[CentOS] low end file server with h/w RAID - recommendations

Thu Nov 2 13:03:07 UTC 2017
Richard Zimmerman <rzimmerman at riverbendhose.com>

DO NOT buy the newer HPE DL20 gen9 or ML10 gen9 servers then (especially if using CentOS 6.x)

I don't use hardware raid (mdadm for the win!) so cannot speak to that.

DL20, bought it on a stock 'B' sale. Great price. Works well on Windows. HPE doesn't sell hard drive trays, etc. You pretty much have to buy their equipment.

You CAN get 3rd party parts (drive trays, etc.) but will nickel and dime you. Example, try to get an HPE-ODD power to sata power adapter. I haven't been able to locate one. The one HPE sells, doesn't work on a standard SSD drive. **NO** standard place inside machine to mount an SSD drive either. **NO** standard power connectors either. So trying in install a bootable SDD, then raid your storage drives will be a task. One I gave up on.

THEIR website says the DL20 gen9 it supports CentOS 6.x.... In reality, NO unless you want the pain of downloading, compiling drivers, etc. 
If you don't use THEIR hard drives, they work but you don't get "LED Support" from the smart array controller. i.e. A drive craps, the smart array won't lite up the dead drive tray. You have a 50/50 shot at guessing which one. At least the Smart Array software (in Windows) will tell you what bay its in.

The DL20 once you get past the crap in setting it up (again, you have to use the smart provisioning utility to install server 2012 r2 on it; Seriously HPE) but once up and running, so far no more headaches.

My ML10 gen9 experience is a mix. 

The newer ML10 gen9 experience was worse. First several installs just never ran right. Unexplained lockup and crashes. Onboard nic never ran right. Now, it's using a transplanted install of CentOS 6.9, using installed Intel nics and this setup so far is running pretty well, no issues so far.

On the other hand, I've got an year (maybe two) older ML10 gen9 running CentOS 6.9. Hasn't given me a day of trouble from day one. 

Hopefully some of this helps...



-----Original Message-----
From: CentOS [mailto:centos-bounces at centos.org] On Behalf Of vychytraly .
Sent: Thursday, November 2, 2017 8:28 AM
To: CentOS mailing list
Subject: Re: [CentOS] low end file server with h/w RAID - recommendations

Hello, what is the purpose of this server?

On Thursday, November 2, 2017, Gary Stainburn <gary at ringways.co.uk> wrote:
> I'm just about to build a new server and I'm looking for 
> recommendations
> what hardware to use.
> I'm happy with either a brand name, or building my own, but would like 
> a hardware RAID controller to run a pair of disks as RAID1 that is 
> actually compatible with and manageable through Linux.
> Any recommendations would be appreciated.
> Gary
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