Jump to content
WeeboTech

My experience with the HP Microserver Gen 8

11 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

This is a pretty general post on my experience with the HP Microserver Gen 8.

HP ProLiant MicroServer Generation 8 (Gen8) QuickSpecs

http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=c04128132

 

I choose this as my N40L is going to be retired. It's CPU is just not enough to hash the million of files I have on it in a reasonable timeframe.

I'll probably keep the pair of N54L's as they have been working flawlessly since I purchased them.

 

While I could have built a garycase machine, I don't really have the time to spec out the motherboard, other hardware and build it.

Then there is the empty tower, that I'm just not getting to. 

 

So I went with a HP Microserver Gen 8 with the intel 1220L CPU. 

Choice being, I need to run ESX, but I also need a platform to test unRAID 6.

 

I know unRAID 6 does all kinds of Virtualization, but Vmware & ESX is what butters my bread right now.

 

This post is about some hardware choices and my experience with them for members who choose to go this route.

 

HP has a custom ESX 5 image with all drivers for this server.

It was easy to download the ISO, burn an image, boot it. Install ESX on a flash key and be up and running in less then an hour.

 

There is an internal USB slot and an embedded micro SD card reader. Both are visible to ESX and unRAID 5.0.5/6.

The NIC works fine. I choose to configure the B120i as AHCI. So I'm able to RDM 4 drives easily.

 

The hard part comes in utilizing the internal SATA port for a SSD.

 

Mine came with the DVD drive and I did not want to remove it.

 

For this I had to purchase a couple of power adapters.

A metal bracket to mount the 2.5" drives.

Finally a mSATA to 2.5" mounting bracket which I'm excited to tell you about!

 

Upon research, I found there is a Molex connector underneath the Optical media slot, in between the drive cage.

You have to dig it out. From here I was able to add a Y adapter and run power down the cable channel to a place for mounting the 2.5" drives.

 

Parts purchased from Amazon.

 

StarTech LP4 to 2x LP4 Power Y Splitter Cable M/F (PYO2L)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000067SLY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

StarTech.com PYO2LP4LSATA 12-Inch LP4 to 2x Latching SATA Adapter 4 Pin Molex to Dual SATA Y Splitter

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A6GKE22/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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

 

Vantacor Sleeved SATA III 6.0 Gbps Cable with Locking Latch (12 Inch, Straight)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K1JGTY6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

While you can use velcro or shove the drive somewhere else, I choose to use the Schoondoggy drive bracket.

http://homeservershow.com/schoondoggy-gen8-drive-mount-hp-proliant-gen8-microserver-first-look.html

http://homeservershow.com/schoon

 

I did purchase a couple of SATA/eSATA controllers to use in the PCIe slot, however, I'm not sure which one I will keep.

 

I'll post my results and findings as edits.

 

For now, I have a SYBA SD-PEX40031 (discontinued) controller card.

My choice is to have 2 internal sata ports for 2 2.5" drives and 2 external eSATA ports for external PMP drive arrays.

In addition this card supports eSATAp Power of eSATA.

 

The downside is it's PCIe 1.0 x1, which limits throughput for all 4 channels to 256MB/s full duplex.

 

Using the StarTech.com Dual mSATA SSD to 2.5-Inch SATA RAID Adapter Converter, I was able to verify that 2 mSATA drives can be seen in JBOD. I did not test RAID.  Throughput DD tests with unRAID showed it to be at around 200MB/s.  Not bad. Close to the highest 3TB seagate 7200rpm speed (yet without latency of a spinning drive).

 

When I hooked the Startech unit up to the internal B120i port (for DVD) I was able to get up to 260MB/s on a single mSATA drive.

So I put it there for now and made this my ESX data store.

 

So far I like the machine, but miss the higher bay's ability to put a 5.25 device in it.

The schoondoggy drive bracket is nice as it makes it easier to mount 2 2.5" drives. I'll live with this for now.

 

My next plan is to consider a better card for the PCIe port.

Choices so far are an ASM 1061 PCIe x1 GEN 2.0 card as this may provide more bandwidth to the mSATA adapter.

an LSI card that has an internal connector and an external SAS connector for a JBOD device.

an HP Raid P11 card that has 2 external SAS connectors adding the ability for 8 more drives.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/iss-controllers/product-detail.html?oid=3886974

 

I have not quite decided yet.

 

So far I'm running ESX 5.1 with unRAID 5.0.6 and Zeron's Vmware tools plugin. Looking good so far.

Share this post


Link to post

thanks for the great information. this is what i was looking for.

so you tested asm1061 sata controller with HP Microserver Gen8 right? is it possible to boot from asm1061 attached Sata disk?

 

I have plan to install Windows server 2012 R2 on SSD which attached to asm1061.

 

if it works well and can boot up from it, this will be super tip. and save money on P222

 

thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post

thanks for the great information. this is what i was looking for.

so you tested asm1061 sata controller with HP Microserver Gen8 right? is it possible to boot from asm1061 attached Sata disk?

 

I have plan to install Windows server 2012 R2 on SSD which attached to asm1061.

 

if it works well and can boot up from it, this will be super tip. and save money on P222

 

thanks in advance!

 

 

I do not know if this will work. I don't see why not without a bios adjustment.

however If it were me, I might consider the HP controller as there are certain models that integrate with the iLO environment.

 

 

There is an internal SATA II port on the motherboard that is part of the embedded controller.

I bet that would be bootable as well.

Share this post


Link to post
There is an internal SATA II port on the motherboard that is part of the embedded controller.

I bet that would be bootable as well.

That is definitely true of the Gen 7 N54L.  I am booting WHSv1 from a drive connected to the 5th Sata port on one of my N54L's - a 7200rpm laptop drive under optical bay.  I am using the modified bios for faster access to the port - if that makes any difference.

Share this post


Link to post

thanks for the great information. this is what i was looking for.

so you tested asm1061 sata controller with HP Microserver Gen8 right? is it possible to boot from asm1061 attached Sata disk?

 

I have plan to install Windows server 2012 R2 on SSD which attached to asm1061.

 

if it works well and can boot up from it, this will be super tip. and save money on P222

 

thanks in advance!

 

 

I do not know if this will work. I don't see why not without a bios adjustment.

however If it were me, I might consider the HP controller as there are certain models that integrate with the iLO environment.

 

 

There is an internal SATA II port on the motherboard that is part of the embedded controller.

I bet that would be bootable as well.

 

thanks. looks i mis-read your article. i will read it once again. i just exited to see typical SATA controller works with..

 

as my model has ODD installed, i'm trying not to remove it

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.