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Just ordered my MS G1610T


CaptainFred
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Hi all

 

Well as the topic says I've just ordered it and looking forward to setting it up. Few quick questions before it arrives though... (I did look in the stickies and faq so apologies if I've missed the answers)

 

1. Does the motherboard have usb 3 ports on board?

 

2. If yes to no.1 can a USB 3 stick be used to boot an OS? I assume performance isn't the best this way which is why people use an SSD?

 

I'm planning to just use it as a NAS... not sure what OS yet.

 

3. Can the B120i be configured in raid 0+1 meaning 2 drives in raid 0 mirroring to another 2 drives in raid 0?

 

4. Is software RAID a no go because of the load it puts on the CPU?

 

5. I did see something somewhere about changing the fan can't find it now but has anyone does this successfully? To a better quieter one...

 

6. Does ilo have to use its dedicated port or can it share the main network port so only one network connection is required? I only have simple non managed switches.

 

7. From the pictures it doesn't look like there is any dust filters. Why is this? Seems odd that something like this wouldn't as it's bound to collect lots. Has anyone tried fitting one in the front door or something?

 

I think that's it for now...

 

Thanks :)

Edited by CaptainFred
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1.  Yes, there are USB3 ports on board.  However, it won't help you at boot - it's a Renesas USB3 controller.

 

2.  You could use a USB stick to boot an OS.  However, most people don't go that route as a primary OS because USB flash memory isn't great for sustained read/write cycles, and isn't as fast as an SSD.  The USB interface isn't as fast as going SATA.  A number of people (myself included) go with a RAID controller of some kind for the four front drive bays, and then use the onboard B120i to boot an SSD.

 

3.  The B120i supports RAID 10; a mirror striped to another mirror.  It does not support RAID 0+1; a stripe mirrored to another stripe.

 

4. Software RAID doesn't put a lot on the CPU until parity calculations come into play.  As RAID 0, 1, and 10 don't use parity, this doesn't take a lot of raw horsepower.  However, RAID levels 5, 6, 50, and 60 all require parity calculations, at which point hardware RAID is key.  The B120i isn't a true hardware RAID controller.  Also, some types of operating systems (like the VMWare ESXi hypervisor) don't support software RAID controllers.

 

5.  Changing the fan is not advisable, and is likely to be problematic.  The fans are wired to a specific, proprietary design for RPM control.

 

6. iLO can be shared, however, managed or unmanaged switches have nothing to do with it.  A dedicated port is a nice touch considering the low price.  The only thing you need is a switch port for the dedicated iLO and to set a static IP address.  You don't need a managed switch.

 

7.  I've had very little issues with dust in my Gen8.  If you keep your Gen8 off the floor and in an area your pets don't frequent, this should reduce the issue  Dust filters do filter dust, however, they have the downside of impacting airflow and therefore, heat.

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Hey all,

 

I have been reading these forums for the longest...so interesting! I have finally decided to sign up as I too am looking to jump on the Gen8 bandwagon :-)

 

So following on from what CaptainFred has asked...

 

Is it possible to have BOTH an SSD boot drive AND an ODD (BluRay burner) as well as the front 4 drive bays filled with 4 HDDs for data? If the internal USB port is USB3 could it be used for a slimline USB ODD (BluRay burner) and then use the ODD connections for an SSD to boot from?

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To add on to what LoneWolf said:

 

2. There is also internal USB for exactly this purpose (not sure if 2 or 3.0). You can also use the build-in MicroSD card slot to boot the OS like ESXi or XPenology or FreeNAS

4. B120i is kind of software RAID, there is not true RAID controller unless you go for the optional P222 controller (which costs more than the server). The CPU load is negligible for RAID 0,1,10 RAID 5 is not available

5. The build-in FAN is perfectly fine and barely noticeable in a living room unless you go for higher TPD CPUs and/or VGA/RAID etc. card on the PCI-E slot that produces additional heat forcing higher RPM. 

7. This is server, although not rack mountable it's designed to sit in an office or coms room, where is not much dust. CPU cooling is passive and there is a single exhaust chassis fan, there are not intake fans to direct the airflow as such you will have trouble filtering all the nooks and crannies.

 

 

Is it possible to have BOTH an SSD boot drive AND an ODD (BluRay burner) as well as the front 4 drive bays filled with 4 HDDs for data? If the internal USB port is USB3 could it be used for a slimline USB ODD (BluRay burner) and then use the ODD connections for an SSD to boot from?

 

Booting from the SDD attached to the 5th SATA port designated for the ODD bay with 4 HDDs in the bays is tricky in the first place and requires SD Card. You might be able to connect an internal ODD to the USB with some sort of SATA>USB and custom cabling. Why do you need ODD, for burning? because you can just mount ISOs from the iLO for any other need.

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Thanks for the replies. Few other points...

2. Is it 100% ok to boot from the internal USB or MicroSD if i'm using ESXi or XPenology or FreeNAS? I thought Windows could run from USB but maybe thats Windows 8 "To go" or whatever it's called, rather than server.

3. Isn't RAID 10 and RAID 0+1 essentially the same anyway? Wouldn't I end up with the same amount of usable space with both and also redundancy? Eg. 4 x 6TB drives = 12TB usable with both configurations?

4. If I did software RAID 5 would the CPU be able to keep up? I realise this is a difficult question because it depends on load I suppose.
 

 

Booting from the SDD attached to the 5th SATA port designated for the ODD bay with 4 HDDs in the bays is tricky in the first place and requires SD Card

 

I don't understand this. Why would booting using the 5th SATA port still requires the SD card? Is this because it's not intended for this so you have to put something on a SD card to tell it to boot from the 5th SATA port? If so how?

 

The next part is which HDs to buy...

8. Obviously looking at the WD reds but I like that with my existing D-Link DNS-323 NAS's the drives can spin down when not in use. I have mostly Seagate drives in them which have been fine for years. So if I want them to be able to spin down would WD Green's be ok? Do WD reds just not have the ability to spin down at all?

9. I need as much space as possible but the WD 6TB reds are expensive and maybe not ideal for me with the spin down ability anyway. It looks like the best value for money are the Toshiba 5TB external only it seems - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J3OP7FW. I could get 20TB for around £400 verses 24TB for around £800 if I went for the WD reds! Thats double the money for way less than double the storage! Of course, I would need to take the Toshiba drives out the external caddies and lose warranty but I have concerns about sending failed drives back to manufacturers anyway because lets face it if a drive fails it's probably possible to get at least some of the data off it if you know how. Would these Toshiba drives be bad in a NAS? They are 7200RPM.

 

10. If a drive fails, is there a way to avoid data leakage when sending it back for replacement under warranty? I have a failed 3TB drive here, it's out of warranty so obviously can't send it back even if I wanted to but let's say it was in warranty how could I protect my data falling into the wrong hands? I've tried to get it going again in external caddies etc but it's just making clunking noises and isn't recongised that it's even there. I know I could encrypt all my data somehow going forwards but then that adds additional load and affects performance. In theory if I used some type of RAID 5 part of each block (or some parity) would be on a failed drive so then in theory the data wouldn't be recoverable would it?

Edited by CaptainFred
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2. My understanding (as opposed to experience) is that Windows To Go is only available to Enterprise licensees and requires qualified USB devices for performance reasons.

Which isn't to say you couldn't get it to work, somehow.

 

3. If you are thinking of a fileserver then I'd forget RAID 0, XEON processors, more than 2GB RAM and SSD's for performance reasons: my first Microserver pumped out c80MBs over the LAN using Windows 7 and 1GB RAM.

If you want 4 disks in RAID 1 then an SSD in the ODD port is good ... the Gen8 Microserver is a BIOS machine which means the boot drive is limited to 2TB ... gotta keep those 4 bays free for RAID1.

Several members on this forum have had good results with an SSD in the OD drive bay.

 

4. I would expect so ... the only load you are really interested in is the IO over the network. With a single 1GBe connection that will max out anyway at around 100MBs without troubling the CPU.

 

8. So the spinning down and reliability question. I'm not an expert or experienced enough to know .. but ... Backblaze did a study of disks publishing various damning criticisms of Seagate and WD consumer disks. Like me they buy the cheapest disks available. They actually called out the frequent spinning up and down in WD as the cause of huge percentage of failures.

On my main workstation I generally inhabit the SSD for work in progress. It isn't until I come to move a completed project that I spin up the HDD. And the time it takes irritates me ... and Windows Explorer which remains unresponsive for a few seconds. The same is true in a fileserver populated with consumer disks.

But here's the rub.

In Backblaze's system the disks are battered with an enterprise load (probably multiple enterprise loads), so there is frequent spinning up and down (and probably long periods of always up!).​

In a home system? The disks are doing nothing most of the time. Here I think the spun down time may be beneficial to longevity and certainly to power consumption and hence cost.

What is the break even point? Nobody knows.

So just like Backblaze I think purchasing cheap disks is OK provided you have a well-prepared redundancy and backup system in place.

That, after all, was the idea of RAID! Redundant array of inexpensive disks. Many people have forgotten the inexpensive part.

 

10. Too late I suspect if you did not encrypt the disk beforehand.

 

Nice find that Toshiba external disk ... let us know if you can excavate the same from its casing. 

Edited by JackoUK
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2. It is 100% ok to boot from the internal USB or MicroSD if using ESXi or XPenology or FreeNAS as the OS is deigned to support and even encourage it? Windows 8 "To go" is not intended for such use there are limitations with it. Native Windows OS doesn't support boot from USB

3. They are more or less the same with some subtle differences you won't notice in 4 disk config - http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2011/10/raid10-vs-raid01/

4. The CPU will keep up, the disk performance is a different matter, generally the parity calculations are causing performance hit, with only 4 disks the performance hit often doesn't justify the increase of usable space 
 

Regarding the booting from the SDD attached to the 5th SATA port designated for the ODD bay with 4 HDDs in the bays is tricky in the first place and requires SD Card. I didn't explain it properly and it only affects you if using the B120i in AHCI mode as there is a limitation in this scenario preventing the boot the 5th SATA port, that can be circumvented by placing the boot record on microSD card, full guide is available in this forum. If you use it in RAID, no need for the workaround.

 

8. Spin up/down can be controlled for some drives with the firmware versions and/or vendor specific tools


9. The biggest problem with using external drives is that you will most likely lose the warranty if you crack open the shell to extract the disk. WD reds are generally designed for NAS with a poor single disk performance as they are expected to work in arrays, but optimized power consumption and acoustics for 24x7 loads

 

10. If the drive doesn't even starts and is in warranty you want to use, the only option is to use a specialist service to wipe/recover data, Seagate for instance offer the use of such service if you RMA disk.

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WD reds are generally designed for NAS with a poor single disk performance as they are expected to work in arrays, but optimized power consumption and acoustics for 24x7 loads

WD Red non-Pro are just low power WD Green drives with some firmware tweaks such as TLER being enabled and the default spindown timer altered from the extremely aggressive WD Green setting. There are minimal changes beyond that despite what WD claims. It is why they're not recommended for usage in large disk arrays with more than 5 spindles. The combined vibration can cause significant latency issues.

 

WD Red Pro drives however do have some of the WD RE features such as the spindle being attached at both ends and a vibration sensor. This allows it to cope much better with vibration from large disk arrays.

Edited by GotNoTime
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2. My understanding (as opposed to experience) is that Windows To Go is only available to Enterprise licensees and requires qualified USB devices for performance reasons.

Which isn't to say you couldn't get it to work, somehow.

 

3. If you are thinking of a fileserver then I'd forget RAID 0, XEON processors, more than 2GB RAM and SSD's for performance reasons: my first Microserver pumped out c80MBs over the LAN using Windows 7 and 1GB RAM.

If you want 4 disks in RAID 1 then an SSD in the ODD port is good ... the Gen8 Microserver is a BIOS machine which means the boot drive is limited to 2TB ... gotta keep those 4 bays free for RAID1.

Several members on this forum have had good results with an SSD in the OD drive bay.

 

4. I would expect so ... the only load you are really interested in is the IO over the network. With a single 1GBe connection that will max out anyway at around 100MBs without troubling the CPU.

 

8. So the spinning down and reliability question. I'm not an expert or experienced enough to know .. but ... Backblaze did a study of disks publishing various damning criticisms of Seagate and WD consumer disks. Like me they buy the cheapest disks available. They actually called out the frequent spinning up and down in WD as the cause of huge percentage of failures.

On my main workstation I generally inhabit the SSD for work in progress. It isn't until I come to move a completed project that I spin up the HDD. And the time it takes irritates me ... and Windows Explorer which remains unresponsive for a few seconds. The same is true in a fileserver populated with consumer disks.

But here's the rub.

In Backblaze's system the disks are battered with an enterprise load (probably multiple enterprise loads), so there is frequent spinning up and down (and probably long periods of always up!).​

In a home system? The disks are doing nothing most of the time. Here I think the spun down time may be beneficial to longevity and certainly to power consumption and hence cost.

What is the break even point? Nobody knows.

So just like Backblaze I think purchasing cheap disks is OK provided you have a well-prepared redundancy and backup system in place.

That, after all, was the idea of RAID! Redundant array of inexpensive disks. Many people have forgotten the inexpensive part.

 

10. Too late I suspect if you did not encrypt the disk beforehand.

 

Nice find that Toshiba external disk ... let us know if you can excavate the same from its casing. 

 

I thought the load of RAID 5 is considerably more because of the parity calculations required? Obviously with RAID 1 and 0 it doesn't have to work the same way...

 

By Backblaze do you mean https://www.backblaze.com/cloud-backup.html?gclid=CLnlh5uFn8gCFeOD2wodS_8EnQ ?

 

Do you think those Toshiba drives would work ok and not get too hot etc? The lack of any warranty is a problem as they could die after a week or month....

 

 

2. It is 100% ok to boot from the internal USB or MicroSD if using ESXi or XPenology or FreeNAS as the OS is deigned to support and even encourage it? Windows 8 "To go" is not intended for such use there are limitations with it. Native Windows OS doesn't support boot from USB

 

3. They are more or less the same with some subtle differences you won't notice in 4 disk config - http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2011/10/raid10-vs-raid01/

 

4. The CPU will keep up, the disk performance is a different matter, generally the parity calculations are causing performance hit, with only 4 disks the performance hit often doesn't justify the increase of usable space 

 

Regarding the booting from the SDD attached to the 5th SATA port designated for the ODD bay with 4 HDDs in the bays is tricky in the first place and requires SD Card. I didn't explain it properly and it only affects you if using the B120i in AHCI mode as there is a limitation in this scenario preventing the boot the 5th SATA port, that can be circumvented by placing the boot record on microSD card, full guide is available in this forum. If you use it in RAID, no need for the workaround.

 

8. Spin up/down can be controlled for some drives with the firmware versions and/or vendor specific tools

9. The biggest problem with using external drives is that you will most likely lose the warranty if you crack open the shell to extract the disk. WD reds are generally designed for NAS with a poor single disk performance as they are expected to work in arrays, but optimized power consumption and acoustics for 24x7 loads

 

10. If the drive doesn't even starts and is in warranty you want to use, the only option is to use a specialist service to wipe/recover data, Seagate for instance offer the use of such service if you RMA disk.

 

 

So yes you think the RAID 5 partiy calculations would cause a performance hit?

 

Is there a way to wipe a drive if it won't even start then? I suppose magnet comes to mind but then you still wouldn't know if it's been successful or not....

 

WD Red non-Pro are just low power WD Green drives with some firmware tweaks such as TLER being enabled and the default spindown timer altered from the extremely aggressive WD Green setting. There are minimal changes beyond that despite what WD claims. It is why they're not recommended for usage in large disk arrays with more than 5 spindles. The combined vibration can cause significant latency issues.

 

WD Red Pro drives however do have some of the WD RE features such as the spindle being attached at both ends and a vibration sensor. This allows it to cope much better with vibration from large disk arrays.

 

I've just realised... are the WD Red's (non pro) only 5900RPM? Looks like this is a trend with the NAS HDs...

 

Are the Seagate 4TB NAS drives ok? 4TB isn't really enough though and seems a bit of a bad decision as i'll need to upgrade sooner... but they are a bit cheaper

 

I know these are meant for NAS and know they are slower as writes etc but would the Seagate 8TB Archive drive work ok in it, perhaps as a single drive?

 

Thanks for the help.

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