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Making the gen8 quieter


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Hi everyone!


I've just received and setup my gen8 microserver, and it's a bit loud in AHCI mode (no surprises there - I read the forum topic here and knew what I was getting into).

I'm using ZFS so I need to pass all four drives in the main bays straight to the OS - what ways are there of still using the B120i to lower the fan speed?

The way I see it I could purchase a PCIe raid card (such as an IBM ServeRAID M1015), plug the mini sas connector from the main bays into that and then plug my OS drive into the B120i via a mini sas to sata cable and configure it as a RAID0 volume.

Are there any cheaper / easier ways of accomplishing the same thing? (Such as configuring the onboard sata port for the ODD with B120i).


Thanks a lot!



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I think the only officially supported card is the P222 and this integrates with iLO so you can get reduced fan speed with one of those, but that other cards don't integrate with iLO so it assumes the fan needs to run faster.... I'd be happy to be proved wrong  ;)


I too have a Gen8 running in AHCI mode as I've got a ZFS volume across the drives in the internal slots and it could certainly be quieter!


My second Gen8 has ESXi running on an E3-1265L V2 CPU and the fans are running on that one at 6%


I know I could setup the B120i as 4 RAID0 volumes for the internal bays but I really don't want to do that just for the benefit of having a slower running fan.


If you find a solution I'd be interested  :D

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I'm pretty much running the same set up here (freenas with 4 WD Red drives), and the fan does idle rather high - usually around 20%. It's not an issue when the drives are running, but when they power down the noise of the fan is pretty obvious.


From what I've understood you can use a seperate raid card to pass the drives you want to use with ZFS through to the OS, and then use a "dummy" drive in a RAID0 volume with B120i. This way ILO will only know about the dummy "drive", and assuming it reports its temperature correctly the fan speed should be fairly low.


I'm looking around for a ServeRAID M1015, as soon as I find one for a reasonable price (they seem to be outrageously expensive here in the UK) I'll test it out and report back :)

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I've had a play around with this, turns out it's a lot easier than I thought! Here's what I've figured out / learned so far:

  • With the B120i enabled, unassigned drives (ie drives that are not part of any volume) are passed on to the operating system. This can be enabled or disabled at will without data loss (as long as drives aren’t added to a RAID volume). It therefore doesn't tie these drives to the B120i.
  • Only a single drive is required to be part of a volume on the B120i to lower the fan speed down to 6% - other unassigned drives have no influence on this.
  • The sata port on the motherboard (originally for the ODD) can be used and configured as part of a volume by the B120i.


I have all 4 drives in the main bays unassigned to any volume - ZFS can therefore fully control them.

I've added in a fifth drive (a small SSD I had laying around) to the sata port on the motherboard as a "dummy" drive - it's only purpose is to report it's temperature to the B120i in order to lower the fan speed.


As a result my microserver is now running with the fan at 6% without any modified firmware, and all 4 drives in the main bays are passed on to the OS as plain sata drives.


I hope this can help someone else out!

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This is what a number of people are doing rthur: they're assigning the boot disk to the B120i and leaving the rest unassigned.

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None taken - thanks for the confirmation :)


I'm having some issues booting freeBSD when I have a volume created using the B120i. If all the drives are unassigned everything works, but BTX fails to load if I have a volume created using the B120i. An easy solution would be to run a hypervisor (that has proper support for the B120i) and to not pass the B120i volume on to freeBSD, but I'm currently trying to see if I can get BTX to ignore the B120i volume.

I'll update here if I get it to work.

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