Replacement for HP ProLiant N40L

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    • Replacement for HP ProLiant N40L

      Hi Everyone,

      I have a 7 year old HP ProLiant N40L mini server that's been running strong and I am starting to think about upgrading it. I use it for my NAS, Docker, and VirtualBox. I would like to try to get something with more horsepower and possibly with hardware RAID. What are some comparable options that won't break the bank (no more then $500 USD)?

      I plan on reusing my disks, so that cuts down the budget big time.
    • y2kdread wrote:

      I would like to try to get something with more horsepower and possibly with hardware RAID
      The latter is a strange idea IMO but 'something with more horsepower' is easy. Your N40L scores 2500 7a-zip MIPS so even rather slow dual-core ARM thingies like Helios4 are as fast and every ARM thingy with 4 or more CPU cores will easily outperform your old server: github.com/ThomasKaiser/sbc-bench/blob/master/Results.md

      Almost everything will be faster than your Turion II so you have plenty of options. I would most probably upgrade the old MicroServer with this NAS kit but of course it depends on count of HDD you use currently and whether ECC RAM is important to you or not.
      No more contributions to this project until 'alternative facts' (AKA ignorance/stupidity) are gone
    • y2kdread wrote:

      I just wanted to so what people around here have a good results with
      I know that you're after an opinion poll. But to limit the amount of pointless opinions you might elaborate a bit on what's your priorities since 'CPU horsepower' isn't an issue. Even really cheap recent ARM thingies are 3 times faster than your N40L.

      You still haven't talked about how many HDDs you (want to) use and whether energy efficiency or data integrity is an issue for you or not. Without stuff like this what recommendations do you expect? :)
      No more contributions to this project until 'alternative facts' (AKA ignorance/stupidity) are gone
    • tkaiser wrote:

      You still haven't talked about how many HDDs you (want to) use and whether energy efficiency or data integrity is an issue for you or not. Without stuff like this what recommendations do you expect?

      Ideally I am looking for something with the following:

      • 4 pluggable drives (running RAID 5)
      • 1 separate OS drive
      • supports at at least 8 GB of RAM (I don't have a preference on ECC)
      • supports quad core processor
      • 150 - 300 watt power supply
      • smallish form factor
      • supports hardware backed RAID


      I know that HP makes newer versions of the their Microservers, but I figured that I might be able to get more for my money elsewhere.
    • That's a good list to start. But at least I'm out now since RAID5 and especially 'hardware backed' are IMO horrible concepts from the past and I don't want to help users wasting time, money and resources on such anachronistic setups. Though I hope others jump in :)
      No more contributions to this project until 'alternative facts' (AKA ignorance/stupidity) are gone
    • y2kdread wrote:

      Can you enlighten me on why using RAID5 and hardware backed raid are a waste of time/money?
      I suppose there's a lot to say about this, but my thoughts (which I admit others may not agree with) are...

      1. RAID 5: RAID isn't backup, it's about availability: having access to your data 24/7 even if you loose a disk. For home use (I assume that's your use case?), I think the first and foremost requirement to plan for is a good backup plan. For many folks, a good backup plan (with a little down time to replace a failed disk and recover from the backup) is less costly and less maintenance intensive than maintaining the extra disk(s) and complexity of a RAID array running 24/7/365 on the chance that you'll loose a disk. That's not the only argument against RAID 5, but for home use, I think its a valid one. Personally, I use the MergerFS and SnapRAID plugins to address the availability issue. I think it's a little more flexible than RAID 5 for home use.

      2. Hardware RAID: The drawback of hardware RAID is that you are tied to specific hardware. If you loose your disk controller, you loose your array until you can get your hands on a replacement controller of the same type. In a datacenter, you'll have spares. But, are you going to maintain a spare at home? Having to wait for a new controller to arrive defeats the purpose of having RAID. With a software array, if you loose a disk controller or motherboard, you can pretty much drop the disks in another computer, and pick up where you left off. I think the big advantage of Hardware RAID is faster throughput. But, if you have a 1Gb LAN connection does it matter? Your system is only going to be as fast as its slowest components, and even a software array will be able to keep up with 1Gb networking. Unless your are going to have 10Gb or faster networking? Then the acceleration hardware brings makes more sense.
      Primary: OMV 4.x, Asrock Industrial IMB-181-L, Pentium G3220T, 16GB, HP 10GbE
      Backup: OMV 4.x, Supermicro X9SIL, Xeon 1220L, 8GB ECC, Mellanox 10GbE
      Learning & Exploring: OMV on Proxmox, Asus M5A97 LE R2.0, Opteron 3320EE, 12GB ECC, Intel 1GbE

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Markess ().

    • Markess wrote:

      Personally, I use the MergerFS and SnapRAID plugins to address the availability issue.
      Do you have any guidance/best practices on how to set this up? I backup the data I need of my array, but the bulk of it is stuff I can obtain again. I am a home user, so i don't need 24x7 up-time or anything like that. I am all for setting things up and managing them in easier ways.

      Really, the only reason I want hardware backed RAID is due to having an experience with a drive dying while re-striping the data and having another drive die while that occurred. If there is a better way of running things, I am open to it!
    • y2kdread wrote:

      the only reason I want hardware backed RAID is due to having an experience with a drive dying while re-striping the data and having another drive die while that occurred
      This pretty much describes the nature of RAID5 in general (single parity) and there's no difference between software or hardware RAID here (HW raid only makes everything worse without an absolutely identical spare part -- I did HW RAID 2 decades ago and I learned to hate it the hard way).

      A try to compensate for this 'not enough parity' problem is adding more parity (RAID6, RAIDz2, RAIDz3) since now 2 or 3 drives can fail at the same time until you're left with no redundancy (there's a huge difference between RAIDz and anachronistic RAID but that's beyond the focus of this thread which should be 'RAID at home is useless')
      No more contributions to this project until 'alternative facts' (AKA ignorance/stupidity) are gone
    • y2kdread wrote:

      Do you have any guidance/best practices on how to set this up?
      I'd suggest you take a look at how they work first and see if its something you're interested in. The Snapraid site has some good info and comparison on how, and other solutions, works snapraid.it/ . If you decide to use them (i noticed that the MergerFS plugin is actually called Unionfilesystems), then you can find tutorials here and on the web. Here's a couple examples. Not my work, so thanks to the authors.

      From forum member flmaxey there's lots of good info here on the forums, this is just one example.


      A project log from the web this one is interesting, as the author goes into a little depth on the practical uses of both plugins. It was done with earlier versions of the plugins though, so the screenshots will differ a bit from the current plugins.
      Primary: OMV 4.x, Asrock Industrial IMB-181-L, Pentium G3220T, 16GB, HP 10GbE
      Backup: OMV 4.x, Supermicro X9SIL, Xeon 1220L, 8GB ECC, Mellanox 10GbE
      Learning & Exploring: OMV on Proxmox, Asus M5A97 LE R2.0, Opteron 3320EE, 12GB ECC, Intel 1GbE
    • Markess wrote:

      I'd suggest you take a look at how they work first and see if its something you're interested in. The Snapraid site has some good info and comparison on how, and other solutions, works snapraid.it/ . If you decide to use them (i noticed that the MergerFS plugin is actually called Unionfilesystems), then you can find tutorials here and on the web. Here's a couple examples. Not my work, so thanks to the authors.

      From forum member flmaxey there's lots of good info here on the forums, this is just one example.


      A project log from the web this one is interesting, as the author goes into a little depth on the practical uses of both plugins. It was done with earlier versions of the plugins though, so the screenshots will differ a bit from the current plugins.
      Thanks!