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Gen8 question and roadmap from disaster


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So I wake up yesterday and my N40L was dead, appears to be a motherboard (boot to just red light though can here drive spin up).  Bad thing is this was my iSCSI SAN for a few different projects.  So I moved the drives to my test rig N54L and all things are back up and running.  Off to shopping today to replace.  While I could just buy another N54L sound like the perfect time to get a Gen8.  While shopping I was torn between going with the 2.3 Celeron and upgrading to a dream system or the newer 2.3 Xeon with the 1220 proc with 8GB for $600.  After   760 in spending today I have the following lined up for delivery this week


Gen8 Microserver 2.3 Celeron with 2GB RAM

E3-1265L v2 

16GB of Kingston RAM

32GB Ultra Class 10 Micro SD

2 Seagate 1.5TB Sata2 

2 Seagate 3.0TB Sata3

1 Kingston msata 120 in a mSata to Sata converter

DVD Drive from PC/Server at work have a few laying around 1 should be 9.5mm

Seagate goflex USB to Sata cable with a c2G sata to slim sata adapter

lastly Intel Quad NIC but possibly replacing with in the future with a possible HP P222


The plan is to run ESXi off the 32GB micro SD card and balloon the memory up to the mSATA drive.  Using HPs ESXi image should give raid support for the 2 sets of spindle drives to run in mirror.  The VMs will run off the 3,0 TB set while the 1.5 set will use Hardware pass-through to a 2012 Server running the Essentials role. 

The Intel quad nic card gives me 2 iSCSI channels for MPIO for the SAN while the other 2 are for standard network access while 1 port on the MicroServer gives management access and the other is for vMotion network to my other 2 ESX host as I migrate everything off them.


My question is has anyone used the onboard USB port to run the optical drive in the drive bay.  I do not use an optical often but I do use it enough to want one in place.  If all goes well once I have the migration done I will not be needing the iSCSI to be dedicated and will look into getting a P222.  With that I will move spindle drives to the P222 and use the onboard to 2 500GB SSD for high speed VMs , and move both the mSATA and optical the onboard.


Now to find a use for my n40L shell or see if anyone needs parts



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Nice shopping spree :)




The VMs will run off the 3,0 TB set while the 1.5 set will use Hardware pass-through to a 2012 Server running the Essentials role. 


A note on the storage, from my tests, I couldn't choose to passthrough some drives and not others, only the full controller was listed and since everything is connected to it... Or I dont know how to do this ? How would set it up ?

Edited by c0mm0n
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  • 1 month later...

Ok mostly finally finished with my Gen8 Rebuild


Gen8 Microserver


16GB of Kingston RAM

32GB Ultra Class 10 Micro SD (not in use at the moment but

5 Kingston 120 SSDs on B120i,  2 in a mirror for boot, 3 in a raid 0 for VMs

2 Seagate 3.0TB Sata3 on P222 - Data, HyperV Data drive

2 Seagate 2.0TB Sata3 on P222 - VMware NFS Drives for redundancy

BluRay Drive with a slimsata to USB convertor plugged into motherboard


Currently running Server 2012R2 with Essentials Role and HyperV as well as SharePoint Foundations

 Only 1 HyperV currently (2012R2 running vCenter for VM Fault Tolerance)

I plan to move all my Windows/DOS VMs to HyperV and then run a single VMWare server on a i7-3770s with a 2 port hardware raid adapter but that is still out plus that box is my current MacMini unless another i7 proc goes on sale.

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While I know you've already purchased drives, one other possibility.


Keep the quad-port NIC and go RAID 10 on your drives.  It will require four identically sized drives, but won't take a lot of horsepower and you can keep the quad-port NIC.  If you're working seriously with Hyper-V, this way you can get one physical port per VM.


On the other hand, the P222 caching would improve disk performance with the VMs.  But it's worth thinking about the first option.

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I have both a quad and duel port intel but currently will be using them in the NL40 if I can revive it for SAN system and my new i7 based VMware host.   To many of my VMs are Linux or OSX which MS just does not support as well


If I used the quad port on the gen 8 would lose the mirrored boot drive and/or get a large ssd for boot and vm which I frown upon.  I do like rocking 10 drives though in this case plus having an LTO tape unit for backup

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