Programster's Blog

Tutorials focusing on Linux, programming, and open-source

HP Microserver ZFS NAS

Today I bought a second hand HP Microserver G7 (manual) on Gumtree for £120 as pictured below (before I modified it):

Changing The Hardware

Unfortunately, I discovered that the server had been upgraded by a previous owner with 16GB non-ecc memory. Thus I needed to change it out with some spare unbuffered ECC memory I happened to have lying around from a previous AMD FX server build. This video proved extremely useful in providing instructions of how to take the thing apart and then put it back together again:

After removing the top, I saw the opportunity to take the CD drive out, and I put an old 64GB Samsung SSD in there to act as the boot drive.

Now I can use the 4 x 3.5 inch drive bays for just large slow HDDs for that will make up the ZFS pool. I plan to start with 2 new 8TB drives in RAID 1, and then expand the pool later with another 2 mirrored drives. It's great that ZFS lets you do this.

After having swapped out the memory, and removing the CD drive, installing Ubuntu 18.04 over USB, and then installing ZFS was simple and easy.

Power Consumption

I was pleased to see that power consumption was low with around 32 watts when booting up:

... before finally settling around 22 watts when idle.

If we assume that the cost of electricity is 13 pence per Kilowatt-hour (it's just under that for me), then I worked out this would result in costing me roughly 25 GBP a year to run 24/7/365. However, power consumption will likely increase after I have plugged in the WD Red 8TB drives that are on their way.

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