HP ProLiant MicroServer owners' thread

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by ahmhardforumahm, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Here goes with a thread for anyone who's picked up one of HP's new tiny servers.

    [​IMG]

    Some links

    HP links:
    - http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/sm/WF05a/15351-15351-4237916-4237917-4237917-4248009.html
    - http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c02503517
    - http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13716_na/13716_na.html
    I've not bothered taking pictures cos I found these links:
    - http://www.tenniswood.co.uk/technology/review-hp-microserver-for-windows-home-server/
    - http://blog.livedoor.jp/pasocompass/archives/51728909.html
    - http://blog.livedoor.jp/pasocompass/archives/51729497.html

    The outer casing is all plastic, except for the front door and the rear panel, which are both perforated for airflow.

    Hardware, expansions and upgrades

    The case is small, so you have to pull out the motherboard to work on it - which is fiddly, mainly because you have to unplug almost every cable from it before it will slide out far enough.

    The box comes with 1GB RAM, a single DDR3 stick, leaving the other slot free. So far, I have added a further 4GB stick, and it seems quite happy with both installed, so, 5GB RAM for now. The Kingston part no. for the 4GB stick is KVR1333D3E9S/4G.

    HP ship it with a single 160GB SATA drive. Mine arrived with a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3160318AS (7200 rpm 8MB cache) drive, with an HP-specific firmware version. All the drive caddies, screws and even a tool, are provided, for ease of adding more disks. If you look on the back (inside) of the front door, everything is stored there. You can see the group of four screws for the optical drive, a small torx key, and a row of HDD mounting screws across the bottom edge. Nice.

    With 5GB RAM, and three disks installed (Seagate ST3160318AS 160GB 7200 rpm and 2 x Samsung HD154UI 1.5TB 5400 rpm), the server is using about 30W. Disks were all spinning, but nothing much happening on the box.

    OS support
    I have installed CentOS 5.5 x86_64. Bit of a faff, will expand later.
    Also tried a FreeBSD 8.1 live CD (actually sub.mesa's ZFSguru 0.1.7 preview ISO) and to my surprise, the NIC seems to have been picked up OK.
    Tried FreeNAS 0.7.2 - FreeNAS-amd64-LiveCD-0.7.2.5462.iso - i.e. the latest (as at 25/10/2010) FreeNAS build based on FreeBSD 7.3. Disks and NIC picked up OK.
    As detailed in a later post, NexentaStor Community Edition 3.0.3 installs and sees the SATA controller and NIC fine.
    More to add here....

    Other stuff

    ... will be added soon. Please feel free to ask any questions.

    cheers Andy
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  2. poloser

    poloser n00bie

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    This tiny server look interesting.
    Can you try Nexenta/Nexentastor or Opensolaris b134/OpenIndiana?
    Hardware support and processor power for ZFS is the question.
     
  3. Eiktyrner

    Eiktyrner n00bie

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    I was thinking about getting this one, add an ARC 1680 or 1880 card and 4 x 2TB drives + 1 OS drive in the 5.25. Looks like a nice little file server that can handle 6TB in Raid 5.

    Just have to find good drives and the controller card.
     
  4. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    13,810
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    I do not see the point of getting this for a file server. I mean the case is way too small so you will most likely have to replace it. The price in not great compared to buying the parts separately. But I guess you get a copy of WHS and some would like that. Although a copy of WHS is not useful for *nix installs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  5. danman

    danman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    I use it as a backup of my file server. I turn it on every other week and copy files over. It's a quiet little box and is pretty easy to take apart.
     
  6. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Hi.

    I don't think would work. The drives, in caddies, plug straight into some kind of backplane, so I don't see how you could cable them up to an add-in SAS card instead. Maybe the backplane has some standard cable coming off it, don't know.

    Andy
     
  7. danman

    danman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Its an SFF8087 forward breakout cable (I think it breaks out). Its a single 8087 connection on the MB.
     
  8. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Each to their own, I guess. I was looking for something to hold 4 or 5 drives (tick!), that I could install my choice of OS on, instead of a ready-made NAS (tick!), but not a full size, noisy, power-hungry PC case (tick!). Was looking at the Tranquil PC BBS2, but then this came along. Perfect!

    BTW this server comes with no OS, (by default at least) so perhaps it's one of the other HP NAS products you were referring to?

    cheers Andy
     
  9. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    I've never heard of the stuff Danman's talking about, so I reckon, if you need to know about that, listen to him, not me...! :)
     
  10. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Hi. Tried NexentaStor CE and it seems to go on fine. See here - http://www.portmacc.plus.com/NexentaStor-on-ProLiant-MicroServer.jpg - for a screen shot of the Log window during the install. I was able to reconfigure the network settings fine after rebooting, and point a browser at the UI. Here's what it looks like with two disks - http://www.portmacc.plus.com/NexentaStor-disks-in-UI.png . So looks like h/w support is there. Can't really comment on the processor power.

    Anything else you wanna know before I blow it away? :) Nice UI, BTW.

    Andy
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  11. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    13,810
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    I think I was thinking of a similar looking product that had WHS installed. Sorry.
     
  12. sybreeder

    sybreeder Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    How about classic non-ECC memory running on hp microserver ? It will work if i take out that 1gb DDR3 ECC that is inserted already and put for example 2x2gb ddr3 non-ECC ?
     
  13. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Hi. That I can't try, I'm afraid - I have no non-ECC DDR3 memory to put in it. The ECC memory I bought didn't seem too pricey, but then if you already have a load of non-ECC, you might want to use that, I guess. For me, ECC support was another plus point anyway.

    Andy
     
  14. poloser

    poloser n00bie

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Thank you for trying. You results about h/w support looks promising.
    Now my concern is CPU power for raid-z calculation. Does it capable saturate Gigabit Ethernet with 4-disk raid-z pool?

    I found this http://d.hatena.ne.jp/pekeq/20101020/p1
    Looks like microserver can do 200/100 MB/s read/write on 4-disk raid-z2 pool.

    Another question about memory. CPU/mobo support dual memory mode?
    How much performance i loose if i buy one 4Gb module (like you) instead of two?
     
  15. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Another one I can't answer. :) I have only two disks to be used for data - both Samsung 1.5TB Eco 5400rpm models - not exactly built for top speed. Also my home network is 100Mb/s for now.

    The server's User Guide doc ( http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c02477794/c02477794.pdf ) mentions that dual channel is supported, but it looks to me (and good ol' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual-channel_architecture ) that you would need a pair of identically-sized DIMMs for it to be active. In fact I think I'll buy another 4GB myself now... :)

    Andy
     
  16. echt_weg

    echt_weg n00bie

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    we've got the first n36l as a backup-esx host at out customer. it's working damn well with vmware esx4i (boot from usb) except for the "fake-raid" controller (esx only detects single drives).


    The cpu seems to be good enough for a very fast nas-filer, too. I created an openfiler sw raid 5 over 5 hdds (yes, theres another sata slot on the board that you can use - and of course there's enough space for another hdd in den 5,25" slot.



    Today i ordered a N36L + KVR1333D3E9S/4G + 2 F4EG ECOGREEN 2TB drives + LSI SAS3041E (used) for my home lab. Will post some benchmarks when i got it.
     
  17. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Just tried latest FreeNAS x86_64 build. This also saw the disks and NIC fine. Added to the list above. Also noted server power usage.
     
  18. poloser

    poloser n00bie

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Finally i made decision and order this baby :)
     
  19. netsigi

    netsigi n00bie

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Hi,
    I have the exact same discs and only 1Gig memory (8 ordered and delayed) Newest BIOS. But I can not install/boot any flavor of FreeBSD based OS. It fails in a very early stage and reboots automatically. CentOS and Fedora works fine. Tried memstick and DVD/SATA. For the Moment I suspect the amount of Memory, because i think there are no other options. Not even a defect because the RedHat based stuff runs flawlessly..

    Beat
     
  20. Grimham

    Grimham [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,321
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    I've been looking at this rig and can't decide if it will fill my needs. First thing - is this box quiet? And when I say quiet, I mean SILENT. Obviously you'll hear some HDD activity, but other than that I don't want to hear a thing when the drives spin down. Has anyone put WHS on one of these and can you tell me how it performs? Basically I want to use this box for streaming and backups, but like I said, I need to know more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  21. danman

    danman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Yeah, it's quiet.
     
  22. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    The big fan at the back is not silent, in mine anyway. I can't really be more exact about the noise than that, but it ain't silent.

    I doubt you'll find a fan that is silent, unless it's moving so slowly it's not doing any good. (Someone will disagree... ;) )

    Andy
     
  23. dropadrop

    dropadrop Gawd

    Messages:
    560
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Unfortunately MikeC from spcr did not consider it to be very silent. Actually I think the problem was some smaller fan (maybe psu), not the big one that can be easily replaced. He was talking about a high pitch whine.

    I'm pretty tempted by this, was already close to ordering a Synology today, but I think this could be better.

    edit: http://www.silentpcreview.com/forum...sid=69ad79b0ec32b6b5833057923eb32dbd&start=30
     
  24. danman

    danman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    hmm, maybe his was defective. No whine from mine.
     
  25. Grimham

    Grimham [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,321
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    OK, I'm about ready to take the plunge on this and replace my other box running Server 2003. Couple questions first though - HP's support on this has a lot to be desired.

    1. I plan on getting four 2TB Samsung drives -these. The server does support RAID 1 across a total of four drives in the drive bays? I can get by with 4TB I'm sure. And I should be able to yank 2 of the drives out and get my data if the server (not drives of course) dies?

    2. I plan on using the 160GB drive that comes with it as my boot drive and mounting it in the 5.25 slot. This leaves me without an optical drive (I don't care, once it's set up I'd never use it), but to the point - this does support a USB optical drive for OS installation?

    Oh, and just for good measure, here's the ram I plan on getting - here.
     
  26. danman

    danman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    1. No idea. It's AMD RAID which I've never used. If you are using Windows Server just use dynamic disks, they are plug and play into any board or OS install.

    2. Yes, I have a 2.5" laptop drive I use as my OS and have installed the OS via USB DVD many times.
     
  27. dropadrop

    dropadrop Gawd

    Messages:
    560
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    I would imagine he's just very sensitive to noise. I do trust his judgment, he's quite involved with the silent side of computing.

    Then again, that was not a review from him, just a statement. I have to admit I find it hard to believe the 40mm fan would be inaudible.

    edit: reading his comment again, the whining sound he complained of was coming from the hard drive. He also mentioned now that he'll be doing a review in the near future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  28. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    I'd agree there, no whine here either, just low-pitched noise of airflow from the large fan. There is a vent in the PSU component, but I've not heard noise from that.
     
  29. xerces8

    xerces8 n00bie

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    The CPU does not look very performant.
    Did anyone do (and publish) any benchmarks (sorry if they were posted and I overlooked them).
    Did anyone try to overclock it?

    Another thing: The HP docs say the SATA ports are not hot-plug capable, while the AMD chipset documentation claims it is hot-plug capable. Can someone comment on this?

    Regards,
    David (a future onwer, 99%...)
     
  30. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Hi. I certainly found when I was booted off a Live USB like partedmagic, I could pull out a drive, and it would disappear from the gnome device mounting gadget that Partedmagic runs. Then I could plug it in again and it would reappear. I guess that makes it hot-plug? Maybe if you've actually got (say) a h/w RAID 1 volume configured, it won't let you pull a failed drive, or perhaps more importantly, plug in a new one, and add it to the array? Dunno.

    More testing to do - let me know if there's anything you want me to try.

    Re overclocking - since that requires a nice tweakable BIOS (doesn't it?), you'd be out of luck there. In any case, there's no CPU fan, so the last thing you want to do is make it run hotter.

    Andy
     
  31. fibroptikl

    fibroptikl [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,343
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2000
    NewEgg had these for $280 the other day - I was gonna grab one but I didn't. They're back up to $319 now.
     
  32. alatar

    alatar n00bie

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    I want to order this server to myself. Just wanted to ask, if I can install original SATA drives there (HP specs requires LFF SATA - some sort of SATA with their own firmware?).
     
  33. fibroptikl

    fibroptikl [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,343
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2000
    LFF is Low Form Factor - which is your normal 3.5 drive.
     
  34. alatar

    alatar n00bie

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    10x!
     
  35. ahmhardforumahm

    ahmhardforumahm n00bie

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    LFF and SFF are what HP calls 3.5" and 2.5" drives respectively. L for large, S for small. I bought a couple of regular SATA drives - 2 x HD154UI - and they fit and work fine.

    hth Andy
     
  36. xerces8

    xerces8 n00bie

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    How is the boot time?
    I mean the time from power on to boot sector execution (boot menu etc).
     
  37. Cliff Couser

    Cliff Couser [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,807
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    how many SATA ports are available?

    possible to install 4x 3.5" HDs on the cage and another one in the 5.25" bay?
     
  38. funstuie

    funstuie n00bie

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    has anyone tried WHS on this? How does it perform?
     
  39. cafcwest

    cafcwest [H]Lite

    Messages:
    79
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    In the NewEgg reviews, some says they installed WHS, but had to set the drives to ATA in the BIOS, for lack of driver.
     
  40. danman

    danman [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Yes. 4 on the port multiplier and 1 with a discrete SATA connection for the optical.