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MicroServer N36L/N40L/N54L - 6 Drive Edition

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On another side note, has anybody implemented the so called fix for the N54L? Adding the below to the go script.

 

echo 50 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/up_threshold & logger Go Script - ondemand up_threshold set to 50
echo 50 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_down_factor & logger Go Script - ondemand sampling_down_factor set to 50

 

Yes. Resulted in quite an increase in transfer speed, mainly when copying data to the microserver. Reading was fast enough without the "fix".

 

So what are new speeds now? With my N54L even copying content to my parity drive is limited in speed. I think it's only around 50MB/s. Where can I find more info about this script?

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I have recently purchased an N54L. So far I have sent off the rebate form for the money back on the server and the 3 year warranty, Im going to have to pay the credit card bill soon!

 

This is how far I have got -

 

  RAM upgraded to 16GB

  Flashed the BIOS

  Installed an SSD drive on the ODD port

  Installed ESX 5.5 onto the SSD drive

  Created a VM using BetaQuasis base VMDK & using the internal usb port for the license (Which I still need to buy ...)

 

So far so good. My next steps are to upgrade the base vm to 5.04, get the RDMs working (I only have a 3TB and a 250GB disk at the minute - another two 3TB drives are on my shopping list), install the vm tools and then do some testing / playing.

 

Thank-you to everyone who has posted their experiences to date,

 

N.

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This might be better off in one of the ESXi threads but I dont think Im the only Microserver owner using ESX - What are the differences between the two ways of creating RDMs -

 

vmkfstools -a lsilogic -z /vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____WDC_WD1600JS2D75NCB3__________________________WD2DWCANM7450414  mydisk.vmdk

 

and

 

vmkfstools -a pvscsi -z /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.0100000000202020202020202020202020533145303037544c535432303030 ST2000DM0012D9YN164.vmdk

 

There are two bits to the question, firstly the -a option, which I believe is related to the kernel driver used for accessing the storage, Ive used the pvscsi option but I am wondering what the pros and cons are between that and the lsilogic option.

 

The second bit of the question is I have used the 'vml' device under /vmfs/devices/disks rather than the t10. device. Again Im wondering about the pros and cons between the two.

 

Any advice or pointers ?

 

Thanks

 

N.

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Any tips on getting hardware sensors working with simplefeatures 1.0.11?

 

Anyone have temperature-based fan speed control working?

 

I'd also be interested in getting this working!

 

The only module available in the stock kernel will give you CPU temp.  To do it;

 

Put the following in /boot/custom/sensors.conf;

 

# lm-sensors config


chip "k10temp-pci-00c3"



label temp1 "CPU Temp"

 

Then add the following to the end of your /boot/config/go file;

cp /boot/custom/sensors.conf /etc/sensors.d
modprobe k10temp

 

Reboot and your CPU temp should show.

 

To get the other sensors we need to get the JC42 module found at http://khali.linux-fr.org/devel/lm-sensors/drivers/jc42/ compiled. 

 

 

 

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Thanks very helpful. I think the k10temp module is built in and doesn't need to be loaded via the go file. Haven't tried yet though. This should also work with Dynamix.

 

Any tips on getting hardware sensors working with simplefeatures 1.0.11?

 

Anyone have temperature-based fan speed control working?

 

I'd also be interested in getting this working!

 

The only module available in the stock kernel will give you CPU temp.  To do it;

 

Put the following in /boot/custom/sensors.conf;

 

# lm-sensors config


chip "k10temp-pci-00c3"



label temp1 "CPU Temp"

 

Then add the following to the end of your /boot/config/go file;

cp /boot/custom/sensors.conf /etc/sensors.d
modprobe k10temp

 

Reboot and your CPU temp should show.

 

To get the other sensors we need to get the JC42 module found at http://khali.linux-fr.org/devel/lm-sensors/drivers/jc42/ compiled.

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Hi, I am considering a HP ProLiant MicroServer as it seems to fit my needs but have a boatload of questions as I'ma bit of a file-server noob (have just been using a drobo until now which has proven less than adequate for my evolving needs).

 

As 95% of what I use my current storage setup for is for storing media to play on my xbmc (to play and to backup) i thought I'd ask here. I've seen in some other fairly hard core fileserver forums where the ProLiant MicroServer seems to be portrayed as "not enough" but being a bit of a fileserver noob its unclear to me what exactly would overload a fileserver. At most my server would be running btsync in the background (until i can figure how to throttle it on a schedule), running backups at night, and then streaming media the rest of the time (mostly conservatively encoded 720p/1080p video, think 2hr movie 1080p x.264, 2GB; and music of course, mostly FLAC). Very rarely would there be more than one user, the other person in my household is fairly big on perusing photos (jpgs, nothing big) but thats it.

 

So with that said, is it worth getting more than 4GB mem, and is a SSD drive needed?

 

Thanks in advance!

 

PS I know there are linux ports of btsync and dropbox but haven't found much info on running them on unraid, anyone out there tried this?

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i've been trying to find a uk stockist for that rosewill rc218 card with no luck so far :(

I couldn't find one either, but I did discover that the StarTech PEXSATA24E is the same card, and is available in the UK.

http://www.ebuyer.com/162229-startech-com-2-port-esata-4-port-sata-pci-express-x4-sata-pexsata24e

 

I ordered one from ebuyer last week and installed it at the weekend. I currently it setup to enable the 2 esata ports, and have my cache drive connected to one of the internal ports (eliminating the esata to sata cable coming in through the rear of the chassis).

 

At some point, when required, I'll look into getting hold of one (or more) of the external enclosures discussed in this thread and connecting up to the new esata ports.

As an update - I got to the point of needing more hdd space, and with my Microserver drive bays being full I needed an external enclosure.

 

So I got one of these - http://www.hornettek.com/hdd-enclosure/3-5-quad-bay-jbod/hornettek-enterprise-4x.html and have it connected via esata to one of the esata ports on the StarTech card.

 

The product info for the enclosure says that it supports up to 3TB drives, but at the same time I ordered a Seagate 4TB and put it in the enclosure "just to see if it would work". Happily it seems to work fine, although I do only have the 1 drive in there at the moment. If I get issues in the future when adding more drives I'll just put any 4TB ones into the Microserver and move the <= 3TB ones into the enclosure.

 

I haven't done any scientific testing, but access and data transfer speeds seem fine. Will wait until the next scheduled parity check to see if there is any great effect there.

 

The only issue is that the drive I the enclosure isn't reporting any SMART data. Apparently that is an issue with the controller in the enclosure and only affects the first disk that is enumerated in it.

 

So far so good - would recommend it. Especially for users in the UK where there seems to be a lack of suitable JBOD enclosures. I couldn't find the previously mentioned Sans Digital oes anywhere for a decent price.

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I've seen in some other fairly hard core fileserver forums where the ProLiant MicroServer seems to be portrayed as "not enough"

 

It's enough to handle unraid at a comfortable speed. I have 3, 2 are ESX servers, 1 is a N40L just as a file server. They run well.

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Hi,

 

Its been a while since i was on the forums simply because my current Unraid setup (running 24/7/365) has been rock solid for over a year. Alas I come seeking some advice on how to upgrade/expand my setup.

 

Current setup:

HP Microserver N54L running unraid 5.0 RC11 PLUS (still need to up grade to the non-rc release at some stage - but as they say... "if it aint broke...dont try and fix it")

4 x 4tb drives in front bays

2 x 2tb drives in optical drive space (one utilising the esata port at the back, the other using the ODD sata port - running the BIOS mod which allows me to do this)

 

I had previously run the older N36L microserver with 6 x 2tb drives but ran out of room and thus upgraded to the N54L for the 4tb drive support - happy days. Well as most of us are aware, the upgrade bug has kicked in as I am almost out of room on my N54L and need to look for additional storage options!

 

So my slightly hair brained scheme was to try and utilise the unused N36L as additional drive storage to expand my N54L unraid array (after upgrading my PLUS key to the PRO key allowing me to use 24 drives in total).

 

I guess my reasoning for trying this option first is that I already have 6 x 2tb drives sitting doing nothing as well as the actual N36L server doing a rather fine impersonation of a paperweight.

 

So has anyone done this? Is it even possible? Any guidance or pointers would be really appreciated along with any additional hardware I would require (add in cards, cables etc...). Id love to just have the two servers sitting side by side (or stacked) providing me the necessary storage space for at least another year. I guess id be trying to use the N36L as a slightly over glorified external sata enclosure?

 

many thanks for your time and input!

 

(p.s if its any use at all I have a spare Adaptec 1430SA card laying about also doing nothing....)

 

 

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I had previously run the older N36L microserver with 6 x 2tb drives but ran out of room and thus upgraded to the N54L for the 4tb drive support - happy days.

The N36L and N54L are essentially the same machine with different CPUs. Both support 4TB (and higher) drives.

 

I run both and run unRAID on both. One server is on all the time and the other is an archive server. You may be able to use the N36L as a drive enclosure, but it'd be a horrible hack.

 

I have 8 drives attached to my N54L (7x 4TB + cache, one drive is external).

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As you mention, if the N36L can handle the 4tb drives then I may venture down the path of running two unraid servers and just spread the load over the two. I think that would be the most logical and straightforward way of using the spare server and drives (slowly replacing the 2tb drives in the N36L as an when needed)

 

I was just thrown off as when i had looked into this last year I had read that the N36L couldn't handle 4tb drives - i think this is just limited to the boot drive not being able to handle anything larger than 2tb though.

 

I'll give it a whirl and see how i get on - thanks for the reply

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The threshold for larger drive support (64-bit LBA) is 2.2TB. Therefore if mobo/BIOS supports 3TB drives (actually 2.5TB, but those drives weren't too popular) then it will support much bigger drives than 3TB. The next limit is not 4TB, it is 9.4 billion terabytes.  ;D

 

The reason why 3TB was mentioned so often is threefold:

 

1) It is 3TB drives that generally resulted in the 64-bit LBA being required.

 

2) At the time it was being discussed, 4TB drives weren't available.

 

3) The mfrs would only mention 3TB as that was all they had tested.

 

So, in theory, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 8000000000TB drives should all work.  ;)

 

If you search this forum for "3TB Microserver", you can see that 3TB(+) drive Microserver support was discovered way back in 2011: http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=11585.msg125618;topicseen#msg125618

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haha all makes sense now!  ;D

 

Just wondered if you had any more info or experience with the PICO PSU's?

 

I was keen to try and get the two servers running quieter and sapping a little less juice to save on the old leccy. Only thing i was a little confuzzled about was which particular wattage/version of the PICO (or generic make) would meet my needs?

 

The 4tb drives i have are all Hitachi 7K4000 (HDS724040ALE640) which according to the spec sheet [http://www.hgst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/techdocs/3C330019E6ED04A48825797700626F0D/$file/DS7K4000_ds.pdf] pull 2A each at start up.

 

If i am reading the microserver spec sheet correctly [http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/productbulletin.html#spectype=worldwide&type=html&docid=13716] then i think it needs 2A itself.

 

Therefore I need something which can handle 12A for the 6 drives plus 2A for the microserver = 14A?

(sorry this is a bit new to me so if im way off then you will have to excuse my ignorance!)

 

Would you happen to know if any of these would be able to handle the peak startup load of my N54L/N36L when each is stuffed with 6 x 4tb Hitachi drives? Again, i think they can deliver 16A (200W / 12V) ?  :-\

 

Z2-ATX-200 Genuine PICO Brand [http://www.pico-box.com/products.html]

160W/200W peak, 12V input DC-DC ATX Power Supply

 

24pin DC-DC ATX PSU

0-160 Watts, 12V input

DC input PIN size of 5.5mm/2.5mm

AVX Tantalum capacitors, USA

 

 

Z3-ATX-200 Genuine Pico Brand [http://www.pico-box.com/products.html]

160W/200W peak, 16-24V input DC-DC ATX Power Supply

 

24pin DC-DC ATX PSU

0-160 Watts, 16-24V wide-range input

DC input PIN size of 5.5mm/2.5mm

AVX Tantalum capacitors, USA

 

 

eBay item [http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/20-pin-DC-DC-12V-ATX-200W-Power-Supply-for-Mini-PC-Mini-ITX-/110960302536?pt=AU_Components&hash=item19d5bfd9c8&_uhb=1]

20 pin DC/DC 12V ATX 200W Power Supply for Mini PC Mini-ITX

DC Input: 12V 

Power Output : 200W 

Input Current: Max. 15A

 

 

 

Plus I need a suitable 200W power brick? Again not sure which ones I can use which have the correct specs to power the supplies? Really confused here, what wattage, voltage and amp spec would i need?

 

I think whatever I end up getting I am going to have to be really careful with clearance to ensure the power supply clears the other components around the ATX connector on the microserver board - some careful measuring is gonna have to occur before buying anything.

 

cheers and sorry for all the n00b questions!

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I don't know much about the Pico PSUs -- there are others in other forums who have used them.

 

From my experience, the 150W PSU in the Microserver is enough to power 7 modern "low power" drives. That means either NAS drives, "Green" drives or low-power 7200rpm drives like the 4TB Hitachis. Older 7200rom drives draw 2x the power of new ones.

 

I think you may get better power efficiency with the Pico, but it's not like a MicroServer draws much power anyway, once the drives have spun down. And those Pico PSUs/bricks aren't that cheap.

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hi everyone!

 

is anybody using this server to encode movies in x264 with handbrake? what's the fps that you get? Presently, i have a little server with a G1620 with 1,16fps (preset=veryslow, profile=high).

 

thank you for the info!

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Hi

 

Got one of these a while ago and decided to let my brother have it and use it for a simple file server with unraid 5.0.3

 

We pre cleared 2 drives on the box, 1x 3TB Green and 1x 3TB Red.

 

Red Drive Results:

== invoked as: ./preclear_disk.sh -A -c 3 /dev/sdb
== WDCWD30EFRX-68EUZN0   WD-WMC4N1469972
== Disk /dev/sdb has been successfully precleared
== with a starting sector of 1 
== Ran 3 cycles
==
== Using :Read block size = 8388608 Bytes
== Last Cycle's Pre Read Time  : 8:11:38 (101 MB/s)
== Last Cycle's Zeroing time   : 7:54:37 (105 MB/s)
== Last Cycle's Post Read Time : 17:37:18 (47 MB/s)
== Last Cycle's Total Time     : 25:32:55
==
== Total Elapsed Time 84:50:15
==
== Disk Start Temperature: 27C
==
== Current Disk Temperature: 27C,

 

Green Drive Results:

== invoked as: ./preclear_disk.sh -A -c 3 /dev/sdb
== WDCWD30EZRX-00DC0B0   WD-WCC1T1430923
== Disk /dev/sdb has been successfully precleared
== with a starting sector of 1 
== Ran 3 cycles
==
== Using :Read block size = 8388608 Bytes
== Last Cycle's Pre Read Time  : 7:40:10 (108 MB/s)
== Last Cycle's Zeroing time   : 7:19:40 (113 MB/s)
== Last Cycle's Post Read Time : 16:36:41 (50 MB/s)
== Last Cycle's Total Time     : 23:57:22
==
== Total Elapsed Time 79:43:21
==
== Disk Start Temperature: 20C
==
== Current Disk Temperature: 29C, 
==

 

We have now assigned the drives to the array, red parity and green the first data slot. The data drive has been formatted.

 

The initial parity sync is under-way at 32.6mb/s does this speed seem normal for one of these micro-servers?

 

The micro-server is stock nothing has been added all we have done is put an unRAID pro stick in and the 2 drives above, is the base 2Gb RAM enough?

 

I have only skimmed through this thread but I would appreciate it if those of you that own these cool little boxes could provide a check list of bits i need to do to get the best out of these boxes, BIOS setting tweeks etc etc.

 

I've already come across the thread about the modified BIOS, is this needed?

 

http://www.avforums.com/threads/hp-n36l-n40l-n54l-microserver-updated-ahci-bios-support.1521657/

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

 

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That's slow. I have an N36L with similar drives (WD 2TB Green are the slowest I have, I think). That did a parity check at 91.94 MByte/s.

 

I think I'm running stock disk settings. I have 3GB of RAM in that box.

 

Disk Settings
Enable auto start:	
Default spin down delay:	
Force NCQ disabled:	
Enable spinup groups:	
Default partition format:	
Tunable (md_num_stripes):	default
Tunable (md_write_limit):	default
Tunable (md_sync_window):	default
Done

 

The speed for a parity sync will be low if you haven't switched on the write cache in the BIOS and/or you are using any SATA ports other than the standard 4 and haven't upgraded the BIOS.

 

I imagine it's because you haven't switched on the write cache, as detailed in the first post in this thread.

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Once the parity sync is done I'lll get the options stated in first post turned on and see what difference it will make.

 

Write caching turned on in the BIOS

VGA set to 32MB in the BIOS

PCI Power saving turned on in BIOS

 

The micro-servers not on a ups as of yet how will write caching be affected in the event of a power failure, the box will mainly store tv shows and movies, so there aren't going to lots of writes going to the array mainly reads?

 

Would you recommend upgrading the ram to say 4GB?

 

I should think that the box will mainly have green drives it and just use the main 4 drive bays, It may get another swap bay like the one in the first post at some point but thats a little way off.

 

Do you recommend using the BIOS made my TheBay, are there any major improvements over stock? 

 

 

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Do you recommend using the BIOS made my TheBay, are there any major improvements over stock?

If you are using the ODD or eSata ports it is a requirement if you want full speed parity checks.

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I don't think write caching matters in terms of write security because unRAID writes, then writes parity, then reads it back, I think -- otherwise it doesn't count as a write. Something like that. Others may know better.

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Do you recommend using the BIOS made my TheBay, are there any major improvements over stock?

If you are using the ODD or eSata ports it is a requirement if you want full speed parity checks.

 

I don't think write caching matters in terms of write security because unRAID writes, then writes parity, then reads it back, I think -- otherwise it doesn't count as a write. Something like that. Others may know better.

 

OK thanks guys for replies once the initial parity sync is done I'll make the changes in the BIOS listed above.

 

How would I test the speed of the array after the changes have been made, would a normal non correcting parity check be a good indicator even though the array will have no data on it?

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How would I test the speed of the array after the changes have been made, would a normal non correcting parity check be a good indicator even though the array will have no data on it?

That would be the way I would test it.  There are the performance scripts in another post/thread on the forums that might be even better but I've never used them.

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