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Recommendations needed for setting up new Gen8 Microserver


Jadonr
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Quick question. Does anybody know the length of cable I will need for the SFF8087 to SATA cable (to connect the SSD drive)? I was looking at an 18 inch cable, but will that be long enough? I was hoping to avoid a 3ft cable to keep the advantage of cable management.

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The only requirement evident from your intro. text is the need to store 4TB of data securely - so I'll assume that's all you want for now.
1. Nice hardware ... can we assume the G8 has a decent XEON cpu (and how much RAM have you got)?
2. If you ONLY want a storage server then you would be waaay over the top with Server 2012 and the P222 ... and missed an important architectural issue.
a. If you are building a storage server then you are going to pump data into it and extract a fraction of data from it, to and from other workstations on your LAN. Since GBE networking and HDD's work at around 100MB/s ... it doesn't matter how fast your CPU's are ... and it doesn't matter if your workstations have SSD's - the network and HDD's on the storage server can only work at 100MB/s.
b. For most home usage you are going to be operating on a fast workstation .. .and when you are finished with a piece of work send it to the storage server. Does it really have to go faster than 100MB/s?  No: while copying you will get on with something else. And what if you want to serve up a video file for real-time viewing? Doesn't need 100MB/s.
c. Most likely you will access data via shared folders e.g. /Work, /Photographs, /Videos. Do you need Server 2012 to operate with shared areas? No. Windows 10 Home would do. A LINUX distro would do, since it exports shared file systems via SMB.
d. The other thing you almost certainly want to do is maintain the server headless, so after the initial build use Windows Remote Desktop. Do you need iLO? No: but that doesn't mean you can't learn how to use it if you want to operate more professionally (than I do) and have extra functionality. So Windows Home + Teamviewer (or similar) would work ... or if you want Windows 10 Pro. Remote desktop to a LINUX machine with SMB shares via free XTeminal is also capable (I have a guide under the Hyper-V topic somewhere herein).
e. The only good reason I can see for the expense of Server 2012 is to exploit the security features of ReFS. (An experimental route might be the inclusion of ZFS in newer LINUX distros.)
f. But what if you need/want 200MB/s? The G8 has 2xGBE ports, so cable both up and take advantage of SMB Multichannel
Do your workstations have 2xGBE ports and SSD's? If not you are still limited to 100MB/s. If so ... then now I can see a use for the P222 in RAID 10 mode. Will it be capable of 200MB/s bandwidth (others on this forum  might know, not I. I would buy 3 low-end G8's rather than a single P222 card at list prices in the UK ... and SCALE OUT rather than UP).
g. The P222 has the advantage of an external SAS port ... worth considering for expanding into further attached storage bays (again others on this forum have explored this topic. Question for Schoodoggy et al; quantify how 'much faster' the P222 is over the B120i - 200MB/s, more?).
h. In your position I would:
- take out the SD card
- take out the P222 controller
- build a B120i RAID 1 volume to house an OS and a separate data partition using 2x2TB disks
- build another RAID 1 volume to house a data partition using the other 2x2TB disks (separate so that when you want to go to 2x4TB ... or 2X10TB you don't have to interfere with the OS partition, which on the G8 is limited to 2TB by BIOS)
- buy an OEM copy of Windows 10 Pro
- EITHER buy a 6-8TB external USB3 drive (the G8 has 2xUSB 3 ports out back) and enable File History (or similar) keeping the disk off-site (maybe buy that before tinkering with your existing disks if they have data on!!)
- OR use a cloud storage provider e.g. Backblaze Unlimited, which becomes better and better value as your storage volume increases
- virtualisation: no need (but you get Hyper-V with W10 Pro if you just want to play adn the G8 has a decent XEON cpu)
- spend more time thinking about how this is going to pan out in the future. If you'e not sure about buying W10Pro, use the evaluation copy of W10 Enterprise pro tem (easy to change so long as the OS partition is separate)
3. There are  lots of other options herein ... so how much data, when and what other jobs will the server have to do?
Did my waffle answer ANY of your questions ;-)

 

complete explanation

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