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Looking for some advice on up-rating upgrading my Microserver Gen 8


dhirenmehta
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Hi All, 

 

I currently have a HP Microserver Gen 8 that I purchased 'way back when' when they were on offer and I picked one up for around £100.

 

I currently run ESXi 6.0 from a USB stick with a few VM's running on a Samsung SSD in the ODD bay. For storage, I have 2 x  3TB drives in bays 1 and 2 in the RAID 1 and 2 x 6TB drives in bays 3 and 4. I have also added an extra 2GB RAM (so 6TB in total).

 

I have a pretty stable XPEnology VM running on the SSD with the storage presented via RDM, the 3TB LUN 'personal stuff', the remaining two drives as TV shows and Movies which are served out using Plex.

 

Things have started to fill up so I'm looking to upgrade my setup, but looking at the hardware out there, I think I'd rather beef up my existing Microserver Gen 9 rather than go get a Gen 10 or ML110 / ML30 option ...

 

I'd like some advice on the following:

 

  • Processor - I've seen the sticky post about processors and would probably like to opt for a Xeon chip; most of the compatible ones seem to be discontinued, is it 'safe' to purchase 2nd hand / refurbed procs?
  • RAID card - When i originally purchased my Microserver, the HP P222 was worth three times more than the server, these days I can see that refurbished P420's are within easy reach; however are there other models that are either newer or can handle better capacity, I'm keen to have drives running at 6 GB/s if possible rather than 3 GB/s
  • HDDs - looking to possibly get 4 x 10TB or 4 x 12TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs, will I need to be careful with what RAID Card I get, can I get a RAID card that will allow for these 4 Drives to be in a RAID 5 (to allow for roughly 30TB or above if using 12TB Drives)? 

 

Thanks all :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/13/2019 at 4:33 PM, dhirenmehta said:

Processor - I've seen the sticky post about processors and would probably like to opt for a Xeon chip; most of the compatible ones seem to be discontinued, is it 'safe' to purchase 2nd hand / refurbed procs?

 

Yes. I bought mine at eBay, and saw other do the same without a problem.

 

On 2/13/2019 at 4:33 PM, dhirenmehta said:
  •  RAID card - When i originally purchased my Microserver, the HP P222 was worth three times more than the server, these days I can see that refurbished P420's are within easy reach; however are there other models that are either newer or can handle better capacity, I'm keen to have drives running at 6 GB/s if possible rather than 3 GB/s
  •  

 

I bought a 9207-8i, works pretty well. But If you want HW RAID you might want to look to other options. Probably a P420 is a better choice.

 

On 2/13/2019 at 4:33 PM, dhirenmehta said:
  •  HDDs - looking to possibly get 4 x 10TB or 4 x 12TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs, will I need to be careful with what RAID Card I get, can I get a RAID card that will allow for these 4 Drives to be in a RAID 5 (to allow for roughly 30TB or above if using 12TB Drives)? 

 

 

Don't go RAID5 for that amount of space. If a disk fails, the stress added to the other disks when rebuilding the array might kill another.

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Don't go RAID5 for that amount of space. If a disk fails, the stress added to the other disks when rebuilding the array might kill another.
Thanks Skandal,

Do you know if there is a maximum HDD size on the P420? Or should any disk theoretically work?
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1. In the UK I would use eBay or go direct to a refurb house e.g. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Intel-Xeon-E3-1260L-V1-SR00M-2-40GHz-4-Core-LGA1155-CPU/123616989541?epid=737245289&hash=item1cc8259165:g:tEsAAOSwQ3RcYp1t:rk:1:pf:0 or https://www.bargainhardware.co.uk/. Looks like about 87.

 

2. RAID 5 is falling out of favour in some quarters, especially as disk size increases. Since you do not mention backup for your 2x6TB of movies it sounds like you would be better buying two sets of disks.

 

3. The sweet spot for HDD size is currently 8TB e.g.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-Expansion-External-PlayStation-STGY8000400/dp/B07DQBFQ2D/ref=sr_1_2?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1550997125&sr=1-2&keywords=8tb.

 

4. Have you thought about plugging 2 external USB 3 drives into the 2 ports on the back of the Microserver? You could switch up to 4x8TB internal HDD's and 2x8TB external HDD's for a total of 48TB.

 

5. If you are not averse to a little DIY this article might be of interest

https://www.servethehome.com/wd-wd100emaz-easystore-10tb-external-backup-drive-review/.

 

6. 3Gbs, 6Gbs … no big deal since an HDD is only capable of 100MBs … but agree its better to look upwards.

 

7. If you bought a 2nd-hand Gen8 MS with a xeon cpu already in place then you would have 8 HDD bays and 4 USB 3 ports … and a fallback machine.

 

8. At least one external disk or bare HDD dock is useful during upgrades: you have to hold all your data somewhere while performing. Plus they are readily transportable for off-site storage.

Edited by JackoUK
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1. In the UK I would use eBay or go direct to a refurb house e.g. 
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Intel-Xeon-E3-1260L-V1-SR00M-2-40GHz-4-Core-LGA1155-CPU/123616989541?epid=737245289&hash=item1cc8259165:g:tEsAAOSwQ3RcYp1t:rk:1:pf:0 or https://www.bargainhardware.co.uk/. Looks like about 87.
 
2. RAID 5 is falling out of favour in some quarters, especially as disk size increases. Since you do not mention backup for your 2x6TB of movies it sounds like you would be better buying two sets of disks.
 
3. The sweet spot for HDD size is currently 8TB e.g.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-Expansion-External-PlayStation-STGY8000400/dp/B07DQBFQ2D/ref=sr_1_2?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1550997125&sr=1-2&keywords=8tb.
 
4. Have you thought about plugging 2 external USB 3 drives into the 2 ports on the back of the Microserver? You could switch up to 4x8TB internal HDD's and 2x8TB external HDD's for a total of 48TB.
 
5. If you are not averse to a little DIY this article might be of interest
https://www.servethehome.com/wd-wd100emaz-easystore-10tb-external-backup-drive-review/.
 
6. 3Gbs, 6Gbs … no big deal since an HDD is only capable of 100MBs … but agree its better to look upwards.
 
7. If you bought a 2nd-hand Gen8 MS with a xeon cpu already in place then you would have 8 HDD bays and 4 USB 3 ports … and a fallback machine.
 
8. At least one external disk or bare HDD dock is useful during upgrades: you have to hold all your data somewhere while performing. Plus they are readily transportable for off-site storage.
Thanks JackoUK,

Good food for thought, and you are right about the two independent disks that I'm using for media, I don't really care about whether those are backed up or not ...
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