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Topic # 151544 28-Aug-2014 17:37
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I'm considering an HP Microserver for a small office (maybe an ML310e) with 10 staff who need file/print.  They won't be growing office staff numbers in the next 3 years.  They have been a client for 5+ years and I expect to be looking after them in 5+ years.

Genuine HP Server Drives are relatively expensive when compared with reputable 3rd party equivalents.  I'm considering using WD drives ("Red" or "SE Datacentre") instead of HP's drives.  I would buy a spare to keep on the (customer's) shelf.  With a drive failure, whether HP or WD drives, it would be me that swaps the drive anyway.

What are the cons of using non-HP drives in an HP server that is under warranty?  I have some ideas and dated experience in this area, but am after some outside input for a sanity check.

Cheers
Mike




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  Reply # 1117459 28-Aug-2014 18:18
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If you are doing the replacements I see no Cons. Remember if you are going for RAID and using larger drives you need to think about using RAID6 or RAID10 over RAID5.





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  Reply # 1117475 28-Aug-2014 19:13
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I could not reasonably recommend doing what you are suggesting (PLEASE don't sell a 10 user company a Microserver). SATA performs badly in Server environs unless you have a cache controller.

If this 10 user company is seriously concerned about the price difference of a few hundred dollars, I'd be worried about their ability to pay your service fee's. 

Encourage them to understand that a few hundred dollars saved at this end could result in lost productivity for the length of their ownership. Also I'd suggest at some point said 10 user company may wish 
to run more than just file and print sharing and then the money you saved will seem like a pittance compared to what would be needed to spend to get them decent performance on the new applications.

Personally I'd rather see a customer with a second hand ML350 G6 with SAS Drives than a Brand new ML310E (Which is to say warranty aside).

Also whilst you ANTICIPATE being the one to deal with replacements, it could be someone else, and you are creating a potential issue for the customer for which they will not thank you for nor recall the savings later. 


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  Reply # 1118056 29-Aug-2014 16:36
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the raid controllers are a bit iffy in those too.  i'm recommend against it also!




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  Reply # 1118058 29-Aug-2014 16:38
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I would have to say, a ML350 is what I would be talking to any customer that size about. Even though it's marginally overkill, they last forever, are so reliable and perform. They aren't that expensive either.


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  Reply # 1118082 29-Aug-2014 17:18
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networkn: I would have to say, a ML350 is what I would be talking to any customer that size about. Even though it's marginally overkill, they last forever, are so reliable and perform. They aren't that expensive either.



Would tend to agree. the RAID controller means everything. I take it those microservers can't take addon pci-e cards?







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  Reply # 1118089 29-Aug-2014 17:41
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I had anticipated more feedback than this and was awaiting comments about warranty issues (i.e. HP complaining that non-certified drives might cause RAID or MB issues or other such grumbling if an issue arises).

General Comments based on your comments above:

 

  • The client involved is one of our best payers.  They have had 5 users accessing files on a dedicated Win7 PC-as-a-server for the last few years (their request not our suggestion).  Zero issues but no security on file access either.  They will inveest where produnt, but (with a positive attitude) check the justification for each investment.
  • Our in-house Microserver is chugging away just fine (with 3rd party drives).  Serving up files takes very little horsepower of course.  Not currently using it as a print server but will try that out in the next week or three.
  • The Microserver can take a P222 RAID card (it's officially supported).  We didn't bother.  OS+CRM on an SSD, single SATA drive for document storage.  Server kept well backed up.
  • We moved from RAID5 to RAID10 a few server generations back.  Not tried RAID6 but our servers rarely have more than 4 spindles.
  • We use SATA drives on most small sites, normally with the P222 controller or equivalent with cache.  Servers with these have been replaced due to age, not performance.
  • The ML350 is a very nice server series and we have a number deployed.  We also have a number of ML110's deployed with cache controllers and RAID10 SATA drives serving 25 users files, 6 printers, and a 140Gb Exchange database.  No performance issues, largely because of Outlook's local caching.  A couple of users are not caching for specific reasons, and their performance is excellent.  They are about to shift email to Office365 just as the server is hitting 3 years old, and we'll be suggesting an ML310E.
  • I am just as cautious about over-selling as under-selling, and always explain that is the lesser server is selected that they can't add an application to it 2 years down the track.  I might start following that up with an email in case someone hits me with a complain in the future.




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  Reply # 1118090 29-Aug-2014 17:51
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I have a spare Dell 2950 (with rack mounts) available for a reasonable price if you'd like to offer them a (slightly older)industrial grade option for a really solid reliable option.

Pm me for details if you interested :)

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  Reply # 1118106 29-Aug-2014 18:22
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And yes, you are correct to an extent.

Diagnostics/Support for potential read errors/raid failures or crashing/'not working' that looks like it could be attributed to a non HP supplied drive (like a fault not directly related to a power supply or other component) could well have the drives pointed at if they ask, or you get a site visit. In reality it most likely won't

Just be wary, that they have been known to order bulk OEMs from manufacturers and customise the firmware options/characteristics etc however.

If it's full of user replacable parts however you may not ever be questioned, but if you start replacing parts around to fix a fault it 1 by 1 because it's not easily diagnosable but IS related to the drives that will also set off alarmbells.



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  Reply # 1118110 29-Aug-2014 18:29
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I've installed a handful of Microservers with WD SE/RE/Red drives in RAID1, no issues (touch wood).

The Gen8's have plenty of power for small office DC/File and print duty, for 10 users we would be pushing for at least a ML310e with RAID card but I have used Microservers in a similar case where the client wanted a 'value' solution or they'd stick with their NAS.

Ended up with a Microserver at a main office and another at branch office, both running ESX with FreePBX and Server 2012 R2 (DC, File and print, DFS Replication, VPN, WebDAV etc) - 23 users in total and they don't break a sweat.

I'd recommend adding the 3 year onsite warranty upgrade to cover the rest of the box though.

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  Reply # 1118119 29-Aug-2014 18:51
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To me it sounds like it's more a you thing than a them thing. You have a problem with the price of the drives. In actual fact I doubt many would offer them a choice and I believe they would assume that HP servers would come with HP Drives. 

At the end of the day it's probably a matter of $500 in total or probably less and you could lose than in troubleshooting easily if things turn pear shaped.

They sound a good client who will follow your recommendation, I can't see a single reason to offer them a choice of non standard drives considering the factors.

I don't consider that in any way an oversell.

Jax

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  Reply # 1118124 29-Aug-2014 19:10
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I used to have a "why buy hp drives" PDF but cant find it - this is close thugh
http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA4-3712ENW.pdf
When you're updating Server firmware (SPP) often it updates the drives too

I would feel safer using HP personally

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  Reply # 1118152 29-Aug-2014 19:36
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networkn: At the end of the day it's probably a matter of $500 in total or probably less and you could lose than in troubleshooting easily if things turn pear shaped.

They sound a good client who will follow your recommendation, I can't see a single reason to offer them a choice of non standard drives considering the factors.

I don't consider that in any way an oversell.


Just checked on this:
2TB HP non hotplug vs 2TB WD RE - $413 difference per drive!
go to the WD SE and the difference increases to $470

Daylight robbery considering some of these 'HP drives' come with WD RE labels!

The Microserver is typically used for non critical applications or for clients wanting a cheap solution and willing to accept the element of risk that goes with it.
If the client is happy to fork out that much more for drives that 'might' be more reliable then a Microserver is the wrong server for them.

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  Reply # 1118159 29-Aug-2014 19:42
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lokeynz:
networkn: At the end of the day it's probably a matter of $500 in total or probably less and you could lose than in troubleshooting easily if things turn pear shaped.

They sound a good client who will follow your recommendation, I can't see a single reason to offer them a choice of non standard drives considering the factors.

I don't consider that in any way an oversell.


Just checked on this:
2TB HP non hotplug vs 2TB WD RE - $413 difference per drive!
go to the WD SE and the difference increases to $470

Daylight robbery considering some of these 'HP drives' come with WD RE labels!

The Microserver is typically used for non critical applications or for clients wanting a cheap solution and willing to accept the element of risk that goes with it.
If the client is happy to fork out that much more for drives that 'might' be more reliable then a Microserver is the wrong server for them.


Well yah I would agree that seems a big difference, having said that, onsite callouts aren't that cheap so some of that is "warranty".

I would consider Microservers would fall under PC with a SCSI card category rather than an actual server. I would possibly run a 2-3 person company with one MAYBE upto 5. Beyond that I wouldn't even consider them.

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  Reply # 1119663 1-Sep-2014 15:24
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Dynamic: I'm considering an HP Microserver for a small office (maybe an ML310e) with 10 staff who need file/print.  They won't be growing office staff numbers in the next 3 years.  They have been a client for 5+ years and I expect to be looking after them in 5+ years.

Genuine HP Server Drives are relatively expensive when compared with reputable 3rd party equivalents.  I'm considering using WD drives ("Red" or "SE Datacentre") instead of HP's drives.  I would buy a spare to keep on the (customer's) shelf.  With a drive failure, whether HP or WD drives, it would be me that swaps the drive anyway.

What are the cons of using non-HP drives in an HP server that is under warranty?  I have some ideas and dated experience in this area, but am after some outside input for a sanity check.

Cheers
Mike


I have deployed quite a few HP MicroServers with non HP drives and they are working perfectly, the HP drives are just labelled as HP, they are WD or Seagate models.
Even put Samsung SSD drives to IBM servers (the price difference is even bigger there) and that's also absolutely fine with the LSI logic controllers.



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  Reply # 1119704 1-Sep-2014 16:09
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I have deployed quite a few HP MicroServers with non HP drives and they are working perfectly, the HP drives are just labelled as HP, they are WD or Seagate models.
Even put Samsung SSD drives to IBM servers (the price difference is even bigger there) and that's also absolutely fine with the LSI logic controllers.


Thanks for that.  What are you telling clients about the warranty or were these for internal company use?




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