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Is the HP N40L still a viable choice for a small home ZFS server?

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steveb7az
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Is the HP N40L still a viable choice for a small home ZFS server?

#1

Post by steveb7az » 28 Jan 2018 21:38

For the past several years I have been running NAS4Free on a motherboard that had a Via C7 processor. Although only 32bit and containing a single UFS formatted drive, it served me well. Sadly the board has died. In planning to replace and upgrade it I've been looking at what services I'd like to run on it as well as how much storage capacity I might need. Service wise I need SSH, NFS, iSCSI and SNMP. I'd like to move from UFS to ZFS as the file system. Would a used HP N40L microserver still be a viable resource for a SOHO NAS? Although they are now a few years old it looks like they support ECC RAM, and can take up to 16GB and supports drives up to 3TB. I've seen some posts from users with them, though they are a bit dated. Looking for feedback from anyone who is actively using one. Would also appreciate any advice regarding alternatives to the HP Microserver.

biggsy
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Re: Is the HP N40L still a viable choice for a small home ZFS server?

#2

Post by biggsy » 29 Jan 2018 02:03

Should be no issues with the N40L (or an N54L, which just has a faster processor). Pretty sure there are quite a few N4F installations on those.

Wake on LAN used to be a problem. I'm not sure whether that was ever solved but a friend overcame it by adding an HP/Intel card.

Do you already have the N40L? If so, you have nothing to lose in trying it.

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mooblie
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Re: Is the HP N40L still a viable choice for a small home ZFS server?

#3

Post by mooblie » 29 Jan 2018 16:51

I currently use an N40L (and an N36L to back it up!). Both work well, and I like them for several reasons:

- 16GB ECC RAM,
- low power,
- quiet,
- physically small,
- fair R/W speeds (80 - 100 MB/s over Gigabit Ethernet),
- cheap to buy (on eBay!),
- internal USB port (in addition to external USBs),
- six SATA ports,
- moboVGA for setup,
- designed for 24/7 use as a server, etc., etc.,...

and of course: NAS4Free and ZFS work perfectly! What's not to like! :D
Last edited by mooblie on 15 Feb 2018 22:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the HP N40L still a viable choice for a small home ZFS server?

#4

Post by bigwolf » 14 Feb 2018 22:57

I have a N40L at my mothers' place and it's still good IMO. Sure not the fastest HW around but should be enough for a budget system.

I have there 4 x 2TB Samsung 5400RPM drives that have >44000 on hours and they are still working. Quite unbelievable. However I was not able to achive R/W more than 60-80MB/s with ZFS raidz (basically raid 5).
It's quite (not for bedrooms though), consumption is low and it has other features as described by mooblie.
You can even buy remote access card (HP iLO or equivalent to IPMI) to have an access to the N40L without need of attaching a monitor. I actually love this cause I can login remotely and troubleshoot.
There are guides how to install moded BIOS to enable an extra SATA and maybe more (don't remember now), check it out.

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