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psikey

G8 Microserver - Be aware of Fan issue, add in cards

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Calle

I've been troubleshooting and testing for many hours now (no more boot sequences, please!) and at least in my system, the fan goes crazy (50-70%) when I attach 2.5" drives to the internal B120i controller. I've been trying a total of 3 different 2.5" HDD's (2x Hitachi Z5K500-500 and a Hitachi 5K250-120) with the same results. But when I connected a Samsung 750GB 3.5" the fan settled at around 19% even when I added some more load.

 

I have successfully replicated this issue several times (on my Gen8 anyway) and with both the firmware that came with the server and the newly released version. I really hope that someone at HP will be able to take a look at this.

 

It would be really interesting if someone else can compare the fan speed with 2.5" HDD's compared to 3.5" connected to the B120i in RAID-mode!

Edited by Calle

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ikon

This is an intriguing issue. So it seems the MicroServer is controlling the fan speed based, at least partly anyway, on what it perceives the drive temperatures to be. I wonder if different drives report their temps in different ways and that confuses the iLO? I'm guessing here, but something has to be causing this weirdness.

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psikey

After a Bank Holiday morning of testing I have the Two Arrays working fine with decent fan speeds. (I'm running Windows 8 Pro as a server)

 

To me it seems that the iLO4 doesn't always see the PCI RAID card and can even not show the B120i sometimes. If I reboot the system, iLO4 can get confused again or take a while to see the configuration correctly.

 

With the Intel 120GB 520 SSD on the motherboard SATA as RAID0 (or Bay 5 as the B120i shows it) and the 4x3TB WD RED drives in a RAID5 it goes as low as 11% and during todays hot summer day while still creating the Parity and copying ~3.5TB of data to the Array its getting to 26% but still reasonable quiet.

 

The other thing that caused me problems is the P22/512 card is passive cooled and with the case off was getting as high as 98C  (100C is caution level) which I think was making the fan go to 70%+. By putting the cover back on it gets as low as 74C (fan speed 11% and 85C loaded (fan speed 26%). With just the B120i handling all 5 drives fan speed stays around 6%.

 

So the "Sea of Sensors" does seem to really monitor everything and decide the fan speed. Hard drives are max of 35C with by far the highest temp the P222 card at 85C under heavy loading. The P222 card also adds around 18-20w of additional power draw so the whole system now pulls just under 70w.

 

The P222 card is fantastic maxing out my gigabit link writing files from my PC while still creating the parity data of a newly created volume! A proper memory backed Hardware RAID card certainly makes a difference to RAID5 performance.

 

Only thing left to install now is my Xeon E3-1265LV2 45W when it arrives. I fitted 16GB RAM for ESXi install but 8GB is more than enough for a Win8Pro.

 

iLO4Array_zpsc6d0ad31.jpg

 

iLO4Temps_zpsd9f1f889.jpg

 

iLO4Fan_zps16526906.jpg

Edited by psikey
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Joe_Miner

Thanks for the info PsiKey!

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ikon

Ditto -- thanks psikey. So, it appears this is one situation where the chassis truly is an integral part of the cooling system. I've seen tons of chassis of course where cover on or cover off didn't make all that much difference, but this seems to be an exception.

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psikey

Ditto -- thanks psikey. So, it appears this is one situation where the chassis truly is an integral part of the cooling system. I've seen tons of chassis of course where cover on or cover off didn't make all that much difference, but this seems to be an exception.

 

I'd say it only makes a difference for add-in PCI cards with passive cooling, not for the base system.

 

Few photos:

 

Before I fitted the P222/512 RAID card battery

20130807_131807_zpsf950c4c3.jpg

 

20130807_131841_zps72457206.jpg

 

Comparisons to a QNAP TS-469 Pro

20130807_181915_zps4d10fa0c.jpg

 

20130807_181931_zpsa1518710.jpg

 

20130807_181949_zpsab03f27f.jpg

 

20130807_182008_zpse48d9e9e.jpg

 

The power adapter for the optical bay power to SATA 

e9c7948f-ec32-4212-9597-497623c9a8e0_zps

 

The P222/512 RAID card (more expensive than the Microserver!!)

20130821_133234_zpse42ad993.jpg

Edited by psikey
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ikon

Gotchya. Thanks. Nice photos BTW :)

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FiLiNuX

"In fact, the term RAID0 is a misnomer by itself: No data is redundant, yet the "R" is still present in the name." 

 

I disagree.  The R which represents "redundant" is referring to the physical Disks NOT the Data.  The 0 is the option to RAID which specifies the level of redundancy in the RAID (not in all cases as a outlying numerical standard).  

 

Using a term like array to describe a solitary object or instance is a misnomer to me.  

 

Lots of great new information here  (and AWESOME pictures!!)

 

Uh oh!!  I just remembered I am not supposed to get into RAID discussions with Ikon involved :)  <-HUGE smile. 

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gstarks

Ditto -- thanks psikey. So, it appears this is one situation where the chassis truly is an integral part of the cooling system. I've seen tons of chassis of course where cover on or cover off didn't make all that much difference, but this seems to be an exception.

I can confirm that the cover is essential to proper cooling, and therefore affecting fan speeds.  With the sides open, there's no way to make the air flow across the heat sync.  I'm not a mechanical engineer, so i don't know the right term, but i don't think "passive" is correct for the P222.  It does not have it's own fan to cause airflow, but is very much dependent on a certain flow across the card, which probably drops to near zero with the side open.

 

From what i understand, it should not require HP branded drives for proper managed fan speeds.  However, keep in mind that the only location that we've done the thermal modeling/design for drives is in the standard drive bays.  There's no airflow designed for the ODD bay or the other creative places we are coming up with to cram in more drives :)

 

All that said, sounds like there are still some anomalies relating to controller detection which may be contributing to iLO's understanding of the environment, and I've passed those on to the iLO team. 

 

Regarding the fan speed issues however, please make sure you retest with the cover installed if you had it removed when you made the observation.

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ikon

I can confirm that the cover is essential to proper cooling, and therefore affecting fan speeds.  With the sides open, there's no way to make the air flow across the heat sync.  I'm not a mechanical engineer, so i don't know the right term, but i don't think "passive" is correct for the P222.  It does not have it's own fan to cause airflow, but is very much dependent on a certain flow across the card, which probably drops to near zero with the side open.

 

From what i understand, it should not require HP branded drives for proper managed fan speeds.  However, keep in mind that the only location that we've done the thermal modeling/design for drives is in the standard drive bays.  There's no airflow designed for the ODD bay or the other creative places we are coming up with to cram in more drives :)

 

All that said, sounds like there are still some anomalies relating to controller detection which may be contributing to iLO's understanding of the environment, and I've passed those on to the iLO team. 

 

Regarding the fan speed issues however, please make sure you retest with the cover installed if you had it removed when you made the observation.

 

So you need one of these when the cover is off: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/products-model.aspx?id=C_00001625

 

 

 

ps. I have a couple of these, and they actually work really well.

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