psikey

G8 Microserver - Be aware of Fan issue, add in cards

380 posts in this topic

I use this as a Media Server in my lounge at home and with the B120i with 4x3TB drives in the bays in RAID10 for storage and an SSD off the Optical as OS it all works great with low noise as fan speed keeps at 6%.

 

As others may know, if you set the Controller to AHCI or legacy the fan goes loud and stays loud at over 33%.

 

I decided to buy a P222/512 Smart Array to give me RAID5 plus option later to add an external 4 bay mini SAS housing for a further 4 drives controlled by the P222 (potentially 8 disks in RAID5)

 

All fitted and recognised perfectly in ACU but then the dreaded fan noise again but now at over 54%. Spent all day on it before finally starting a long chat session with HP.

 

To cut a long story short, the iLO4 can only handle built-in controllers and it totally handles temp monitoring/fan speed.

 

Long transcript attached if anyone wants to follow the details.

Chat.pdf

Edited by psikey
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Thanks for saving the chat.

I am running a P212 and the B120i, but I have not been working with iLo yet.

In Windows Server if I run the ACU on the P212 I can see the temp of the drives and mine are not HP branded.

When I get a chance I will do some testing.

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I've just done some more configuration and basically what he's posted is a crock of sh....t

 

I've just removed the SSD on the Optical, reconfigured as AHCI for the optical SATA, fitted a normal HDD and the P222 is now showing in iLO4 !!!

 

But the PCI is showing as 90C and fan is running at 70% +  

 

Now going to try bot B120i and P222.

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Are you familiar with the process of running a single drive on a HP Smart Array controller? If not you need to make a single drive RAID0.

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Are you familiar with the process of running a single drive on a HP Smart Array controller? If not you need to make a single drive RAID0.

I'm afraid this is my first time with a proper RAID card.

 

What I'm trying to do is use the built-in Optical SATA off either the B120i or as AHCI as a WIndows OS disk then the P222 as a RAID5 of the 4 drives for Media Files storage.

 

AM I missing some basic understanding? If so please educate me.

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With the P222 cabled to the internal 4 bays you should be good to go with the RAID5. You can run the SSD off the ODD SATA port, but it will run at SATA II speeds and it sounds like some of your fan issues maybe coming from that. If I were you I would run your SSD off the SFF8087 connection on the motherboard. Do you have a SFF8087 break out cable? You will need one to plug into the motherboard. You could try AHCI or B120i on the internal connection to see if either will resolve your fan issue. To run a single drive on the B120i you need to run the ACU and create a single drive RAID0.

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With the P222 cabled to the internal 4 bays you should be good to go with the RAID5. You can run the SSD off the ODD SATA port, but it will run at SATA II speeds and it sounds like some of your fan issues maybe coming from that. If I were you I would run your SSD off the SFF8087 connection on the motherboard. Do you have a SFF8087 break out cable? You will need one to plug into the motherboard. You could try AHCI or B120i on the internal connection to see if either will resolve your fan issue. To run a single drive on the B120i you need to run the ACU and create a single drive RAID0.

 

I think I have one if its the type that breaks out to 4 SATA connectors.

 

The strange thing is, I've just gone into ACU and used the wizard to set B120i as a RAID0 on a 2.5" HDD while the P222 is already showing a healthy RAID10 with Media on the 4x3TB drives. While in the ACU the fan went low to around 18% and browsing to the ILO IP with my desktop both controllers showed with all the drives as did the PCI card temps etc.

 

When I then rebooted only the B120i shows in the intial BIOS screen and iLo doesn't show any controller cards and fans go high again!

 

I'm going to try with just the P222 card.

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Yes, the breakout is a SFF8087 to four SATA.

With the B120i and the P222 in the system go into the setup F9 and check for a fan speed setting.

In some of my experimenting I found a three setting speed adjustment, I think it was only there when the B120i was enabled.

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It's interesting how HP ties seemingly unrelated items together, like a RAID card controlling the system cooling fan.

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This must be a bug, the state of the internal RAID-controller should not affect the fan!

Even if we elaborate that enabling the RAID-controller produce more heat the fan shouldn't spin a at lower pace than in the AHCI mode :)

 

If you enter bios and check the boot order when you have the two raid controllers active, can you see them in the options?

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This must be a bug, the state of the internal RAID-controller should not affect the fan!

Even if we elaborate that enabling the RAID-controller produce more heat the fan shouldn't spin a at lower pace than in the AHCI mode :)

 

If you enter bios and check the boot order when you have the two raid controllers active, can you see them in the options?

 

Yes. All works as you would expect apart from ILO4 and hence the fan control. Something's wrong somewhere as from boot to boot I can see both in iLO4 but fan still high then neither showing in iLO4. I've spent too much time on this for now so just restored back to using just the B120i with the 4 bays as a RAID10 array and the SSD as a RAID0 in the optical connector.  May retry again at a later stage.

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I have a SSD running in AHCI mode in the SATA port and a Adaptec 3405 adapter with 4 x 3TB drives in RAID 5 and my fans are running at 28%

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I have a SSD running in AHCI mode in the SATA port and a Adaptec 3405 adapter with 4 x 3TB drives in RAID 5 and my fans are running at 28%

Sent from my Galaxy S4

 

Does ILO4 show anything under the storage Tab? What drives are you using?

 

Also for those more experienced, will HP P222 work in any PC or does it have to be an HP machine?

Edited by psikey

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Are you familiar with the process of running a single drive on a HP Smart Array controller? If not you need to make a single drive RAID0.

 

This is also a weird requirement. Who on earth thought that one up :wacko: 

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Sent from my Galaxy S4 Does ILO4 show anything under the storage Tab? What drives are you using? Also for those more experienced, will HP P222 work in any PC or does it have to be an HP machine?

Doesn't show anything and Toshiba 3TB, cant remember the model numbers.

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It's interesting how HP ties seemingly unrelated items together, like a RAID card controlling the system cooling fan.

How would these be unrelated? RAID=Drives=heat

Also, the RAID card is not controlling the fans the iLo is

 

This is also a weird requirement. Who on earth thought that one up :wacko: 

When did you become head critic of RAID controllers?

The Smart Array controllers did not have a JBOD mode. This was an innovative way of providing JBOD.

 

Sent from my Galaxy S4 Does ILO4 show anything under the storage Tab? What drives are you using? Also for those more experienced, will HP P222 work in any PC or does it have to be an HP machine?

I have used HP RAID controllers in non-HP systems. They have worked fine.

Edited by schoondoggy

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How would these be unrelated? RAID=Drives=heat

Also, the RAID card is not controlling the fans the iLo is

 

When did you become head critic of RAID controllers?

The Smart Array controllers did not have a JBOD mode. This was an innovative way of providing JBOD.

 

I have used HP RAID controllers in non-HP systems. They have worked fine.

 

Well, let's see: the fan is to cool the system, not just the drives, cause all of it generates heat, so why not have the system control the fan? I guess the iLO controlling it is more logical; better than the RAID card anyway.

 

A single drive RAID0 is a contradiction in terms, and is in direct violation of the official definition of RAID0. Call me old-fashioned; I like things to be logical and follow the established standards. Why didn't HP just label it 'individual drive mode' or something? Also, what happens if you have multiple drives and want them all to be seen individually by the system; do you have to make multiple RAID0 arrays? On other RAID cards, the default is to just have all drives seen individually, unless you deliberately create an array of some level. BTW, just like everyone else, I'm entitled to criticise HP's implementation -- don't have to be the head of anything. You call it innovative... fair enough; I call it weird, non-standard, illogical, and non-intuitive. :)

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Something funky is going on with fan control. I added 2x 2.5" HDD's in top ODD bay and connected them to the B120i and created a RAID 1 array loaded up ESXi and suddenly the fan keeps running at 70% when it has been keeping a nice 6% duty mode before. All the temperatures are very low and nice.

 

Could the inital array creation cause the fan to increase so much?

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Well, let's see: the fan is to cool the system, not just the drives, cause all of it generates heat, so why not have the system control the fan? I guess the iLO controlling it is more logical; better than the RAID card anyway.

 

A single drive RAID0 is a contradiction in terms, and is in direct violation of the official definition of RAID0. Call me old-fashioned; I like things to be logical and follow the established standards. Why didn't HP just label it 'individual drive mode' or something? Also, what happens if you have multiple drives and want them all to be seen individually by the system; do you have to make multiple RAID0 arrays? On other RAID cards, the default is to just have all drives seen individually, unless you deliberately create an array of some level. BTW, just like everyone else, I'm entitled to criticise HP's implementation -- don't have to be the head of anything. You call it innovative... fair enough; I call it weird, non-standard, illogical, and non-intuitive. :)

The system does control the fan through iLo, that was my point. 

 

Of course you are welcome to criticize anything you like.

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With the P222 cabled to the internal 4 bays you should be good to go with the RAID5. You can run the SSD off the ODD SATA port, but it will run at SATA II speeds and it sounds like some of your fan issues maybe coming from that. If I were you I would run your SSD off the SFF8087 connection on the motherboard. Do you have a SFF8087 break out cable? You will need one to plug into the motherboard. You could try AHCI or B120i on the internal connection to see if either will resolve your fan issue. To run a single drive on the B120i you need to run the ACU and create a single drive RAID0.

Creating the RAID 0 with a single disk format it? Currently I am running it in AHCI mode and dont want it blown away if I create a single drive RAID 0

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Well, let's see: the fan is to cool the system, not just the drives, cause all of it generates heat, so why not have the system control the fan? I guess the iLO controlling it is more logical; better than the RAID card anyway.

 

A single drive RAID0 is a contradiction in terms, and is in direct violation of the official definition of RAID0. Call me old-fashioned; I like things to be logical and follow the established standards. Why didn't HP just label it 'individual drive mode' or something? Also, what happens if you have multiple drives and want them all to be seen individually by the system; do you have to make multiple RAID0 arrays? On other RAID cards, the default is to just have all drives seen individually, unless you deliberately create an array of some level. BTW, just like everyone else, I'm entitled to criticise HP's implementation -- don't have to be the head of anything. You call it innovative... fair enough; I call it weird, non-standard, illogical, and non-intuitive. :)

 

You are free to call it weird ikon! :)   Admittedly, when you get into the corner cases, even with standards, things seem a little weird.  

 

In fact, the term RAID0 is a misnomer by itself: No data is redundant, yet the "R" is still present in the name.

 

Regarding Smart Array, think of it like this:  You don't have a JBOD controller, you have an array controller.   The programmers out there will confirm that an array object can have just one element and still be an array - it's an object of type array,  as opposed to an object of type integer, for example, because it has the CAPABILITY of having more elements.   So with Smart Array, the only thing you can create is arrays, and at any give time, if more drives of the same type are available, they can be added to the array. An array always has the characteristic of being able to contain multiple disks whether you use that characteristic or not.

 

Also, it's actually at the logical disk level that you assign the RAID level, so it's all virtual anyway.   It's no longer Redundant Array Inexpensive Disks, but a Redundant Array of logical chunks managed by a smart controller, but the legacy terminology is still used.  

 

When you create a logical drive, regardless of RAID 0/1/5/etc, you don't pick the number of disks, you pick the capacity.  The quantity of physical disks has been abstracted out at the array level. The RAID level specifies how the "logical" chunks will be managed across the one or more disks that are present in the array.   

 

So you could start with a array of a single 1TB disk, and create RAID0 logical drive of 500GB.   Later you add another 1TB disk to the array, the RAID0 logical disk will automatically now stripe across both disks, effectively (not literal) taking a 250GB swipe of each.   It's designated as RAID0 because that is the striping/protection method that will be applied to that logical drive when more disks are added to the underlying array.  RAID0 here means that the chunks are in no way redundant with each other, and that they are spread across all available disks in the underlying array to maximize performance.

 

So in summary, yes, you can create 4 separate arrays, each with a single drive, each with a single RAID0 logical disk.  This effective gives the OS 4 volumes like AHCI would, but you are using the HP SmartArray driver instead.  This (notwithstanding the oddness reported in this thread) gives you the advantage of rolling drive health into the HP management/alerting ecosystem.

 

Hope that helps.

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Creating the RAID 0 with a single disk format it? Currently I am running it in AHCI mode and dont want it blown away if I create a single drive RAID 0

When you change from AHCI to Smart Array Single disk RAID0, or back, you are changing how the controller will be enumerated to the OS and therefore which driver will be used.  Per my explanation in the previous post, SmartArray is putting more info on the disk to manage the POSSIBILITY of there being more drives in the array, even if it is a single disk array.  So therefore, I'm pretty sure (but not 100%) that you won't be able to preserve a partition across drivers.

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When you change from AHCI to Smart Array Single disk RAID0, or back, you are changing how the controller will be enumerated to the OS and therefore which driver will be used.  Per my explanation in the previous post, SmartArray is putting more info on the disk to manage the POSSIBILITY of there being more drives in the array, even if it is a single disk array.  So therefore, I'm pretty sure (but not 100%) that you won't be able to preserve a partition across drivers.

hrmmm....just deciding if I'm game enough to try it :) The only way it may work is using the whole disk as the logical drive and I assume using anything smaller than the full capacity will blow it away for sure.

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I'm assuming you are not sweating the idea of losing the data - meaning it could cause work to restore it, but not real data loss if it DOES get destroyed... 

 

Sounds like you are really wanting to be the guinea pig and let us know how it turns out, even if you end up having to rebuild ;)

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