HP ProLiant MicroServer owners' thread

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

  1. baldmosher

    baldmosher n00b

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    First I've seen of these devices, it looks great on paper but I can't imagine how you would get the same speed of throughput from one of these controllers compared to a direct SATA-SATA connection, given that SATA is by design a point-to-point connection. Also the mobo-device SATA cable must be a limiting factor. Surely there are bandwidth limitations here? If you're looking at SSD drives, one of which will easily max out the bandwidth in the N36L on each SATA connection, you might not perceive any slowdown though. EDIT: SATA is 3Gbit limit, mini-SAS is 10Gbit

    As I understand it, the mini-SAS connection is the only way HP have managed to connect 4 drives to the motherboard with full bandwidth. I would think that splitting the mini-SAS into two sets of four somehow would yield much better results than splitting one SATA into four, but I don't know if that's possible. EDIT: it is possible with e-SATA, see post below this one

    Depends what PCI cards you need in your system of course but these little Microservers aren't designed to take a lot of expansion so you have to accept there are limits to what you can do. If you're seriously looking at paying the cost of 4xSSDs, why not just buy 3 and get another Microserver? :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
  2. howamidifferent

    howamidifferent n00b

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    I have the N36L and have installed a PCIex1 card with two esata connectors.
    This I have attached to an 8 bay esata enclosure. Two connectors from the enclosure to the card.
    The Proliant on boot allows entry into the esata cards bios which correctly lists the 8 drivesin the external enclosure by model number and serial number.

    In the Proliant itself I have the 4 internal bays occupied and have the OS in the ODD bay on the original 250GB disk.

    Problem is after the esta cards bios test I can press F10 to get into the Proliant bios. But here it lists only 12 drives.
    With the result that one of the 8 in the enclosure is not listed and thus is not available to the OS.
    The Proliant bios lists the OS drive, the 4 internal and the first 7 in the enlosure.
    The enclosure drives are all healthy. If I swap their slot locations within the enclosure I can see in the Proliant bios that the movement is seen but it will always only list the first 7 in the enclosure. So it seems the Proliant Bios is locked to see only 12 hard drives.

    Likewise the OS presents only these 12 drives made available through the Proliant bios.

    Is there anyone who can confirm this and more to the point, is there any way of increasing or getting around this 12 drive limit? :confused:
     
  3. baldmosher

    baldmosher n00b

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    Have you tried removing one of the internal drives to see if it's actually the BIOS limited to 12 and not just a limit of 7 on the e-SATA card/enclosure?
     
  4. howamidifferent

    howamidifferent n00b

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    Ok, tried this...You are correct...It seems even if I disconnect all internal 4 drives, the esata card sees and reports 8 drives in its bios but the Proliant only gets to see 7 of them. Doesnt matter what order I put them in, only 7 get passed through to Proliant bios... :confused:
     
  5. baldmosher

    baldmosher n00b

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    So next logical step for troubleshooting is to test the enclosure & eSATA card in a different PC.

    If that PC can only see 7 drives, then RMA the enclosure as faulty/not fit for purpose, or take the hit and just give up one of the 8 drives.

    If that PC sees 8 drives then at least then you know it's a limit with the Microserver PCI bus or BIOS. I couldn't begin to guess what that limit might be or how you might get around it though!
     
  6. Patriot

    Patriot [H]ard|DCer of the Month - March 2011/June 2013/De

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    These known working drives?
     
  7. howamidifferent

    howamidifferent n00b

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    Yes, all bought new together in a box of 10...All pass the WD diagnostic software.
     
  8. mikebuzz

    mikebuzz n00b

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    What is the esata card you are using?
     
  9. howamidifferent

    howamidifferent n00b

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    Its this guy

    Edit: Would this be my problem?

    Two 6.0 Gbps SATA III ports or eSATA III ports on PCI-Express 1X slot
    Install into both standard height or low profile system with included brackets
    Fully compliant with SATA II and SATA 1.0 standard
    Maximum 6Gbits/sec*
    Supports Native Command Queuing (NCQ)
    Compatible with Port Multiplier - support connecting one Port Multiplier only
    2 LED connections for drive activity
    Hot swappable - drive can be removed and added without system shut down or restart **
    Compatible with Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  10. earnolmartin

    earnolmartin Gawd

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    I just bought a ProLiant N40L, and the first time I turned it on, I got the following message:

    Fan Missing! Critical System Error. Shutting down in 15 seconds.

    Any ideas? Both the fan in the back and the PSU fan are spinning and the fans are connected. I tried clearing the CMOS, removing the CMOS Battery, reseating all cable connections, and more. I called HP Technical Support and they offered to send me a new motherboard and fan, or they suggested I get a new replacement from NewEgg. I find it silly that I need to have my stuff sent back just because of a lying message that the fan is missing.

    I can't access the BIOS.
     
  11. Redshirt #24

    Redshirt #24 2[H]4U

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    In general hardware terms that sounds like a major issue if it thinks a fan's missing and it isn't; I'd probably take HP up on that motherboard replacement, but that's me.

    Speaking of the N40L, though: would it be a decent replacement for a MediaSmart EX495 which primarily is used for archival purposes and streaming media? The Twonky installation on that box is twitchy as hell (and attempting to "fix" it only seems to mess it up); I'm thinking of sticking PS3 Media Server or something on an N40L I found locally and moving a couple of my 2TB drives over from the EX495...
     
  12. Callek

    Callek [H]Lite

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    What speeds do you guys get from your arrays?

    I'm currently using a P410i with BBWC and 5 Samsung 1TB 7200rpm drives. I'm curious how it compares to a software array on the Microserver.
     
  13. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Redshirt, PS3 Media server would not be a good idea as everything has to get re-encoded. The puny Neo II AMD chip would not be up to the task. You need a decent Quad to handle 720p/1080p rips and re encode them in real time.
     
  14. baldmosher

    baldmosher n00b

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    I've seen enough people tell me that their Turion N40L re-encodes with PS3MS quite happily, perhaps not the Neo N36L but Redshirt wasn't asking about that.

    (You certainly don't need a quad core for it anyway, a Celeron will do it just about, an i3 no problem -- but encoding two streams would be a different matter entirely.)

    I've seen it quoted that the bus maxes out at about 180Mb/s (i.e. that's regardless of the array used) so that's your target.
     
  15. cantalup

    cantalup Gawd

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    could explain about "the bus maxes out at about 180Mbps"?
     
  16. tkjaer

    tkjaer n00b

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    I get 85MB/s write and 440MB/s read from my raid.

    It's a N40L with 5 Seagate 3TB 7200RPM drives in a linux software raid 6.
     
  17. Trepidati0n

    Trepidati0n [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That mirrors about what I got for the one I built for my friends for writes. Reads i'm not sure because i saturated the gigabit link.
     
  18. Callek

    Callek [H]Lite

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    Pretty decent speeds with the onboard controller.

    I'm running ESXi on mine so it's difficult to compare. But on a virtual XP Pro i get 245MB/s average read and 285MB/s write.

    5 x Samsung F1 1TB, P410i 256MB BBWC.

    A bare metal installation would probably perform better, but the gigabit network is the bottleneck anyway.
     
  19. baldmosher

    baldmosher n00b

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    System bus speed is one potential bottleneck
    Gigabit ethernet is another
    You can only shove so much data down a pipe before it's saturated.

    I suspect the 180Mb/s quote I saw was on the N36L, and I'm sure it was 180MB/s, judging by the above quoted speeds through N40L arrays! B vs b.... Schoolboy error.

    I've not done any testing myself but when I install my SSD I'll be able to do a bit (no array though).
     
  20. disaacks

    disaacks n00b

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    How are you benchmarking your systems? I have a N36L with an HP p410 with 256mb of cache running Drive Bender on WHS 2011.
     
  21. Callek

    Callek [H]Lite

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    I ran HD Tune in a virtual WinXP machine. Give it a go on your WHS, would be nice to see some bare metal benchmarks with the P410.
     
  22. tkjaer

    tkjaer n00b

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    Mine's running Debian, and while tuning my raid I did a very simple test which consisted of this:

    # dd if=/dev/zero of=test.zero bs=1M count=16000
    # sync; echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
    # dd if=test.zero of=/dev/null bs=1M

    You could get a much more precise measurement by using bonnie++ or a similar tool, but the above was fine for my needs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  23. Radi8tor

    Radi8tor n00b

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    Could you tell me the name (or link) of the double 3.5" HDD bracket which fits in 5.25" ODD place?
    It has a rubber anti-vibration element and has two metal parts on both sides which holds the HDDs.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  24. zer0gravity

    zer0gravity Gawd

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    My USB has stopped working, both on-board and via the USB front ports (on boot up, bios, not driver related). Anyone had a similar problem?

    Might have to contact HP, did anyone list an HP connection or number for fast service?

    Thanks!
     
  25. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Zero use there chat service. When my PSU went, it was quick and painless to get a replacement part.
     
  26. Error Number 419

    Error Number 419 n00b

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    I looked through most of the 28 pages so far but have yet to find an answer. Is there any way to mount a 3TB volume in the drive cages?

    So far mine only works when connected to USB, not the SATA backplane.
     
  27. EMM386

    EMM386 n00b

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    A lot of other users (possibly on other forums OCUK, OCAU, AVForums etc) have reported success using 3tb and even 4tb drives on the HP MS backplane. Possibly OS/partitioning problem? What OS are you using?
     
  28. Error Number 419

    Error Number 419 n00b

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    I am running xubuntu. I got it to work eventually. You need to install gdisk and reformat the whole drive as an EFI volume then you can create your desired partition in gparted. I was hoping I could just use it without reformatting but that's not the case.
     
  29. zer0gravity

    zer0gravity Gawd

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    Sadly my warranty was out by 2 mons :( Wish I could get a N40L motherboard for cheap somewhere!
     
  30. Stanza33

    Stanza33 Gawd

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    Some use Nexus double twin's
    Some use NoiseBlocker NB X-SWING << I used this one

    .
     
  31. baldmosher

    baldmosher n00b

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    It depends on your country and purchasing rights, but in the UK the length of the warranty period is nominal and largely irrelevant. Something like USB function (and therefore the motherboard - and therefore the whole unit!) should last much longer than 12 months without failure, and they should repair or replace it without cost to you. Worth at least asking HP anyway - they could argue USB is a peripheral function, and not essential to the core purpose of the Microserver, but in my opinion that would be a weak argument

    On the plus side if you have a spare slot, a USB3 controller card would be cheap enough
     
  32. Radi8tor

    Radi8tor n00b

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    Thank you for your answer!

    Another quick question for NexentaStor users:
    If I install a PCIe USB 3.0 addon card to connect two X-25E 32GB drives via SATA-USB 3.0 connector. Can I install the OS on these SSD drives as mirrored device?
    This is needed because I would like to install 6 HDD in the case plus this 2 SSD for mirrored OS.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  33. utran

    utran n00b

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    I got one at 180$ + TAX total is 194$
    Good for a tiny server, very cute
     
  34. NetCaptive

    NetCaptive n00b

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    Here's another option: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816124048

    I'm looking at this for my Microserver. Was thinking of using it for Freenas and use one of the SSDs for Zil and the other for cache and boot FreeNAS from the internal USB header. That and i've got 5 x 2TB WD Green drives in it.

    Still messing with different OSes, haven't picked one yet.
     
  35. NetCaptive

    NetCaptive n00b

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  36. Radi8tor

    Radi8tor n00b

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    I still prefer not using no-name addon cards. Two USB-SATA converters should be better option. :rolleyes:
     
  37. reimann3

    reimann3 Limp Gawd

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    This was my question. I have 4x3tb Seagate Barracudas that I would like to use. No one has given any kind of indication here if or how well those might work.
     
  38. cantalup

    cantalup Gawd

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    for a storage that should work :D
     
  39. Tozmo

    Tozmo n00b

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    I set up a wikia for the n40l, but can use info on n36l as well. Please add, contribute, rewrite:

    Http://n40l.wikia.com
     
  40. MilhouseVH

    MilhouseVH n00b

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    Edit: Ooops - just realised I posted this to entirely the wrong forum! :) To fill in the blanks - the fan in my N36L PSU began making grinding noises after 15 months so I searched for a replacement. The HP original PSU fan is a T&T 4020HH12S-ND1 (40x40x20mm 12V DC sleeve bearing, 7000RPM, 8.36CFM, 31.9dBA) and I settled on this EBM Papst 412 (6000RPM, 5.9CFM, 18dBA) from Farnell in the UK. The HP PSU fan power connector is a 4mm mini-Molex which is pretty rare so I could either solder the original connector to the Papst and keep the cabling entirely within the PSU casing, or alternatively attach a standard 3-pin fan connector to the Papst and run the cable outside of the PSU to one of the spare Molex power connectors using a 3-pin-to-4-pin adapter (which is what I did).

    The Papst 412 fan arrived from Farnell today and as expected there is no motherboard fan connector attached so I soldered on a spare 3-pin fan connector so that I could connect it to the P6 (ODD) 4-pin Molex plug (using a 3-pin to 4-pin adapter, of course). I'd be surprised if the original fan ran at the full bore 7000RPM and would expect it to have been under-volted at 7V or maybe even 5V so probably isn't pushing the rated volume of air, in which case a slowed-down Papst is probably still a reasonable match for the original fan.

    The fan seems to push a decent amount of air, though it's not exactly the quietest fan in the world so I attached it to a Zalman Fanmate fan controller to slow it down a bit and make it silent - I reckon it will still move enough air to keep the PSU in the N36L comfortable.

    One rather annoying problem is that the attachment holes on the Papst fan have a diameter of 4.3mm (+/- 0.1mm according to the datasheet (PDF)), and the supplied HP screws are closer to 4mm in diameter so they don't actually fit and cannot be used to attach the Papst - luckily I had some spare fan screws available with a larger diameter (about 4.5mm) and that sorted it. The holes in the PSU casing itself are probably 5mm (maybe even 5.5mm) so there are no issues fitting the larger fan screws through the PSU casing itself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012