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Background:

my company needed some internal, reliable servers for internal data. (we normally use cloud).

Being a small company, we have scanty budget, but also flexibility.

We picked up a number of HP DL360 G6 at an enormously good price (as far as we could tell). They each came with 4 x 2.5" hitachi 1TB 7200 SATA drives, 6 core CPU, and 72 GB RAM.

Our requirements are cheap, reliable, and far third, lots of storage space.

I'm not an experienced hardware guy FYI, but I've spent a week of late nights googling and experimenting to get to here. Now I think I need the help of someone who actually knows hardware. This is what it seems to me so far:

  1. The hitachi's can't be monitored by the P410i (lacking compatible SMART support?) and so ILO reports a drive bay heat problem and the fans kick on to 80% regardless of OS / drivers

  2. Taking out all but one of the drives doesn't change the situation

  3. At this point, after googling numerous articles about HP fan noise, I was getting worried. We have a small server room, but the thunderous noise from a bunch of these would have disturbed the office.

  4. I took out the hitachi's and plugged in a Samsung evo 256GB. Wow. Instant quiet - fans running blissfully at 15%, barely more noise than my desktop. Operating system and drivers making no difference. I can happy install the latest *nix version of my preference without concerning myself with HP agents to manage the fan speed.

  5. Now, just having a single configuration that works, I have a way forward, however buying a whole bunch of small old model Samsung SSD doesn't seem the -ideal- solution. (just because i chanced on a drive that works).

Question:

Can anyone with experience with the P410i and SATA drives share their experience - which models are -known- to work. Not just spinning up and booting, but also being happily monitored by the system (with or without) needing drivers.

I did look for some sort of official compatibility list, but given the age of my gear.. nothing :/

EDIT: I should mention I've checked the ILO and the motherboard firmware is up to date. I haven't checked the P410i yet, will do that when I get back to work. (but I think everything was flashed up to date before I got them).

EDIT2: Probably worth mentioning that getting the hitachis to work would be nice, but isn't vital. I'll use anything that will keep the fan noise whisper quiet :)

ANSWER: Dont fight the fed, for the cost differential just get the vendor hardware.

HP SAS 2.5 sas drives on the way. I hope the fans remain silent :)

  • I tried a Samsung 850 EVO since others report at least basic functionality with P410i controllers. (serverfault.com/questions/685103/…) and can confirm that it DOES NOT WORK in a DL360 G6 with the final Oct 2016 firmware. The RAID controller returns the dreaded orange light of "Take that drive out, please!" – Steve Bonds May 18 '18 at 15:56
  • My earlier comment was incorrect-- namely, on the actual final Oct 2016 firmware (6.64) the Samsung 850 EVO drives will work. They will not work with earlier versions. Also, the SPP "automatic" update often will not update older SmartArray firmware. :-) Details: serverfault.com/questions/912858/… – Steve Bonds May 19 '18 at 17:43
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Use HP SAS disks with Smart Array P410 RAID controllers.

  • SATA drives will downshift speed to 3.0Gbps on that controller.
  • You can have monitoring and fan speed problems with random SATA disks on that controller.
  • 2.5" SATA drives aren't particularly low cost or high capacity.
  • HP SAS drives are available in 146, 300, 450, 600, 900 and 1200GB capacities and can be found used/refurb on eBay. You don't have to pay retail.
  • 1
    Thank you very much, you are precisely right. A little more $ spent on hardware but a lot more time available to improve our product. – user3158944 Aug 5 '15 at 15:09
  • I'm glad this worked for you @user3158944 – ewwhite Nov 9 '15 at 22:32
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I have tested WD Reds (WDC WD10JFCX-68N) in some DL360 G6 servers without any unexpected issues. They work fine, but as expected are a bit slower than 7200 RPM SATA drives.

Here is some example output from ssacli ctrl all show config detail with some details obscured to show how they compare to HP branded SATA drives.

HP 1TB SATA drive logical drive details:

Logical Drive: 1
     Size: 931.5 GB
     Fault Tolerance: 1
     Heads: 255
     Sectors Per Track: 32
     Cylinders: 65535
     Strip Size: 256 KB
     Full Stripe Size: 256 KB
     Status: OK
     Caching:  Disabled
     Unique Identifier: 600508B1001CE0F5FD00DFBD1FD8301A
     Disk Name: /dev/sda
     Mount Points: /boot 1024 MB Partition Number 1
     OS Status: LOCKED
     Boot Volume: primary
     Logical Drive Label: AA52B0CA500143800523FA403C2B
     Mirror Group 1:
        physicaldrive 1I:1:1 (port 1I:box 1:bay 1, SATA HDD, 1 TB, OK)
     Mirror Group 2:
        physicaldrive 1I:1:2 (port 1I:box 1:bay 2, SATA HDD, 1 TB, OK)
     Drive Type: Data
     LD Acceleration Method: All disabled

WD Red SATA drive logical drive details:

  Logical Drive: 2
     Size: 931.5 GB
     Fault Tolerance: 1
     Heads: 255
     Sectors Per Track: 32
     Cylinders: 65535
     Strip Size: 256 KB
     Full Stripe Size: 256 KB
     Status: OK
     Caching:  Disabled
     Unique Identifier: 600508B1001CD7BF6712A4AB71BEE686
     Disk Name: /dev/sdb
     Mount Points: None
     Logical Drive Label: WDREDS
     Mirror Group 1:
        physicaldrive 1I:1:3 (port 1I:box 1:bay 3, SATA HDD, 1 TB, OK)
     Mirror Group 2:
        physicaldrive 1I:1:4 (port 1I:box 1:bay 4, SATA HDD, 1 TB, OK)
     Drive Type: Data
     LD Acceleration Method: All disabled

About the only difference is "OS Status: LOCKED" and the mount point info.

The physical drive details are also similar-- here's the detail from an HP drive:

  physicaldrive 1I:1:2
     Port: 1I
     Box: 1
     Bay: 2
     Status: OK
     Drive Type: Data Drive
     Interface Type: SATA
     Size: 1 TB
     Drive exposed to OS: False
     Logical/Physical Block Size: 512/512
     Rotational Speed: 7200
     Firmware Revision: HPG3
     Serial Number: 9XG3E5ZD
     WWID: 300000000FE8EE51
     Model: ATA     MM1000EBKAF
     SATA NCQ Capable: True
     SATA NCQ Enabled: True
     Current Temperature (C): 31
     Maximum Temperature (C): 54
     PHY Count: 1
     PHY Transfer Rate: 3.0Gbps
     Sanitize Erase Supported: False
     Shingled Magnetic Recording Support: None

And here's the WD red physical drive details:

  physicaldrive 1I:1:4
     Port: 1I
     Box: 1
     Bay: 4
     Status: OK
     Drive Type: Data Drive
     Interface Type: SATA
     Size: 1 TB
     Drive exposed to OS: False
     Logical/Physical Block Size: 512/4096
     Rotational Speed: 5400
     Firmware Revision: 82.00A82
     Serial Number: WD-WXA1AAAAL085
     WWID: 3FBF001EAFB00003
     Model: ATA     WDC WD10JFCX-68N
     SATA NCQ Capable: True
     SATA NCQ Enabled: True
     Current Temperature (C): 22
     Maximum Temperature (C): 33
     PHY Count: 1
     PHY Transfer Rate: 3.0Gbps
     Sanitize Erase Supported: False
     Shingled Magnetic Recording Support: None

Even with the physical block size change, it operates fine for bulk storage. As expected for the lower rotational speed, the WD Reds operate more slowly. However... they operate!

Here are some details about the P410i itself from the same show config detail:

Smart Array P410i in Slot 0 (Embedded)
   Bus Interface: PCI
   Slot: 0
   Serial Number: 500B4A80A523FA40
   Controller Status: OK
   Hardware Revision: C
   Firmware Version: 6.64-0
   Rebuild Priority: Medium
   Surface Scan Delay: 15 secs
   Surface Scan Mode: Idle
   Parallel Surface Scan Supported: No
   Elevator Sort: Enabled
   Wait for Cache Room: Disabled
   Surface Analysis Inconsistency Notification: Disabled
   Post Prompt Timeout: 0 secs
   Cache Board Present: False
   Drive Write Cache: Disabled
   Total Cache Size: 0 MB
   SATA NCQ Supported: True
   Number of Ports: 2 Internal only
   Driver Name: hpsa
   Driver Version: 3.4.18
   Driver Supports SSD Smart Path: True
   PCI Address (Domain:Bus:Device.Function): 0000:03:00.0
   Host Serial Number: MXQA24A8EH
   Sanitize Erase Supported: False
   Primary Boot Volume: logicaldrive 1 (600508B1001CE0F5FD00DFBD1FD8301A)
   Secondary Boot Volume: None
  • I had the opportunity to test these same WD reds on a different controller firmware revision and they worked fine there too: SmartArray Firmware Version: 2.74-0 – Steve Bonds May 19 '18 at 17:41
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Note that you tested your SATA drives with this SAS controler (meaning you get only half the bandwidth for SATA, compared to full SAS support which operates in full-duplex on separate channels for reads and writes, but allows you to use the port multipler in SATA mode, by using the two channels in simplex mode to connect two SATA devices per SAS port). Anyway, you still don't reach the SATA III speed (6Gbps) of most existing drives.

As large volume storage (e.g. for fast backups, or large databases) is quite expensive in SSD (even more with NVMe), we still need hard disks, but not supporting SATA III mode on modern drives is unfortunate. This HP P410 model is then a bit too old in specs for modern hard drives.

Additionally you used the HP P410 without the cache memory addon, whose price is very inexpensive, but would have boosted a lot your benchmark, and especially for use with storage of large columes with frequent random accesses such as databases and web site contents, CAD softwares, medical imagery, or video editing, or working on high-resolution imagery (e.g. aerial photography).

Consider adding the optional cache module to the HP P410, instead of leaving its cache extension slot empty. And if you use a cache module, don't forget to add an external battery to the SATA power, to preserve your data, if your system is not installed in a server room with UPS and power/temperature monitoring and alarms to stop your system reliably with enough time and power to safely terminate all your pending transactions. If you use it in home or standard business environements, power defects are quite frequent even if they are extremely short, but several seconds or a few minutes, and your data will be corrupted even if you used a RAID solution (software RAIDs in JBOD are now as reliable as "hardware" RAIDs in controlers, they are in fact more cost effective, but this requires an UPS for the host system too; JBOD works notably very well with OS-supported software RAID associating SASA/SATA hard drives from multiple controlers and a SSD and you're not limited to the number of controlers, but only by the speed of your motherboard PCI buses and bandwidth of the system memory; in addition the motherboard also has large amount of fast DDR RAM which also works as a first level cache for your SSD cache used as a secondary cache within your JBOD array controled by the software RAID driver of your OS, which now outperforms the software RAID drivers in controlers BIOSes, and offers better flexibility).

Personnally I think that today, almost all hardware RAID solutions are largely overpriced for what they are really made with and for their many limitations/bottlenecks and lack of flexibility/extensibility: you get much better performance by creating an external virtual NAS in a cloud connected by fast Gigabit Ethernel or fiber links, and you can easily extend the network to create an array as large as you want and to distribute the workload and tune the redundancy/backup as you want or redistribute it much easily when you need to replace any failing component.

-1

We had the same problem with HP BL460 G6 (it has the same P410i RAID controller) and Hitachi 1TB Travelstar 7K1000 drives. Couldn't find a reliable solution with Hitachi, but Samsung EVO SSD-s and WD RED 1TB 2,5" WD10JFCX HDDs seem to work for us, with fans operating at 19% or lower.

Maybe someone had success with HP P410 and other SATA drives? WD RED are awfully slow...

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