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Getting my MS Gen8 today, some questions


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Hi all,


I'm new to this forum, been lurking for some days since I ordered my used MS Gen8.


Specs of the one I get today:


E3-1230V2 (stock cooler, no mods)

16GB Kingston 1333MHz ECC

HP Smart Array P420/2G


For storage I'm planning on 4x4TB HGST DeskStar NAS 7200RPM SATA drives + 480GB SSD for OS/VMs.

For the moment I only have 1 4TB HGST drive and the SSD. Would like to expand this with 3 extra HGST drives, but in the following months.


I'm planning to use the server for storage, video surveillance, home automation, media serving and also lab/learning ESXi.


Total price for the server is around 500€ including the HP P420


The biggest question on my mind right now is if I should or should not get the P420. If I don't get it, the price will drop to 400€. 100€ for the P420 seems like a really good price though; problem is if I will use it.

My research seems to indicate that you cannot turn off RAID on this controller; is this correct? In that case, I can't (shouldn't?) use it with ZFS. There seems to be a rageing battle between HW RAID vs SW RAID (ZFS, BTRFS) and I can't wrap my head around what is "best".


I would like to use ESXi, but then I cannot use FreeNAS (at least not recommended) anyways. Maybe HW RAID with another NAS OS is the way to go? In this case, are there any recommendations on which OS to use for the NAS part?


Grateful for any answers, especially if it's worth buying the P420 (which I think it is, even if I'm not about to use it at this exact time).




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