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MicroServer N36L/N40L/N54L - 6 Drive Edition

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Hi. Just bought a second hand N40L.

 

I have changed the BIOS to "The Bay" one. I want to install 5 x 2TB and a 32GB SSD as cache.

 

My question is...The esata on the back, provides power as well ? I want to connect my SSD there. I see some cables "slimsata to esata" and "slimsata to esata &USB"

 

Which one is the right one ?

 

 

Thanks

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I used this one.

 

2 Port PCI Express SATA 6 Gbps eSATA Controller Card - Dual Port PCIe SATA III Card - 2 Int/2 Ext

http://eu.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/2-Port-PCI-Express-SATA-6-Gbps-eSATA-Controller-Card~PEXESAT322I

 

I set it so that 1 port is internal 1 port is external.

It does port multiplier, albeit choppy. The silicon image linux drivers & chipsets do port multipliers smoother.

 

In any case, I was testing it last night on my N54L for benchmarks.

 

I was getting 285MB/s on the internal N54L port with a Samsung Pro 256GB

When I moved it to this card I was getting 450MB/s

 

make sure the PCIe type is set to GEN2

 

The card also works under ESX 5.0. It says unknown HBA but it's been working for me so far.

 

Also it may not provide much to use both ports internally unless they are for SSD's.

Spinners rarely go above 200MB/s and the internal port can reach 285MB/s, so it's plenty for a spinner.

However, if you used it for the Parity drive it may provide some small benefit during parity checks. I.E. there would be plenty of bus bandwidth.

 

The PCIe GEN2 slots can achive 500MB/s full duplex vs the GEN1 Slot's 256MB/s full duplex.

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Also, if you take a peek at this thread.

My experience with the HP Microserver Gen 8

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=36048.0

 

You'll see a startech device to mount mSATA's in a 2.5" unit.

 

I use this on my Gen 8.

 

Startech mSATA Raid/PMP.

 

StarTech.com Dual mSATA SSD to 2.5-Inch SATA RAID Adapter Converter (25SAT22MSAT)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ITJ7WDC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dying to try one of these, but I have no need right now.

KINGWIN HDCV-2 Dual 2.5" to 3.5" SATA HDD Converter w/ Raid

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817990020

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It does port multiplier, albeit choppy. The silicon image linux drivers & chipsets do port multipliers smoother.

 

In any case, I was testing it last night on my N54L for benchmarks.

 

I was getting 285MB/s on the internal N54L port with a Samsung Pro 256GB

When I moved it to this card I was getting 450MB/s

 

 

First of all, thanks for replying and the advice! :)

 

Looks like an excellent solution for a ssd cache drive - i've no experience with PMP, that may be something to investigate for external drive arrays.

 

i see there are two pcie slots on the N54L? It doesnt matter which one you connected it to?

 

 

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It does port multiplier, albeit choppy. The silicon image linux drivers & chipsets do port multipliers smoother.

 

In any case, I was testing it last night on my N54L for benchmarks.

 

I was getting 285MB/s on the internal N54L port with a Samsung Pro 256GB

When I moved it to this card I was getting 450MB/s

 

 

First of all, thanks for replying and the advice! :)

 

Looks like an excellent solution for a ssd cache drive - i've no experience with PMP, that may be something to investigate for external drive arrays.

 

i see there are two pcie slots on the N54L? It doesnt matter which one you connected it to?

 

It doesn't matter, the card is X1 Gen 2, So I would use the x1 slot unless I were installing the ILO module.

Leaving the 16x slot for another eSATA card.

 

I've been thinking of SAS cards, LSI SAS card with two external SAS connectors or the HP P411 card with two external SAS connectors. That could provide another 4 or 8 drives at full speed.

 

With PMP and Silicon image chipsets, Each parallel read divides up the total bandwidth.

 

1 - 190MB/s

2 - 130MB/s ~ 99MB/s

3 - 66MB/s

4 - 33MB/s

 

These were actual tests using dd and some pretty fast spinners.

 

The ASM chipset on the startech card is not as smooth for PMP applications.

Doing the same tests proved it wasn't useful enough. I was better off purchasing a cheapo SIL3132 x1 card for the external SATA PMP units.

The ASM PMP drivers just don't work as well with unRAID 5.x.  At least by my benchmarks.

 

With 4 drives accessing the eSATA/PMP array I was getting like 10MB/s in a very choppy manner.

So if the intent is to use PMP for an external array (other then SSD). Use silicon image.

 

Where PMP on the Startech unit becomes useful is for manual backup of one mSATA to another or internal (jumper) to RAID1 or RAID 0.

 

I haven't tested the Startech mSATA PMP and ASM card performance.  One of these days I'll get a round to it.

 

But if one is mostly idle, while the other is busy, you can get away with it.

As in a cache drive with a swap drive application.

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Ok, very useful info there.. I'll do a bit of product research and come back with some results then :) thanks once again.

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I should add, in comparison with a SAS card and a SAS external controller, Each drive will have full bandwidth vs shared bandwidth with a port multiplier.

 

Which is why I'm contemplating the SAS route.

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What is the largest HDs the HP 40nl can handle running?  3tb, 4tb, etc

128,000TB.

 

I believe that's the current 48-bit LBA BIOS limit.

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What is the largest HDs the HP 40nl can handle running?  3tb, 4tb, etc

128,000TB.

 

I believe that's the current 48-bit LBA BIOS limit.

 

Have 4 of those ;)

In all seriousness, there comes a limit to how much you want to spend/loose or waste time on. 6TB is tempting but the downtime on recovery is big.

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A small number of large drives is much better for safe recovery than a large number of small drives.

 

I run 7x 4TB drives in my Microserver.

 

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Yeah I have been doing the upgrade process overtime when drive space gets low.

Started

2tb parity and 4*1tb

 

Than

 

3tb Parity and 4 *2tb drives

 

Now I am debating on the following options:

 

3tb Parity and 4 * 3tb drives

 

4tb Parity and 4 * 3tb drives

 

4tb parity and 4 * 4tb drives

Currently use all WD Green drives so not sure which ones to go with if I do upgrade. I haven't had any issues with the Green drives except with some of the 1.5tb drives I used to have.

 

 

 

 

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Get the biggest drives you can. Especially if you have a Microserver, as it has limited slots.

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TigerDirect offers the HP ProLiant N54L AMD Turion II Dual Core 2.2GHz Micro Server, model no. 744900-001, for $199.99. Plus, get an extra $15 off coupon when you enter your email address through this link, dropping the price to $184.99. With around $10 for shipping, that's $104 under our August mention and the lowest total price we've seen for this server. (It's also a current price low by $19.) It features an AMD Turion II Neo N54L 2.2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB RAM, and Gigabit Ethernet. Note that no operating system or hard drive is included.

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Yeah I have been doing the upgrade process overtime when drive space gets low.

Started

2tb parity and 4*1tb

 

Than

 

3tb Parity and 4 *2tb drives

 

Now I am debating on the following options:

 

3tb Parity and 4 * 3tb drives

 

4tb Parity and 4 * 3tb drives

 

4tb parity and 4 * 4tb drives

Currently use all WD Green drives so not sure which ones to go with if I do upgrade. I haven't had any issues with the Green drives except with some of the 1.5tb drives I used to have.

 

 

If you want speed.

3tb 7200 RPM Parity and 4 * 3tb drives using the seagate 7200 RPM drives

 

These drives are fast and can get 190MB/s on the outer tracks.

 

For my smaller high use servers I use Seagate 7200 RPM 3TB's because of the speed.

 

I have 3TB 7200RPM parity,  3TB 7200 RPM disk1, 3TB 5400 RPMs for the next 2 drives which are more archival.

 

This/was for my most often used file server and is now the setup for my torrent server.

 

For my archiver server. on the data drives, I used 4TB Seagate 5400 RPM drive.

Any good NAS drive in the parity slot there will be fine.

 

For the data drives I mix between needs of 3TB and 4TB. I.E. I grow and purchase what I needed at the time.

 

-

 

For my new Gen8 File server, I've switched it up to the following

4TB Hitachi 7200 RPM NAS drive for parity.

3TB Seagate 7200 RPM home folders drive

4TB Seagate 5400 RPM backup archive drive

4TB Seagate HYBRID 5400 RPM Music drive, since this has over 350,000 files I'm testing to see if there is a benefit to the hybrid nature.

 

This is now my high use main home file server.

 

Point being here.

Purchase the largest for what you need, however I probably would not go with 4 3TB drives at this point in time.

I would purchase at least the 4TB Hitachi NAS drive for parity.

If I had a very often used disk, I would choose the appropriate size and 7200 RPM for that. I.E. Hitachi 4TB 7200 RPM NAS drive.

For archive write once read many, I would choose the largest I could afford at the moment that I have a data space need for in green/red 5400 configuration.

 

Over the next week I plan to upgrade the archiver server to 6TB parity and 1 data disk of 6TB, then upgrade as I need to expand into.  This leaves me with the smaller spares that I can swap somewhere else or sell as I need to.

 

They say that your parity check speed can only go as fast as your slowest drive. Plus your write speed is limited to the slowest drive of the pair. With the new Turbo Write feature this changes it. So I choose the highest RPM in the size I can afford for parity. I turn turbo write on and off as I need via cron schedule.

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I didn't see a speed increase using Turbo write. I think I enabled it on the N36L as a test, and not the N54L.

 

I get up to about 45MB/sec writes without it, which is usually fast enough for general use.

 

Parity on the N54L is a 4TB Deskstar™ 7K4000 - HGST. Maybe I should try that out when I have to write a lotta data.

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45MB/s is a good number. It depends on how much writing you are doing at once.

Small bursts (for me) can achieve 90MB/s but it slows down as more data gets queued into the server.

 

 

Since I write all day long updating mp3 tags, I do notice a difference with the turbo write as long as the other drives aren't busy. If the other drives are busy all bets are off!

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Get the biggest drives you can. Especially if you have a Microserver, as it has limited slots.

 

Just use external enclosures. I am currently using four external enclosures with my N54L. Each enclosure has the capability to have four drives. And I can add a fifth enclosure to house more drives. I am currently using five drive in my Microserver and thirteen drives in the fours external enclosures.

 

I have a Rosewill RC-218 port multiplier PCIe x4 in the Micro server that gives me four ports that can be used with enclosures that are port multiplier capable.

 

I only wish I had jumped on the N54L deal last week that Newegg had for $200 for the 4GB version. With another $30 off by rebate. I would have liked to setup a fourth unRAID server and eventually have it replace my second one which uses more power than I would like.

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