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Gen 8 MicroServer - will this setup work?


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Afternoon all. So I'm a new owner of the HP Micro Server Gen 8. It's a lovely piece of equipment. I just hope I can utilise it to my best means. I work with servers on a daily basis but I've never had a Micro server before.


This is my plan which I hope will work. I just need someone on here to give me some help with it and guidance. I know there are lots of links around on this site but most of them aren't that clear.


Ok so this is the plan.


1. I have a 120gb SSD drive which I would like to install and then be able to to Install Windows Server 2012 R2 and use this disk as my operating system disk. (C:)


2. I also at the moment have 2x2tb hard drives which I would like to run in a hardware raid configuration. I would prefer to do this as using the software method like storage spaces can be troublesome later on if I was to upgrade windows etc or if it becomes corrupt. At least if I use Raid then I know my data will be safe. Is there a limit as to how much date the server can have? I was planning on buying 4 bigger disks. Like 4tb a piece.


3. Is this setup easy to do or does it mean doing some some of hacking or moving items around etc?

4. If anyone can provide me with some additional information of facts about the system that would be great. Perhaps you could give me some information on your setup?


4. If I wasnt able to use this method what is the correct way of doing it? Do HP expect you to plug your disks in and the create a partition within the raid configuration for your OS? If so what are the positives / negatives about this?


Thanks all

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That's all straight forward and easy stuff to setup, no hacking / fudging required.


I'm running a 120GB SSD for 2012 R2, a 1TB SSD for my Hyper-V VMs and have a 4TB & 6TB drive running with no issues (non-RAID 10TB Home Share) backed up daily to a NAS and periodically to a 2nd server & HP LTO-4.


Its unlikely you will be limited in terms of storage, 6TB drives certainly work and I believe 8TB drives are entering the market which I would also expect to work, there is always the potential to fit the SSD for the OS elsewhere within the chassis leaving 4 bays for the larger drives (although personally, I prefer not to do that), the only limitation really is the 16GB memory, oh how I long for 32GB.


Its a shame the G8 doesn't have two PCI-E slots as I've got a Quad Port NC365T Gigabit Network card in mine for additional functionality (teamed connections to different switches & direct connectivity to the NAS for replication & cluster network), it would be nice to be able to fit a PCI-E GPU, I do have one fitted in my larger (ML110) server though and have a HDMI adaptor on the Gen8 for display out to a TV.





Edited by WatercooledWizard
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NEO-BAHAMUT-, I worry about your statement, "At least if I use Raid then I know my data will be safe". I see it differently. RAID does provide a degree of data resiliency in that it helps keep a system up and running in the event of a drive failure. But, from my perspective, that's far from 'keeping my data safe'. For example, RAID provides no protection from fire, flood, theft, hurricane, or other calamities.


I believe the only way to truly keep data safe is to implement a robust backup procedure, one that includes storage of data in another location. Here are some links to my backup strategy:


PHOTOS: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1899-whs-2011-storage-strategy/page-8#entry47628

BACKUP STRATEGY: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4788-what-i-hope-to-acheive-with-your-help/#entry51373

BACKUP SCRIPTS: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/5197-robocopy-backup-scripts/#entry56498


I also believe that drive pooling software such as DrivePool or DriveBender (not Storage Spaces) can actually provide better data safety than RAID, at least better than RAID5. With RAID5, the loss of 2 drives in an array means the array is lost: i.e. all the data is gone. With DrivePool, the loss of 2 drives will likely result in the loss of some data, but not all. Compared to virtually any level of RAID, DrivePool offers greater flexibility for expanding, or shrinking, a data pool.


One thing DrivePool or DriveBender cannot do, that onboard RAID can, is work with non-Windows OS'.


I also wonder about how much expansion you might be planning on. As long as you can dedicate Slot 1 to your boot/OS drive, you should be good to go, although fitting a 2.5" drive into Slot 1 of the drive cage can be a bit awkward. I believe there are links to adapters that people have used successfully to mount SSDs into Slot 1. Then, of course, there's always Velcro or Duck Tape :D If you might be planning on using all 4 slots in the drive cage for data drives, you will have to do some creative rearranging to make things work.

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Ikon, thanks for your concerns. I am normally one to mess around with my systems but in this situation i am planning on using the four drive bays provided. I don't see it necessary to mess too much around with the system provided. My plan is eventually have the following system.


- 16gb ram instead of what came with the system (2gb).

- Drive bay 1 : an 120gb ssd drive mounted with the HP adapter that is approximately £15. This will be my operating system drive. I will be running server 2012 R2 on this system.

- Drive bay 2,3 and 4. : Large data drives. I'm planning on buying 3x6tb disks. This should be ample storage for the next few year I would hope.


I'm thinking of actually ditching the idea of even using Raid. The reason being as like you say it's not actually protecting me from data loss. So the plan is probably use an online backup system. I know a couple of people who already do this and use both LiveDrive and Crashplan. It's definately the best and easiest way for me for an offline backup.

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Since you only plan to use a max of 4 drives in the system, it simplifies things considerably.


If you were to use something like DrivePool you could pool the 3 data drives into 1 volume. Then, you could use Folder Replication to mirror the folders. With RAID1 you would have to do this at the drive level: i.e. mirror the drives. With DP, you don't; DP will replicate the folders in such a way that the data in a replicated folder will be located on 2 different drives, even though you have an odd number of drives. And, if a drive dies, you can replace it and have DP restore the data as it was. Furthermore, if the mobo dies, you can take the drives to another system and either read them using DP on that system, or even read them in Windows Explorer, because the drives are NTFS formatted underneath DP.


Online backup is great. I can't use it because of data caps. But, even if I could, I would want a local backup copy, just because recovering files from online backup can take so long.

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Regarding the online backup for yourself I completely understand however if for some reason I had to retrieve all my data due to theft / fire etc then with these companies for a fee you can have it shipped to your on hard disk. - which is a nice service.

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There's no doubt online backup is handy. I'm not sure I want my data being handled by a 3rd party, but I suppose I could encrypt it all before uploading. However, if you look at my backup links you'll see that I have the off site issue covered.

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