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DL380 w/Smart Array 5i Plus: Options

tomhoo
Occasional Advisor

DL380 w/Smart Array 5i Plus: Options

First apologies being expert at PCs but novice at servers.

I just bought 2 DL380 310587-001 dual 3.06/512 Xeon 2gb memory servers with the following hard drives: (1) 72gb u320, (3) 36gb u320, (1) 18gb u2, and (1) 18gb u3 and am trying to determine what my options are for getting both servers up and running. (My application is raw number crunching, CPU intensive, and will be using these servers as PCs w/XP PRO installed. Why these servers? Because they offer the biggest bang for the buck - I'm training neural networks and need a room full of PC's for training and backtesting(!) )

My first question is the Duplex/Simplex choice. From what I have read, Duplex results in a Raid 1 mirror of HD slots 0,1 and a Raid 5 of slots 2,3,4,5. I have read this is the ONLY configuration. But I have questions:

1) Is R5 possible for any 3 or the 4 HD slots 2-5?
2) Is R0 (no raid) possible on either or both Channels?

Regarding Simplex:

This means all 6 HD slots are on this single channel. So my questions:

1) Is any RAID possible? 0, 1, 5? on this array?
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Since redundancy is not important, RAID 0 would utilize all my HD capacity.

Since I have these slower 18gb drives, DUPLEX would allow me to not mix SCSI types, e.g. I would run a u2/u320 and u3/u320 Ch2/1 on the two DL380's. Have I got that right?
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The other thing I was contemplating was getting Xeon cpu's with either the 1 or 2mb L3 cache since it is said they dramatically improve performance. It appears that I should be able to upgrade the cpus in this regard. Should I be concerned about any issues?
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Since I will have empty bays with the limited number of hard drives, do I have to run the "blank caddies?" I have 2 of them but am 4 short. Are they necessary for any kind of SCSI termination or are they required to maintain the proper cooling flow through the existing hard drives? (My guess is flow but I could be very wrong.)
____________________________

Any help would be greatly appreciated and of course,
Thanks in advance,
Tom

3 REPLIES
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: DL380 w/Smart Array 5i Plus: Options

"My first question is the Duplex/Simplex choice. From what I have read, Duplex results in a Raid 1 mirror of HD slots 0,1 and a Raid 5 of slots 2,3,4,5."

Setting the array controller to duplex simply means that you want to turn off the external connection to the second channel and allow that channel to service the last 4 drive bays. It does not lock you in to RAID1 on 2 drives and RAID5 on the other 4. Your disk array can span channels.

"I have read this is the ONLY configuration. But I have questions:

1) Is R5 possible for any 3 or the 4 HD slots 2-5?
2) Is R0 (no raid) possible on either or both Channels?
"

1. Sure. You can still configure all 6 drives in a RAID5 configuration.

2. RAID0 is an option as well across all 6 drives or any of the drives individually.


"Regarding Simplex:

This means all 6 HD slots are on this single channel. So my questions:

1) Is any RAID possible? 0, 1, 5? on this array?"

1. Yes

To better understand this...it helps to understand the structure of the disk array. When you create a disk array on a Smart Array Controller, the array itself does not have a raid level. After you create an array, you then allocate space to Logical Drives... which have a raid level. So basicly, an array is just a pool of disks that are grouped together. A logical drive is a carving of space out of that pool.

"Since I have these slower 18gb drives, DUPLEX would allow me to not mix SCSI types, e.g. I would run a u2/u320 and u3/u320 Ch2/1 on the two DL380's. Have I got that right?"

I believe you can mix and match the drives, but the limiting facter here is the slowest drive. All drives (I don't remember, it's been a while since I've done any old server work) operate at the speed of the slowest drive.


"...Should I be concerned about any issues?"

You may need bios updates and such. I am not sure what the fastest processor available is, but I am sure someone will post it before I have a chance to look it up.


"Are they necessary for any kind of SCSI termination or are they required to maintain the proper cooling flow through the existing hard drives? "

No. Just for proper airflow.


Steven
Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
gregersenj
HPE Pro

Re: DL380 w/Smart Array 5i Plus: Options

Steven, I can fill you in on the the scsi speed.

When we are talking U2, U3 and U320.
Rules are:
Devices will run at their individual native speed.
But they will not run faster than the max speed of the conntroller.

It is the controller that negotiate the speed.
When the controller scan the bus. It will try max speed first, on the first device.
If the device can run the max speed, then max speed is used.
If the device can't run at the max speed of the controller, the controller will go down 1 step, and try again.
This will go on, untill the speed of the device has been negotiatet.
Then the controller move on to the next device, and will try from max speed again.

If! you put a fast wide ultra (U1) device on the bus, the entire bus will run at U1 speed.
cnb
Honored Contributor

Re: DL380 w/Smart Array 5i Plus: Options

Hi Tom,

Quickspecs indicate these Processor Kit modules are available to upgrade from your current one(s):

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/11473_na/11473_na.html

Intel Xeon X3.2-2MB/533MHz Processor Option Kit
NOTE: The 3.2GHz processor option kits are not backwards compatible; they cannot be used to upgrade systems purchased with 2.4 or 2.8GHz 400MHz Front Side Bus processors. This processor option kit supports the ProLiant ML370 G3 and ProLiant DL380 G3 servers. 352568-B21
Intel Xeon X3.2-1MB/533MHz Processor Option Kit
NOTE: The 3.2GHz processor option kits are not backwards compatible; they cannot be used to upgrade systems purchased with 2.4 or 2.8GHz 400MHz Front Side Bus processors. This processor option kit supports the ProLiant ML370 G3 and ProLiant DL380 G3 servers.
333714-B21
Intel Xeon X3.06-1MB/533MHz Processor Option Kit
NOTE: The 3.06GHz processor option kits are not backwards compatible; they cannot be used to upgrade systems purchased with 2.4 or 2.8GHz 400MHz Front Side Bus processors. This processor option kit supports the ProLiant ML370 G3 and ProLiant DL380 G3 servers.
333713-B21


There is a BIOS update for Xeon processors:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=3288130&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316529&swLang=8&taskId=135&swEnvOID=181#12212

Firmware update procedure:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=115&prodSeriesId=316529&prodTypeId=15351&objectID=c00719376


Hardware Remove/Replace Videos:

http://h20464.www2.hp.com/resultsCSR.htm?prodSeriesId=316529&MEID=84FA8318-FAD7-4110-B83A-7A2C2789DD1F

Hope this helps.


Rgds,