Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
  • clip_image001


    By: John Stutsman




    The purpose of this paper is to measure a performance baseline of up to 4 similar Hard Disk Drives in a number of RAID configurations using a Rocket RAID 2720 in an HP ProLiant MicroServer.


    I first looked at a Rocket RAID 2720 (“RR2720”) in a MicroServer in HP ProLiant N54L G7 MicroServer – First Look and while I found it interesting (and fun) to work with I noted some limitations including not being able to use my add-on PCIe Intel NIC card or my PCIe WD USB 3.0 card. Without the add-on NIC card a MicroServer with the RR2720 had limited utility as a Hyper-V test box because of the desirability to have a 2nd NIC dedicated to VM’s on a Hyper-V test box. Without the USB 3.0 card I lost the ability of fast server backups over the USB 3.0 connection – another detriment in my opinion. The MicroServer has proven to be an excellent platform for me to test some of the possibilities of the RR2720. The RR2720 is a very popular and proven RAID card on many platforms (including the GA-Z77X-UD5H) that has been discussed extensively in the Forums, Podcasts, and in PCDoc’s world & video’s – so I felt the more I could learn about the RR2720 would be time well spent.


    As a result of testing I ran in Performance Measurement of the HP ProLiant N40L and N54L G7 MicroServer I ended up moving my production Windows Home Server 2011 to the N54L. Subsequently, I moved the RR2720 to an N40L and reinstalled the OS (Windows Server 2012) used in First Look from Backups made with Windows Server 2012 Backup Role. Before reading the rest of this paper I recommend you read through the First Look paper. I would also suggest reading through the thread RR2720 BIOS Setting Utility V1.5 Issues.


    Before settling on the final configuration that I used for the testing and recording of results in this paper I would install the OS on different RAID configurations to experiment with the look and feel of the system as well as the ease of restoring from a Server Backup. After a few hiccups, detailed in the above thread, the restorations were easy as long as I was restoring from a backup that was the same size or smaller than the new volume I was restoring too. I found that a RAID0 of 2 or more HDD’s, even HDD’s with the “plain” performance metrics as the VB0250EAVER, made for a very robust feel with the OS. In total, I did about a dozen OS restorations to different configurations (the thumbnail at the beginning of this paper is a picture from one of those restorations).


    For the testing shown in this paper I restored the OS that I had originally installed in First Look to a pair of Crucial M4 256GB SSD’s in RAID0 on the RR2720 – the Crucial M4’s were in the ODD area of the MicroServer mounted in a Bytecc internal 2.5” HDD/SSD Mounting Kit – this is similar to the Bytecc Kit I used to mount 2 Samsung 840 Pro’s in a 3.5” HDD bay – I had pulled the Crucial M4’s from my Hyper-V server so the Bytecc had the Lian-Li PC-K9WX rail mounts on it. Rather than change the mounts to be able to mount the Bytecc in the ODD with 5.25” to 3.5” bracket attachments I just taped the Bytecc to the base of the ODD bay area for the duration of these tests (I was planning on this only being a temporary installation and later returned the Crucial’s back to the PC-K9WX after these tests).






    Figure 1 -- Instead of using 5.25" to 3.5" brackets to mount the Bytecc 2x2.5" to 3.5" mounting Kit to the ODD slots I secured the Bytecc with tape.






    Figure 2 -- Performance of My OS drive made of 2 x Crucial M4 256GB SSD's in RAID0 attached to Ports 1 & 2 of RR2720 in the HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer


    The performance of the RAID’s that I studied on the RR2720 are summarized in Figure 3 below.




    Figure 3 -- Summary of RAID Performance DATA


    I chose to do the majority of my tests using three VB0250EAVER’s which is the stock 250GB HDD that comes with the N40L’s and N54L’s. Additionally I used for my 4th drive a ST3750630AS which is the stock 750GB HDD original OS drive from my EX-487. The ST3750630AS has very similar performance characteristics to the VB0250EAVER and the HD-Tune performance curve for the 1st third (i.e. 250GB) of the ST3750630AS is very close to that of the VB0250EAVER. While not identical I speculated that using the ST3750630AS would give me results close to what I would achieve with an additional VB0250EAVER -- if a 4th one had been available.


    I did not do any RAID1 tests because a RAID1 should perform basically the same as an individual drive.


    When I finished the series of performance baseline tests with the VB0250EAVER’s, that had been my original plan, I was curious – just for fun -- to see what the performance of four ST3000DM001’s in a RAID10 would be. Doing a number of RAID0 tests on the ST3000DM001 did not seem to have a practical real world application in my opinion – though my tests with the VB0250EAVER’s implied that the RAID10 performance of the ST3000DM001’s would be close to the performance of two ST3000DM001’s in RAID0. Additionally, I did not do a RAID5 or RAID6 test on the ST3000DM001’s because I did not see them as practical solutions in the future with 3TB and larger drives for my applications and I was short of time for further testing. In my opinion, a good review of RAID strategies using the very large HDD’s can be found in Discussion of RAID, HDD, SDDs and Storage Configuration. Other reference links can be found in the RAID section of MicroServer HardWare Links.






    Figure 4 -- Performance of a Single Typical VB0250EAVER -- This would also be roughly the same Performance of two of these Drives in RAID1






    Figure 5 -- Performance of 2 x VB0250EAVER's in RAID 0






    Figure 6 -- Performance of 3 x VB0250EAVER's in RAID 0






    Figure 7 -- Performance of 3 x VB0250EAVER's in RAID 5






    Figure 8 -- Performance of the ST3750630AS that was the Stock OS Drive in a EX-487 and 1st 3rd of HD Tune Curve resembles the VB0250EAVER and I will be used as a Proxy for The VB0250EAVER in Subsequent Tests using 4 Drives






    Figure 9 -- 4 250GB Drives (made of 3 x VB0250EAVER & 1 x ST3750630AS) in RAID 0






    Figure 10 -- 4 250GB Drives (made of 3 x VB0250EAVER & 1 x ST3750630AS) in RAID 5






    Figure 11 -- 4 250GB Drives (made of 3 x VB0250EAVER & 1 x ST3750630AS) in RAID 6






    Figure 12 -- 4 250GB Drives (made of 3 x VB0250EAVER & 1 x ST3750630AS) in RAID 10






    Figure 13 -- Performance of a Single Typical ST3000DM001 -- This would also be roughly the same Performance of two of these Drives in RAID1






    Figure 14 -- Performance of Four ST3000DM001's in RAID 10






    Because of the limited compatibility with PCIe add-on NIC and USB 3.0 cards I haven’t been willing to recommend the RR2720 in a MicroServer but -- with those limitations well in mind -- if your limited use case doesn’t need either of those PCIe cards then the RR2720 would be one way to speed up your HDD access times (with RAID 0) or maximize RAID strategies for increased resiliency (with RAID 1 or RAID 10). (Keep in mind that RAID 0 and RAID 1 can also be set up through Windows OS via Disk Manager and in many cases on a System Board.)


    A MicroServer is an excellent platform to take a RR2720 and an assortment of small HDD’s and see what can be done in a controlled setting.








    Useful MicroServer Links & References


    MicroServer Hardware Links


    MicroServer Blog Postings


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    This is a timely post. Nice to have some ballpark numbers when look at improving disk io for virtualizing.
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Our picks

    • I throw this out every once in a while.  Is anyone interested in writing up "semi-formal" reviews here on the forums?  I say semi-formal because they don't have to be pro level, just a good attempt at telling the story about the gear.  Something you have purchased lately.  You don't have to go buy stuff, just incorporate what you have already have purchased.  Hit me up with any questions.  You never know where it will lead!
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • D-Link has dropped a couple of new products and additions to their lineup of smart home gear.  Hold on because there is a lot of gear!
      Let's start with cameras.  D-Link has new Wi-Fi cameras, the Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8302LH) and Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera (DCS-8526LH).  These are not just new, and good looking cams, they can now perform people detection and glass break detection.  The new cameras also feature expanded ways for customers to save video, including ONVIF Profile S, which enables custom storage and streaming options to personal NAS devices, built-in storage microSD capacity up to 256 GB, as well as free and paid cloud storage options. 

      This year's camera models include both an indoor and an outdoor model. The outdoor model features a spotlight and siren that can be triggered when motion is detected, deterring potential intruders. The indoor model pans around to give a full 360-degree view of any room and tracks motion. Both include two-way audio. 
      Full HD Pan and Tilt Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8302LH), available in Q2, 2020, and retail pricing will be $99.99.
      Full HD Indoor and Outdoor Pro Wi-Fi Camera is the model (DCS-8526LH), available in Q3, 2020, and retail pricing will be $119.99.
      One of my favorite products is Wi-Fi.  D-Link has a whole lot of new products coming including Wi-Fi 6, Mesh, Alexa and Google Assistant integration, IFTTT, Parental Controls, and more!

      There are so many new SKU's that I can't make heads or tails of them!  I'm going to be speaking with D-Link more this week and will sort all of these out. I do want you to see all they are offering and what the release date and projected retail pricing will be.

      AC1900 Scalable Mesh Wi-Fi Router (COVR-1900-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1750-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1900 Mesh Wi-Fi Router (DIR-1950-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1755-US), Q1 2020, $99.99
      AC1950 Mesh Wi-Fi Range Extender (DAP-1955-US), Q1 2020, $109.99
      Smart AX1500 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1560-US), Q1 2020, $119.99
      Smart AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $139.99
      Smart AX2400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X2460-US), Q3 2020, $159.99
      Smart AX5400 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Router (DIR-X5460-US), Q1 2020, $279.99
      AX1800 Mesh Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender (DAP-X1870-US), Q2 2020, $129.99
      AX1800 Whole Home Mesh System (COVR-X1872-US), QX22020, $269.99
        • Like
      • 0 replies
    • RESET Merch Shop
      Get ya Merch here!  I've created a T-Shirt shop with the famous RESET paperclip. I've pasted that clip on just about everything so you can wear it around town!  Cable bags, Coffee Mugs, T-Shirts, and more. 
      or you can get it it via
      Here is the main design.

      Below is a part of the order that I put in!  

      The Heather Grey above is the Extra Soft version and it is awesome.  I highly recommend the softness!    The "Chili Red" is the Tri-Blend and probably my favorite feel and color.

      This is the Zip-Up Hoody, Heather Indigo, Sponge Fleece, Men's, Large.  In my podcast I couldn't remember what style it was but it is Sponge Fleece. It's REALLY soft on the inside. Soft outside as well. The only problem is with the zip up hoody the logo is on the back. Regular hoody, it will be on the front.
      or you can get it it via
      Thank you for supporting this community. Everything you purchase will help keep the lights on the hard drives spinning.
      • 0 replies
    • OneDrive Personal Vault and expandable storage
      Microsoft's OneDrive has a few new features and options worth pointing out.  Personal Vault and Expandable Storage.
      Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification, such as your fingerprint, face, PIN, or a code sent to you via email or SMS. 
      Personal Vault gives you an added layer of protection for your most important files, photos, and videos—for example, copies of documents such as your passport, driver’s license, or insurance information—should someone gain access to your account or device.
      Plus, this added security won’t slow you down. You can quickly access your important documents, photos, and files with confidence wherever you are, on your PC, OneDrive.com, or your mobile device.

      Beyond a second layer of identity verification, Personal Vault also includes the following security measures:
      Scan and shoot—Using the OneDrive app, you can scan documents or shoot photos directly into your Personal Vault, keeping them off less secure areas of your device, like your camera roll.
      Automatic locking—No need to worry about whether you left your Personal Vault or your files open—both will close and lock automatically after a period of inactivity.
      BitLocker encryption—On Windows 10 PCs, OneDrive automatically syncs your Personal Vault files to a BitLocker-encrypted area of your local hard drive.
      Restricted sharing—To prevent accidental sharing, files in Personal Vault and shared items moved into Personal Vault cannot be shared.
      Taken together, these security measures help ensure that Personal Vault files are not stored unprotected on your PC, and your files have additional protection, even if your Windows 10 PC or mobile device is lost, stolen, or someone gains access to it or to your account.
      Expandable Storage
      If you are and Office 365 Subscriber you get 1 TB of OneDrive storage space with all the other Office goodies like Word, Excel, etc.  I know personally that I have gone over the 1TB limit and have always wanted to be able to add additional storage to my account.  Now you can!

      Pick and option and keep on hoarding, errr, I mean saving! Cancel anytime, upgrade at any moment.
      • 1 reply
    • Ubiquiti adds new items to the Unifi Line including UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine
      Ubiquiti has been busy.  There area ton of new items to recently released and I'm going to share two of my favorites.
      The UAP Flex HD and the Unifi Dream machine. The Flex HD is a mouthful of descriptors like most of UI gear is.  It's a 2Ghz 2x2 MIMO, 5GHz 4x4 MU-MIMO, POE, Indoor/Outdoor, multi mount, mesh point that is no bigger than a can of Coke.

      You will still need the Unifi controller although you can configure it with basic functionality with the Unifi App.  I've always found it's best to configure with your controller and then use the app as an add-on.  There are several mounting options that include sitting it on a shelf! That is something that Unifi has not had before unless you count the ceiling AP I have awkwardly mounted placed on top of a few books.  It can be found on the Unifi store for $179.
      The Dream Machine is an altogether different beast that I hope lives up to its naming.  This is the gateway drug, for lack of a better term, to the Unifi world.  The starter kit.  It is an Access Point, Gigabit Switch, Security Gateway, and the Cloud Key all in one package.  The latter being the most significant as this is something that has deterred new users from getting started with Unifi.  Requiring new users to purchase a $100 item just to run the AP's has been somewhat of a roadblock in the past.  Granted, that is improving every year with the ability to run it in the cloud, on a NAS, a Pi, Docker, MacOS, and of course Windows, it is still a barricade to getting up and running when manufacturers such as Eero offer simplicity in an app.

      The switch includes 4 LAN Ports and 1 WAN port.  All of which are Gigabit and security services such as IPS are rated at Gigabit speed. It's $299 in the Unifi store but I'm unsure how nicely it will play with other Unifi gear.  This may be a nice "first AP" with its built in Cloud Key if you can add additional units or other Unifi access points.
      • 4 replies
  • Create New...