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SSD Compatability with Gen8 G1610T (RAID 1 SSD ?)


conhulio2000
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Hi all,

 

im new to this site, and thanks to everyone who has shared some information already.

 

AboutMe:  Software Developer by Trade (way too many years), UK  based, passionate about IT, unadmittedly also gaming (BF4 addict), and also wanting to learn new stuff - thus why im here, thought upgrading my crappy ds413j to a proper vm hosted server would be cool, but i also still wanted the coolness of the DSM. :-)

 

I have recently bought the Gen8 G1610T Proliant server.  as i used to have a DS413J.

 

My Hardware:

G1610T, firmware J06 06-06-2014

16GB RAM EEC RAM

Xeon E3-1230

4 x 4TB HGST drives

2 x 120 Kingston 120GB V300

1 x M1015 RAID Controller, firmwared to SAS2008 kit, in IT MODE. (apparently is better).

 

I already built and tried, the following and it worked:  however, it did not support a RAID 1 SSD setup, as this is what i want ultimately.

 

SETUP Test #1

build ESXi v5.5, to 32GB Sandisk Extreme Micro SD

2 x 4TB setup on the internal AHCI b120i controller (ACHI Mode) 2 of 4 bays.

1 x 120Gb Kingston 3dnow v300 card on ODD SATA.

NO M1015 at this point.

 

I got this setup, and working in ESXi, built the Synology NAS DS1615 rom into a Linux VM with Xenoboot as cd bootup.  and RDM (Raw Disk Mapping) the 2 SATA drives into NAS VM, and used SHR (Synology Hybrid RAID) setup.  Setup a NAS Share (as i heard iSCSI is not that great, and takes more configuring).  The NFS Share was setup in the NAS and shared in ESXi, and configured as a Datastore for the new potential VMs.

 

PROs:  Got it working as i wanted it to test setup of Synology NAS, however - its not ideal for ESXi datastore redundancy.  I was quite happy i managed to get this setup without modding or updating any firmware to the server.

CONs: happy with SHR on SATA HDDs, but no redundancy on SSD, :-(

 

 

So - after getting the M1015 chipped up to the SAS2008 IT Mode, switched the 4bay drive cable to the M1015 controller, and setup a Mini-SAS cable to the 2 SSD cards. and switched the baby back on......

 

BOOOM!!!!!:  no SSDs reported off the B120i Controller...not in RAID mode, nor in AHCI mode, nor in Legacy mode.

 

This has now brought me to conclusion that the G1610T server only likes certain SSDs.  am i right guys?

 

 

This brings me to what SSDs have been known to work in this server?

 

Drive / Size / Setup / additional information

2 x Kingston SSD V300, 120GB,   NOT REPORTING in my machine, have no idea why, they are fine in ODD, and other desktop machine

 

 

 

Question #1 : please let me know if RAID 1 of 2x SSDs on B120i controller is possible? or even RAIDing it in ESXi.?

 

Im a complete beginner in this stuff, but a quick learner..... any advice would be appreciated.

 

Richard

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BOOOM!!!!!:  no SSDs reported off the B120i Controller...not in RAID mode, nor in AHCI mode, nor in Legacy mode.

I assume you've used the HP SSA configuration tool to try to setup the B120i controller? If you don't see any drives at all then you've either not plugged the SFF-8087 cable in properly or you've bought a SFF-8087 reverse breakout cable. You need to get a SFF-8087 to discrete SATA forward breakout cable. You have to use the first two ports on the cable as well for your SSDs as they're the SATA III 6Gbps capable ports. The other two ports and the ODD port are SATA II 3Gbps only.

 

This has now brought me to conclusion that the G1610T server only likes certain SSDs.  am i right guys?

No. It doesn't care what the SSD is. It isn't picky about SATA drives at all.

 

please let me know if RAID 1 of 2x SSDs on B120i controller is possible? or even RAIDing it in ESXi.?

ESXi itself doesn't support software RAID. RAID 1 is possible on the B120i controller but the B120i "RAID" controller is actually just the Intel SATA controller with a custom HP firmware + driver. You're actually doing software RAID.

 

There are significant issues with the B120i hpvsa driver for ESXi (and Linux) however. You must use 5.5.0-88OEM or you'll experience terrible throughput. Be aware that the driver only supports a very shallow I/O queue so any significant load on the B120i controller may have significant latency.

 

I don't recommend using the internal SATA controller in the Microserver Gen8 in AHCI mode. I've had significant issues with SATA port resets and extremely long timeouts. Switching it to B120i mode with the old 5.5.0-88OEM driver makes it sort of usable. AHCI mode is completely unusable. Legacy mode is not a good idea either due to significant extra overhead.

Edited by GotNoTime
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You mention moving the drive cable to the M1015 and connecting the SSD to a mini SAS cable. What is the part number for that cable? Is it fan out or fan in? Have you check the cable connection yo the motherboard?

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Hi All - especially Schoon for being so responsive! i didnt expect that.!!

thanks guys!

 

im a complete new comer to this stuff, but im a determined man! lol

 

1. the cable was securely attached.  However, I think you hit the nail on the head there!  stupidly i bought breakout reverse cables. (see pic 1).

2. thanks for the update on ESXi and using B120i with the SSDs.  after that note, to be honest, im more than likely now to attach the SSDs to the M1015 card on Port 1 (with the correct cable of course).

 

So lesson here, is dont use RAID.... and stay away from the B120i controller.

 

Issue though, is im trying to find the right setup.

 

requirements

1. I'd like SSDs to store the vmdks, and a "redundancy" mode. (thus why i was thinking RAID 1 on B120i)

2. the 4 bays ,will have 4 x 4TB drives on SHR (2 volumes [1st for my video collection,  2nd for Software, Pics, personal stuff, and Git, etc for my work etc..])  This way i've got 2 sets of important things with redundancy. I'll also setup CloudSync in DSM to point to my Amazon S3 storage, for critical stuff like source code, and apps etc i really cannot loose.

3. of course i want to use ESXi 5.5, as i'd like to setup a tru end-to-end development CI configuration, through to full deployment.  with various windows VMs.

4. of course, ESXi host will boot off the MicroSD card.

 

is this do'able?  with the hardware i have.  ? any advice appreciated guys.

 

 

Richard

 

 

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hi guys,

 

i've ordered a Forward cable. thanks for advice.

 

can someone let me know the best way to give best redundancy on SSD in a ESXi environment for the vm files.

 

 

thanks

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hi guys,

 

i've ordered a Forward cable. thanks for advice.

 

can someone let me know the best way to give best redundancy on SSD in a ESXi environment for the vm files.

 

 

thanks

 

ESXi on itself offer no disk resilience, your best bet is to create a hardware RAID1 volume

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hi sal,

thanks.  I reset the LSI M1015 card back to SAS2008 firmware, and flashed it to IR MODE.

 

I then created a RAID 1 setup on the SSD cards, and left the 4tb drives for SHR on Synology NAS DSM ds3615 setup. 

 

so far so good.  I will be posting a full setup blog, so for someone whos never done it before they can do it step-by-step 1-2-3.  unless, theres no point because someon else already done it.

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Im running a 240GB Kingston V300 With Sync Nand on port 0 in AHCI mode works fine

Also have tried a 120GB Kingston V300 With async Nand that also worked fine

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