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ML30 Gen9 server as homeserver?

Sweenie
Occasional Visitor

ML30 Gen9 server as homeserver?

Hi,

I'm looking for a new ready to run homeserver. This time I don't want build one. The server will be used as file server, webserver, database server, back-upserver and run a few virtual machines like a Windows 10 for testing purposes, a Linux Nagios monitoringserver and a Linux webserver with database server. I looked at the MicroServer Gen8 and Gen10, ML10 Gen9 and ML10 v2, but I like the ML30 Gen9 the most. Does anyone have any experience with the ML30 Gen9 as homeserver? Does it make noise like a regular server or more like a desktop computer? I'll think I go for the 872658-421 which has a Intel Xeon E3-1220 v6 and 8GB memory. The previous versions with the Intel Xeon E3-1220 v5 had only 4GB memory.
I have not yet decided which hard disks I'm going to use. Can I use Western Digital or Seagate? What type of hard disk do you recommend? NAS or non NAS? When you look at pictures of HPE hard disks, these are build-in a tray/caddy. Does the ML30 Gen9 server come with these trays/caddies? If I use non HPE hard disks, can I buy these trays/caddies separate? What is their HPE part number?
I would like to install ESXi 6.5 on the server and put the hard disks in RAID 1 for the datastore. I know RAID 1 isn't back-up, but It's easier to swap a hard disk then to reinstall everything. Is this possible or do I need a RAID controller? If so which one do you recommend? If this is not possible or too expensive, I probably go for Windows Server 2016 or Server 2016 Essentials and install VMware Workstation 12 Pro on it. Will this work?
Let me know what your experiences are with the ML30 Gen9 as homeserver or as small business server with ESXi 6.5 or Windows Server 2016 and VMware Workstation 12 Pro.
Thanks in advance.

Greetings,

1 REPLY
andrew_2419
Member

Re: ML30 Gen9 server as homeserver?

I'm currently using the ML30 Gen9 (831065-S01) with a Xeon E3-1230V5 as a home server, and it runs well for me. It makes noise like a server does when powering on, but then the fans quiet down to what I would say normal desktop levels. I actually went with a 4GB model, and then just upgraded the memory myself.

The hard drives I use are a Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD for the OS (Windows Server 2016 Standard) and VMs, and a Western Digital Gold 4TB drive for bulk storage. The drive caddys do not come with the system. I got a couple aftermarket ones. My server's drive cage is the one that accepts four large form-factor (3.5) drives, and I have a plastic mounting adapter for the 2.5 SSD. I'm not running in a RAID configuration, but there is an onboard B140i controller that's software-based and supports RAID 0, 1, 1+0 and 5.

So far, the only problem I've had was the ILO not getting a DHCP address (I've posted about it on these forums) with the latest firmware. There's also a bug with the Skylake (Xeon E3 V5) and Kaby Lake (Xeon E3 V6) CPUs with regards to using Hyperthreading with heavy CPU loads and a particular series of instructions. I don't think it's affected me, but I"ve disabled Hyperthreading until HP has a BIOS update with the microcode fix (I'm assuming the latest BIOS does not have it yet).

As for the setup you want, were you going to install Windows Server 2016 on the bare metal and run VMs on it? I'm not familiar with VMware's ESXi, but version 6.5 is supported on the ML30.

Hope that helps!