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B120 or P410 for 10TB drives?

Damian S

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Hi all,


I have a Gen8 server running VMWare that I built while working at HPE several years ago. Thanks to the staff discount, i maxed it out (at the time) with 4 x 3TB HP/Fujitsu 5400 HDDs and a P410 RAID card with a 1GB battery-backed cache that was probably more than the server itself.  I run the HPE flavour of ESXi 6.5 (last supported for the Gen8), so I can run different workloads.


Now it's time for a refresh, I've bought 5 x 10TB WD 5400rpm drives (4 + 1 spare), and confirmed the P410 doesn't support them. Hence I've switched to the B120 header, and configured a RAID10 logical drive across the 4 drives, for 18TB usable space.


However - the performance is shocking!! Copying the VHDKs back to the new machine, it's struggling to break 5MB/s for each of 2 streams, total 10MB/s write!!  Admittedly this is via WinSCP to the host via SSH. However, I've also tried some performance tests locally on the ESXi host using dd, and that came out at 21MB/s, which ain't stellar.



I'm thinking of going back to the P410, if it's possible. Has anyone managed to get the P410 working with 10TB non-HPE drives?  OR - any recommendations for tricks with the B120 to eek out some more performance? Or even bypass them altogether.








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I have not looked at it in years, but as I recall the B120 drivers were not good under ESXi.

Instead of working with the P410, I would look at a P420 or P222. They are both very afordable used.

I have not tried 10TB drives specifically, but both seem to support larger drives.

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Thanks! Yeah, I see what you mean: 1GB cache models for A$40.


I do see reviews that it runs quite hot though (as perhaps does the P410). I’m wondering if I should just go to direct connections of the drives - ideally to allow some drives to spin down when unused. I almost never use most of the storage, so it would make sense to have one drive spinning or caching to SSD and the others sat waiting, rather than all 4 drives spinning 24x7 chewing power and heat.


I’m not sure if the motherboard and ESXi support that though, so will check.


Thanks again for the suggestion.





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