The Schoondoggy Gen8 Drive Mount for the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer First Look
By: John Stutsman
Not long ago, Schoondoggy asked a few of us to beta test preproduction versions of his drive mount bracket for the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer. Except for the placement of the holes to attach the Schoondoggy Gen8 Drive Mount (“SGDM”) to the PSU – which was easily fixed with my Dremel – the SGDM is perfect in design simplicity coupled with high flexibility. With the SGDM I could mount two 2.5” drives (like VelociRaptors or the 2.5” WD Red’s), or 2.5” SSD’s, or a single thin 3.5” drive – all the while still leaving the ODD bay open for the Optical Disk Drive or one or two SSD’s! I can disconnect the drive cage SAS cable and attach a SFF-8087 to the system board giving me two SATA III ports (SATA cables 1 & 2 off the SFF-8087) and two SATA II ports (SATA cables 3 & 4 off the SFF-8087) all controlled by the HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller. The now free HP SAS cable to the drive cage could be attached to an add-in card (such as an HP P222) providing functionality for four 3.5” drives in the drive cage.
The HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer is a fun machine to work with — but the SGDM takes it to a whole new level! Thanks Schoondoggy! In my opinion, if you have a Gen8 MicroServer — you are going to want a Schoondoggy Gen8 Drive Mount.
In early August, 2013, Schoondoggy announced in the HSS Forums that he had a prototype of a drive mounting bracket to enable him to mount two additional 2.5” drives in the recently introduced HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer. Many on the Forums were encouraged by Schoondoggy’s efforts to refine his design and bring his bracket to production. His idea would enable the option of two drives within the Gen8 case in addition to the main 4 drive bay and the ODD.
Figure 1 — Schoondoggy’s Prototype Drive Bracket for Gen8 MicroServer from HSS Forums
At the Home Server Show Meetup 2013 Schoondoggy displayed his HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer prototype drive mounting bracket and I was amazed to see how he had fit the additional drives in the available space and came up with a cooling solution. This was one of the highlights of the Meetup for me and I took several pictures of Schoondoggy’s display which are included in the MeetUp 2013 Wrap Up Photos section.
Figure 2 — Schoondoggy’s Gen8 MicroServer Prototype Drive Bracket at MeetUp 2013
Beta Test Preproduction Copy – Schoondoggy Gen8 Drive Mount
Recently, Schoondoggy sent me a Best Test Copy of what I’ve decided to call in this write-up the Schoondoggy Gen8 Drive Mount (“SGDM”). I will now address my unboxing, installation, and testing of the SGDM.
Figure 3 — The SGDM Unboxed and displayed next to HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer
The SGDM unboxing is recorded in the following video:
Figure 4 — The Two Arrows show the Location to use the 2 Longer, Supplied, Screws to Attach the SGDM to the Gen8 MicroServer PSU
Figure 5 — SGDM Attached to Gen8 MicroServer without Drives
Figure 6 — Location of Mounting Holes for 2.5″ Drives/SSDs
Figure 7 — Location of Mounting Holes for Thin 3.5″ Drive
Figure 8 — Additional Parts Needed: 8 Drive/SSD screws & 8 Neoprene washers
Additional Parts Needed:
- 8 — 2.5” Drive/SSD Mounting Screws (if mounting a 3.5” drive only 2 screws are necessary)
- 8 – Insulated (Rubber or Neoprene) washers – I used 3/8” OD w 5/32” ID
Figure 9 — Back of SGDM with 8 Drive Mount Holes Counter Sunk
Figure 10 — Bit used to Counter Sink Drive Mount Holes — work slowly and carefully and check often if hole is counter sunk enough
Mounting 2.5” VelociRaptors (without Ice-Pack) to the SGDM and attaching the SGDM to the MicroServer
Mounting Two 2.5” VelociRaptors is shown in the following video:
Figure 11 — Note the Air Gap Created by using the Insulated Washers between the SGDM and the 2.5” drive (VelociRaptor in this case) — Air Flow from the Blower in this Air Gap will help cool the VelociRaptor (Note that the screw holes to mount the drives to the SGDM have not been counter sunk yet in this photo)
Figure 12 — 2.5″ VelociRaptors attached to SGDM and screws have been counter sunk
Figure 13 — The only Modification that was necessary on the SGDM was to use a Dremel to grind out the PSU Attachment holes towards the end of the tab to line up with the PSU mounting bracket holes — future production units will have this corrected
Mounting 2.5” SSD’s to the SGDM
Mounting Two 2.5” SSD’s is shown in the following video:
Mounting 3.5” Thin Hard Drive to the SGDM
One 3.5” Thin Hard Drive can be mounted to the SGDM as shown in the following video:
Power & Data Connection for Schoondoggy Gen8 Drive Mount (“SGDM”)
- 1 Athena Power Cable-YPHD 8” Molex Y Splitted Power Cable
- 1 Nippon Labs SATA Adapter Molex 4-Pin PC Power Cable to 2 x SATA Converter Cables for SATA 1 and SATA II Hard Drive Model POW-SATA-2
- 1 4-Pin Molex to 4-Pin Molex & 2-wire Fan Power Adaptor (I have several of these that were included with my HAF & Lian-Li cases over the years – this is the first time I got to use one)
- 2 Male 22awg quick connector (over kill for this build but I had these in my parts box – I had gotten them at Menard’s some time ago – the best way would have been to attach a fan connector to the SGDM Blower and then just plug it in)
- 2 Female 22awg quick connector (over kill for this build but I had these in my parts box – I had gotten them at Menard’s some time ago – the best way would have been to attach a fan connector to the SGDM Blower and then just plug it in)
- 1 Black electrical tape (I had this in my parts box)
- 1 Red electrical tape (I had this in my parts box)
- 1 Package Heavy Duty Velcro (picked up at Menards)
- 1 StarTech Model SAS8087S450 19” (50cm) Serial Attached SCSI Cable – SFF-8087 to 4x Latching SATA
Figure 14 — Parts for Connecting Power to Drives on SGDM
1. Review the material on page 46 of the HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Server Maintenance and Service Guide.
Figure 15 — Page 46 of the HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Server Maintenance and Service Guide
2. Disconnect the 4 pin Molex connector from the PSU to the power cable underneath the ODD area frame.
Figure 16 — the 4 pin Molex connector underneath the ODD area frame has been disconnected in this picture
3. Between the now open connections attach a 4 pin Molex Y connector – Attach terminals A and B shown in Figure 14 above.
Figure 17 — See Figure 14 above and attach terminal A and B
4. On the extra free 4 pin Molex connection attach a 4 pin Molex to Molex pass through connection with a 2 wire Fan auxiliary connector.
Figure 18 — See also Figure 14 above on how this connected
5. On the free 4 pin Molex connection attach a 4 pin Molex Y to 2 SATA Power connectors
Figure 19 — See also Figure 14 above on how this is connected
6. Attach the SATA Power connectors to the drives attached to the SGDM
Figure 20 — In Figure 14 above the SATA Power Connectors are labeled Terminals C & D
7. Remove the Fan auxiliary connector (on 4 above) and attach 2 quick connect on the wires
Figure 21 — in Figure 14 above the fan connector is labeled Terminal E
Figure 22 — These are the connectors I used to attached the fan
Figure 23 — Two connectors have been attached
8. Attach 2 quick connect on the wires on the SGDM blower
Figure 24 — Two Connectors have been attached to the Fan cables
9. Place heavy duty Velcro on the frame to secure the aux blower
Figure 25 — Measuring for length to cut Velcro too — Velcro shown in Figure 14 and Next Figure
Figure 26 — Heavy Duty Velcro used to attach Fan to MicroServer Frame
Figure 27 — Velcro cut to size of Frame Attachment
Figure 28 — Velcro Attached to Frame
10. Attach the Quick Connects from the SGDM blower (see 8 above) to 7 above – be sure to match the wire color codes. Use electrical tape to cover the exposed connections.
Figure 29 — Blower attached to Power via connectors and wrapped with electrical tape
11. Position the SGDM blower. Secure to the Velcro.
Figure 30 — Blower attached and positioned ot optimize around Drives and across side of PSU
12. Disconnect the SAS fan out cable that goes to drive cage from System Board
Figure 31 — HP SAS cable to Drive Cage SATA Ports to be disconnected from System Board
13. Attach SFF-8087 to System Board
Figure 32 — SFF-8087 to be attached to System Board where HP SAS cable had been attached
Figure 33 — SFF-8087 Attached to System Board
14. Attach SATA 1 & 2 from SFF-8087 to Drives on SGDM
Figure 34 — SATA cables 1 & 2 from SFF-8087 attached to Drives on SGDM — Note that these are the two SATA III (6Gbps) Ports from the System Board and are controllable from the HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller
Tidy up the wiring and close the cover.
Figure 35 — Temperature Graph via iLO with cover off and system up for several days
Figure 36 — Temperature Graph via iLO – same as Figure 35 above except with Cover On.
Figure 37 — iLO information on the two VelociRaptors attached to the SGDM in RAID0 for the OS Drive for Windows Server 2012
Figure 38 — Windows Server 2012 installed with HP Intelligent Provisioning on HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer
My System Configuration As-Built:
- HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer Celeron G1610T
- 16GB RAM – Kingston KVR1333D3E9SK2/16G
- OS Drive: HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Logical RAID0 Drive made with two (2) physical drives VelociRaptor WD1500HLHX
- OS: Windows Server 2012 Standard
- Beta: Schoondoggy Gen8 Drive Mount (plus parts listed above to provide power and data to drives on the SGDM)
Figure 39 — Loading Windows Server 2012 using Intelligent Provisioning
Overall, I’m very pleased with the performance of the HP ProLiant Gen8 MicroServer with the Schoondoggy Gen8 Drive Mount. I am planning many more tests in the future using the SGDM in my Gen8 MicroServer.
Join us in the HSS Forums with any questions and/or comments on the above and other threads.