My new New Home Server Project

Hang out, sip some ice tea, and shoot the breeze with TR regulars.

Moderators: emkubed, Captain Ned

My new New Home Server Project

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:44 pm

Wow. Time flies. And my new Home Server Project was replaced by my new New Home Server Project. The HP Microserver Gen8. Also fondly known as The Borg Cube.

Image
This is the heart of my network, paired with an external MacAlly USB 3.0 enclosure and a 3TB WD Red drive for backup. Next to that are my ASUS RT-AC66R router, my vaunted Motorola SB6120 cable modem, and a Netgear gig switch.

The innards of my server are a bit more interesting though. Assistance provided by SysAdmin Cat (aka "Watson"):

Image

The Microserver Gen8 is really neat in a lot of ways. First of all, it has a full-fledged HP iLO on board, just like HP's other servers. Full remote management (some features require a purchase of an advanced license key, but that can be obtained inexpensively if you know where to look). Secondly, HP's new Intelligent Provisioning feature, letting you do RAID configuration or OS install provisioning straight from the server (the newest upgrade fully supports Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2). An onboard Broadcom-based dual-gig NIC. And a PCIe x16 slot, which is being used in my server by an HP SmartArray P222 hardware RAID card with 512MB of flash-backed write cache. Finally, what the Gen7 server was missing: an upgradeable processor. The basic Celeron G1610T processor was quickly scrapped in favor of an Intel Xeon E3-1265L v2 low-voltage 4-core/8-thread CPU.

And finally, another not-so-stock option.

Image

A member of The Home Server Show Forums (thanks, SchoonDoggy) and great modder in his own right invented the bracket you see that hangs off the power supply, supporting two additional 2.5" drives in the server itself. I have a RAID-5 array of four 2TB drives in the front bays for my data, connected to the hardware RAID controller. I have two Crucial M500 240GB SSDs on SchoonDoggy's drive bracket, running off the server's onboard controller in RAID-0 to boot the operating system. The server is running Server 2012 R2 Standard (with the Server Essentials Role) and is backing up fully to the external USB3 drive nightly. It serves up all of my media, and backs up my home desktops. It's also running Folding@home on light settings (which loads the CPU cores to 50%) as part of my folding farm on Team 2630 (The Tech Report, who else?).

This is one of the coolest little boxes I've ever seen from HP. (Ferris Beuller voice) "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."
Core i7-4790K, GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H-BK, 16GB (4x4) G.Skill RipJaws PC1866
Corsair 650D case, Seasonic X750 Gold PSU
WD `Raptor 600GB boot, WD Caviar Black 1TB data, NEC 7200 DVDRW
2x XFX R9 280X Black in Crossfire, X-Fi Titanium, Dell 2408WFP
LoneWolf15
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:36 am
Location: SW Meecheegan

Re: My new New Home Server Project

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:19 pm

Next step: get that 10Gb Fiber FLoM and go crazy.
Gigabyte Z77-DS3H | Core i7 3770 | 2x8 GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600| Samsung 830 128GB SSD | Gigabyte HD7950 3GB | Win 7 Pro x86-64
CampinCarl
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1318
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:53 pm

Re: My new New Home Server Project

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:26 pm

CampinCarl wrote:Next step: get that 10Gb Fiber FLoM and go crazy.


If you're talking about that port on the back expansion slot, that's an external SFF-8088 SAS connector from the RAID card. Though yes, it does look a bit like fiber.

If I wanted to, I could add a Sans Digital TR4X+B 4-drive external RAID enclosure through that connector, and add another four drives to the system. However, I haven't filled my 6TB RAID array by a long shot yet, so I might as well wait.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6816111183

Oh, one other cool thing I forgot --HP supports the SmartArray P222 in this system, so the onboard iLO picks it up and monitors it as part of the box.
Core i7-4790K, GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H-BK, 16GB (4x4) G.Skill RipJaws PC1866
Corsair 650D case, Seasonic X750 Gold PSU
WD `Raptor 600GB boot, WD Caviar Black 1TB data, NEC 7200 DVDRW
2x XFX R9 280X Black in Crossfire, X-Fi Titanium, Dell 2408WFP
LoneWolf15
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:36 am
Location: SW Meecheegan

Re: My new New Home Server Project

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:02 pm

Fascinating stuff. Thanks for sharing this!
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
Darkmage
Darth Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 7376
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:44 am
Location: Hell, Virginia

Re: My new New Home Server Project

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:23 pm

Nice!

Did you get the E3 1265 v2 because the server needs a GPU/IGP, or can it be run completely headless?
Wind, Sand and Stars.
Voldenuit
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:10 pm

Re: My new New Home Server Project

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:12 pm

Tempted :) how do you find the temps on the Xeon, are they safe enough?
i5-2500k @ 4.5ghz | ASUS P8Z68-V | nVidia GTX780 | 32gb DDR3| 2x SSDs 2x HDD | Antec Solo II | Dell U2713HM
Mentawl
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 449
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: UK

Re: My new New Home Server Project

Postposted on Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:09 pm

Voldenuit wrote:Nice!

Did you get the E3 1265 v2 because the server needs a GPU/IGP, or can it be run completely headless?


The server's iLO has a built-in Matrox G220eh, so the GPU is not needed. I run it completely headless, as the iLO has a full IP-KVM. The iLO will also let you remote mount a CD or an ISO image, or even a folder, so you can load an OS or boot up to do a firmware update completely remotely.

I bought the E3-1265L v2 for several specific reasons.
-L for low-voltage. The Microserver's heatsink is rated for 35w TDP, and this is the coolest quad-core Xeon (45w TDP).
-Much better performance in case I go the hypervisor route (transition from 2core/2thread to 4core/8thread).
-Support for VT-d, AES-NI, Turbo, TXT, features the original CPU doesn't have.

If I knew I wasn't going to go hypervisor for sure, I'd run the E3-1220L v2, which is 2core/4thread, 17w TDP and has the other features. Right now, I'm using my old Gen7 N54L Microserver to test Hypervisors out (currently trying Citrix XenServer), but it's a weaker CPU, better suited for a single OS; it's okay to find out what I want to run in the long run.

To Mentawl: The temps on the CPU are quite reasonable, even when running Folding@home on light (which is constant 50% on each core). The one temperature I'd like to control better is the hardware RAID controller chip on the SmartArray card. Everything else is good, and I've never had a hint of instability even with the upgrades.
Core i7-4790K, GIGABYTE Z97X-UD5H-BK, 16GB (4x4) G.Skill RipJaws PC1866
Corsair 650D case, Seasonic X750 Gold PSU
WD `Raptor 600GB boot, WD Caviar Black 1TB data, NEC 7200 DVDRW
2x XFX R9 280X Black in Crossfire, X-Fi Titanium, Dell 2408WFP
LoneWolf15
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 8:36 am
Location: SW Meecheegan


Return to The Back Porch

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests