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samuk

P410 for a Micro Server - Quick Q

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Joe_Miner

I am currently using a P410 in my Microserver; as others have said, you do indeed need the low-profile bracket for the card to fit properly, at least if you wish to firmly anchor it in (you could technically remove a full-height bracket and use the card).

 

You definitely want a cache module; if you haven't bought one, I'd be happy to send you a 256MB one for the price of shipping, as I have two lying around. 512MB and 1GB ones are also available. There are four types of cache modules:

 

256MB (with optional battery backup)

512MB (optional battery backup)

512MB (flash-backed)

1GB (flash-backed)

 

A battery backup module or (in the case of the flash-backed models) capacitor module is necessary if you wish to safely use write-back cache, although you can override the default write-through cache without a battery (not recommended unless you have a UPS at the very minimum, as this risks file corruption in the event of a power failure). The flash-backed modules have the advantage that there is no battery to wear out over time; the capacitor module (which looks much like the battery module) only needs enough energy for the cache module to write changes to flash. Also, a battery module will lose charge if a system remains powered down too long after power failure; the flash-backed write cache can hold data indefinitely.

 

The 256MB cache is 40 bits wide in its memory path; the 512MB and 1GB modules are 72 bit, so for heavy or sustained I/O, the larger cache modules are higher performance. Also, a cache module (of any size) is required for RAID-5.

 

HP has excellent driver and firmware support for the P410 controller; make sure you update the firmware on your card to the latest prior to using it. Also, I recommend downloading HP's .ISO of their Offline Array Configuration Utility (ACU) for configuring your logical drives after the BIOS update and prior to setting up your operating system. If you have further questions, let me know.

 

LoneWolf

Nice write-up! +1

Joe

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oj88

Stupid Q...

 

Can I use this on non-HP rigs?

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LoneWolf

I would think you can, provided your rig uses Mini-SAS connectors or you use a mini-SAS to 4-SATA cable. It's a standard PCI Express card

 

It would not be an HP supported configuration (the card is intended for ProLiant servers); then again, I doubt HP would consider my configuration supported either.

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samuk

I am currently using a P410 in my Microserver; as others have said, you do indeed need the low-profile bracket for the card to fit properly, at least if you wish to firmly anchor it in (you could technically remove a full-height bracket and use the card).

 

You definitely want a cache module; if you haven't bought one, I'd be happy to send you a 256MB one for the price of shipping, as I have two lying around. 512MB and 1GB ones are also available. There are four types of cache modules:

 

256MB (with optional battery backup)

512MB (optional battery backup)

512MB (flash-backed)

1GB (flash-backed)

 

A battery backup module or (in the case of the flash-backed models) capacitor module is necessary if you wish to safely use write-back cache, although you can override the default write-through cache without a battery (not recommended unless you have a UPS at the very minimum, as this risks file corruption in the event of a power failure). The flash-backed modules have the advantage that there is no battery to wear out over time; the capacitor module (which looks much like the battery module) only needs enough energy for the cache module to write changes to flash. Also, a battery module will lose charge if a system remains powered down too long after power failure; the flash-backed write cache can hold data indefinitely.

 

The 256MB cache is 40 bits wide in its memory path; the 512MB and 1GB modules are 72 bit, so for heavy or sustained I/O, the larger cache modules are higher performance. Also, a cache module (of any size) is required for RAID-5.

 

HP has excellent driver and firmware support for the P410 controller; make sure you update the firmware on your card to the latest prior to using it. Also, I recommend downloading HP's .ISO of their Offline Array Configuration Utility (ACU) for configuring your logical drives after the BIOS update and prior to setting up your operating system. If you have further questions, let me know.

 

Hi,

 

Great write up.. :D

 

Thanks for the offer - i bought it with a 256MB cache with the card - as i found with no cache you can not raid 5.

 

I will more then likley remove the long plate and just seat the card in the server.

 

So i guess i will be looking to upgrade to a 512MB cache with a battery - at a later date.

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LoneWolf

Note that you can always add the battery to the 256MB module for now, and upgrade the cache later.

 

At a minimum, add a USB-port controlled UPS, then you're reasonably override the controller settings, go to write-back cache, and set the UPS to gracefully shut down the server in the event of power failure, say, at about 50% remaining battery life.

Edited by LoneWolf

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godol
I will soon receive my P410 512mb BBWC controller. Thinking to use 6 x ST3000DM001 in N40L.

Is anyone using those Seagate drives in array controlled by P410?

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schoondoggy

Make sure you upgrade the firmware to the latest for 3TB drive support;

Follow LoneWolf's instructions above. If you are on a UPS or have the battery option on the controller, go into the ACU and turn on the write cache.

The only other thing I would note about the P410, in the specs it references SAS 6G and SATA 3G. I have not tried a SATA 6G drive on my P410 so I am not sure if the Seagates will run at 6G or 3G.

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godol

Thanks, I'm not sure if fitting HP P410 controller along with consumer drives is a way to go. I have now 4 x  ST3000DM001 but they don't even have the same firmware nor series number - 1CH166 and 9YN166. What is more annoying I'm not able to flash the same firmware to 1CH166 & 9YN166 still the same model ST3000DM001.

Seagate produces ST3000DM001 but among a year or so deviates a lot between series. I know it's better to buy lot of X drives from the same tool and factory but I would at least assume that the same model should be flashed with the same firmware?

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schoondoggy

It is best to have al the drives the same. I have been testing a P410 in a N40L with 4 2TB drives. The drives I had laying around were from 4 different manufacturers and so far they are working fine. The P410 seems to be flexible with drives. When I finalize this build I will pick up 4 matching drives.

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godol

Thanks Schoondoggy. It's quite encouraging what you are saying. I will first give a try with ST3000DM001. In a couple of months I may ebay them and get 5 x ST3000VX000 SV35 or WD30EFRX.

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