Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)
Royco

Time to start B120i FAQ?

Recommended Posts

ikon

you can place bootloader to inner USB or MicroSD.

Check the Gen8 links page -- TheBiggerMan outlined a way to boot off of the ODD SATA Port in AHCI mode enabled in the BIOS.

 

Yeah, but guys, really you're booting off the MicroSD or internal USB. The fact that most of the OS is on the ODD drive doesn't really change that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
heliox

I'm a brand new owner of a Gen 8 server (some good deals out there!) and have been reading through these great forums for the last few days to get up to speed and decide the best install for me. I've attempted to summarise my learning about the B120i controller and pros and cons. Hopefully any errors  can be corrected by more experience members to form a useful first post that gives something back to the forum.

 

  1. The B120i can operate in 2 modes, RAID and AHCI compatible. 
  2. When operating in RAID mode the drive temperatures can be read and the system fan is adjusted appropriately. This results in a system fan speed of around 6% at idle which is quiet. 
  3. When operating in AHCI mode the drive temps are not read and the system fan speed is set at a higher minimum, around 10%, this is noisier. Some reports of higher fan speed of 15%.
  4. There is no hardware acceleration as all the clever stuff is done by the driver which uses the main CPU.
  5. The B120i controller has no cache and needs to use system memory if a cache required.
  6. There are no performance differences when operating in RAID or AHCI mode.
  7. When operating in AHCI mode the drives can spin down during idle but in RAID mode they cannot.
  8. If an SSD is used in place of the DVD drive (ODD port) then it can be booted when in RAID mode but not in AHCI mode (work around using SD/USB for windows presumably something could also be done using grub for Linux but not seen any example)
  9. Drives formatted under RAID mode can be moved to other servers running an HP RAID controller. Those formatted AHCI can be moved to other servers also using a standard AHCI controller. Moving drives between either will require a full format.
  10. Linux RAID drivers are available from HP but are not open source. May be some issues when kernel is updated as drivers will also need updating.
  11. must be something else....?

So for Linux users it's a bit of a mixed bag. For those (me) who want to run Ubuntu server then running under RAID mode gives low fan speed, the ability to boot from an SSD in the DVD slot but no drive spin down and possibly some issues with HP driver during upgrades. Running in AHCI mode gives higher fan speed and no easy way to boot off an SSD in DVD slot.

 

Richard

A nice thorough list of possibilities. Thanks!

Noting this, I switched to AHCI mode for testing purpose. My single SSD in ODD bay in RAID0 managed to keep the data after the switch. I just had to recreate the datastore (keeping signature) in ESXI 6.0 booted from microSD. All the VMs are intact in that datastore inside SSD. Perhaps it was possible because there are no drives in the front 4 bays (waiting to be delivered from local retailer).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
john_who

Thank you all for the replies. One last question - if I don't use the ODD Sata port, can I boot from hdd attached to PCI Express SATA controller card in AHCI mode?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ikon

I think the high fan speed/noise issue will still exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tangcla

I've got my B120i boot drive as RAID0... but my fan is still at 11%. Not sure if the P222 is contributing to this though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gurv4n

I've got my B120i boot drive as RAID0... but my fan is still at 11%. Not sure if the P222 is contributing to this though.

 

Same here, the FAN get stuck to 11% with a P421 inside with ambiant temp around 22c.

When going to 23c, FAN speed swings between 11% to 14%.

 

What is your CPU ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tangcla

Same here, the FAN get stuck to 11% with a P421 inside with ambiant temp around 22c.

When going to 23c, FAN speed swings between 11% to 14%.

 

What is your CPU ?

I've got the Xeon E3-1260L.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
danielcollins90

I wonder if anyone has purchased the flash backup battery for the controller? would that remove the issues with using system RAM?

I've seen it very cheap as a refurb from: www.ilgs.net/hp-refurbished-hp-sps-bd-flshbk-wb-cache-512mb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
schoondoggy

I wonder if anyone has purchased the flash backup battery for the controller? would that remove the issues with using system RAM?

 

I've seen it very cheap as a refurb from: www.ilgs.net/hp-refurbished-hp-sps-bd-flshbk-wb-cache-512mb

There is no slot on the Gen8 MS to add the cache memory and battery. They built in the location for the battery in the ODD bay, but they did not implement the cache option in this version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tmorfuss

I wonder if anyone has purchased the flash backup battery for the controller? would that remove the issues with using system RAM?

 

I've seen it very cheap as a refurb from: www.ilgs.net/hp-refurbished-hp-sps-bd-flshbk-wb-cache-512mb

It for FBWC option for P222 RAID.

B120i in GEN8 can't support FBWC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Project Fi now accepts iPhone!

Sign up with any phone now.



×