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Old June 3, 2013, 11:02 AM
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Default Supermicro H8DME-2 Server

Hi All,

I finally got my hands on a nice server grade setup mainly for the 24 bay Supermicro chassis from TAM Solutions. It came with a Supermicro H8DME-2 board, a single Opteron 2212, and 8GB ECC RAM.

Are these still decent performers? I know people used to use it for 2P folding but not sure how it stacks up now.

Planning on using it for the following (listed in order of priority):
1) Storage
2) Plex Media Server
3) VMs to play around with

I'm sure it will be more than enough if I upgrade to dual 6 core CPUs, but the overkill in me wants to make it at least a Skulltrail setup but then I'd be spending enough to buy a second one of these servers.


Next set of questions are:
1) Storage - do people still do hardware RAID, or has everyone moved onto software RAID-like solutions such as Unraid and ZFS? My hardware includes:
- 3 x Supermicro AOC-SAT-MV8 PCI-X cards that came with the Supermicro server
- Areca ARC-1220ML for my existing 12x2TB RAID6 array that I want to move into this server.

2) Will a single Opteron 2212 be sufficient for transcoding and also 1080p MKV playback? I expect it to be more than enough for 2-3 simultaneous Plex clients, especially if I upgrade to 2P 6 core.

3) I haven't really run any virtualization stuff besides VMWare Player back when I used to Fold a lot. Any preferences for ESXi vs Hyper-V?

Thanks
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Old June 12, 2013, 01:02 AM
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I am getting mine next week.

So how are you doing with your server?
did you upgrade/mod anything already? And what parts are you upgrading and where are you getting it?

The mobo is good for esxi but no pci passthrough is possible coz' the pcie has no IOU(AMD) feature.
I will just swap the mobo with whatever pc I have that has ECC mem and supports esxi and passthrough to maximize the beast. It will be a huge power hug if it's only use as fileserver. What do you think?
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Old June 12, 2013, 05:05 AM
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I took out the stock PSU and put in a spare Corsair HX620 I had.
One thing to note is that I had to shave the 20+4 motherboard plug where the two pieces fit together, otherwise it would hit a nearby connector and prevent it from fully plugging in. Hard to describe without pictures.

Ordered a bunch of Arctic Cooling F8 PWM fans from NCIX for $3.80 a piece: Arctic Cooling Arctic F8 PWM 80MM Fan 4PIN 700-2000RPM

I'm still trying to decide what to do regarding the mobo...either go all out with a more modern Supermicro board, or pull back a little and stick a Nehalem board in there and use a Xeon. This is getting expensive very quickly :)
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Old June 12, 2013, 03:14 PM
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Yes, it is getting expensive but the case alone makes it worth the money.

What raid are you using? Have you tried snapraid?

Last edited by kishine; June 12, 2013 at 11:08 PM.
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Old June 14, 2013, 09:42 AM
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are you sure you can not pass through PCI-x on this board?

my just came in this config: seams to have different proc than OPs
Motherboard: H8DME-2
Procs: Qty 1 AMD Opteron Quad Core 2346HE @ 1.8GHz
Ram: 8GB 4x 2GB, 12 empty slots
IPMI Card: Kira 100
Qty 3 SAT2-MV8 Raid cards
Qty 2 Ablecom PWS-902-IR Power supplies
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Old June 15, 2013, 07:04 PM
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It is based on my research/ reading alone.

I look at all available raid/hba card from supermicro on this page:
Supermicro | Products | Supermicro Storage Chassis Solutions

All are implying themselves as UIO cards except for the last 2 cards. And on the compatible mobo section in each card's specification, it doesn't mention anything about h8dme-2.

This is the time i asked myself.what the heck is UIO on pci-e slot of supermicro mobo... Goggling ... I ended up reading the site below, tabling supermicro's amd mobo. Here it shows no UIO feature on h8dme-2 mobo.
http://www.em.avnet.com/en-us/design...nsbrochure.pdf

Thus, i concluded, without UIO pcie passthrough will not be possible. I want to probe myself wrong because i bought m1015 last month and i just picked-up mine too today. and start the testing.

Now about your question on PCI-X. It depends on which virtualization sw your using. If esxi,
3Ware 9550SX(U)-8LP is the only PCIX that is being supported based on the unofficial esxi hcl. You maybe able to passthrough on this card. But take note, customized oem.tgz is needed for this card. Aside from other issues. I dont want to buy this card as i already have a raid card and a sas expander, my wife will make me sleep in the basement if she find out this will work.

Mine just arrived yesterday. Cheers!!!

Last edited by kishine; June 22, 2013 at 01:37 AM.
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Old June 20, 2013, 01:22 AM
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I don't think you can pass-through add-in cards on that system either. there is hardware requirements for that.

I have two servers running ESXi and only one can do passthrough, and its a dual s1366 supermicro board.

I really wished my sun X2200 could do passthrough because it has 4 lan ports, would have been nice to give direct access to lan ports for the VM's but oh well.

for your case, if you want to run esxi, without passthrough, it's may not be worth using this system as a file server, I would run a raid 1+0 array and use it for VM's and smaller applications.......I just re-read your post and noticed you said 24, if you plan on filling those, you could easily run large virtual disks and have a file server in there. stick to raid 1+0 though in case of disk failure, the rebuild would be quicker and needs to read from fewer disks to do so, which means less performance impact on other virtual systems. though with 24 disks you could do raid 1+0 for virtual OS disks and then overlay a virtual storage disk on a raid 5 to attach to a file server. there's some varying ways to play it

btw, PM if you're interested, I have the pair of dual cores that came out of my sun server on my desk, you can have them for dirt cheap if you like since they're really not worth much these days
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Old June 21, 2013, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouis1 View Post
I don't think you can pass-through add-in cards on that system either. there is hardware requirements for that.

I have two servers running ESXi and only one can do passthrough, and its a dual s1366 supermicro board.

I really wished my sun X2200 could do passthrough because it has 4 lan ports, would have been nice to give direct access to lan ports for the VM's but oh well.

for your case, if you want to run esxi, without passthrough, it's may not be worth using this system as a file server, I would run a raid 1+0 array and use it for VM's and smaller applications.......I just re-read your post and noticed you said 24, if you plan on filling those, you could easily run large virtual disks and have a file server in there. stick to raid 1+0 though in case of disk failure, the rebuild would be quicker and needs to read from fewer disks to do so, which means less performance impact on other virtual systems. though with 24 disks you could do raid 1+0 for virtual OS disks and then overlay a virtual storage disk on a raid 5 to attach to a file server. there's some varying ways to play it

btw, PM if you're interested, I have the pair of dual cores that came out of my sun server on my desk, you can have them for dirt cheap if you like since they're really not worth much these days


ESXi might be a problem. I got similar setup from TAMs
and thinking of going with XEN / XCP instead.

1. XEN/XCP is not as strict with hardware compatibility.
2. XCP comes with more options for free compared to ESXi
3. no restriction on Physical RAM/CPU per host, ESXi free setup have limit of 32GB of Physical RAM on host
as in you can not physically have more than 32GB of RAM installed on the server or it will crash
4. XCP have vMotion like capability in free setup, in ESXi you will need a paid licenses for that if you need this of course.
5. VM backup is also included in free setup where ESXi require paid license for that.

and I think I have found info that you can pass through PCI in XCP even if hardware is not 100% compatible, will post the result once I have it setup.

my goal is to move my unRaid setup into VM and have FOG server with PXE boot in it.
so will see
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Old July 11, 2013, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoob View Post
I'm sure it will be more than enough if I upgrade to dual 6 core CPUs,

Will a single Opteron 2212 be sufficient for transcoding and also 1080p MKV playback?

Thanks
Depends how hast you want that transcoding to take place. Realtime I don't think so. If you want to take hexacores make sure you have the latest bios. Low power hexacores are fine for everything except gaming. If you plan on gaming on it I would suggest highly clocked quad cores.
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Old July 22, 2013, 09:30 AM
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It'd be one or two Plex clients so realtime would be a must. Guess I'll hold out and wait for a cheap Haswell i3 this coming September, praying that they will not strip out ECC support. This rig has been sitting in a corner for the last 2 months anyway since I'm still waiting to receive drive tray screws and Supermicro breakout cable for regular motherboards.

Some members of AVSforum mentioned there are 80Plus Platinum PSUs that fit in place of the existing 6000RPM screamers. These platinum PSUs are supposedly much quieter. Supermicro PWS-920P-1R
Post referenced here: Are You Looking For A Less Expensive Norco 4220 / 4224 Alternative?
I was looking at prices about a month ago and they were $90 on eBay... now they are $160+ :(
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