HP Microserver

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eeyore Offline
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Post: #1
I've just bought the HP Microserver (HP ProLiant Turion II N40L MicroServer) and have been looking for the best way to set it up. I just want to use it as a media server, which I can expand as my collection grows.

I was thinking of installing unraid. If I do this how many disks can I start with and can I add disks at a later data (thinking of modifying to increase drive capacity)?

How much RAM would be recommended (I have seen conflicting advice).

Finally a really silly question .... Do I need to plug in a monitor to work through the install process?

Any help is much appreciated.
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smiffy1989 Offline
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Post: #2
With Unraid you can create an array with a single disk. You wouldn't have any redundancy but could write files there and share them over the network.

I started with 5. I had 1 parity, 3 data and 1 cache IIRC.

I have 2GB of RAM and have not run into any issues. I run couchpotato/sickbeard/sabnzbd/mysql/php/apache too.

You shouldn't need a monitor if nothing goes wrong. You should be able to access the unraid config page on http:\\tower or by its IP address.

There's plenty of info out there and there are a fair few people on these forums with unraid servers that will be willing to help if you get stuck.

I suggest you just download the free version and have a mess around, if there's anything your not sure about post back here.
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bigdog66 Offline
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Post: #3
you will need a monitor initially because you need to log into unraid first to set things up

here is a good wiki link to start with...
http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.ph...n_Tutorial

and another good starting point in general http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.ph...umentation

you may want to post on the unraid forums just to see if anyone there has setup your exact hardware already....and if you need help don't be afraid to ask questions over there

WE ALL WE GOT
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jdwoods Offline
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Post: #4
I am in the same boat.

Just purchased an N40L. Deciding if Unraid or WHS 2011 is the best way to go.
If I do go with Unraid, this is what I envision:
I will start out with 2 2TB (1 for storage, 1 for redundancy) drives, add a cache drive soon, and then expand the storage array.

Any input regarding which way to go - Unraid or WHS 2011? Any other tips?

Thanks.
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macdo03 Offline
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Post: #5
I have recently purchased a n40L too. I have been using it with Openmediavault and it works flawlessly. I installed OMV onto a USB hard drive sitting in the CD drive slot and routed a short cable to the internal USB slot.
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bigdog66 Offline
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Post: #6
(2012-04-03 19:32)jdwoods Wrote:  I am in the same boat.

Just purchased an N40L. Deciding if Unraid or WHS 2011 is the best way to go.
If I do go with Unraid, this is what I envision:
I will start out with 2 2TB (1 for storage, 1 for redundancy) drives, add a cache drive soon, and then expand the storage array.

Any input regarding which way to go - Unraid or WHS 2011? Any other tips?

Thanks.

cache drive does not come with the free version

if your concern is write speed then there are a few ways to look at it
the bulk of your writing at one time in the initial copy of data
if you have the means to copy data from existing to a new drive so that you still have a backup then i would copy first and then install the parity drive and hold on to your original copy until parity has synced
that way you get full write speeds

although write speeds are not as bad as they used to be so one drive worth of data even with parity in place will not be that bad

then daily copies after that can only be so much on any given day which makes the cache drive moot

if your goal with the cache was for other things like running apps on a non array drive or using cache dirs to hold a cache of your media so that when you browse from xbmc your drives do not need to spin up then that is something you have to weigh

i started with 3 drives to test out unraid and by the time i needed an additional drive i was completely satisfied and purchased a license

WE ALL WE GOT
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jdwoods Offline
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Post: #7
(2012-04-03 23:17)bigdog66 Wrote:  
(2012-04-03 19:32)jdwoods Wrote:  I am in the same boat.

Just purchased an N40L. Deciding if Unraid or WHS 2011 is the best way to go.
If I do go with Unraid, this is what I envision:
I will start out with 2 2TB (1 for storage, 1 for redundancy) drives, add a cache drive soon, and then expand the storage array.

Any input regarding which way to go - Unraid or WHS 2011? Any other tips?

Thanks.

cache drive does not come with the free version

if your concern is write speed then there are a few ways to look at it
the bulk of your writing at one time in the initial copy of data
if you have the means to copy data from existing to a new drive so that you still have a backup then i would copy first and then install the parity drive and hold on to your original copy until parity has synced
that way you get full write speeds

although write speeds are not as bad as they used to be so one drive worth of data even with parity in place will not be that bad

then daily copies after that can only be so much on any given day which makes the cache drive moot

if your goal with the cache was for other things like running apps on a non array drive or using cache dirs to hold a cache of your media so that when you browse from xbmc your drives do not need to spin up then that is something you have to weigh

i started with 3 drives to test out unraid and by the time i needed an additional drive i was completely satisfied and purchased a license

My path is very close to what you have just outlined.

I currently have data stored this way: 1 2TB drive, and 3-4 externals.
I will download and install the 3 Drive version of Unraid first.
Install 2 fresh 2TB drives in the N40L. (Pre Clear, etc)
Copy the data from the 2TB drive to the array.
After the copy has completed, I will then set up parity (either by deleting data on the original drive or purchasing an extra 2TB if $ permits).

Initially, I will operate Sab, Sick, Couch off the array and then move to the cache drive (and upgrade Unraid) when funds permit. But the idea is to cache media and operate apps (incomplete dls from sab and torrents) off of the cache drive to prevent the drives from constant spin up and spin down.

Other thougthts are:
Crashplan - for computers on the network
iPhoto library - for my macs.
Music Server.

Are you using Unraid 4.7 or 5 Beta?
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Monkeypox Offline
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Post: #8
You might also want to consider FlexRaid as an alternative to unRaid. It offers several benefits to unRaid
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bigdog66 Offline
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Post: #9
Quote:Are you using Unraid 4.7 or 5 Beta?

Nothing that i have needed has required that i run 5 so I am running 4.7

WE ALL WE GOT
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jdwoods Offline
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Post: #10
I may be forced to order Unraid Plus for 6 drives.

I totally forgot the HP Proliant N40L comes equipped with a 250GB drive. I will use this drive for cache.
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Diggs Offline
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Post: #11
A bit late to this party, but I also purchased one of the N40L's for an Unraid server. I just started doing preclears on 4 2TB drives today, which will all be used for data. Waiting on a tray to install in the ODD bay for the 5th drive, which will be for Parity. I ordered 5 2TB drives the same day for this server along with a pair of the USB drives with the Unraid OS and licensing, and 8GB of DDR3 ECC. I plan on setting up SAB, Sickbeard, MySql on this server in the future.

I searched around a bit and found Unraid seems to fit the bill for my media server. I didn't want to use WHS and a standard raid array. I prefer the fact that I can lose a couple of drives and the remaining drives are still readable without reconstructing the array. This is also my first dive into a Linux install and I must say it was laughable how easy it was. Basically, install the thumbdrive and boot up. Follow the Unraid guide and that was it. Granted I haven't setup shares yet, but that seems straight forward.

The install of Unmenu was also cake. I am starting to like Linux and may end up installing xbmcbuntu in my HTPCs in the future. The HP server is topnotch also. I am extremely impressed with this little guy. It has all that is needed, and simple to work with. I wish the ODD SATA connection was AHCI compliant without having to flash the bios. I will work on that once I get the tray for the ODD drive and the Parity drive installed.

Curious if anyone is using the little client that came with the N40L from Newegg for free, and if so, what are you using it for? I just don't have a need for it at the moment since I have probably 5 PCs in the house. I am going to likely sell it off if I can't find a cool use for it, and curious if anyone has any good suggestions.

Diggs
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Diggs Offline
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Post: #12
Just wanted to follow up on my experience with this micro server. I have to say it's about perfect for this task. I have unraid running and shares setup. I just installed the KINGWIN KF-1000-BK 3.5" Internal hot swap rack in the ODD bay and am doing a pre clear on my 5th 2TB drive which will be my Parity drive. I have about 4TB worth of data residing on the array so far, so I am curious how long it will take to build the parity. I should get that started tonight after work, I am sure the pre clear is complete by now.

I also updated the BIOS last night. I used the hacked version from TheBAY I think is his name on AVforums. That was a bit tedious to complete, but I finally got it to work out. And it does as reported, the SATA port on the motherboard now is AHCI ready. I assume the Esata port is as well, but I haven't plugged in a drive to test that as of yet.

Has anyone else installed a Sata controller in this server? I am considering something simple so I can add both a Cache drive and another 2TB data drive. If anyone has any experience with this, I would love some suggestions on which card/controller you used and how it performed. Both of these will need to be external drives (esata) since there is no room left inside the server.

My plan with this server has changed just a bit. I was planning on installing SAB, CP and SB, but think I will simply setup MySql for the xbmc db only. Moving files to it from my main PC is fast and painless currently, and I hope that doesn't change once the parity drive is installed and setup. I still plan on using the drive that came with it as a cache drive and should have a 10TB array once all is completed, but will need to purchase another drive.

Curious how everyone elses system is performing also, any cool tips or tricks?

Diggs
(This post was last modified: 2012-04-17 20:59 by Diggs.)
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jdwoods Offline
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Post: #13
(2012-04-17 20:57)Diggs Wrote:  My plan with this server has changed just a bit. I was planning on installing SAB, CP and SB, but think I will simply setup MySql for the xbmc db only. Moving files to it from my main PC is fast and painless currently, and I hope that doesn't change once the parity drive is installed and setup. I still plan on using the drive that came with it as a cache drive and should have a 10TB array once all is completed, but will need to purchase another drive.

Diggs

This was the main reason I started down this road with Unraid and the N40L. Low power, data parity, and the ability to run this stuff.

Care to explain why you changed your plan?

Silverstone GD01 - Asrock A75 Pro4 - AMD A8-3850 - Kingston HyperX 8GB RAM - Patriot TorqX 64GB - Android Remote
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Diggs Offline
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Post: #14
(2012-04-18 00:00)jdwoods Wrote:  
(2012-04-17 20:57)Diggs Wrote:  My plan with this server has changed just a bit. I was planning on installing SAB, CP and SB, but think I will simply setup MySql for the xbmc db only. Moving files to it from my main PC is fast and painless currently, and I hope that doesn't change once the parity drive is installed and setup. I still plan on using the drive that came with it as a cache drive and should have a 10TB array once all is completed, but will need to purchase another drive.

Diggs

This was the main reason I started down this road with Unraid and the N40L. Low power, data parity, and the ability to run this stuff.

Care to explain why you changed your plan?


All of that is already setup and configured on my main PC and its just easy to browse NZBmatrix and such from my main PC and select what I want. After SAB downloads everything, it extracts it to the server. I then use therenamer software to get the file names setup correctly and move it to my final archive folder on the server. I really see no benefit in moving this off my main PC. Whatever gets downloaded ends up on the server waiting to be renamed and moved to the proper share that XBMC uses. Installing SAB, CP and SB onto the server really doesn't provide any gain that I can see. My main goal was storage with some redundancy, not offloading task I do to a different machine. It sounded like a cool thing to do, and if it provided some benefit, I would still do it.

Now MySQL on the server is very appealing to me so I can have the same XBMC database for all of my HTPCs. Stopping a movie or a show and resuming it in another room is something I would use, and I also want all my XBMC installs to have the same look, making a change on one system, makes it on the others as well. And the last thing I really want from a central DB is that shows and movies that are new, or viewed/watched are all the same in each room. Right now my bedroom and my living have very different results for what shows have been watched. I have seen every episode of say breaking bad or the walking dead, but neither of the systems show that since I watched some of the episodes in different rooms.
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Diggs Offline
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Post: #15
Setting up Parity was a snap. Unraid is really very easy to run and this server seems like the ideal platform for it. I am still considering a SATA controller so I can install one more data drive and a cache drive. I want to install MySql on the cache drive along with any other applications I decide to try. Once I get that in place, I may still give SAB, CP and SB a try just to see if there are any advantages to it living on the server instead of the PC.

If anyone has any experience or advice for a SATA controller with a 2 esata ports that will work out of the box with unraid, I would love to hear it.

Thanks!
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