28 Responses

  1. Chris R
    Chris R at |

    Can the eSATA port be used for running external storage for the VMs on something like the Drobo S?

  2. Sparrow Angels
    Sparrow Angels at |

    Thanks for the video.
    N40L seems to be the home box of choice!

  3. Nick Marshall
    Nick Marshall at |

    Hi Chris,

    Great review, I run 2 N36Ls for my lab – great little boxes, cheap, quiet and powerful enough for lab use (perfect for the labguides.com/AutoLab !)

    If you use the external SATA port make sure you have the latest BIOS, there was a bug where it ran slow on a previous version.

    RE: 16GB of RAM – Here are some known working 8Gb Memory Modules:
    ECC modules
    Super Talent DDR3-1333 8GB/512Mx8 ECC Samsung Chip Server Memory – W1333EB8GS
    NON ECC Modules
    Corsair 8GB DDR3 1333MHz XMS3 CMX8GX3M1A1333C9
    GSkill Ares F3-1333C9D-16GAO
    Patriot Gamer2 PGD316G1333ELK

    Nick Marshall

  4. Gabi
    Gabi at |

    I didn’t realise you could bump it up to 16gb !!

    Have any of you compared the NL40 to the ML110 G7?

    I think you are not able to do direct path on the NL40 but you can on the ML110 G7,

    Are there any other limitations?

    I am torn between a couple of NL40’s vs ML110G7 vs beefy desktop running Workstation :)G

  5. Andrey
    Andrey at |

    Thanks for the review Chris, I actually ordered one of these last night. Looking forward to test it out.

  6. Fred
    Fred at |

    I have only a ML110 G6 (Xeon 3430) but it has more CPU power than the N40L and can hold up to 32GB RAM (quickspecs states only 16GB). I have tried to put 2 of the Corsair 8GB DDR3 1333MHz XMS3 CMX8GX3M1A1333C9 into my N40L and 50% of the time it reports 8GB than 16GB than 8GB an so on. Maybe this memory is not 100% compatible with the N40L, but it fits great into my ML110 G6 (24GB) 😉

  7. Gabi
    Gabi at |

    Fred – How do you find your ML110G6 compared to your NL40, even though it’s less powerful on spec wise, do you find the start up of your VM’s (if your HD config is the same) roughly the same or a lot slower?

    Additionally, what is the noise like for both?

    I am torn between getting a couple of the NL40 and the ML110 G6/7, but if I can get away with less, then great.

    Any feedback really appreciated.



  8. Fred
    Fred at |

    I think it’s a little bit slower, cause of the CPU power und CPU contention if you power up a lot of VMs. If you have a N40L with 16GB and VMs which are not CPU intensive than go for the N40L. If you have e.g. XenApp Server or a View environment go for the G6/7. I use the N40L for Infrastructure Service like DC, vCenter, Firewall. For Lab environment I use my ML110 (vCloud, View, Operations). To advantages against the ML110 are the price (204€ vs. 400-500€ without additional network adapter and memory) and the power consumption (35-50W vs. 70-100W). Concerning the noise the N40L is a little bit quieter than the G6/G7, but both of them are not bedroom compatible!! 😉

    Conclusion: If you need computing power go for the ML110 (Xeon CPU or E3 Xeon), if you need a Home Lab where CPU power is not so mandatory than go for the N40L.

    I hope I have helped you. If you have any further question, don’t hesitate to contact me.


    1. Steve
      Steve at |

      I also am having issues re the CMX8GX3M1A1333C9 8GB sticks. 50% of the time (and randomly it seems) it is showing as 8gb in the BIOS while at other startups its showing as 16gb.

      No matter how the BIOS sees the RAM 16gb is seen in Windows Server 2012 however 8GB in hardware reserved. I have checked msconfig and settings are correct here. Anyone else got any pointers?

      1. Gabi
        Gabi at |


        How are you getting on with your RAM, did you end up buying something else?



  9. Virtualized Brain (vBrain) » HP Microserver N40L Home Lab Server / ML110 G6/7 Comparision

    […] Wahl had posted a great video preview about the HP Microserver N40L on his […]

  10. Steve
    Steve at |

    I managed to swap one stick of my RAM with a friend for a different brand of 8GB RAM.
    Now i’m using two unmatched sticks of 8GB Non-EEC RAM and it is working perfectly.

    My finding and recent posts on other websites allow me to believe that 2X CMX8GX3M1A1333C9 8GB. Work together inconsistantly and i would not bother buying them and look elsewhere first.

    1. Fred
      Fred at |

      Hi Steve,

      which brand is the second 8GB stick?


  11. Rich
    Rich at |

    I have the n360L, only goes to 8gb. It’s a good product, really wish to move to a ML360, get more memory and iLO management

  12. Muhammad Panji
    Muhammad Panji at |

    Thinking about builing a homelab since 2010 but have no money to build one yet 🙂

    Anyone have experience using Shuttle XPC? I see some people use Shuttle XPC for their home lab, some series support up to 32GB RAM, if with similar barebone price I think I’ll choose Shuttle.

    Beside HP MicroServer are there any good micro / small server that is affordable and support large amount of RAM Chris? another brand maybe? Thanks

  13. Shaun
    Shaun at |

    I have a N40L at home, but I’m not running ESXi on it. I’m wondering if re-purposing it and my “new” Atom based system to an ESXi cluster/NFS host would be a decent idea (currently my N40L runs Xubuntu + Amahi 6.2 and the Atom runs PBX in a Flash). Is Openfiler or FreeNAS a better choice to present NFS Exports to ESXi?

  14. Welcome to vSphere-land! » Home Lab Links

    […] (Wahl Network) Efficient Virtual Networking Designs for vSphere Home Lab Servers (Wahl Network) The HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L – VMware Home Lab Review [Video] (Wahl Network) SuperMicro Advanced Features for Home Lab Servers [Video] (Wahl Network) New Super […]

  15. Ctny
    Ctny at |

    Hi, I am looking to run a Windows file server and a Linux file server on N40L. Can someone take a look at my questions?

    My plan is to boot up ESXi on a USB drive, run the 2 VMs by adding a HD where the CDROM sits, then use 2 of the swappable slots for Windows storage and 2 slots of Linux storage. Is this plan doable?

    Can I use an SSD for the HD that will host the VM OSs? Is ESXi trim enabled? Is a 60GB SSD big enough for 2 vanilla OS’s?

    I also plan to copy files back and forth between the 2 OSs, like 10GB at a time. Without direct i/o, will this operation be really slow?


  16. bram
    bram at |

    Only up to 800Mhz memory modules are supported by the AMD processor, unbuffered, ECC.

  17. alun
    alun at |


    Just got a pair of HP micro servers and 2 x 8GB CMX8GX3M1A1333C9 sticks.

    Agree with other comments and having issues as it did not see the first stick and only see 8 GB when two sticks are in place.

    Noted above comments and the other 8GB options and the ability to mix the CMX8GX3M1A1333C9 with other 8 GB sticks.

    Any comments tips and recommendations would be appreciated.


  18. Three Reasons To Have A Management Cluster For Your vSphere Home Lab via @ChrisWahl | Wahl Network

    […] happen to use an HP N40L Microserver for my management cluster (here’s how to stick 16 GB of RAM in it), which makes it a […]

  19. mark
    mark at |


    I’m hung up on something simple, and hope you can un-block my memory issue. I’m thinking of using the HP proliant box as my mgmt server, instead of a higher end workstation – running view with servers installed in it. My questions after reading some of the posts are as follows –

    1. If I use HP, w/o a windows/view install – how do i install and configure this? I understand that you can plug-in a usb device, and install esx onto the existing or larger hard drive but if you do this, then where do you install the mgmt workstations/ad-boxes, etc?
    2. In one of the posts, someone mentioned booting off of the usb stick. If this is done, does this mean that vmware is loading/running on the usb stick and the internal drive is used as the ‘raw’ storage into which the vm’s are loaded?
    3. if this is done, and pardon the ignorance – is there anything special that needs to be done whenever you create the usb-vmware installation software?

    confused, but still a happy person .. 🙂



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