Recommended drives for configuration

I have a hp nl54 with 16 gb of ram. I know that it is suggested to have 2gb base and 1 gb per raw tb of storage. Also I would expect that rockons will use ram also. So for my 4 bays what hardrives would you suggest.(2,3,or4gb) How important is it to follow the ram guidelines will I just lose performance or will I lose stability.

Also could I buy 2 drives in raid 1 then upgrade to raid 5/6 or 10.

@greenwithao Welcome to our community!

Not having a lot of RAM only effects performance, not stability. I have a similar setup with media streaming via plex, bittorrent, running this forum software etc… The box has 8GB and I see no more than 30-35% used.

You can migrate from raid1 to raid10 or raid5/6 via pool resize feature. However, raid5/6 is still considered a bit experimental. But in future, you can migrate your raid1/10 to raid5/6.

Good I’ll probably start with 2 4tb drives. Would you suggest USB or a ssd for the boot drive.

USB is doable, but can be slow. We’ve optimized Rockstor to write as less as possible to the root drive as of last 3 updates, which makes running the OS from USB a bit faster. I’d still favor other options if possible.

What kind of motherboard does the box have? Does it support USB3? If so, it may be ok if you get a USB3 stick. You can get one from our shop, if you like.

Some motherboards have an m.2 slot and if so, you can go with something like a 16/32GB boot drive. Here’s an example, though I have no experience with these cards yet.

Finally, almost all motherboards have a pci-e slot and you can get this 16/32GB mSATA boot drive from your shop and you’ll be set. I use these boot drives on a few machines here and I think there are others in the community using the same setup. They runs pretty fast.

Post your motherboard product link or the link to your hp product and I can tell you what makes most sense IMO. Also, if you are getting anything from our shop, make sure to use this 10% discount code available for forum members.

It’s a go micro server from 2 generations back so not feature rich but it has 5 sata ports. One intended for optical drive but will do ssd.

The pcie slot is taken by a dual nic ATM so 3gigabit ports total. Should I keep the nic or get pcie ssd instead.

Rockstor currently does not support nic bonding/failover/segregation, but there are plans to support these features, hopefully, soon. Having said that, the benefits of multiple nics IMO(someone please correct me if I am wrong) are not universally applicable. The questions I have are (1) do I need more nics for bonding/failover/segregation? (2) does my infrastructure support it?

1a. bonding for more bandwidth doesn’t make sense if say, your router has 1Gb ports.
1b. perhaps you may want to use one interface for mgmt and the other for I/O, or some other traffic segregation strategy.
1c. components do fail and you may want an automatic failover. If you have 2 nics on one pci-e card, I’d imagine that both would fail together with high probability.

IMO, above scenarios make sense in a robust production environment but overkill for home usage.

2a. As mentioned earlier, if your router can’t receive more than 1Gbps, then bonding for speed doesn’t make sense.
2b. If devices pushing/pulling data from Rockstor are on wifi, 1Gbps should be plenty.

Others (@sprint or @felixbrucker, perhaps?) may have more to add to this conversation, I am not really a networking expert.

usecases might include: more than 1gbit link speed for server to server transfers like: virtual machine backing storage, general backup server for a production live system or when more than one server should access this single server but the overall speed should be more than 1gbit. Another thing as per 1c is autpmatic failover (should use different card ports for that). Most implementations for loadbalancing provide automatic failover so those two can be combined.

im more of the usb thumb drive guy, especially with zfs/btrfs which allow mirrored boot drives (rockstor not tested yet but should work fine) which allows to just use some of those spare usb ports with some rather “cheap” usb thumb drives (note: cheaper than ssds, but still “premium” thumb drives which use mlc technology like many ssds) with something like 16gb. For this configuration either that or some ssd could be used eiter by using the 5th sata port (effective 4 ports which is fine for raid10 -> 2xn) if you want to go for raid5 best would be 3 or 5 discs (2^n+1) so your ssd on sata port would be bad for this when using 5 discs. For raid6 best would be 2^n+2 which is not doable without a second hba.

I think I will Swap the nic out for a ssd. I can always use the nic in a vm or pfsense build.

@greenwithao This seems like the way to go to me as then, assuming your talking about using an adapter such as that reference by @suman above

you will also gain an additional SATA port along with the mSATA SSD module on the same card. I have a couple of these adapters myself, brought new life (and an additional sata port) to an old HP Pavilion P4 (PCIe 1.0). This means that you would have 6 SATA ports free for data drives, assuming you boot from the mSATA SSD that is. That’s a nice little arrangement.

I take it your model is actually the N54L microserver from what you are describing, in which case with a little messing about you could put a couple of 2.5" drives in the cd bay. I’d be tempted to leave the cd blanking plate off in that case though to help with cooling. Although it looks like from google picture search that some people are cramming 2 x 3.5 HDD’s into that top slot. I remember reading a google paper on hdd temperature, section 3.4, not actually being as important as previously thought and that as long as it’s not too high or low (more importantly) it didn’t play much of a predictive part in drive failure; but still if you go that way try and devise some kind of additional cooling / spacing between those drives as you might otherwise run into those higher temperatures; which I think are in the order of above 40-45 degrees C.

Another nice quick little article and more modern “Hard Drive Temperature - Does It Matter” here they look at individual drives and their differing thermal sensitivities and average running temperatures, turns out the WD Reds run pretty cool. They also, with the exception of one drive model examined, found little correlation with temperature and failure.

Which generation microserver is it? I saw reference to an eSATA port on one model but I’m thinking that’s a newer generation.

It does have an esata port. I will probably start with 2 then go to 4 drives then maybe more. Or put a hot swap bay in the cd bay to offload data.

Quick question dose the pcie adapter have a half height mount.

the mount brackets are standard size, I am afraid. I am looking into finding half height ones that work with this card. I’ll get back to you soon as I have more information, may be in a day or so.

I have a mini itx box similar to your micro server in which I use this card. It sits in place nicely, but can’t be screwed in as expected.

@greenwithao I can ship you the mSATA adapter with a half height(8.2 cm, to be exact) mounting bracket. They are on the way and I’ll upload a picture on the product page soon as I get them.

I will have to order the drive then.

Next i just need to wait for quality 4tb nas drives to go on sale.

about the HP Proliant G7 N54L, I can tell you it’s a very good computer for making a NAS/SAN, especially with RockStor. I have 2 of them actually and I put a modified BIOS and they both have 5 SATA disks. The bigest one has 5 DESKSTAR 7200rpm (4To each). By modifying the BIOS, you will make “usable/active” the 5 SATA ports @6Gb/s and adding a “3.5in Trayless Hot Swap SATA Mobile Rack” from you will be able to install the 5th hard disk in place of the CDROM drive. And as a cherry on top of the cake, I’ve installed a NIC with 4 1G ports.
It’s just a brilliant machine.
I have installed RockStor on a USB stick on the internal USB port on the motherboard, for the moment but I’m planing to test the PCI-E card Suman was talking about. My problem is, I don’t know if the board can be installed on the low profil slots provided by the machine.
Any way, RockStor is your solution!

Have a nice day


@greenwithao We now have the half-height ones. It is the right fit for my chenbro case, which is cool.

I Just updated the product page with a picture. Just pick the half-height variant from the dropdown. Here you go.

Ill have to pick it up next paycheck.(just bought 2 4tb drives)
Also found out that this drive and my nic will fit so i will have both.

If i got the 32bg version of the drive would you recommend putting rockons on that one or on the hdd array. Also what is the average size of the current rockons.

No I don’t. The Rock-on root Share can grow quite a bit, especially since in the coming months there will be a lot more Rock-ons added. I suggest just keeping the OS on the boot drive and may be a few small Shares that you know are not going to grow over time. Hope that helps.