HP Microserver MEGA thread

Thread: HP Microserver MEGA thread

  1. evilsatan's Avatar

    evilsatan said:

    Default HP Microserver MEGA thread

    I am going to throw some useful info into here and then sort it out as and when I have time. Feel free to ask questions, add info etc, there are enough of us here with these that we should be able to create a really good resource. This can be used for Gen7 and Gen8 (N36l, N40l, N54l, G1610t etc).

    I will be taking some info from [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] so props to them, hoping the info will be more concise here as less discussion will be needed due to some testing having already been done over there.

    Would be interesting for users to post their setups. My setup:
    HP Gen8 Microserver
    CPU: Xeon E3-1265L V2
    RAM: 16GB PC3-12800 ECC 1.5v (2x CT102472BA160B)
    RAID: HP P222 512MB FBWC Smart Array controller
    Storage: 4x Western Digital 3TB Red WD30EFRX in RAID5
    Boots ESXi 6.0 from Sandisk Ultra 8GB MicroSD, VMs stored on RAID5 array
    VMs: Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

    Latest Service Pack - This contains the latest firmware for everything in the Microserver including supported cards such as the P222. Large download as it caters for all Gen8 servers. Burn to CD and boot:
    Info: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Download: ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/softwa...59018/v108240/

    Latest iLO4 firmware - The main reason for updating this is to reduce the fan noise in certain configurations (usually when set to AHCI), in my case it made a huge difference. I updated by downloading the Windows file, when running it select Extract, then connect the server iLO port to your network, browse to the iLO IP using a web browser on your computer, login using the details on the tag attached to the server, then select Administration, firmware, browse and upload the .bin file from the extraction.
    Download: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Installing ESXi:
    Download the desired version from here - [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Burn to CD (or create bootable USB etc)
    Boot to ESXi image
    Select target for install, I used MicroSD but you can use a USB drive etc. (the target doesn't have to be large, it will just hold the hypervisor, 8GB was enough for me)
    Boot to target
    Configure static IP in the config menu
    On a PC navigate to the static IP in your web browser, download vSphere client for windows and install

    Licensing ESXi:
    Took me a while to work this out. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] then sign into your account, click register and you should be given a license key.
    In vSphere client click Inventory
    In the left pane click your host IP
    Configuration tab, click Licensed features
    Right pane, click edit, Assign new license, click enter key and paste the key in
    Should be an unlimited licence, unless I misunderstood something...

    Booting from MicroSD?
    I was having problems booting from MicroSD. This internal port uses a USB header so boot from USB is the correct option in the boot menu, if you have other USB storage devices connected then you may need to change the USB boot order priority in the BIOS. Some MicroSD cards are moody so might be worth trying other models. If the Microserver fails to boot from the card then try disconnecting power cord, holding power button down then trying again - worked for me!

    Configuring Scratch partition:
    Why?
    Spoiler:
    It’s recommended by VMware to have a persistent scratch location for VMkernel logs in case that ESXi is installed on USB stick or SD card (1Gb is minimum size). ESXi scratch partition, for those particular cases, resides in memory – in RAM disk, which is limited in size. The size is only 512 Mb, which is taken out of the server’s available memory. Having scratch location in RAM might get problematic when running lots of VMs so the memory gets restrained.

    Also, if you reboot the host, you’ll basically loose the VMkernel logs so having persistent scratch partition is a good thing. You would certainly want to keep the logs, don’t you? You can then use Splunk to present and seek the logs with through GUI, or use Syslog bundled with vCenter.

    Which problems you can run into if you don’t configure persistent storage for the log files? You might experience HA agent issues on those miss-configured hosts, or you’re not able to activate HA at all. Other symptoms might show “general system Error” in vSphere Update manager (if you’re using it). You’ll basically need to create a persistent scratch location for ESXi. It’s straightforward process, which can be done through vSphere Client, PowerCLI or vCLI. Let’s see the vSphere client way.

    Connect to vCenter Server or the ESXi host using the vSphere Client > Select your host > Configuration > Storage
    Right click datastore (local or shared) and select Browse
    Create folder for this ESXi host named for example “scratch”> close the datastore browser.
    Select the host > configuration > Advanced (software section) > ScratchConfig > Change the ScratchConfig.ConfiguredScratchLocation
    scratch-config
    e.g. /vmfs/volumes/DatastoreName/scratch
    Click OK > go and put the host in maintenance mode and reboot for the configuration to take effect.
    Now, if you have for example 3 hosts in your cluster, just create a separate folder for each of your host, so the hosts don’t overwrite each other’s data.

    Limitations:
    The internal SATA port (intended for the ODD) cannot be booted from, you can boot to internal USB/MicroSD and then chainload to the internal SATA port.

    Accessories:
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] (used to install drive in the top bay)
    Last edited by evilsatan; 30th March 2016 at 02:04 PM.

     
  2. evilsatan's Avatar

    evilsatan said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    CPU Compatibility and comparison (thanks to Joe_Miner over at homeservershow):

    N.B. The compatible Xeons are end of life so global stock is running very low, I looked on eBay and the E3-1265l v2 rarely comes up for sale so (in an alcohol induced panic) I bought one for about £260 new as it seems to offer the best price-performance-power ratio. PM me if you want the supplier details. I imagine the prices will keep going up as stock decreases further.

    Last edited by evilsatan; 27th April 2015 at 04:25 PM.

     
  3. evilsatan's Avatar

    evilsatan said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Extract ESXi BIOS:
    Using ESX / ESXi BIOS tools 1.1.5 - [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    1) In vSphere client, click on your server icon in left pane, configuration, security profile, services-properties, ssh-options, start.
    2) Launch ESXi BIOS Tools as admin, select remote mode, enter in ESXi IP and root password, click Extract
    3) The tool should do it's thing and you will be left with a bios440.rom file. You may need to disable your firewall, I use interactive mode so manually allowed all connections. Good idea to disable SSH when finished.

    Inject ESXi BIOS:
    1) In vSphere client, click on your server icon in left pane, configuration, security profile, services-properties, ssh-options, start.
    2) Launch ESXi BIOS Tools as admin, select remote mode, enter in ESXi IP and root password, click Inject
    3) The tool should do it's thing and you are all done! Good idea to disable SSH when finished.

    Mod BIOS:
    Once you have your bios440.rom file:
    1) Load it into [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], use the appropriate SLIC file from [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] (2.1 for Win 7/Server 2008 R2, 2.2 for Win 8/Server 2012, 2.3 for Server 2012 R2) and verify with the certificate in the same rar file.
    2) Inside a VM on the ESXi server, run [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], in the access menu select ACPI tables, then press Ctrl + F2 to save acpi tables (do not change the filename), load these into the Phoenix tool
    3) Select SSV2 and click go
    4) You will be left with a bios440_SLIC.rom file, remove the _SLIC from the filename and inject this BIOS using ESXi Bios Tool
    5) Shut down any running VMs, reboot ESXi host

    You can now install the certificate from the OEM RAR file in step 1 and find a key online. I won't link to the keys here but easily found.
    Last edited by evilsatan; 27th April 2015 at 05:45 PM.

     
  4. Lou_smorals's Avatar

    Lou_smorals said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Hi Evil
    Great thread m8, please keep going with. I want to do the same with mine. I bought a Class 10 8gig sandisk - but get a message saying not HP sdcard in iLO (I hate iLO).
    I am not enjoying Xpenology experience and which I had not gone that route as fear time bomb or auto update problems.
    Many thanks
    LS
    Dear Lord, please grant me the ability to punch people in the face over Standard TCP/IP
     
  5. Lou_smorals's Avatar

    Lou_smorals said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Quote Originally Posted by evilsatan View Post
    I am going to throw some useful info into here and then sort it out as and when I have time. Feel free to ask questions, add info etc, there are enough of us here with these that we should be able to create a really good resource. This can be used for Gen7 and Gen8 (N36l, N40l, N54l, G1610t etc).

    I will be taking some info from [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] so props to them, hoping the info will be more concise here as less discussion will be needed due to some testing having already been done over there.

    Would be interesting for users to post their setups. My setup:
    HP Gen8 Microserver
    CPU: Still Stock Celeron
    RAM: 8GB PC3-12800 ECC 1.5v
    RAID: HP Stock B
    Storage: 4x Western Digital 3TB Red WD30EFRX in RAID5
    Boots ESXi 6.0 from Sandisk Ultra 8GB MicroSD, VMs stored on RAID5 array
    VMs: Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials
    HP Gen8 Microserver
    CPU: Stock Celeron
    RAM: 8GB PC3-12800 ECC 1.5v
    RAID: HP B120i
    Storage: 3x Western Digital 3TB Red WD30EFRX 1 x 2TB Seagate NAS Drive, sandisk Ultra 8GB MicroSD and HP ultraslim Black Jack optical drive
    Boots Xpenology 5.2
    Dear Lord, please grant me the ability to punch people in the face over Standard TCP/IP
     
  6. Lou_smorals's Avatar

    Lou_smorals said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Hi
    Just tried it all again and it says no network found and then purple screen- same as before gggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    LS
    Dear Lord, please grant me the ability to punch people in the face over Standard TCP/IP
     
  7. blacksheep's Avatar

    blacksheep said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Splunk costs money I thought - look at elk stack (log stash, elastic search, kibana). Log stash scrapes the logs in many interesting ways depending on configuration and sends to elastic search then kibana displays in all sorts or funky ways.

    Maybe be overkill for your needs but I was storing ~30000 text data messages (each maybe 150-200 chars long) and could search for any text string or with wild cards in several weeks worth of data and get a result in seconds. All this was being done in almost realtime on 3 vm's (not sure what they were spec'd up as but nothing special).
     
  8. evilsatan's Avatar

    evilsatan said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou_smorals View Post
    Hi
    Just tried it all again and it says no network found and then purple screen- same as before gggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    LS
    I don't know what to suggest

    Quote Originally Posted by blacksheep View Post
    Splunk costs money I thought - look at elk stack (log stash, elastic search, kibana). Log stash scrapes the logs in many interesting ways depending on configuration and sends to elastic search then kibana displays in all sorts or funky ways.

    Maybe be overkill for your needs but I was storing ~30000 text data messages (each maybe 150-200 chars long) and could search for any text string or with wild cards in several weeks worth of data and get a result in seconds. All this was being done in almost realtime on 3 vm's (not sure what they were spec'd up as but nothing special).
    Am I tripping or is this in the wrong thread? I can't make head nor tails of it but probably just me having overlooked something somewhere!!

     
  9. Lou_smorals's Avatar

    Lou_smorals said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Hi
    wtf is a splunk?
    Ok I have honestly tried my hardest to get on with Xpenology because it looks good, runs fast and people tell its great - my experience has been always something borked, Downloads always failing in SAB get that fixed, couch potato not connecting, then sonarr giving me squit, headphones borked etc...one thing after another and i am at end of tether. I know WHS 2011 is shit but everyhting just worked, albeit clunky and a bit shit. in almost a year I never had to touch it, it just worked(in my gen 7).
    I am now trying to make up my mind what O/S to use in my Gen8 (currently Xpenology) 8gig ram, stock cpu 1 x seagate 2tb nas drive and 3 x 3tb WD red. i dont see WHS2011 anywhere anymore and as my last one was OEM i believe I cannot use that licence again, budget not massive and I think Windows server 2012 r2 really pushing it.
    I use server for (in order of importance) 1) Plex 2) SABnzbd 2) Couch Potato 3) Sonarr 4) IP cameras 5) Headphones.

    any suggestions guys?
    LS
    Dear Lord, please grant me the ability to punch people in the face over Standard TCP/IP
     
  10. akimba's Avatar

    akimba said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Yeah home server replaced with server essentials :-(
     
  11. evilsatan's Avatar

    evilsatan said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    If it's for home use/messing about then you could always look into the SLIC mod I posted

     
  12. Lou_smorals's Avatar

    Lou_smorals said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Hi
    it is home use m8, SLIC mod?
    LS

    Wow just read it
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    Dear Lord, please grant me the ability to punch people in the face over Standard TCP/IP
     
  13. muttleymacclad's Avatar

    muttleymacclad said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Micorsoft toolkit will activate Server 2012 as well.
    "When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butchers knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross." - 'Dirty' Harry
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
     
  14. Delboy_1976's Avatar

    Delboy_1976 said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou_smorals View Post
    Hi
    wtf is a splunk?
    Ok I have honestly tried my hardest to get on with Xpenology because it looks good, runs fast and people tell its great - my experience has been always something borked, Downloads always failing in SAB get that fixed, couch potato not connecting, then sonarr giving me squit, headphones borked etc...one thing after another and i am at end of tether. I know WHS 2011 is shit but everyhting just worked, albeit clunky and a bit shit. in almost a year I never had to touch it, it just worked(in my gen 7).
    I am now trying to make up my mind what O/S to use in my Gen8 (currently Xpenology) 8gig ram, stock cpu 1 x seagate 2tb nas drive and 3 x 3tb WD red. i dont see WHS2011 anywhere anymore and as my last one was OEM i believe I cannot use that licence again, budget not massive and I think Windows server 2012 r2 really pushing it.
    I use server for (in order of importance) 1) Plex 2) SABnzbd 2) Couch Potato 3) Sonarr 4) IP cameras 5) Headphones.

    any suggestions guys?
    LS
    What release of Xpenology are you running? Also where did you install Sab, Sonarr etc. from? The reason I'm asking is because I've got a stock Gen8 and it's running Xpenology fine. I've only setup Sab, Sickbeard and Sonarr on it but after the initial fiddling about setting them up they are all running fine for me on Xpenology DSM 5.2-5565 Update 2.
     
  15. Lou_smorals's Avatar

    Lou_smorals said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Hi
    Thanks for the reply, the same xpenology as you but not update 2, I think, cannot check as working away.
    Sonarr was working but couch potato not, so followed a YouTube video - now sonar working (but a bit shit) and couch potato not still and headphones a complete mystery.
    I am going to give it one last chance and somebody is going to look at it for me perhaps tomorrow.

    Sent from my iPad
    Dear Lord, please grant me the ability to punch people in the face over Standard TCP/IP
     
  16. blacksheep's Avatar

    blacksheep said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Quote Originally Posted by evilsatan View Post
    I don't know what to suggest



    Am I tripping or is this in the wrong thread? I can't make head nor tails of it but probably just me having overlooked something somewhere!!
    Sure someone mentioned splunk on here - must of been elsewhere?!?
     
  17. Delboy_1976's Avatar

    Delboy_1976 said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou_smorals View Post
    Hi
    Thanks for the reply, the same xpenology as you but not update 2, I think, cannot check as working away.
    Sonarr was working but couch potato not, so followed a YouTube video - now sonar working (but a bit shit) and couch potato not still and headphones a complete mystery.
    I am going to give it one last chance and somebody is going to look at it for me perhaps tomorrow.

    Sent from my iPad
    No worries, let me know if you need me to check any settings etc to compare with yours.
     
  18. Lou_smorals's Avatar

    Lou_smorals said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Hi Delboy
    Would love your input in two different servers if you have time, but meanwhile back at the ranch - I loved this
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Dear Lord, please grant me the ability to punch people in the face over Standard TCP/IP
     
  19. Lou_smorals's Avatar

    Lou_smorals said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Hi
    Updated hardware on my Microserver gen 8.

    CPU upgrade to Xeon E3 1220L v2
    2x 4gig Ram
    4 x WD red drives

    Running all the usual programs using O/S Xpenology but thinking of a change to UNRAID 6

    LS
    Last edited by Lou_smorals; 21st December 2015 at 05:14 PM. Reason: updated hardware
    Dear Lord, please grant me the ability to punch people in the face over Standard TCP/IP
     
  20. c0axial's Avatar

    c0axial said:

    Default Re: HP Microserver MEGA thread

    Where is the Best Place to Purchase HP Micro Servers ?