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xelent

PCIe SSD on a ML110 G7 server

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xelent

Hi there,

 

I've just gotten my old Proliant server out from mothballs recently to use as a Backup controller for my photographic archive. It's specs are a standard G840 2.8GHz Dual core with 16 GB of ram installed with a standard 350 watt PSU. I'm running WSE 2019 with 4x1TB HDD's installed in the 4 bay drive cage. 3 drives are formatted to RAID 0 in WSE (not embedded HP RAID) and one drive acts as the system/boot drive.

The server is surprisingly responsive given its age, with LAN transfer speeds between 84-94MBs. So has pretty much taken center stage in my backup control between my  external drives and 4x1TB RAID 0 NAS.

 

However, I have been wanting to attach a 256GB SSD boot drive for my OS, so that I can utilize the full capacity of my 4 bay drive. It seems that the BIOS will not let you boot any HDD/SSD off the spare SATA connection on my MB. Anyway I am hoping to eventually attach a PCIe USB 3 card to that. But in the meantime I would like to boot a separate drive other than the 4 bay one already installed.

I gather that you can install a PCIe SSD card on this machine. But it's not clear to me as to what kind of card and drive would be suitable for this server. I realize that my MB is PCIe gen 2, which will incur diminished speed compared to the latest gen 3 MBs. But should I be using NVMe or SATA m.2 drives? Or does it even matter? Also will the BIOS allow me to boot from this drive?

 

Thanks for taking the time.

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schoondoggy

A UEFI BIOS is required to boot from an NVMe drive. Your server does not have UEFI. You could use a PCIe SAS or SATA card to add a SATA SSD.

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xelent

Thanks.. So I did a cursory look for something like what you mentioned and found the Startech M.2 SATA SSD Controller Card (link below). Would this card suffice.


https://www.cclonline.com/product/199571/PEX2M2/M-2-SATA-SAS-IDE-and-SCSI-Cards/StarTech-com-2x-PCI-Express-M-2-SATA-III-Controller-NGFF-Card-Adaptor/CNT0332/

 

Presumably with M.2 SATA drives installed only? (link below)

 

ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07KG

Edited by xelent

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ShadowPeo

In theory It should work with a SATA m.2 disk yes as it uses a SATA controller what I assume @schoondoggy was referring to is a HBA adapter that allows for actual SATA disks to be added

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xelent
1 hour ago, ShadowPeo said:

In theory It should work with a SATA m.2 disk yes as it uses a SATA controller what I assume @schoondoggy was referring to is a HBA adapter that allows for actual SATA disks to be added

 

Thanks ShadowPeo. Yes, it's a little confusing. Made worse by the fact this machine is unable to utilize the second (spare) SATA controller on this MB to boot from. As it will only boot from the first drive in the 4 bay drive cage only.

 

From what I gather this is set within the BIOS of my machine and not amendable. My best guess as to why, is that it has to do with the primary controller being able to accommodate not only 4 x SATA,/SAS drives, but alternatively up to 8 x SFF/LFF drives as well.

However, PCIe cards were touted back in 2012/13 as usable as a boot drive in this machine. But of course SSD technology has moved on considerably since then, as has PCIe. So many of those forum posts back then weren't specific about what kind of card to use.

However, SATA versions do seem to be the obvious choice for that point in time. So I may take my chances on that working for me.

Edited by xelent

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schoondoggy

LSI based SAS HBA running IT mode firmware are a good choice. Eight 6Gb/s ports for under $25. You would just need to add SFF-8087 fan out cables. 

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xelent
2 hours ago, schoondoggy said:

LSI based SAS HBA running IT mode firmware are a good choice. Eight 6Gb/s ports for under $25. You would just need to add SFF-8087 fan out cables. 

 

Thanks schoondoggy.. Can you give me some examples of this kit. I'm not that familiar with much of it I'm afraid.

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schoondoggy

You could try the card you listed above, with a SATA M.2 SSD. 

You could also get a PCIe SATA controller and use a 2.5" SATA SSD:

https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/2-Port-PCI-Express-SATA-6-Gbps-Controller-Card~PEXSAT32

You could use a LSI based SAS HBA/RAID card:

This would be four internal SATA:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-LSI-SAS9212-4i-4-Port-6G-PCIe-HBA-RAID-Controller-Card-694504-001-629913-003/112917585394?epid=14013341184&hash=item1a4a699df2:g:6S0AAOSwqu1axmRI:sc:USPSFirstClass!55016!US!-1

This would be eight internal SAS/SATA:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/LSI-SAS-9211-8i-8-port-6G-IT-Raid-Card-ZFS-JBOD-HBA-SAS-SATA6-0-2008-8I/174148636931?hash=item288c115103:g:umgAAOSwv7leHVo0

SAS 9211-9212-9205-9207 are all good choices.

You may need to update the firmware on the card. 

STH has reference guides on flashing LSI based controllers to IT (HBA) or IR (RAID) firmware:

https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/lsi-raid-controller-and-hba-complete-listing-plus-oem-models.599/

 

 

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