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Help Needed: HP N54L Upgrade

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So the short version is that I've outgrown my HP N54L (well two of them to be precise)

 

I'm looking for some guidance on how I can supersize my HP N54L. I did some looking online and it appears that other people on this forum are running an LSI card with their N54L, such as the LSI 9211-8i running in IT mode (firmware 19).

 

How are you guys getting 12+ drives on this setup? Did you re-mound the motherboard in a larger case + PSU? If you did, what are the pinout's on the N54L's motherboard to support standard power / reset / HDD LED / LAN led / etc.?

 

I am not opposed to going with another case / psu / motherboard / ram / cpu to upgrade from the N54L. I'm just looking for the best (cost effective) way to move beyond 6 drives from this setup.

 

Thanks.

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For what it's worth I didn't get a response so I figured why not go out and research a better solution myself.

 

I looked at mounting the HP N54L motherboard in a standard tower, something similar to what this user did - http://lime-technology.com/forum/index. ... #msg218347

 

After looking into this further I decided that 12 drives wasn't going to cut it for me (if you consider 8 on an LSI controller, and 4 onboard), so I decided to go another direction with this.

 

I don't know about everyone else, but I don't have a full size server rack at home. I've just got a wall mounted 17' deep cabinet, similar to this - http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-SRW9U- ... ipplite+9u .

 

That enclosure was enough to hold 2x N54L's (which took up a total of 5U's of space). a 48 port patch panel, a 1U power strip, 48 port switch, and my Sohphos UTM.

 

The servers were both set for high availability and mirrored each other. I then had a 3rd backup off site in case something really went south.

 

I was at 6 drives on both servers, and running out of space. :???:

 

I decided to instead go with a 4U "short" case that will fit in a server rack. Please note that there are only a handful of cases that are less than 17 inches deep

 

Here is my new build

Newegg sells this as an upgrade kit for about 125.00 - www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx ... isNodeId=1

Upgrade Kit UAG6140: AMD A6-5400K 3.6GHz Dual-Core CPU

Gigabyte A88X Motherboard,

HyperX Fury Black 8GB 1866MHz RAM

 

CORSAIR CX series CX500M 500W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC CP-9020059-NA Power Supply - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817139050

NORCO RPC-430 Black 4U Rackmount Super Short Depth 15.25" Server Case 6 External 5.25" Drive Bays - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811219029

New LSI 9211 8i (flashed to IT Mode and v19 firmware out of the box - http://www.ebay.com/itm/301733289502?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT (USA shipper too!)

2x Amphenol Mini SAS SFF-8087 to 4xSATA Fanout Cable 3FT SGPIO - http://www.ebay.com/itm/121460778754?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

EverCool Dual 5.25 in. Drive Bay to Triple 3.5 in. HDD Cooling Box - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032U ... ge_o02_s00

 

This setup will let me hold 9 drives and I can even squeeze in 6 more beneath if I'm smart about it

 

This motherboard is confirmed working with Xpenology 5.2 with no problems.

 

I can port over my 6 drives right away and expand as needed. The motherboard supports 8... YES 8 sata 6 gb/s ports out of the box on this FM2+ motherboard. For 125.00 for CPU / board / memory I couldn't say no. It also supports onboard video and 2x PCI-E 16x slots.

 

Total cost of the build is about 500.00 (only because I sprung for the LSI card right away). You can go with just the 8 onboard ports to start and expand out as needed.

 

I still don't have this unit completely built yet, but it's solid and fits my needs.

 

The N54L is great, I just didn't have the time or patience to use the board in a standard case. The biggest drawback I found was that there is no way to tap into the power button header on the N54L board (it's a 1 off made by HP and has shorter pins). I would have needed to remove the power button cable from the N54L and mounted it on the front of this case (or have some crappy cable sticking out of my case to turn it on).

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