HP DL180 G6 2U LGA1366 storage server

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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Patrick,

Did you ever sort out the iLO username/password issue?

There is a procedure to reset the password here, but no love. Still can't log in. Without remote management its going to be a bit of a pain to use.
 

mrkrad

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Oct 13, 2012
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proof of ownership - you must remove a cpu to prove you are the one.

seriously - it is somewhat that complex!
 

PigLover

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Starting to work towards configuring the DL180 into my rack/daily use configuration. The goal is to have it house a 12-14 drive ZFS pool as a "backup" pool for my other storage and use the CPU/memory resources for VMs.

Before I finalize this I wanted to do some testing of the disk performance with the backplane/expander compared to a similar configuration without it. The configuration is a bit contrived and the bench is not formalized. It does directly compare two options I have for my "backup" array so for me it is valid.


Test configuration:

Common in both "before" and "after":
- Debian Linux, 2.6 kernel (Proxmox 3.0)
- ZFS on Linux (ZoL) release 0.6.1
- 11x Hitachi 7k3000 2TB spinny disks configured as RaidZ2 (its 11 rather than 12 'cuz I had to leave one slot in the C6100 chassis for a system disk in the "before" test)
- M1015 HBA in IT mode
- CPU is dual L5638.

Before:
- 1 node C6100, 48GB memory, 8 drives cabled to M1015, 3 drives to on-board SATA-II ports
- System disk is 60GB Intel 330 SSD on MB sata. Mounted in drive cage since there is no room for "ghetto" inside the C6100.
- Result: bonnie++ block reads > 1,000KB/s, block writes > 800KB/s (unfortunately I can't read my own notes...)

After:
- DL180 G6, 96GB memory, 11 drives on backplane expander with single 4-lane 8087 cable to M1015
- System disk 60GB Vertex-1 currently sitting loose inside the chassis (not final config)
- Result: bonnie++ block reads 628KB/s, block writes 523KB/s

To make sure the ZFS pool was identical I built the pool on the C6100, did the test, and then moved the drives and did a "zpool import" on the HP.

It is significantly slower than cabling drives directly to the M1015/MB ports. Initially I'll attribute it to the expander, but there could be other things going on too. Though slower, it is certainly fast enough since the array will just be holding backups from the other systems while the CPU/memory is used for VMs as part of the lab.

The DL180s backplane refuses to light the power light for the SATA drives. Activity lights work fine (except one slot that appears burnt out). I had an older SAS drive and plugged it in just for grins...power light lights up fine. Curious, though at the end of the day the activity light is way more useful. Its way better than the C6100, where you get power lights as long as the node "normally" associated with the drive bay is powered on, but no activity lights when not using "normal" drive-bay/node configurations.

Also, no staggered spinup through the expander. On the C6100 the 8 drives on the M1015 staggered nicely at startup, but on the DL180 through the expander all 12 drives spun together with the expected surge in power draw (I have 12 drives mounted even though on 11 were used in the test). For those of you who bought the units with the 460W PSU this might be worth keeping on eye on. I'm using a 750w so it doesn't bother me.

Finally, when I was moving the drives from the C6100 trays to the HP trays I was struck by how much better designed the HP trays seemed to be. I tracked drive temps throughout the bonnie++ runs and a subsequent "zpool scrub". The ambient sensor from my APC is mounted near the top-front of the rack and is logging about 30c-31c throughout. Drive temps are ranging from 28c-31c throughout the "after" test. I had them regularly hitting 38-39c when mounted in the C6100. While the fan noise from the HP is just a little louder than my modified fans on the C6100 they appear to be doing a MUCH better job of cooling drives. Also noted that the system temps in the C6100 dropped 10c when the drives were pulled...
 
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Patrick

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Did power consumption from fans drop on the C6100 when you pulled the drives?
 

PigLover

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Did power consumption from fans drop on the C6100 when you pulled the drives?
Unfortunately I don't have a reasonable way to measure power consumption once things are in the rack. I can measure power consumption of the whole rack, but doing detailed looks at each piece is tough. Unfortunately, I don't have smart PDUs - just pretty rack-mount power strips plugged into the UPS.

The FCB did slow the fans on the C6100 shortly after I pulled the drives. They were running at 4500 RPM. Now 2700. So the power did drop. I just don't have a good way to measure how much.
 

PersonalJ

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May 17, 2013
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In case anyone is wondering how to access the lo100 admin account I tried to reset the password by updating the lo100 firmware and then tried with the Intel ipmitool however both did not work. What I ended up doing was downloading the SmartStart Scripting Toolkit Win32 Edition part 1 which contains the lo100cfg utility. From there I ran lo100cfg.exe -s and had it output the current settings and I saw the following:
<users>
<user id="2" name="ROUSER" privilege_level="operator" />
<user id="3" name="USERID" privilege_level="administrator" />
</users>
I was then able to login with the USERID account using the password "admin".
 
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PigLover

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YOU ARE AMAZING! Thank you. "USERID/admin" worked on my DL180 too.

Amazing considering that HPs own technical staff at one of their labs in Houston couldn't even come up with the method you used to find it...

THANK YOU!

Edit: of course, with "basic" key there is no KVM...bummer. At least I get sensors and power control. Have to figure out where to buy an "advanced" key...
 
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Patrick

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Wow I tried for a long time. Might buy another since mine is packed in the car right now being sent to another forum member.

Awesome work!
 

cafcwest

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Feb 15, 2013
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Any one know how the SFF 25 drive model is wired in relation to the controller/backplane(expander)? What chipset did they from this era that'd support 25 drives?
 

mrkrad

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Oct 13, 2012
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even though this is a G6 it is sold still. SAS expanders typically drop SATA speeds one level and you want to seriously avoid SATA due to the workload and buggy STP protocol.


What you gain with dual ported sas is real - but there is a reason why the MSA/P2000 G3 used SATA interposers to make them look like SAS.

You bring down SAS by introducing sata and those expander chips must work a bit harder and tend to fall down on themselves with sas/sata mixing.

The G6/G7 are the same era man. Bugs galore!
 

nethel

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Jan 9, 2013
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Finally got my DL180 up and running.

I had to create a new user account using lo100cfg in order to log in. I tried various passwords for the USERID account, but nothing worked. Following this guide I was able to create an account I could actually use through an xml file.
 

dba

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Feb 20, 2012
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Thanks for posting the link to the guide - very valuable information for those buying used HP DL180s.

Finally got my DL180 up and running.

I had to create a new user account using lo100cfg in order to log in. I tried various passwords for the USERID account, but nothing worked. Following this guide I was able to create an account I could actually use through an xml file.
 

cafcwest

Member
Feb 15, 2013
136
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Richmond, VA
Any one know how the SFF 25 drive model is wired in relation to the controller/backplane(expander)? What chipset did they from this era that'd support 25 drives?
Just following up on my old post here. Found the following link over on the HP forums:
HP Communities - DL180 G6 25SFF backplane, cables to system board a... - Enterprise Business Community

So the 25 drive model contains two mini-SAS connectors to connect to the controller. Still has an expander on board the backplane, possibly even two expanders. But without actually buying one, and looking at what components were used, I still don't know exactly how they put this together.

The fact that it seems all HP servers of this era, while 6Gb SAS, step down the SATA to 3Gb is a bit disappointing and will probably lead me back to a custom SuperMicro build for my flash based storage wants.
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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Just following up on my old post here. Found the following link over on the HP forums:
HP Communities - DL180 G6 25SFF backplane, cables to system board a... - Enterprise Business Community

So the 25 drive model contains two mini-SAS connectors to connect to the controller. Still has an expander on board the backplane, possibly even two expanders. But without actually buying one, and looking at what components were used, I still don't know exactly how they put this together.

The fact that it seems all HP servers of this era, while 6Gb SAS, step down the SATA to 3Gb is a bit disappointing and will probably lead me back to a custom SuperMicro build for my flash based storage wants.
It is a single expander with dual-link capability. Essentially the same as the 36-port stand-alone expander that has been popular with some members of this site. Designed by the same design team so functionally almost identical.
 

cafcwest

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It is a single expander with dual-link capability. Essentially the same as the 36-port stand-alone expander that has been popular with some members of this site. Designed by the same design team so functionally almost identical.

The LSI LSISAS2x36?

As you are knowledgeable on this topic, do you know what is the component that causes SATA drives to revert to 3Gb speeds - is this simply how HP configured this generation of their controllers?

Apologies for taking this slightly off-topic.
 

PigLover

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The LSI LSISAS2x36?

As you are knowledgeable on this topic, do you know what is the component that causes SATA drives to revert to 3Gb speeds - is this simply how HP configured this generation of their controllers?

Apologies for taking this slightly off-topic.
I had a chance to discuss this with some of HPs server developers recently. Chip is PMC Sierra PM8005. It is this chip (or its firmware) that causes the step down.
 

cafcwest

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Feb 15, 2013
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I had a chance to discuss this with some of HPs server developers recently. Chip is PMC Sierra PM8005. It is this chip (or its firmware) that causes the step down.
Interesting. After I asked you the question, I continued reading and had arrived at the opposite conclusion.

To me, it appears that the last generation of HP Smart Array Controllers all do SAS 6Gb/SATA 3Gb. Under the "Model Comparison" section:
ProLiant Storage - HP Smart Array P410 controller - Overview & Features

However, reading about the new 'Gen 8' controllers, they all seem to support SAS and SATA at 6Gb - specifically, I was reading the specs for the new P420 here (Key Features, Page 2), but have also seen it elsewhere:
http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/14228_div/14228_div.pdf


Reading about the PMC Sierra PM8005, I find myself a bit confused:
PM8005 SXP 36x6GSec 36 Port SAS Expander with Secure Zoning

It talks about multiplexing (making me think we are going to get SATA kicked back to 3Gb) but then under benefits, I read this line:
◾Supports native 6G connections on all ports for support of SAS 6G and SATA 6G HDDs


So if I were to stick a Gen 8 P420 into an older G6/G7 chassis, and it works without issue, and I accept that the ultimate potential of the card (rather, my flash arrays) is potentially going to be choked off by PCIe 2.0, I still might have issues due to the expander technology on the backplanes. Hmph.
 

PigLover

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You are correct. The PM8005 expander does support SATA 6G. But only with the right firmware loaded. To the best of my knowledge HP has not released any firmware that will do that. You might be able to get a PMC reference load that would work, or you might succeed getting a load for the G8 server to load, but I can't point you to any references showing that this has been done successfully.