ProLiant Servers - Netservers

HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

 
daniel_linux
Occasional Contributor

HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

 

I note the HP ProLiant MicroServer offers SATA RAID on the motherboard (AMD SB820M chipset)

 

How does this RAID work in practice?

 

a) is it full hardware RAID, with all RAID work done on the chip?  Or is the `RAID' support done by the driver (software RAID) or some hardware/software combination?

 

b) can RAID be administered from the BIOS (e.g. to check disk status or create a new mirror), or does it require the operating system to be running?

 

c) which Linux driver is used to access the RAID volume when the controller is in full RAID mode?

 

d) if a replacement drive is installed, how is the rebuild process initiated?  Can the operating system boot up and run from one drive while the other is rebuilt?

 

e) what sort of mechanisms are there for data integrity?  Or do I need to use a filesystem like ZFS or BtrFs with checksum capability if I want to be absolutely certain that my data is 100% accurate?

 

f) are there power limitations?  e.g. it is a 150W power supply, so if four discs are installed, does that mean I can't attach too many USB devices?

 

P.S. This thread has been moved from  ProLiant Servers (ML,DL,SL) to ProLiant Servers - Netservers. -HP Forum Moderator

 

 

8 REPLIES 8
Jens Janssen
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

hi daniel,

 

a.

no, this is not a full raid. Unfortunately this is only a fake raid only supporting raid levels 0 and 1. However it is one of the better implementations. Write cache and NCQ is supported and the raid can be managed by AMD RaidXPERT (http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c02541592&lang=en&cc=us&taskId=101&prodSeriesId=4248009&prodTypeId=15351).

 

b.

Managed by BIOS and/or RaidXPERT. Only limited surveillance by BIOS (only SMART as far as I know). More advanced functionality is available by RaidXPERT (scheduled surface checks and verify, ...)

 

c.

No answer on that. I run linux ony in a VM.

 

d.

This is what a raid is supposed to do. (hotswap officially not supported, but may work, depending on HDD)

 

e.

disable write cache, use RaidXPERT and set up regular verify checks (raid 1)

 

f.

the server is not limited to 5 drives (number of internal SATA ports). There are many reports of 6 and more drives (I think up to nine) using PCIe raid controllers (e.g. HP Smart Array).

 

For more information please visit

http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=905262

http://www.tenniswood.co.uk/technology/windows-home-server/how-to-setup-a-raid-array-on-a-hp-microserver/

http://www.hardwareluxx.de/community/f101/hp-proliant-n36l-microserver-752079.html (german)

 

 

Cheers,

Jens

Sirajul haque
Frequent Advisor

Re: HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

Hi,

 

Very detailed steps are provided below, it shows how to enable in BIOS and also how to create a hardware RAID using AMD Option ROM utility.

 

Enable Embedded SATA RAID Controller in HP Microserver
http://www.tricksguide.com/enable-amd-embedded-sata-raid-controller-hp-microserver.html

 

Once you enable it, you can create RAID on this server

 

Setup RAID with AMD Onboard SATA Controller on your HP MicroServer
http://www.tricksguide.com/setup-raid-with-amd-onboard-sata-controller-on-your-hp-microserver.html

 

Once you implement OS, you can use AMD RAIDexpert tool to perform additional RAID related activities :)

 

I hope this may help you

 

Regards

 

SiRu

Though I work for HP, I do not represent HP here :)
jking1024
Frequent Visitor

Re: HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

Make sure you have the latest BIOS. There are some RAID/AHCI updates not long back (end of Q1 2011, I think).

 

Osgoodwozgood
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

Hello

 

Lots and lots of posts about teh Raod Controller on the Microserver. Mine is the N54L. Love it etc.. But decided I want Server 2012 R2 and Hypervisor. I have 4 hdd's.. 2x250gb and 2x3TB. I fancy Raid 1 on each pair. I wiped the lot with DBAN. Set up the Raid in the BIOS utility and enabled boot from the raid. All looked good. Installed 2012 R2 and go to look at the drives and see three.. one 250gb and two 3TB. I was expecting only two. The BIOS up to date (SP64420). The storage controller download on the HP site (cp020624.exe) doesn't see the onboard raid controller. HP and AMD are no help. Anyone got any bright ideas?

 

Thanks

 

Andrew

silverlox
New Member

Re: HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

I'm running the same server, Windows  2012 R2 , have two Raid 1's setup. 

 

The problem is your 3TB drive, the BIOS will not accept that size, I klnow I tried it.

2 120GB ssd's as Raid Mo.1 1

2 2TB drives as Raid No.2 

 

and that works for me.

 

Tried the second raid set with two 3TB drives and although the bios sets them up right, Windows will not

 

Mike

Brian Milnes
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

Thought I'd chip in here, although it is less specific to RAID and more about the controller.

 

I recently picked up a Microserver N54L. I fitted it with 16Gb Memory and have fitted 5 drives (one system disk in the 5¼" DVD bay) and four in the NAS slots.

 

2 of the drives are 3Tb WD NASware WD30EFRX others are Seagate Barracudas.

 

I did a clean server install with Win Server 2012 r2 (planned to be NAS/Storage Space ) Everything looked fine.

 

Trying to copy from one disk to another and getting atrocious performance. e.g. 1.2Mbs down to 0 Mbps (it seems to be pausing in cycles).

 

I've run Ubuntu Server on the same hardware and have let the copy continue on there as it's working at ~25 Mbps so it's not primarily the hardware.

 

I determined that it had to be a software issue, as Linux was working OK, if not as fast as I would have expected.

 

So, I checked that I'd downloaded all the HP fixes, and noted that their fix for 2012 R2 for the AMD Embedded SATA controller "didn't find the hardware" it was expecting.  ?? What was going on there?

 

Checking in Device Manager showed WIndows had chosen a Generic ATA Controller. hmmm.

 

Went to the AMD Site and downloaded their version of the driver. Server 2008 seemed to be the most recent and it wouldn't install.

 

So I unchecked the "compatible device" box, chose the AMD SATA Controller driver.

 

Whaddya know? I'm now getting a rock steady 122 MB/s transfer rates!! "ta-da"!!

 

So it was a "Windows knows best" delusional error...

 

But the BIOS/Controller in AHCI mode at least , is happy with a) 16Gb RAM (not 8Gb) and b) 3Tb drives

Southfort
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

I have HP ProLiant MicroServer Gen7 N40L.

BIOS version 2013.10.01 (A) (15 NOV 2013).

RAID Option ROM version 3.2.1549.33.

I had 2x 2TB WD Green disks, configured in RAID1  in RAID BIOS, which were seen as one disk in Windows 7.

I replaced Windows 7 with Windows 10 and had to upgrade BIOS from original version to version 2013.10.01 (A) (15 NOV 2013) in order to fix network card problem (Windows 10 could see NIC but complained that Ethernet cable was not connected even if it was plugged in). I read that same NIC problem was found on Windows Server 2012.

Detailed description of BIOS upgrade is here: https://homeservershow.com/blog/hp-microserver/hp-proliant-microserver-bios-flash-sp64420/

 SP64420.exe (2.6 MB) can be downloaded from here: https://cloudrun.co.uk/server/bios-for-hp-proliant-microserver-g7-n54l/

My old 2x 2TB WD Green disks, configured in RAID1, were seen as one disk also in Windows 10.

After that I added 2x 4TB WD RED disks, configured them as RAID1 in RAID BIOS and ended up with the same problem that Windows 10 saw them as two separate disks in Disk Management console.

I downloaded AMDXpert_V32154010_XPVISTAWIN7.zip and installed RAIDXpert version 3.2.1540.10.

The file is available here: https://www.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=1800617

Then I downloaded AMD RAID driver WHQL_SB8xx_RAID_2K8_3.2.1540.75.zip from here: https://vhrms.tistory.com/217

I replaced AMD RAID driver version 3.7.1540.43 (added automatically during Windows 10 installation) with 3.2.1540.75.

I restarted the server, again configured RAID1 in RAID BIOS for 2x 4TB WD RED disks, opened RAIDXpert application (using “admin” for both login and password) and saw 2x 4TB WD RED disks, configured into one RAID1 disk.

I opened Disk Management console,and saw one 4TB disk there, initialized it with GPT and quickly formatted with NTFS.

It was long tricky journey but I managed finally.

leinad_vozerts
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP MicroServer SATA RAID evaluation

Southfort,

Thanks for the very detailed explanation. Really helpful!