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Hardware Thread, HP finally release the replacement to the ProLiant ML115 in Technical; Originally Posted by Arthur It looks like you are going to have to get a server or case (if you ...
  1. #31

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    It looks like you are going to have to get a server or case (if you build the computer yourself) which has two drive bays.
    Indeed. Does anyone sell a case that can be used as a standard desktop machine or mounted in a 19" rack?

    Which application will you be using to do the GPU video conversion?
    I haven't got to that part yet - probably ffmpeg.

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    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Indeed. Does anyone sell a case that can be used as a standard desktop machine or mounted in a 19" rack?
    The Lian Li PC-C32 is supposed to be just such a case ... Lian Li PC-C32 Reviews - XSReviews.co.uk - Trusted Hardware Reviews never used this one, but Lian Li cases are generally nice.

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    dhicks (7th October 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I'll have to investigate this a bit more - I'm trying to find a server sutible to do hardware-accelerated video file conversion, I might need something a bit larger to accomodate the kind of components needed.
    If you want a very budget yet well designed case capable of handling a pimp setup with multiple big GPUs take a look at the Coolermaster Elite 370. Its cheap as chips and asoundingly well designed and all for 30 + vat. You could use a 3.5 or 5.25 all in one card reader and have room for a DVDRW drive.




    Butuz

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    dhicks (7th October 2010)

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    I've been looking at getting one of these servers due to the size and price (with hp's 100 cashback offer), but the CPU is putting me off it as i'd like to run esxi or xenserver on it.

    Other than the ML110 G6 which has a few issues with the disk controller & ESXi (don't really want to buy another expansion card though), are there any servers that are equivalent to the ml115 or is the microserver the best bet for a smallish and cheap (<= 250) server?

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    I've had one for a while now running as an ESXi server and it works quite nicely, certainly fits in the house nicely! CPU isn't what I'd call fast, but its okay for me. I'm generally running non-gui servers FreeBSD/Linux and I don't tend to have more than 3 or 4 running at any one time since it's just a test rig. It's nice having the 4 SATA drive bays and it's pretty quiet.

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    computer_expert (10th December 2010)

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    I've come a bit late to the party with this but I am thinking of buying one before the cashback offer finishes.

    Like others, the CPU puts me off though. Lots of people have said its ok, but not great...but in real terms what does that mean? I mean if I was running ESXi with 4 VM's of Server 2008R2 (assuming I buy more RAM) is it going to be very sluggish or unusuable? Only ever going to be for testing

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    As with many things the speed of the PC is determined by the hard drives and the RAM - unless accual processing is needed the processor has very little to do.
    As such what workload are you looking at running on your 2008R2s?

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    It will just be a lab for me to personally test things...so very light workload as it will only be me and possibly a few test clients using it. So I'm guessing it should cope ok

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
    It will just be a lab for me to personally test things...so very light workload as it will only be me and possibly a few test clients using it. So I'm guessing it should cope ok
    Yeah that should be fine - only thing I would worry about would be your choice of Hypervisor - as far as I understand the MicroServer uses AMD RAID (compared to something like a HP P410i) so VMWare/XenServer might not have the drivers for it - Hyper-V works fine though

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    Oh ok thanks. I don't mind using Hyper-V, either is fine for me

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    only thing I would worry about would be your choice of Hypervisor - as far as I understand the MicroServer uses AMD RAID (compared to something like a HP P410i) so VMware/XenServer might not have the drivers for it - Hyper-V works fine though
    While it's true that ESXi doesn't support the MicroServer's "fake" RAID controller, there's nothing stopping you from either using the disks individually (JBOD-style) or buying a proper hardware RAID controller that is supported (the HP SmartArray P410 is a good card to use).

    One advantage to using ESXi as your hypervisor is that you can install it to a flash drive, connect it to the internal USB port and use the optical drive bay for a fifth HDD to run additional VMs from. If on the other hand you go with Hyper-V, you could run the operating system from the fifth HDD and RAID together the other four HDDs within the operating system itself - 2008 R2 does software RAID-5.

    Some other info which you may find useful...

    • If you want to use the optical drive bay for a HDD (instead of a DVD/BD drive), you should flash this modified BIOS (more details here) - it enables AHCI on SATA port 5. Without it, performance is atrocious (you won't get more than 23MB/s!). To fit the drive in there, you will also need a 5.25" to 3.5" adapter such as the Scythe Hard Disk Stabiliser II (~7.00), a 45cm latching SATA cable (3.00) and an LP4 to SATA power cable adapter (1.00).
    • Standard DDR3 RAM works fine. I recently bought 4GB (2x2GB) for around 30, but I think I may upgrade to 8GB RAM because 4GB is not enough for what I want to do. The cheapest 4GB ECC DIMMs I have found cost 47 each. Non-ECC 4GB DIMMs are 10 cheaper.
    • Due to the chipset, RAM only works in single channel mode. This means mixing different sized DIMMs is perfectly fine. e.g. 1x4GB + 1x1GB for 5GB. However, do not mix non-ECC RAM and ECC RAM.
    • The onboard HP NC107i NIC is actually a Broadcom NetXtreme BCM5723.
    • The x16 PCIe slot only supports cards upto 25 watts. If you use this slot make sure any PCIe cards do not exceed this.
    • If you want to stick a graphics card in the PCIe x1 slot, a good one to choose would be the HIS Radeon HD 5450 1GB Silence (~39 / Review).
    • I have 5 x Samsung HD204UI 2TB HDDs in my MicroServer since I plan to use it as a NAS. If you get any of these drives, update the firmware as soon as you get them to avoid data loss.
    • The cash-back cheque takes ages to arrive in the post. I ordered my MicroServer on the 7th December 2010 and received the cheque on 8th February 2011 (64 days later!).

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    sidewinder (29th March 2011)

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    Thanks for all the info, I've ordered one

    One thing I couldnt find was an affordable half height PCIe NIC...anyone know of any? Found a dual port HP one but at 100 odd is about 90 over what I want to spend

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder View Post
    One thing I couldn't find was an affordable half height PCIe NIC...anyone know of any?
    There's the Intel PRO/1000CT (P/N: EXPI9301CT)? This single-port PCIe gigabit NIC costs around 20 and includes a low-profile bracket. I think it also supports VMDq too.

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    Aha, thanks!
    Shame I didnt see that because I could have added it to my Ebuyer order But I suppose I can live with a single NIC for now!

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    HP have finally released a faster MicroServer...

    http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en...7-4248009.html

    Systems come with the new 1.5GHz AMD Turion™ II Neo N40L processor, with with either 2GB RAM, 250GB hard disk (219 ex-vat), or 4GB, 2x500GB hard disk (in a RAID configuration) and preinstalled with SBS (565 ex-vat).

    The processor should give the new generation of Microserver around at 20% speed boost, which should server both home and business users with a nice performance edge. Either system is highly recommended for any small business, the integration with Office365 makes this a killer local/cloud storage combination.

    (Side note, the current 100 cash back offer only includes the lower end 1.3GHz model which is still available, and hasn’t been extended to the newer models at the moment) (Source)

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