Convert Disk from RAID to Non-RAID – Dell PERC H730 Mini

Last week I was working on setting up two new servers at a new office about 6,000 km away. Initially, everything was going smoothly on Server #1 until I tried to configure the second server in a similar manner.

Let me explain…

We are using the following:
-Dell R730xd servers
–Bios 2.12.1
–iDRAC firmware: 2.75.100.76
-Dell PERC H730 Mini
-Seagate ST8000NM0065 SAS (6 of them)
–Revision K004
-Two volumes
–OS (RAID-1, SSDs)
–Storage (RAID-6, Seagate)

What we did on each server for the OS boot drive is combine two enterprise SSD disk into a RAID-1 configuration. This worked well for us as expected.

While investigating some options for local storage that could possibly be shared, we wanted to do some testing with Microsoft’s Storage Spaces Direct, which required us to remove the Storage Volume and convert the disks from a RAID to Non-RAID configuration.

Server #1 was completed successfully. Entering the iDRAC configuration, we expanded Overview –> Storage and then selected Virtual Disks.

We clicked on Manage and deleted the chosen volume via the drop down option under Virtual Disk Actions.

Once the volume was deleted, we needed to convert each disk from a RAID drive to Non-RAID drive.

This is done by going into the Physical Disks section under storage (within the iDRAC menu) and going to the setup section.


From there, you would just click the Setup section at the top, select each or all disks that you want to reconfigured for Non-RAID and select apply.

This worked great for the first server but not so much for the second server.

When doing so, the job would be accepted and checking the Job Queue which is under the Overview –> Server section, we noticed the following basic error message: PR21: Failed

Since the message didn’t provide enough information, we went to the Logs section under Overview –> Server and selected the Lifecycle Log section.

Here you can possibly get slightly more details but in our case, it wasn’t enough to figure out what was going wrong.

We started off by searching that error message on Dells website and found the following:

We couldn’t find out why we were not able to reformat the disks into a Non-RAID configuration. Server #1 completed this without issues. We compared both servers (exact same spec) and there was nothing out of the ordinary.

We stumbled upon an interesting Reddit post that speaks about a very similar situation. The user in this case had 520 bytes sector drives and was trying to reformat them to 512 bytes.

We compared the drives between both servers and everything was the same. We couldn’t perform the exact steps as identified on Reddit since we couldn’t get the drives detected and we didn’t have any way to hookup each SAS drive to a 3rd party adapter and check the drive details.

We decided to do a test and shut down both servers and move the drives from one unit to the other, thanks to our remote office IT employee. Doing so would identify if the issue is in fact with the drives or with the server/raid controller/configuration.

With the drives from server #2 into server #1, we were able to format them into a Non-RAID configuration with ease. We knew our issues were with the server itself.

Diving more into Dells documentation, we found one area that was not really discussed but required to reboot the server and tap F2 to enter the Controller Management window.

Here, we looked around and found what we believed to be the root cause of our issues, located in Main Menu –> Controller Management –> Advanced Controller Properties.

Look at the last selection, Non RAID Disk Mode, we had this as Disabled!

This wasn’t a setting we setup and the initial testing was done by our vendor a great distance away.

We choose the Enabled option for Non-RAID Disk Mode and applied and restarted the server

With that modified, we loaded back into iDRAC and we were finally able to select all of our disks and configure them as non-raid.

Once done, all the disks were passed through to windows and we were able to use them for our storage and to test Microsofts Storage Spaces Direct.

I wanted to take a few minutes and write this up as this was something we couldn’t pinpoint right away and took a bit of time to investigate, test and resolve.

Some resources that I came across that might help others:

http://angelawandrews.com/tag/perc-h730/

https://johannstander.com/2016/08/01/vsan-changing-dell-controller-from-raid-to-hba-mode/amp/

https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-us/000133007/how-to-convert-the-physical-disks-mode-to-non-raid-or-raid-capable

https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/en-ca/idrac7-8-lifecycle-controller-v2.40.40.40/idrac%20racadm%202.40.40.40/storage?guid=guid-9e3676cb-b71d-420b-8c48-c80add258e03

Thanks for reading!

Firmware Upgrades on Jabra Headsets (Evolve 20)

Good afternoon all,

Headsets used to be a simple ‘plug it and forget it’ kind of device but there are certain makes and models that can have firmware upgrades applicable to them.

Some headsets that I deal with on a daily basis are Plantronics HW520 with the Plantronics DA70 USB adapter and the Jabra Evolve 20 headsets.

I won’t get into specific details regarding the Plantronic headsets paired with the DA70 USB adapter but avoid that combination if you can. Compared to the Jabra headsets, I’ve had a ton of failures and issues with the Plantronics configuration listed above than I’ve had with Jabra.

Anyways, this isn’t a post to compare both but I just wanted to mention it. I might write a post about this in the future outlining my experience and the issues/failures I’ve seen.

This sunny and hot saturday afternoon, I decided to pop by work to get some quiet time and push through with some outstanding tasks on my plate.

One of the tasks is to prepare a large amount of Jabra Evolve 20 headsets to be deployed to our staff over the comming weeks.

Companies deploy most if not all staff to Work From Home (WFH) due to COVID in 2020/2021+ and while we prepare and send employees to work at home, we want to make sure we patch and reduce the amount of unnecessary calls to helpdesk.

Our staff primarily use Jabra Evolve 20 headsets and they are great, well priced and comfortable but we have had some compatability issues in the past with them.

Some of the issues we experienced was performance and stability of the headset and compatibility with platforms such as Genesys cloud dialers.

When we initially started to troubleshoot, we realized that Jabra Evolve and Plantronics headsets can have firmware upgrades applied to them via Jabra Direct or Plantronics Hub.

When comparing current software versions detected on the headset and new updates and their release notes, we found that often Performance and Stability Improvements are listed in each firmware upgrade along with software compatibility improvements.

When we updated the Jabra Evolve 20 headsets to the latest firmware version as of 2021 (version 4.3.1), we found that our issues were no longer valid. Voila!

95% of these headsets update without issues within the Jabra Direct application but this afternoon I ran into a few headsets that upon starting the firmware upgrade, would error out and no longer cooperate with the application, shown below.

The error above shows after I tried to apply the firmware upgrade, the same way I did it for the many previous headsets.

Pressing Recover Now / Recover just provides me that bland Firmware was not updated message, with the recommendation to contact the local IT Administrator (myself) or Jabra Support.

Since the Jabra Direct application refused to cooperate, I decided to check the Jabra Website to see if a manual firmware upgrade file exists. Low and behold, it does. Release date 2021/04/15, version 4.3.1. I download the file (Jabra_EVOLVE_20_30_4.3.1.zip) and look at the contents of the zip.

Inside is just a basic info.xml and a .hex file.

How do I execute this zip file or the contents of the zip file?

I do some searching online and find mention of an application called Jabra Firmware Upgrade wizard, but I wasn’t able to successfully locate it, nor unsure if it would actually work in my case.

I kept searching and eventually found an article on Jabras website that explains how to manually upgrade the firmware when a failed firmware installation occurs.

The important part of this is when you enter the Updates section of Jabra Direct, press the following keys to unlock the Update From File option.

CTRL + SHIFT + U

As you can see above, the same headset that failed the firmware and failed to recover the previous version, was successfully updated using the .zip file via the Update From File hidden option.

Thinking that the few headsets might have to be RMA’d, I was able to get them updated and ready for deployment.

As this was not an easy find, despite the instructions on Jabras site, I found many discussions and attempts to manually apply the firmware via alternative methods.

Coming across this Jabra article and the hidden menu, I knew I wanted to share it here in the event that somebody runs into the same issue as I have.

Thanks for reading.

VMware VMUG Advantage 15% off discount – 03/13/2021

Hello all,

Those of you that want to the full benefits and features of VMware for a homelab, you can register for the VMware VMUG Advantage Program get a decent discount with the following code:

ADV15OFF

The VMware Advantage is a single user, 1 year subscription for $200.00 USD but if you enter in the 15% code (ADV15OFF), you can get it for $170.00 USD.

This has its benefits as it provides you with various VMware products and the ability to have full access to ESXi and the advanced functions (ie: vSAN + more).

I have no affiliation with this code and I was able to use it today successfully, on May 13th 2021.

This code from what I tested only worked with the 1-year subscription and not the 2 or 3 year.

For those of you that want to know more about this offering from VMware, please see the following link:

https://www.vmug.com/home
https://www.vmug.com/membership/vmug-advantage-membership

It is pricey but if you are working at advancing your skills in this platform, I think it’s a small price to pay.

Sure you can just download ESXi and have the 30 day free version but this is less hassle and has a large community backing this group.

Just last week I was listening onto a session from VMware VMUG presenters about homelab configurations, costs and best practices.

I figured I’d offer this out if anybody wants to try. The code may not work by the time you check so I apologize. I only came across this code from other references on various blogs.

Good luck and stay safe!

Fantastic Article regarding Domain Controller Security

I’ve been recently doing a bit of reading regarding corporate domain security and I came across this short but detailed Microsoft Article that references some best practices.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/identity/ad-ds/plan/security-best-practices/securing-domain-controllers-against-attack

One interesting thing that I came across and it might already be common knowledge is the recommendation to enable BitLocker on Domain Controllers.

I figure if anybody is looking at working on their homelab and building skills, you might as well start off with good/best practices which would follow you from the homelab to the corporate world.

The article also has links that open up further security documents such as Administering security policy settings, Avenues to Compromise and configuration of firewall for AD Domains and Trusts.

As I continue to review and read more into these, I wanted to share this link in case anybody else has an interest in this topic.

Lenovo M93p Tiny – Can it do 32GB?

Good question. We will soon find out.

What an afternoon!

A few weeks ago I configured CamelCamelCamel to keep an eye out on a Crucial 32GB kit (16GBx2 DDR3/DDRL 1600 MT/s PC3L-12800) that I am eagerly wanting to try in the Lenovo M93p Tiny units.

Well as you can imagine, I saw this notification this afternoon that the price dropped to $243.74 CAD and was sold by Amazon Warehouse.


I placed my order and now await shipment and delivery.

Once it arrives, you best believe that I will install it and test the M93p and see if these tiny Lenovo units can be very possible and suitable NUC alternatives.

Stay tuned!

July 6th 2020 Update!

I received my Purolator notification that the package was going to be delivered today. Thankfully I’m working from home so I’ll be able to receive it.

As soon as the memory arrived, I powered off ESXI01 M93p Tiny and opened it up. Here you see the memory that I currently have installed. 2x8GB sticks.

Here are a few photos of the memory and it installed.

With so much eagerness and excitement, I powered on the M93p Tiny and unfortunately was disappointed by the 3 short and 1 long beep code.

Well that wasn’t what I was expecting. I had hopes. I tried to move the memory around and even go as far as using 1 stick of 16gb installed.

The computer will still present me the 3 short and one long beep.

Reviewing Lenovos beep codes, this is what I f ound:

BEEP SYMPTOM BEEP MEANING
3 short beeps followed by 1 long beep. Memory not detected.

Now the memory that I purchased, was a return item on Amazon that was flagged for the low price. The item was apparently inspected and repackaged.

I tried to use one of the memory sticks and install it in one of my Lenovo laptops (T440s) and it refused to boot.

Its completely possible that although the hardware should work, Lenovo doesn’t have the speeds allowed/coded in the POST.

If the memory is the issue, I’d like to test again with different memory but knowing there may be a blacklist programmed and a whitelist for what is allowed may be the issue here.

If there was big enough interest, it may be possible that somebody could reprogram/hack the bios to allow. Coreboot? but they seem to only work on Lenovo laptops.

At this price, it’s hard to keep testing. I’ll see what I can do but I don’t see a positive outcome here. To gain more memory, I’ll most likely just pickup a 4th Lenovo M93p Tiny and spec it out the same as my other 3.

Maybe down the road I’ll look at selling these units off and buying Lenovo M700’s. which apparently can run 32gb of memory.

The goal for me is a low power consuming cluster and fairly affordable.

At this time, capable Intel NUCs are not affordable for clustering, after you add on required memory, processor, etc.

Maybe I’m wrong but that’s just based on pricing and builds I’ve seen, such as the Intel Canyon NUCs.

Error when trying to add ESXi host to VCSA

“Cannot decode the licensed features on the host before it is added to vCenter Server. You might be unable to assign the selected license, because of unsupported features in use or some features might become unavailable after you assign the license.”

That is the exact message I received this past weekend when I was trying to add my Lenovo M93p Tiny ESXi host(s) to my vCenter cluster.

A quick explanation is needed here. While I’m waiting for some networking gear to arrive from eBay, I’ve decided to configure my Lenovo M93p Tiny ESXi hosts together using my VMUG advantage license and install VCSA onto them. The goal is to build a lab/cluster at home and utilize all of the VCSA functionalities.

If you are just reading my post for the first time, read this for some further insight.

Anywho, for each of my three Lenovo M93p Tiny computers, I initially installed VMware vSphere 6.7 that I obtained from myVMware.com.

My hosts are using a very basic IP addresses. 192.168.1.250/251/252.

On ESXI01 (192.168.1.250), I started the process to install the VMware VCSA appliance on said host. When the VCSA configuration was complete, I made sure I had the appropriate license applied to VCSA and under license management.

When I would try to add my host(s) to VCSA, I would get the message that I posted at the top of this post.

“Cannot decode the licensed features on the host before it is added to vCenter Server. You might be unable to assign the selected license, because of unsupported features in use or some features might become unavailable after you assign the license.”

I couldn’t figure it out. Initially I thought this was a license issue but it didn’t make sense. When I installed VCSA on a clients production environment in the past, I never ran into this. Confused, I started searching Google for some suggestions.

Some results pointed to a time specific issue(NTP) or even license related. Both weren’t the case in my situation so I continued my search. Eventually I found something that was quite interesting regarding versions of ESXi and VCSA. The VCSA version cannot be older than the vSphere ESXi version.

This was my best bet as I recalled that my ESXi hosts were on version 6.7 while the VCSA appliance I was putting on was at 6.5. I configured my VCSA with the IP of 192.168.1.253 for the time being.

Why was I trying to put on an older version? Simply to learn and upgrade it. Try to mimic live production tasks and practice at home.

This afternoon I went ahead and downloaded from VMUG advantage the ISO for VMware ESXi 6.0 and VMware VCSA 6.5. This way I can install those, get VCSA setup and after a few days of playing with updates/patches, perform upgrades.

I’m writing this post because it was successful. The issue that I was initially experiencing was most likely due to the version difference.

I know this isn’t an overly technical post but I wanted to write this up in case I ever forget and have to reference this in the future or somebody else may run into this.

Lastly I’d like to recommend the VMware 70785 Upgrade Path and Interoperability page for referencing which versions of VMware products play nice. It helped me confirm that re-configuring my hosts for version 6.0 will play nice with VCSA 6.5.

Thanks for reading!

Small footprint homelab – Lenovo M93p Tiny

Oh hi, it’s me again. I have a few posts pending some final touch-ups that I will release shortly but I have a new-ish exciting project to write about!

My HP ML150 G6 with its dual E5540 and 96GB of memory is a great server but one thing I can’t do with it is cluster it. Why can’t I cluster it? For the simple reason of power consumption and heat generation. Add a spash of fan noise (15 fans total for 3 ML150’s). I have been on the hunt for a low power server to install VMware on and play with some advanced features. I came across VMwares VMUG Advantage license and after some light reading I’m willing to pay the $200.00 USD dollars for it as I know it will benefit me in the long run.

VMUG Advantage membership would allow me to have a few 365 day long licenses of a few VMware platforms, identified in the link here.
I’m after vCenter and vSAN for the time being. I want the abilities of vCenter and to play with many of it’s features, including clustering.

I’ve seen multiple small footprint and low power homelabs posted and many of them utilize the Intel NUCs. As great as they are (Intel NUCs), they cost a premium, especially for the units that some users purchase.

At my place of employment, I work with a large amount of Lenovo systems and one model that has caught my attention is the Lenovo ThinkCentre M93p Tiny.

These little beasts run almost 24×7 without breaking a sweat in our workplace. Our environment sees operations working around the clock and very often many of them hum along for weeks on end until we can reboot them.

So what has caught my eye with these Lenovo M93p Tiny units?

A few things:

  • Small form factor and low power consumption.
  • Decent amount of USB 3 ports.
  • Removable CPU
  • 2 Memory slots. Lenovo states a max of 16GB but I will try to push it and test 32GB (16gb x 2)
  • VGA and HDMI or DisplayPort Out
  • 2.5″ Hard Drive
  • M.2 Slot (I believe)

One of the cons is that the unit has one Ethernet port and no space for an addon cards. Not entirely a con since the Intel NUCs typically have one NIC also and don’t have space for addon cards as well.

With what I want to do, virtualized NICs will work fine and I don’t see this as a big challenge, at least not now.

I received my M93p Tiny units today in the mail. I paid $70.00 CAD for each unit and I purchased 3 of them. Normally they will sell for $140-200 CAD each. The ones I purchased were perfect because I didn’t want the hard drive or the memory. They came as ‘bare bones’. The hard drive in each unit will be an SSD for local storage(ISOs) and the memory will at least be bumped up to 16gb in each M93p. When all said and done with the cluster, I should have 48gb of memory to play with. Plenty for a small homelab.

Upon receiving the units, I tossed in some preliminary hardware, plugged in a Sandisk Cruzer 16gb USB Flash drive (Where ESXi will reside) and began the VMware instillation.

Everything when smoothly and VMware 6.7 is installed and operating on my first Lenovo M93p Tiny. The installation was straightforward and did not present any issues. The only message I received was regarding the disabled VT-x, which I remedied by enabling it in the BIOS.

Navigating around in VMware, the interface is nice and snappy. I haven’t had a chance to create any VMs yet but all in due time.

That’s about it for my first basic configuration. I’m going to spend some time and purchase the VMUG license and setup the other two hosts.

I’m really excited because I think this will be a fantastic option for low cost homelab builds, especially when it comes to power consumption and heat generation.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Upgrading memory on the QNAP TS-873

Since May of 2019, I’ve been toying and using the QNAP TS-873 at home. I haven’t pushed its limits due to my heavy work schedule and after work projects but I’m starting to play with it more and more as of recent.

When I purchased the TS-873, I opted to go with the lower spec memory configuration of 4GB DDR4, knowing that I would eventually get the upgrade bug.

I looked at the utilization of the CPU and memory in default configurations and although it was not terrible, the memory utilization could sit at medium-high depending on what was being performed on the NAS.

At first I wanted to eventually max out the 64GB memory configuration on this QNAP. I wanted to buy 2x16gb sticks first and then buy another pair down the road. But I stopped myself. I spent some time reading the QNAP forums and reflecting on my plan and decided that for my use case, it was overkill. Severely overkill. At t his time, I don’t have any intentions of running VMs off the QNAP and I don’t see any plans for that in the future. That is not what I purchase it for. If you recall my previous post back in May, I never intended to run VMs on this. I want the QNAP for it’s NAS duties, data storage and VM storage with iSCSI and NFS.

Reviewing my decision, I opted to purchase 2x8GB sticks from Amazon.ca. The memory is: HyperX HX424S14IB2K2/16 Impact Black 16GB Kit of 2 (2x8GB) 2400MHz DDR4 Non-ECC CL14 260-pin Unbuffered SODIMM Internal Memory Black.

The reviews overall are very strong and positive and the pricing is reasonable. This prepares me to eventually move towards a max capacity of 32GB and that is fine with me. At most, I may dabble with Docker and containers but that won’t be much of a memory hog. I have my HP ML150 G6 Server to do any server related/virtualization duties.

Anyways, the memory was purchased and delivered. Here are a few pictures of said hardware.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any screenshots of the QTS operating system showing the previous memory utilization.

Here are a few photos of the unit and the insides.

If you have a keen eye, you will spot the official QNAP 10GBe card installed 😉

When I purchase the unit, I also found a fantastic deal on eBay for the official/original QNAP 10GBe card so I scooped it up. I’ll discuss 10GBe in the future. I’m not there yet nor testing it.

Anyways, those few photos give you an idea of how the unit looks like inside. Nothing overly complex.
When I went to install the 16GB of memory, I choose to retain my 4GB (2x2gb) so that I would have 20GB of memory recognized.

Before installing the memory, I wanted to confirm with QNAP about memory placement. I followed QNAPs official user guide located here.

QNAP States the following:

• A module is installed in slot 1.

• Modules are installed in pairs. When installing two modules, use slots 1 and 3

Being careful and identifying the slots properly, I installed my memory as shown below.

After powering up the QNAP, the memory was as expected, working and recognized.

Here is what I currently see for the hardware and resource monitor. My memory currently is sitting at 12% as I write this.

That really covers the extent of my memory upgrade. I have yet to run memtest or some kind of memory test application to make sure everything is fine but the NAS has been operating without any issues.

Last thing I want to briefly mention and this is regarding the installed AMD processor and ECC memory.

Referencing this website and it’s information on the AMD R-Series RX-421ND specs, it shows under Integrated Peripherals / Components:

Memory Controller

Memory controllerThe number of controllers: 1
Memory channels: 2
Supported memory: DDR3-2133, DDR4-2400
Maximum memory bandwidth (GB/s): 38.4
ECC supported: Yes

Interesting, ECC supported!?!??!!?!??!?!

Looking at AMD’s’ website regarding the AMD Embedded R-Series SoC, I see a similar mention of ECC memory under their Overview heading:

  • DDR4 / DDR3 up to 2400 MT/s with ECC

Under Additional Key Benefits:

  • AMD’s first embedded processor with dual-channel 64-bit DDR4 or DDR3 with Error-Correction Code (ECC), with speeds up to DDR4-2400 and DDR3-2133, and support for 1.2V DDR4 and 1.5V/1.35V DDR3 

See for yourself here.

I’d love to test this out but I can’t justify the cost of DDR4 ECC memory right now, especially for a test. If this finding would be actual, this would really win many user’s towards this QNAP/AMD box. From what I’ve read online, the TS-x73 series is great but some users want their NAS to accept ECC memory. I’m not going to debate if it’s needed or not for a NAS but I’ve seen user’s online mention that due to the lack of ECC memory in the QNAP line, they will pursue other options. *Cough* Synology DS1618+ *Cough*

If this TS-x73 line is ECC capable, I think that’s a fantastic find and something that will make this even more appealing to other users.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Farewell HP, Hello QNAP

Well I am back. Not that I went anywhere but life is busy and I’m trying to dedicate more time to document what I’m currently tinkering with.

Back in May 2019, I wrote a post about me looking to replace my old HP EX490 Media server. I’ve had this server since new and for many years and it was time to move on. The HP EX490 performed great over the years but it was time to shift focus onto a newer platform. I advertised the EX490 for sale locally and after the typical lowballers and ill advised parents, it sold to somebody who knew what the server was and how to use it. It went to a good home 🙂

Mid May 2019, I received a delivery.

I was ecstatic! I received my new QNAP TS-873. I don’t often buy new items as I’m always on a hunt for a deal but this was the rare occasion that I wanted to buy something new and quality.

Inside the box, this is what I found.

I was and am pleasantly surprised at the nice fit and finish of the QNAP unit. Although my opinion of QNAP is 50/50 since experiencing a motherboard failure with an enterprise level unit in my datacenter, I was going to give QNAP at home a try.

One thing I really don’t like about QNAP is that the extended warranty has to be purchased within the first 90 days of ownership I believe. I do see this kind of policy in the enterprise but for QNAP, I would have hoped that the extended warranties could be purchased within the 1st year of ownership.

It is hard to tell how the unit will perform. Will it be a dud? will it crash often or have hardware malfunctions in the first 6 months? If I had a semi-problematic unit, I would be obliged to purchase the warranty at month 9-12. Anyways, fingers crossed that everything works out fine.

Since receiving the QNAP, I installed 2TB x 4 into the unit and created one volume. I installed a 5th drive to be a hot spare. I have in bays 6 and 7, Samsung 960GB SSD Enterprise drives that I will play around with.

Overall, this is a solid upgrade over my old media server and it’s grown on me since receiving it.

What’s planned for it? Once I can afford new drives, I’ll be moving towards Toshiba N300 4TB. I plan to purchase 4 of them to replace my aging WD Green 2TB drives.

Also a memory upgrade. Stay tuned!

HP NC523SFP into ML150 G6, Will it work?

My last post went into detail regarding the hunt for a new NAS for my needs. Synology vs Qnap, 10Gb upgradability, 6 or 8 bay, 1 NIC vs 4. I was confused

Anyways, whichever NAS I do go with, will have 10Gb compatability. I have no immediate want nor use for 10Gb but as the prices come down, I will eventually move to it. Even the connectivity between my 10Gb capable NAS and hopefully my server is good enough for me.

That brings me to the server. As you may have read, I have an HP ML150 G6 with two E5540 CPU’s, 96Gb of memory and a HP P410 RAID card. I was wondering if the HP ever came with 10Gb capability and although I can’t find anything direct, I do see that some HP servers in the G6 line had 10Gb options.

I came across a low cost HP 10Gb card on a Google search that seems to be popular among the homelab community. The HP NC523SFP 10Gb 2-port card. Looking at the list of compatible servers here. HP identifies a few ML G6 servers (330,350,370) along with a bunch of other DL and SL series G6 servers. This 10Gb nic appears to be the same as the Qlogic QLE3242 and a newer model compared to the HP NC522SFP.

The NP NC523SFP is sold at a fairly low price point and if it will perform well, seems to be a great option for homelabbers wanting to play around with 10Gb.

Initially I did come across the HP NC522SFP(Qlogic QLE3142) but from what I’ve read, it appears to run a bit hot and the NC523SFP seems like a newer version of the card, although I can’t state that for certain.

What I am going to try is to plug this card into my server and see if it will automatically detect it. I’m curious is what VMware will see.

When I installed Vmware ESXi 6.5 on the server, I had difficulty using the HP Proliant specific installation. I would get purple error messages. I’m really curious and interested to see what I can push this server with. Like most of this blog, this is all about my learning and understanding. Things may not work out and others will. I don’t mind the outcome and I will do my best to keep you all in the loop.

I should be installing the card this weekend so I’ll try to provide some feedback as soon as I can.

Thanks!