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Bought a ‎ML350p Gen 8 off ebay, and have questions about RAID and disk compatibility.


Bought a ‎ML350p Gen 8 off ebay, and have questions about RAID and disk compatibility.

I recently bought a server off ebay, along with some associated parts.   Copying from my post on Reddit :

I just purchased these items, and have some questions. Been away from enterprise equipment for a while.

Setup a 2x p-pro tower in 03, and a 2x 32bit p4 1u around 10. Finally able to afford to start putting together what I've wanted, and is currently cobbled together with multiple machines.

OS will be Gentoo. Coincidentally, my first Gentoo install was on that p-pro. I laugh when I see "Is my [year old computer with 1tb ram] powerful enough for Gentoo?" posts. Compiling gcc took a week on that thing.

First question, drives. I'm going to run a five drive (to start) RAID 6 array with one hot and one cold spare. Those drives were a compermise. If I have a failure after the warranty, can I safely replace the dead drive with another that is either faster, or same speed, but larger? I know that's possible with (Linux) software RAID, but what of hardware?

On a related note, why are G8 LFF cages so valuable? Based on what I see, I could sell mine and get back what all this costs me.

Second, where is a good resource for virtualization? I've heard of Xen and Docker, but is these other choices I'm unaware of? I'd like to keep it open source, so that would exclude Vmware.

My current plans, which may expand are:

  • Router (need wireless card)
  • Firewall
  • File & media server
  • Web server
  • Distcc server (curious how long to compile gcc)
  • Backup server
  • LTO tape(s) server (depending on price of drives and tapes, may do a 3 drive RAIT)
  • BOINC client

While some of the above can be combined, for the most part, I'd like to isolate each from the other.

Next, SSD's, and Raid 1/5/6. That disk is overkill. My "heaviest" machine uses less than 32 GB for the OS. And half of that is swap. I'm planning to use most of the 480 GB for dmcache, but with SSD I'm always worried about wear.

I grepped with no joy, but is anyone aware of any RAID cards that support levels 1, 5, or 6 with hot spare, and support on card or expander, 3, 4, or 5 m.2 nvme modules, for under $100USD?

Finally, again no luck in search, the board has a onboard SD slot. Is this bootable?


I made a mistake, and had to order five more sleds.  They, the server, and second NIC have yet to arrive., but should arrive by Friday.  Hopefully.

In the meantime I have a few more questions that are probably better asked here.  Any one wanting to answer the above questions would also be welcome.

First, RAID.  I would like to run hardware RAID 6,.  Can I legally do so, or would I be forced to use software RAID (mdadm)?  I've grepped the net, and the RAID 6 issue is confusing.  It looks like I may need an updated SPP, but whether that requires an HPE support contract or not is confusing.  Some sources it is required, others say HPE has released the appropriate SPP into "free" downloads.

I'm sure such a contract would be great, but I'm just a guy on disability with a fixed income tinkering around at home.

Second, I mention above I was planning to run dmcache, but it looks like I may be able to use it at the hardware level, Assuming that is correct, can I split my SSD, so only part is used for cache?  I bought a PCI-E to NVME adapter, depending on if the BIOS sees it or not as a drive I may boot off SD card or even RAID array.  Drive is 480GB, so my thought is 180GB for /, /opt, and /usr, with bulk to the latter, then rest to cache for RAID.

In addition, I will run LUKS with full disk encryption, so that may affect matters also.

Third, the drives.  I've never bought any platter drives other than Seagate, and don't expect to change in the future.  However, a quick search here indicates the possibility drives have to be HP branded to work with the p410.  I'm doubtful, as I can see some legal issues there, but is that true?

Finally, on upgrades.  The drives I bought were about $50 with warrenty.  4GB drives would have been about $120.  There's a very good arguement to go with the same $50 drives, but prices will always decrease., and I'w hoping to run this machine for at least ten years.  Can I expand the array with larger disks?  I know the size of the smallest disk is used for calculations, but would the controller allow mismatched drives?  And once all the drives were upgraded, would the controller automatically "grow" the array, or would I need to destroy and recreate the logical disk?




Re: Bought a ‎ML350p Gen 8 off ebay, and have questions about RAID and disk compatibility.

On a hardware RAID you can definitely replace failed drives with larger capacity drives which are compatible and supported. 

Only a part of the larger capacity drive will be used until all the member drives end up being the same capacity later on and then the array has to be reconfigured to make in bigger by expansion / enstension procedures.

Not sure about the other queries. 


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