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New to this - what have I missed?


SimonHerts
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Hi all

 

I just picked up a secondhand N54L HP Microserver for use as a file server for my desktop, laptop and sundry other pieces of kit. My intention is to put synchronising tasks into place (I have one in mind) and use Remote Desktop as appropriate.

On delivery, it was set up with Windows 10 running on one of the two HP-supplied discs in the first two caddies; the rest of disc 1 and the whole of disc 2 were set up as RAID 0. The previous owner said he had been using it as a media server.

 

I decided, after talking to a neighbour who has used a microserver in the way I want for some time, to do something similar to what he has - namely Windows Server 2008 on one disc and the other 3 caddies set up as a RAID 5 array.

 

I am struggling to get things set up the way they should be. The story so far is that I have put in Server 2008 Standard on a HDD sitting up in the ODD area (yes, I have read some of the posts on this forum - and actually understood them :) ). I have not yet been able to persuade the server to talk to the internet via my ethernet router (2008 claims there is no network adapter installed and configured, and strangely, Device Manager says that the ethernet and RAID controllers don't have their drivers installed). I don't know how much (if any) of that is normal - or more importantly, what it is that I forgot to do or simply didn't know the significance of.

 

I am also somewhat perplexed by what I should do with the drives in the caddies to specify them as RAID 5 devices. I assume I need to do something in the BIOS RAID config Utility and then go into Windows to set them up as Dynamic Disks, but I am not clear which RAID option I should specify - I can see 0, 1, 10, JBOD and RAID Ready; I understand why I can't set them on 1 or 10 but I don't get which of the other options would do the job.

 

I have seen a lot of useful links (which is great) but none of them seem to fit the set-up I am aiming at.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction, please?

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Might I suggest not bothering with RAID, look at the Stablebiit Drivepool and Drive Scanner programs, much more flexible and better if you have a disk die..

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Might I suggest not bothering with RAID, look at the Stablebiit Drivepool and Drive Scanner programs, much more flexible and better if you have a disk die..

Not heard of that, but it looks interesting. Does it support the functionality that RAID 5 would give - i.e. automatic recovery of data if a drive fails?

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You can setup folder duplication across drives, so, in my case all of the family photos are duplicated over all 4 drives, so I can lose 3 but still keep the pictures, DP uses NTFS so I can simply pull a drive out of the server and stick it in another machine, boot up, and get my files.

It doesn't spread files over disks, so if you pull a drive it'll have the entire file there rather than a chunk.

There also is the bit where drive pool doesn't have the same disk overhead as RAID.

You can add and remove drives without array rebuilding.

Mx and match drive types, internal, external etc...

 

 

Granted there are cases where RAID would be better, it's very much horses for courses, but in the home environment the outlay for DP, and you probably want to grab Drive Scanner as well, makes much more sense than RAID....

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I just tried running Stablebit Drive Scanner on my HP ML10 V2 with the P120i and a P222 controller and Drive Scanner can't monitor smart parameters. Does this have something to do with HP's raid controllers? Using Sata drives not SAS if that makes a difference.

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You need to add a RAID controller to get RAID5. From what you have described above I would point you to DrivePool as well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not particularly popular on this forum, but do investigate NAS4Free:

http://www.nas4free.org/index.php

 

Many people there use these HP Microservers, myself included, having both an N36L and an N40L.  NAS4Free offers ZFS, which is also worth researching if you want some REAL server-style disc-op-goodness!  It gives you software RAID and many other good features.  The having of ECC-RAM also means these servers are particularly suitable for ZFS, to the envy of many fans of other types of non-ECC RAM based hardware. 

 

NAS4Free is, err..., free, and is designed to boot off an (internal) USB stick, leaving all discs free for bulk storage.  Ideal for this HP configuration.

 

Great support in their forums too:

http://forums.nas4free.org/index.php

Edited by mooblie
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