdvanced Options -> Advanced System ROM Options -> Power-On Logo Enabled Disabled If this setting is disabled the monitoring of the boot up process is easier.
Advanced Performance Tuning Options  Leave these settings and keep default values. Any changes will impact on system performance.
SR-IOVAdvanced Options -> SR-IOV Disabled Enabled This option controls Single Root I/O Virtualization. SR-IOV is supported on select operating systems and allows, in some cases, the creation of separate virtual instances of a PCIe device. In certain environments, this may increase virtual machines and hypervisor response times.

Important notes:

  • Some of the settings are available on some servers and may be not available on some others.
  • May be some settings are missed in the table but I have mentioned most important settings. Leave any setting, if the setting is not mentioned.
  • You need to read “HP ROM-Based Setup Utility User Guide” for more information.
  • I can’t guarantee which the settings have no impact on your performance and can’t damage your hardware, so please change them if you are ensure about them.
  • About Power Management Options, if you have no power limit, change those settings, otherwise you should consider power cost and cooling.

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Davoud Teimouri

Professional blogger, vExpert 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021/2022/2023, vExpert NSX, vExpert PRO, vExpert Security, vExpert EUC, VCA, MCITP. This blog is started with simple posts and now, it has large following readers.

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