HPE EC200A Xeon D-1518 'hybrid server' on ebay ~$150

Mixpower

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Jan 20, 2018
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I just wish I knew why the iLO shows “HPE Memory: No”... mostly out of curiosity, not because of any concerns.
Maybe because it is not HPE memory but just HP memory?

Does anyone know how to configure 2 drives in RAID 0?
It should be possible but I see no way to enter any SATA Controller config like on my Gen8.
 
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Rickinfl

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Aug 21, 2020
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FYI. I have 2 of these setup

The SSD is:

Kingston 1.92TB A400 SATA 3 2.5" Internal SSD SA400S37/1920G

The M.2 is:

Kingston 250GB A2000 M.2 2280 Nvme Internal SSD PCIe Up to 2000MB/S with Full Security Suite SA2000M8/250G


RAM I got off Ebay I bought 2 for each so I'd have 64Gig:

819412-001 HPE 32GB 2RX4 PC4-2400T-R MEMORY MODULE (1X32GB)


FreeNAS
HPE ProLiant EC200a Mini Server
Procs: Xeon D1518 2.2GHz - 4 Core - 8 Core Hyper
RAM: 2x 32GB 2RX4 PC4-2400T-R - 64GB Total
HDD: Kingston 1.92TB A400 SATA 3 2.5" Internal SSD
HDD: Kingston 250GB A2000 M.2 2280 Nvme Internal SSD

Pfsense
HPE ProLiant EC200a Mini Server
Procs: Xeon D1518 2.2GHz - 4 Core - 8 Core Hyper
RAM: 2x 32GB 2RX4 PC4-2400T-R - 64GB Total
HDD: Kingston 250GB A2000 M.2 2280 Nvme Internal SSDnew-server-setup.png
 
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Mixpower

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Jan 20, 2018
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I have now put one drive in, Specs say it should be able to do Raid 0, but I can't access the SATA controller anywhere to create a software raid for ESXI.
 

duckduck

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Aug 22, 2016
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2nd thought is adding 2 or 3 40mm fans running 1500 -2000 rpm underneath the air intake, such as
I've been trying to swap out the fan and add more in the process. But iLO is not happy if the default Delta fan (FFB0412UHN-SP4Z) isn't connected. The Delta fan runs very high rpm. So I think iLO demands to read that back or it will just see the fan as not running.
I've tried the few easy things others have suggested for other HP servers. But they havn't worked out. I think what I might need it a PWM signal generator. And send back a fake pwm tach signal to iLO, matching hz and duty from the original fan. So iLO won't just cry no fan connected.
 

Cavallo

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Sep 25, 2020
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My ER-Lite died. Again. Seeing as I'll most likely need to resort to all sorts of low level tinkering to get it running again, it occurs to me that this is an opportunity to try something else.

I was poking around online for some *cheap* thing with >1 ethernet port to run pfSense/OPNsense on bare metal. I found these little HP boxes on ebay, and searching led me here. They seemed like a good idea initially, but thoroughly reading this entire thread left room for doubt. I've noticed a couple people using them to run pfSense. I'm curious - how does it perform as a router/firewall appliance? Any gotchas? Wondering if it's worth it. Is there a better option for the money? Should I give it a try, or back away slowly in mute horror?

Facts, I can find on my own. I'm looking for opinions.
 
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WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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My ER-Lite died. Again. Seeing as I'll most likely need to resort to all sorts of low level tinkering to get it running again, it occurs to me that this is an opportunity to try something else.

I was poking around online for some *cheap* thing with >1 ethernet port to run pfSense/OPNsense on bare metal. I found these little HP boxes on ebay, and searching led me here. They seemed like a good idea initially, but thoroughly reading this entire thread left room for doubt. I've noticed a couple people using them to run pfSense. I'm curious - how does it perform as a router/firewall appliance? Any gotchas? Wondering if it's worth it. Is there a better option for the money? Should I give it a try, or back away slowly in mute horror?

Facts, I can find on my own. I'm looking for opinions.
For pfsense? Buy the HP t730 instead. There's not much need for dual SATA ports like on the EC200A, the CPU isn't super-important, but you'll likely get more mileage from the PCIe slot. If you have spare DDR3L laptop SODIMMs hanging around, it can be upgraded to 16GB cheaply.
 
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Cavallo

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Sep 25, 2020
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Great tip. Thanks. I'll investigate this aggressively for home use, since even adding a NIC, I can get off a little cheaper. There's someone out there blogging about running Suricata on it, so it seems beefy enough.

Although I still want to build something for my employer. Our needs aren't enormous, but I'd like something with needlessly huge muscle for all the security/monitoring/VPN stuff I want to do. I think. Unless someone beats this idea out of my head. Feel free...
 

WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Great tip. Thanks. I'll investigate this aggressively for home use, since even adding a NIC, I can get off a little cheaper. There's someone out there blogging about running Suricata on it, so it seems beefy enough.

Although I still want to build something for my employer. Our needs aren't enormous, but I'd like something with needlessly huge muscle for all the security/monitoring/VPN stuff I want to do. I think. Unless someone beats this idea out of my head. Feel free...
Is your employer paying for it? If they are, get a SuperMicro E200/E300-8D, or something similar. These EC200As are passable lab boxes, but probably not something you want to sit in front of the boss unless it was inherited.
 

Cavallo

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Sep 25, 2020
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They will be paying for it once I spec it out, but my powers of persuasion are not limitless. With the world all sideways like this $400 will be a harder sell than $200. I know how ghetto that sounds, but times are what they are.
 
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Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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My answer would be it will work fine but you only have 2 lan ports and no way to add (+ a dedicated ilo port)
Can’t rack mount them maybe a downside or maybe not. Mine idled under 30w when I did a quick check which isn’t terrible.

I wound view then reliability wise nothing special though, but especially if you have the ram they are damn cheap.
 
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Cavallo

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Sep 25, 2020
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I went with the HP T730 suggestion for home. Ebay seller took my offer at $80. Not bad, I think. Once I get this thing together, I'll re-evaluate the EC200A-for-the-office question with a fresh perspective.
 

canta

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Nov 26, 2014
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Great idea, I was thinking about how to mount them like that.
this is the best for air flow, assuming the HDD bays are empty or ssd only,

I've been trying to swap out the fan and add more in the process. But iLO is not happy if the default Delta fan (FFB0412UHN-SP4Z) isn't connected. The Delta fan runs very high rpm. So I think iLO demands to read that back or it will just see the fan as not running.
I've tried the few easy things others have suggested for other HP servers. But they havn't worked out. I think what I might need it a PWM signal generator. And send back a fake pwm tach signal to iLO, matching hz and duty from the original fan. So iLO won't just cry no fan connected.
swapping is pretty tough .. the "server grade hehehe" PWM fans is very specific to the firmware detection of RPM PWM. but Supermicro ipmi is not very strictly enforced and can be swapped easily with low rpms and tweak ipmi via ipmitool (with script due to reset to default).
but......
with very tight mini server dimension, lowering down fan noise is hard to tackle. I add extra usb 5V low rpm (with down voltage board) fan 40mm at the bottom (vertical stand) to reduce noise. only 1 fan installed, try to get extra "ok" 5v 40mm ball bearing fans from china.


this is my solution :-D,
gcode file: Gofile
stl file (ONLY supports 40mm with 10mm thickness fan): hp ec200a stand with 40mm fan ver 2

HP ec200a stand  with 40mm -usb fans-1.JPG

HP ec200a stand  with 40mm -usb fans-2.JPG

HP ec200a stand  with 40mm -usb fans-3.JPG




single stand without fans ( need to print two!)

HP ec200a stand.JPG
 
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WANg

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Jun 10, 2018
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Bottom right connector. It may not be 'proprietary' but it doesn't appear to be a standard we could easily adapt to.

View attachment 15149
It’s an Amphenol/ICC AirMax VS connector - specifically a 10056246-1071LF (had to grab a screenshot off the video @Patrick did to get the info). Wire connectors do exist and in theory, you can fab a breakout board for a PCIe slot. The question is whether this is worth it or not.
 
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Patrick

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@WANg people ask why I use a 47.3MP main camera and shoot everything in 4K when it is destined for the web. I cannot tell you how many times hardware has gone back and having those high-resolution screenshots has helped identify a part.