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Hardware Thread, HP Proliant ML350 G5 - adding extra drives?? in Technical; Hello, all.. Our school has an HP Proliant ML350 G5 with a maxed out front drive array. As is the ...
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    HP Proliant ML350 G5 - adding extra drives??

    Hello, all..

    Our school has an HP Proliant ML350 G5 with a maxed out front drive array.

    As is the way with things, the school wants more storage added onto this beastie so I was wondering if there's something I can add which will let me use bog-standard SATA drives?

    I'm hoping to retain some kind of RAID for basic mirroring in case one drive goes kerplooey.

    The Motherboard has 2 free PCIE4X cards and 3 free PCIx133 slots.

    Does anyone know of any decently-priced cards which might do the business?

    Cheers,
    Gerard

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Depends on your definition of reasonable. Most propper RAID cards will set you back a bit, I would recommend looking at another HP RAID card, maybe another SmartArray E200 which will support SATA and will work perfectly with your curret setup. You would need to buy the appropriate breakout cable but this would allow you to attach the SATA drives and RAID them with the same levels of performance. You could even use it as a backup incase the onboard one went south.

    You could also use a third party RAID controller from somewhere like Adaptec but this will leave you with two lots of managment programs and a lower spec controller.

    The other option depending on if you went for LFF or SFF drive bays is to replace the current SATA drives (if you use them) in the front array with much larger ones. You can just stick standard SATA drives in the caddies and swap out the bigger drives from the smaller ones one by one (with time inbetween to rebuild to the new drive) depending on your RAID config. Once they are all swapped out and rebuilt you can just expand the array to use all of the free space on the now much larger drives.

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    gerardsweeney (20th October 2010)

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    Sounds like you will need an drive enclosure different types support different drive types. We have an MSA60 with midline 12x HP 1TB 7.2k SAS giving 9TB in a raid 50.

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    Thank you very much for the suggestions, folks.

    By "reasonable", I was being polite. I mean cheap. Cheap as possible, really. School. Budget. No money. Etc.

    I suspect the 200 RAID card bolted onto a couple of cheapie 3.5 inch 1.5TB WD SATA drives is likely to be far more palatable to the school than the MSA160 which - performance wise - is far superior and what we should be looking at - but it costs a lot more (2500 odds if I'm looking at the right thing?). I know you get what you pay for etc.

    In terms of what is currently in place - the school went for the small form (2.5 inch) drive front chasis. Would I be correct in saying that I could (in theory) use bog standard 2.5 inch SATA drives instead? (Stop sniggering at the back if I'm completely wrong here).. If so, would I be correct in saying that as well as being slower than the current SAS drives, they would run slower than their 3.5" SATA equivelants if I went down the road of a additional RAID card and a couple of 3.5" drives?

    In terms of going down the 3.5" road - can I confirm that if I order:

    HP Smart Array E200/128 BBWC Contro... - 411508-B21 at Insight UK
    and
    2 of Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 - Hard... - ST31000528AS at Insight UK along with the necessary adapter cable (which I can't find on Insight - any help, anyone?), then I'd be set?

    Sorry if this is childishly over-simple - I just want to present a value-for-money option to the school

    Regards,
    Gerard

    PS - it doesn't have to be Insight we purchase from - that was just a Google hit. Misco is our usual buyer, though I'm open to suggestions.. Keep 'em clean!!
    Last edited by gerardsweeney; 20th October 2010 at 09:26 AM. Reason: Comment about Insight

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    might it be cheaper to use an old pc as a freenas box shove some big sata hdds in and set that up with iscsi

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerardsweeney View Post
    In terms of what is currently in place - the school went for the small form (2.5 inch) drive front chasis. Would I be correct in saying that I could (in theory) use bog standard 2.5 inch SATA drives instead? (Stop sniggering at the back if I'm completely wrong here).. If so, would I be correct in saying that as well as being slower than the current SAS drives, they would run slower than their 3.5" SATA equivelants if I went down the road of a additional RAID card and a couple of 3.5" drives?
    Evil 2.5", 3.5" is much more expandable from a cheaper gear standpoint.

    As to the drive swap, yes you should be able to use standard 2.5" SATA drives and yes they will be slower than the 3.5" counterparts. Remember that you can't have two different interface types in a singe volume so if you currently have SAS drives you can't replace one of these with a SATA and rebuild it that way. You would need to backup the current SAS drives, remove them and then make a new SATA set to restore onto. You can have SAS and SATA sets on the same controller you just can't mix the types in a single RAID set.


    Quote Originally Posted by gerardsweeney View Post
    In terms of going down the 3.5" road - can I confirm that if I order:

    HP Smart Array E200/128 BBWC Contro... - 411508-B21 at Insight UK
    and
    2 of Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 - Hard... - ST31000528AS at Insight UK along with the necessary adapter cable (which I can't find on Insight - any help, anyone?), then I'd be set?

    Sorry if this is childishly over-simple - I just want to present a value-for-money option to the school

    Regards,
    Gerard

    PS - it doesn't have to be Insight we purchase from - that was just a Google hit. Misco is our usual buyer, though I'm open to suggestions.. Keep 'em clean!!
    That controller and one of these:
    CablesToGo SAS Multilane Cable 0.5m Red SFF-8484 Male to 4x SATA Male or http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-lis...Q&linkCode=asm
    along with a couple of SATA drives like you linked to should do the trick, it should also be managable and moniterable through your existing RAID console. WD even has some 3GB drives floating around now if you need lots of storage.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 20th October 2010 at 12:53 PM.

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    gerardsweeney (20th October 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Evil 2.5", 3.5" is much more expandable from a cheaper gear standpoint.
    And yet - oddly - HP did not suggest this when the school purchased the server. Annoying, eh?


    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    As to the drive swap, yes you should be able to use standard 2.5" SATA drives and yes they will be slower than the 3.5" counterparts. Remember that you can't have two different interface types in a singe volume so if you currently have SAS drives you can't replace one of these with a SATA and rebuild it that way
    [Sound of that idea being well and truly scrapped - heh]


    Muchas gracias for the link to the cable, Sir. Very much appreciated.


    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    WD even has some 3GB drives floating around now if you need lots of storage.
    I assume you mean 3TB

    I suspect I'll be saving those for the school's backup PC - I currently synch the 3 member servers in the school onto a 1.5Tb drive in a workstation (1 drive for each day) kept at the other side of the school. It's far from the greatest method, but it works. And it was less heartache than trying to juggle all those blummin' tapes

    I get the feeling that once the depts know they have more storage, I'll need bigger drives to back 'em onto!!!

    Actually - I've just had a fiendish idea (or not) involving getting the school to buy the 3TB drives, use them for the backup and bung the current 1.5Tb drives into the server. Mwahahah. Or something.


    Thanks (again) to the assorted kind people who have replied - it's greatly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerardsweeney View Post
    And yet - oddly - HP did not suggest this when the school purchased the server. Annoying, eh?

    I assume you mean 3TB

    I suspect I'll be saving those for the school's backup PC - I currently synch the 3 member servers in the school onto a 1.5Tb drive in a workstation (1 drive for each day) kept at the other side of the school. It's far from the greatest method, but it works. And it was less heartache than trying to juggle all those blummin' tapes

    I get the feeling that once the depts know they have more storage, I'll need bigger drives to back 'em onto!!!

    Actually - I've just had a fiendish idea (or not) involving getting the school to buy the 3TB drives, use them for the backup and bung the current 1.5Tb drives into the server. Mwahahah. Or something.
    Glad to help, hp likes to push the 2.5" ones as you can fit more drives in and they are more power efficient and easily transferable to their 2u rack servers. One place I work with has one of those 350 G5s with the 3.5" bays specificly so they could use the standard 3.5" SATA drives for massive but comparitivly slow speed storage.

    The backup swapout is a good idea, thinking about it the 3TB (you were right I mistyped GB) is in the WD Green line so they probably aren't the fastest of drives leaning more to the low temperature and power efficiency market. Probably perfect for backups though, we use external hard drives just so that they can be housed offsiteand to avoid tapes

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    The backup swapout is a good idea, thinking about it the 3TB (you were right I mistyped GB) is in the WD Green line
    Bah - just checked.. The backup drives are EARS Green beasties so too slow for my cunning plan.

    If you're remotely interested, my current backup method is this:

    XP workstation (HP DC7900)
    SATA caddy : Startech 5.25 Tray-Less SATA Hot-Swap Bay - Misco.co.uk
    5x 1.5Tb WD Green (bah!) drives
    Task Scheduler job to run FreeFileSynch to clone \\server1\c$ to D:\server1\c; \\server1\d$ d:\server1\d (etc) at 7pm Mon-Fri
    PC's BIOS is configured to power on at 6:50pm Mon-Fri

    It's laughably crude, but it works well enough for our purposes.

    I'd considered an external drive, but I've had issues with them randomly not mounting properly once in a blue moon (! in the Device Manager) and that was once too often for my liking.

    I also went with the drawerless caddy to save buying 5 lots of drawers - yep, that's how tight the budget was

    I used the workstation rather than housing the caddy in the server as I wasn't 100% convinced about its "hot-swap" claim and didn't fancy one of our servers BSODing when the Multimedia tech tries to swap the backup drives over.. This way he can just power down the PC to be on the safe side.

    There's probably infinitely better ways of doing it, but it was cheap and seems to work OK so what more do you want?!


    And I'm rambling. Suppose I'd better go do some work, eh? (Yes please. Gerard's Boss)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerardsweeney View Post
    There's probably infinitely better ways of doing it, but it was cheap and seems to work OK so what more do you want?!
    Any backup system you can save the day from... (rework of:- any landing you can walk away from...)

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    Did this work?

    Gerard,

    Im in the same boat as you trying to expand a G5 proliant for a reasonable budget, theres's not too much forum info available about this, if you are still around can you tell me if your addital smart array and 3.5 sata discs worked?

    Thank in anticipation,

    10amps

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    You can have more than one SmartArray card in at once and the later SAS smartarrays can handle both SAS and SATA. I would not use a smartarray for a backup connector where you are constantly swapping out the drives though as they are more meant for static drives that will be staying around for a while.

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    SYNACK, many thanks for this. I have a NAS taking the back ups, I just need to enlarge the capacity of the server itself, Ideally without changing the whole system. I think a new P400 pcie card linked to a couple of 3.5 satas should do the trick.

    I'll post a reply when i get some results.

    10Amps

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10amps View Post
    Gerard,

    Im in the same boat as you trying to expand a G5 proliant for a reasonable budget, theres's not too much forum info available about this, if you are still around can you tell me if your addital smart array and 3.5 sata discs worked?
    I'm afraid that I never got to testing this as the school suddenly came upon some extra money (as they do, apparently), and a new server was purchased instead.

    Sorry!
    Gerard

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerardsweeney View Post
    I'm afraid that I never got to testing this as the school suddenly came upon some extra money (as they do, apparently), and a new server was purchased instead.

    Sorry!
    Gerard
    no problems, i'll let you know for future reference.

    Regards

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