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MicroMatt

New N54L and raid card question...

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MicroMatt

Like a lot of new members on the forum I picked up a n54l
off of newegg on sale and so far it has been a great little box for what it is
(and what it cost).


My current setup is pretty vanilla. I am running Windows

2012 Standard with the hyper-v role as the host OS with two windows 2012 guests
(working my way through the MS TLG labs). I left the host on the included 250GB
HDD and purchased 2x1TB WD Blues from Amazon (on sale and I am prime). For now
I am using storage spaces and performance is inline with what Joe Miner has
posted, big thanks to Joe for essentially a baseline. I added 16GB of 2x8
corsair cmv16Gx3m2a ram and have NOT had any problems with them. I am using the
moded bios as well.


So the question in all of this…


At this point the reality is that storage is probably the

bottleneck so I have been reading a lot of the threads regarding raid cards. It
seems that the best choice as of now for those of us on a budget (you know the
married ones with kids and other expensive hobbies) is the  HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL 8-Port
PCI-Express 2.0 x8 SAS/SATA RAID Controller? My understanding is that I can use
the existing HDD sas to sata cable from the original hdd chassis and just plug
it in? No need to buy additional cables etc.  I will probably have to rebuild the box but
that can go in another post if needed.

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ikon

Yes, you should be able to just use the HP supplied cable; it should attach to the 2720 no problem. Of course, that cable only handles 4 drives ;)

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Joe_Miner

If you are doing it for hobby/fun/testing the RR2720 is nice to play with but if you are looking more at production or you want it reliable and don't want to mess with it the P410 might be a better choice (note though it's SAS 6GPS & SATA 3GPS)

 

My adventures with the RR2720 so far:   N54LFirst Look         RR2720 BIOS Setting Utility V1.5 Issues   and at the end of http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/3583-drive-performance-on-n40l-microserver/?p=57749 

 

Schoondoggy and LoneWolf have been doing a lot with the P410 so you might want to check their posts.

Edited by Joe_Miner

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pcdoc

The 2720 is the best choice but maybe not for the N54 as the hardware is a bit picky.  I would go with Joe_Miner's suggestion for anything to do with the microserver as he has done quite a bit and is very knowledgeable on anything to do with the N54.  If you where using anything else, I would tell you to go for the 2720.

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schoondoggy

The HP Smart RAID cards work very well with the MicroServers. I have tried a hand full of Adaptec and LSI controllers in the MicroServers and have run into issues getting the controllers BIOS to load. No issues with the P410 I am using, but as Joe_Miner states above the P410 is 6GB SAS and 3GB SATA.

There is one other issue, these cards have gotten popular, so the eBay market is tight these days. The last P410, card-512MB cache-battery, I bought was around $150. Currently, there are several P410 with 256MB of cache for $99. Batteries are expensive, you can run without the battery, if you are on a UPS with the proper software. You need to have the cache if you are going to run RAID 5. If you are interested let me know. I can help you track one down.

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MicroMatt

Sorry for the delay, my 3 day weekend turned into a 4 day weekend. Thanks for all the replies and usual great information/things to ponder.

 

This is a lab/fun box, meaning I will be spinning up different VMs on it for work (my time so not a priority) but the main selling point to the CFO (wife) was that it would replace an aging freenas box. The replacement was in the form of a w2k12 vm as a dedicated file server. She actually mentioned to me that she noticed a nice little drop in the electric bill (she tracks it). I only mention this because I think that is one of the big draws of the microserver and why you do have to manage expectations. At this point I am trying to get better performance out of magnetic storage then I am done for awhile.

 

I had contemplated looking for a P410 but did not realize it would still be 3GB SATA. I had not really heard the 2720 was picky so I might have to focus on that while I try to make a decision. I also didn't realize the total cost when you start looking at batteries etc for the P410. I'll confess not much of a hardware guy.

 

Thanks again to everyone who responded to this thread great forum!

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ServerGuy

Do you require a additional cable to plug the drive array into the P410? Or is there a mini sas connector on the P410 that i can just reroute? Does it reach or do i need to buy a extension cable for the mini sas connector that is currently plugged onto the motherboard?

 

Thanks

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yud

Do you require a additional cable to plug the drive array into the P410? Or is there a mini sas connector on the P410 that i can just reroute? Does it reach or do i need to buy a extension cable for the mini sas connector that is currently plugged onto the motherboard?

 

Thanks

No additional cable or extension is required.

The P410 has 2 x ports which are the same as the built in port/cable. The internal cable supplied with the MicroServer fits the P410 perfectly. No mods required.

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