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I was recently given a free HP ProLiant DL580 G3 configured for SCSI drives from out of a datacenter. I understand that this is an older unit, and reliability may be questionable at best, but in my small office the consensus was that we could put it to use for non-mission critical functions. Given that the drives in it are older, and I'd rather not waste time rebuilding failed RAID arrays if I don't have to, I was wondering if I should simply source replacement drives from HP or a third party reseller, or if I could simply source Ultra320 drives and shove them in. I've heard that HP has locks in place to ensure only their hardware could be used, but not having worked with this unit before, I am unsure.

Second, I am well aware of the potential drives that had originally been intended for the DL580 G3, namely the maximal 300Gig capacities, and while this would still work for our needs, is there any reason why a larger capacity drive wouldn't work? From the HP website, the SAS drive replacements seem to be 75Gig. Could I get larger capacity SAS drives and use those instead if I went through the effort of installing an SAS cage?

EDIT: One of my coworkers just forwarded me a copy of the HP quick specs, and for the SCSI configuration it states a maximum of 4x300Gig (1.2TB). Still unsure if this is a hard limit. Also, no such indication of limit is given for SAS drives.

Thank you for your time, Brandon


Thank you for your thoughts. We intend to use the machine as the server for our building security cameras, since this unit has a great many high-bandwidth network connections and enough data capacity for a rolling video record. Honestly, if we didn't get the unit for free, we wouldn't bother but for the fact that the machine it is replacing is a modded old beast about 8 years its senior that sucks power like a hog (classic case of "if it works, don't touch it"). If it dies, so be it, but in the meantime...

I'm inclined to just grab two Ultra320's, since we already have two others new in a sealed package we may as well use. Thank you for your insight folks, perhaps one day I shall be able to return the favour.

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    A quick look at the QuickSpecs implies that at best the DL580 G3 was new in 2007, so compared to todays standards it won't be very energy efficient, offers few cores and unless it was filled to capacity, little memory. Driver support in modern OS's may be lacking too. So WHY? - I don't think that they ever made U320 drives larger than 300GB so if yours has SCSI backplane that's the most you'll be able to fit. – HBruijn Jul 25 '15 at 14:27
  • @HBruijn That model was actually released in 2005. I had one in production. It was quickly replaced a year later with the G4, which incorporated SAS/SATA drives. Regardless, there's no good reason to use one today. – ewwhite Jul 25 '15 at 20:32
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From both the server spec sheet and the SmartArray 6i manual, the maximum HDD size is capped at 300 GB. While I think that this is not an hard limit, the fact that you had to use old Ultra320 disks (not newer SAS ones), let me think that you can not buy bigger disk at all.

Regarding the supported disks, from my understanding HP controller have no problem in working with 3dr party disks. Maybe someone with the very same controller can confirm this to you...

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I don't think it's worth using this server in ANY situation right now. Even an entry-level modern $500 system will be more capable and robust. I'm not sure I understand the desire to use something for "non-critical functions" just because it's there.

To answer your specific questions, though, Ultra 320 SCSI drives topped out at 300GB 15k RPM before SAS/SATA took over in 2004. You can use any 3.5" Ultra 320 SCSI drive in this server, but they're available so cheap on eBay, you may as well use official HP drives in HP drive carriers if you go through with this.

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