Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

Gen 10 Plus vs Gen 10


Recommended Posts

hfournier

I'm putting together a build for a non-profit client and I want to make sure they're getting the best bang for their bucks.

 

Current server:

  • HP MicroServer N40L
  • 8 GB
  • WS2012E
  • Plextor PX-256M5Pro SSD - OS drive
  • SAMSUNG HD103SI 1TB (x2) - Data drives (Storage Spaces)
  • WDC WD20EZRX 2TB (x2) - Data drives (Storage Spaces)

 

On the new server, I'd like to setup the OS on SSDs (RAID 1) for speed and redundancy. Trying to squeeze extra SSDs on the Gen 10 Plus lead me to using the PCIe card. I guess on the Gen 10 there's enough room and SATA connections to put a couple of SSDs in the Optical bay instead. And, I'm leaving 1 drive bay empty to add another 2 TB should they need it, which is not likely.

 

New Server Option 1 ($2084 CDN):

  • HP MicroServer Gen 10 X3418 (P07203-001)
  • 8 GB
  • 8 GB Module - DDR4 2400MHz (Kingston KTH-PL424E/8G)
  • WS2016E
  • StarTech.com Dual M.2 PCIe SSD Adapter Card - x8 / x16 Dual NVMe or AHCI M.2 SSD to PCI Express 3.0 - RAID & JBOD (PEX8M2E2)
  • Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V7E500BW) (x2) - OS Drives (RAID 1)
  • WD Gold 2TB (x3) - Data drives (Storage Spaces, or can I RAID 5 them?)

 

New Server Option 2 ($2362):

  • HP MicroServer Gen 10 Plus (P16006-001)
  • 16 GB
  • WS2016E
  • StarTech.com Dual M.2 PCIe SSD Adapter Card - x8 / x16 Dual NVMe or AHCI M.2 SSD to PCI Express 3.0 - RAID & JBOD (PEX8M2E2)
  • Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V7E500BW) (x2) - OS Drives (RAID 1)
  • WD Gold 2TB (x3) - Data drives (Storage Spaces, or can I RAID 5 them?)

 

So two questions for all of you:

  • If anything, what would you change and why?
  • For the extra $278 (13% more), is the Gen 10 Plus worth it?

 

Thanks.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jason

I’ve not had any experience yet with a PCIe card that will work in Gen10 Plus with Dual NVMe drives. Saw you included this one below:

StarTech.com Dual M.2 PCIe SSD Adapter Card - x8 / x16 Dual NVMe or AHCI M.2 SSD to PCI Express 3.0 - RAID & JBOD (PEX8M2E2

Haven’t ready any firsthand accounts of this being a compatible card that will allow the G10+ to recognize both drives on card with bifurcation enabled.

Link to post
Share on other sites
hfournier
3 hours ago, Jason said:

I’ve not had any experience yet with a PCIe card that will work in Gen10 Plus with Dual NVMe drives. Saw you included this one below:

StarTech.com Dual M.2 PCIe SSD Adapter Card - x8 / x16 Dual NVMe or AHCI M.2 SSD to PCI Express 3.0 - RAID & JBOD (PEX8M2E2

Haven’t ready any firsthand accounts of this being a compatible card that will allow the G10+ to recognize both drives on card with bifurcation enabled.

 

It's listed as an option on page 3 of this article:

https://www.servethehome.com/hpe-proliant-microserver-gen10-plus-ultimate-customization-guide/3/

where it says:

"There are options using PCIe switches such as the StarTech PEX8M2E2 adapter which offers two drive capability in a single PCIe slot without requiring bifurcation support. These PCIe switches use power, so we generally suggest avoiding them given how power-constrained the MSG10+ is."

Link to post
Share on other sites
JackoUK

I am wondering whether using 2 x 2TB SSD drives in RAID 1 for both the OS and the user data would be a good fit for your use case? Of course NVME is preferable for OS install and operation ... but it could be multiple users accessing their data simultaneously might be better with SSD rather than HDD storage. In the same vein cabling all GBE ports will multiply up the network bandwidth via SMB multichannel in Windows.

 

If you must have the ReFS file integrity checking in Windows Server then your architecture will be better.

 

Does the 'not for profit' nature of the organisation suggest that a non-enterprise solution would be acceptable?

Do you need Windows Server and ECC RAM?

Link to post
Share on other sites
hfournier
Quote

I am wondering whether using 2 x 2TB SSD drives in RAID 1 for both the OS and the user data would be a good fit for your use case? Of course NVME is preferable for OS install and operation ... but it could be multiple users accessing their data simultaneously might be better with SSD rather than HDD storage. In the same vein cabling all GBE ports will multiply up the network bandwidth via SMB multichannel in Windows.

 

This is mostly a file/print server type situation. Users (about a dozen) are mostly using MS Office type applications, so no big concerns regarding performance. And 2 TB Nvme would be a significant price increase.

 

Quote

Do you need Windows Server and ECC RAM?

 

Yes, as far as Windows Server goes. I chose WS2016E, because MS striped Essentials in 2019 version, including Remote Access, which has been crucial over the past few months. However, I just stumbled onto this link that makes it possible to get all the Essentials goodness into WS2019.

 

As for RAM, I don't care, as long as it works without issue. I just did a search on Kingston based on make and model for the extra 8 GB on the Gen10. The Gen 10 Plus comes with 16 GB, so that's all that's needed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
binky
On 6/25/2020 at 5:32 AM, hfournier said:

OS Drives (RAID 1)

 

I think you're assuming the StarTech card will automatically perform RAID1 for you, but my belief from this statement from their web page

 

"the flexibility to access your M.2 PCIe SSDs individually. Or, you can utilize software RAID to build a RAID array"

 

Implies you need to O/S to be able to configure a RAID1 set of drives and install onto them.  This is possible (Microsoft Article) but is not as straightforward as using a hardware RAID card.  You also need to be careful with Windows updates and disk failures as mentioned in the article as these are not automatically dealt with.  Also, I'd recommend the Gen10+ if you're going to do this with an iLO enablement card (if you can find one... I can't!!) so you can have full remote access in event of failure.

 

Addidional information in this article ... but to quote part of it:

 

First Issue:
Creating a mirrored volume requires you to convert both disks to dynamic. The BIOS of your computer does not understand dynamic disks. It simply boots whichever partition is marked "active" in the partition table. To solve this problem, Windows created a "fake" partition table when you did the conversion on the primary drive so that the BIOS would still see it and know how to boot. But I'm betting that when you added that second drive, it had no partitions on it (or you removed them) before you converted it. That fake BIOS partition table only gets created if a real, active, bootable partition exists WHEN THE DRIVE IS CONVERTED to a dynamic disk. If a drive has no partitions, the fake partition table does not get created, and there's no way to create one after the fact. The secondary drive therefore cannot be booted by the BIOS.

Second Issue:
With Microsoft, mirroring works at the volume level, not the disk level. The default setup for Windows 7 is to create a 100MB reserved partition that gets no drive letter, and the remaining space becomes drive C. Your Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store lives on that reserved partition. When you added the second drive you probably didn't create that reserved partition, so a BCD store does not exist on it. Even if you do create that partition, it cannot be mirrored. You must clone the contents manually to the second drive, and manually sync them again if your BCD store ever changes (fortunately that's rare).

If you read that document I linked to above carefully, you'll notice that they have you creating partitions on the 2nd drive and cloning the boot files before the step where you convert it to dynamic. They also have you manually adjusting the BCD store on the secondary drive as well (because if you boot off it, it's not the secondary anymore -- the first drive is).

Oh, and one more thing I should mention:
You do not gain any speed advantage when using a software RAID-1 in Windows. A real RAID controller treats both drives as equals and does reads and writes to both drives simultaneously. Windows' mirroring will ALWAYS do reads from whichever disk you booted from. The secondary drive is simply kept in sync but otherwise not used for anything. The feature only exists for fault tolerance so that a server can continue running if one of the drives fails. It's kind of pointless on a workstation in most cases.

Edited by binky
Link to post
Share on other sites
hfournier
3 hours ago, binky said:

I think you're assuming the StarTech card will automatically perform RAID1 for you

 

No, I realized it didn't have support for RAID, so I was planning on using software RAID 1. However, I was not aware of the issues you pointed out. So if you get the server all setup using only one drive, clone it to the 2nd drive, then convert both to dynamic and mirror them... everything should be OK? Both drives will be bootable, right?

 

Failing that, I guess I could use a single drive card and keep a spare SSD and recover from backup if ever needed, but that will cause some disruption.

 

I'm just looking for redundancy, so that if one OS drive fails, the server remains fully functional until it can be replaced, which could take a couple of days (for order and delivery).

Link to post
Share on other sites
schoondoggy

The dual M.2 NVMe 'switch' card does not support RAID.

The same card appears to be available from three different vendors $155-$175:

https://www.startech.com/HDD/Adapters/m2-pcie-ssd-adapter~PEX8M2E2

https://www.addonics.com/products/ad2m2nvmpx8.php

http://www.ableconn.com/products_2.php?gid=143

If the goal is to have redundancy for the boot OS drive, on the MS Gen10 I have played with these in the x1 PCIe slot:

No RAID1, two mSATA drives in one x1 PCIe slot:

http://sedna-shop.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=70

No RAID1, x1 PCIe controller with two SSD in ODD bay:

https://www.newegg.com/p/14U-00T0-002G6

Raid1 in a x1 PCIe slot with two SSD in the ODD bay. Will require right angle SATA cables:

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

This would leave the x8 slot available.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • oldwhs12
      By oldwhs12
      I have been running the WHS1 pack 3 for many years.  Unfortunately it is no longer working.  I got a Proliant microserver Gen10 hoping it will run it but was unable to install the software.  The software should run on most older PCs?

      Does anyone have the WHS1 running on the Gen10?  Also my WHS1 iso is Pack 1.  If I manage to install the Pack 1 can I find on the web the upgrade to pack 3?  Would I be forever stuck at Pack 1?  Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Angelus
      By Angelus
      Good day all
       
      i bought a gen 10 x3216 MicroServer and I have been trying to install windows server 2016 on it with a usb and I get it to boot into the usb with the iso on it but I can not get past the one install step where u supposed to select the drive.
       
      instead it says to download storage drivers and browse to select driver. I have downloaded every single storage driver from the hpe site or is sure does feel like it.
       
      if I try to select the driver I have to do so manually by unticking show only compatible drivers because if I leave it ticked there is nothing compatible. Iam stumped on what the correct driver is.
       
      ok so what Iam trying to do isssssss I want to install the os onto the usb that I have attached inside the box the one that is directly coming off the board. Is that a different driver ? 
       
      In bios/boot up options I can see all usb connected.
       
      can anyone please help me with this 
    • npapanik
      By npapanik
      FYI, I have just installed Windows Server 2019 Standard (Desktop Experience) using the latest (WS2016) HP AMD chipset & VGA driver. Everything is recognised in Device Manager and stable.
    • Joe_Miner
      By Joe_Miner
      Well, I finally did it and got a 4K monitor and have attached it to my MicroServer.
       
      Here is my list of devices that I worked with:
       
      4K LG Monitor
      ·         LG32UD59-B 32” 4K UHD LED Monitor, 3840x2160, HDCP 2.2, HDMI, DisplayPort, AMD FreeSync, On-Screen Control
      HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 X3421
      ·         8GB RAM  - Stock
      ·         Windows 10 Pro x64
      ·         OS Drive: SATA Port 1 – Samsung 840 Pro 256GB loaded in Icy Dock’s EZConvert in Drive Bay 1
      ·         4K LG Monitor attached with DP cable – NOTE: 4K LG Monitor was also attached with HDMI cable via: “Active DisplayPort to HDMI 4K Adapter, Benfei DP to HDMI Ultra HD Converter”   -- both attachments seemed to work well.
      ·         SYBA SD-CM-UAUD USB 2.0 External Stereo Audio Adapter
      ·         External speakers with subwoofer
      ·         Logitech K120 Keyboard with mouse
      ·         Pioneer slim external USB 3.0 Blu-Ray BDR-XD05S
      ·         CyberLink PowerDVD 18 Ultra
       
      The monitor seems to work well in 4K mode with both the DP cable connected directly to the MS as well as the HDMI cable using a DP to HDMI converter that I used last year when working on the Beta unit.  So far so good.  
       
      Here's a video of my experience
       
       






    • GoHerdIBG
      By GoHerdIBG
      I also posted this on the HPE forums.
       
      Just bought my first HP Microserver and got a decent deal on a Gen10 x3421.  I am using a USB key to try and install either CentOS or RHEL 7 on it and neither install sees any of the disks in the front slots.  I am using 1TB WD Caviar Green drives.  I have also tried a Seagate drive but nothing seems to work.
       
      I have gone back and forth between EUFI and Legacy hoping that would help.  Nothing.
       
      I am currently installing on a 500B USB drive and hope to see if the drives are visible when I fully boot.
       
      I also looked through the drivers and firmware and did not see anything directly related to my problem.  I was going to download the SPP but couldn't igure out how to register my system manually to allow me to download the SPP.
       
      Am I missing anything obvious or does the system not yet support RHEL 7 or CentOS 7?
       
      Thanks for any information.
       
×
×
  • Create New...