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Upgrading to Gen8, reuse Gen7 as drive cage?


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For a few years now, my 54L has been runnung Xpenology, however I now need to add more drives to expand my storage. As the Gen8 has just gone back on promotion (in the UK at least) I have been looking at getting one of these and effectively using the 54L as a drive cage. Before I take the plunge and order the required parts, I had a few questions:


  • what RAID card would I need that is compatible with the Gen8 and Xpenology? I have been looking at the HP P222
  • is the stock configuration of the Gen8 suitable (1610T model). I will probably look at upgrading the RAM anyway, more concerned with the CPU
  • how do I go about setting up the 54L for this use? is it simply connecting the 4 bay connector to a SFF-8087 to SFF-8088 converter?
  • Planning on using WD Red 4tb drives, are these compatible?
  • what does the 54L do when it has no drive cage connected? does it just sit at the BIOS screen? could it be doing something else (e.g. folding@home) with a drive connected?

Current 54L spec:


4x 4tb WD Red drives using built in bays

1x 960GB SSD using ODD port as a cache drive

1x 4GB USB 2.0 drive installed in the internal USB port booting Xpenology

Xpenology 5.2 5644 Update 5 installed


Planned Gen8 setup:


4x 4tb WD Red drives using built in bays

1x 960GB SSD using ODD bay as cache drive

1x 8GB MicroSD card booting Xpenology

HP P222 RAID card

SFF-8087 to SFF-8088 converter installed in 54L

2x WD Red 4tb drives in 54L drive cage (2x empty bays for future use)


I figured as the Gen8 is a more powerful machine, it would be better off as the primary machine running the OS

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Here is a video of John doing this:


Here is my post:



We used P222, but if you are not using RAID you may want to look LSI based HBA's.

I would add more memory the the MS Gen8.

You can run the N54l with another application and put drives up in the 5.25" bay.

Let us know if you have more questions.

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  • 4 weeks later...

thanks for the info, I've been very busy with work so I've only just got around to looking at this again.

It seems like getting some of these parts for a reasonable price in the UK is proving a little difficult. It looks like eBay is the best place:


HP P222: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201572021468?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

HP Battery pack for above: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/351662616139?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Norco 8087 to 8088 adapter: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/282007278793?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

SFF 8088 cable: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201569032082?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


I wont be buying anything just yet, I am waiting for the Gen8 server to go back onto a cashback promotion. Will these parts do what I want? I believe I have everything needed.

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I'm looking at the same thing more or less, the Gen7 I'll be using is dead tho so I'm just using it to power the drives rather than having the base do one thing and have the drives plugged into the Gen8 via the P222...

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Do you need Hardware RAID for XPEnology ? Unless you split the RAID Arrays between internal and external cage to protect you against power failure in the N54L.


You only need more memory for XPENology for SSD Cache and Applications.


Depending on how much Plex transcoding, and size of your videos, e.g. 4k Blue Ray quality, you may want to change to faster processor.

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only using software RAID built into Xpenology. Once I have the Gen8 I will look at hardware RAID options.


I will be adding an SSD cache drive (moving the 960GB currently in the 54L to the new Gen8). Plex runs on a separate PC, all this will do is store the media files.


As I have had issues getting the RAM in the UK for a reasonable price, I figured I would buy the maximum now, before it becomes even harder to find!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Scan.co.uk seems to be stocking/will be stocking some of these components:


SAS 8088 to 8087 adapter: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/lycom-st-187-dual-sff-8088-to-sff-8087-low-profile-pcie-host-adapter


As for the controller card, there seems to be a couple of different options, none of which are HP. There are a couple of Lycom-branded cards, as well as some HighPoint (RocketRAID). the LSI cards all seem to be a very high price, not sure what advantages these offer to justify the higher prices?


With the new setup, I think I will move over to the B120i and use the RAID functionality built into that for the 4 drives going into the Gen8, but not sure what to do about the other drives in the Gen7

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Also, eBuyer and ServerPlus have the G1610T in stock and on the cashback deal as long as it is invoiced by the 31st May. I just got mine from ServerPlus (cheaper than eBuyer)

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