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HP Storageworks P4500 G2 experiences


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Bought this a week ago and just now getting to play with it
I'll write down my experiences with this project, this will fill as I muck about with it and have things to say

Purchased for about US$120 I got:
HP Storageworks P4500 G2 server (like a Proliant SE1220, based on a DL180 G6)
2x Xeon X5520 CPU's, each CPU - 4 core 8 threads, 2.27 Ghz
16GB DDR3 RAM (now expanded to 24GB)
HP P410 RAID controller with I think 512MB BBU 
Nothing else of note came with it
This is a Special edition DL180 G3 with iLO2 management built onto the motherboard (not a seperate purchase)
Instead of Lights Out display on front of server this has LEDs on the motherboard
The P4500 G2 comes with 12x 3.5" bays on the front and a DVD player in the back
The idea was to house my 8x 2TB HDD where I keep backups on 
This server would just run the HDD's and dish out the data to all on the network
I wanted another server to run Virtual Machines on, BUT I have just bought a NVIDIA Tesla M60 a beast of a Graphics card (not got it yet)
Basically 2x GTX 980's or Quadro M5500's stuck on a single board
2x 2048 Cores
In a passively cooled double slot card
Costing a mere U$325 delivered
Reasons for this purchase revealed later.

Been playing to see how things work like, VMWare, Proxmox, Windows server 2019, RockStor, FreeNAS, PFSense plus various other things
But with all that testing to see how each works, I'm leaning towards Server 2019 (trial) then running Hyper-V from it
I prefer to have an OS load first vs a Hypervisor first then OS(s)
Also going to use HW RAID vs the HBA - FreeNAS wave
It just seems to work better for me

Was hoping to use an IBM M5016 RAID controller, but once I setup some Virtual Drives, it refuses to load the BIOS at boot
Not sure whats going on here may need to go back to P410 😞

Tried an IBM N2115 HBA controller instead and setup a Volume this way
The HBA is great, set to IT mode but needed to load the BIOS so that boot drive could be set
Booting from a single SSD with 8x 2TB drives shown to OS
I'm just not a HBA man, it didn't feel right

So dusted off my LSI 9265CV-8e controller
8x Port external RAID controller with 1GB Flash backed Cache
External ports not ideal as I need to run a cable from outside case back inside.
But this is running a treat, even though ugly.
Setup with CacheCade and SSD caching enabled on the 8x2TB RAID6 array
Booting off 2x 60GB SSD's in RAID0
I'll keep it like this for the time being

Now Mrs's DVD collection needs to be ripped to files I can play on the PVR
Handbrake can do a lot of ripping in every which way, other than straight copy and conversions they all pretty well need CPU and/or GPU acceleration
The 55xx and 56xx series of GPU's don't do any of the acceleration offered by Handbrake
While poking about auction sites I came across a Tesla mentioned above
This should make a huge difference in the ripping

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  • 2 weeks later...

Trying out Folding at home, need to start a process for each GPU on the card
Attached shows the power draw of this beast, I'm running it off a 850w seperare PSU just using the 8pin 12v power plug
I'm having trouble keeping what assume is the GPU closest to the case bracket cool
Temperature in the garage where the server is is about 8degC, running this during the day with Temp around 15deg sees temp over 85degC for that one GPU
I've ordered a couple of DL160 G6 case dual fans, these little puppies spin at 15k front and rear fan at 11k RPM
As they are 1u fans should be a good fit to place behind the Air intake of the M60 and push a mountain of air through unit
Also should consider re thermal pasting the GPU's
These fans with 6pin headers should fit in the 2x spare fan headers on the Mobo and I should be able to see how they run in iLO management

Other picture shows the very little processing power needed to encode video
It uses so little processes that it still thinks its in 'idle' mode
I'll not use NVENC as its rubbish at encoding for both compression and quality, not really much faster than CPU encoding

I may need to play with running ESXI as booting first and playing with vGPU for VM's to use


Tesla encode.PNG

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This GPU(s) kick serious Folding butt
I (freakngeek) was on 7200 yesterday before I let the GPU's loose on FAH all night
Now jumped to near the top would need to leave it on for a few week to beat the very top score
Below is with CPUs folding turned off, these add only about 10% if they were on
I'm impressedfah.JPG

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  • 2 months later...

Have been neglecting this project for a few weeks
Other than being busy at work and home, it was never meant to do anything but hold my 3.5" drives for backup and general storage

Last night I purchased another bargain see Dell SC8000 post for more details

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