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New and need some advice for a HP ProLiant ML310e Gen8 v2

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Hello, I stumbled upon XPEnology about 2 years ago and thought it was pretty cool, but had no need for it at the time. However now that my DS412+ is getting a bit older I would like to offload many of the larger tasks such as video trans coding to a more powerful box, or maybe even put XPEnology in a high availability cluster with my 412+ and use XPEno for everything, keeping the 412+ ready to go in the event XPEno accidentally gets a botched update or something goes wrong.

 

The hardware I have to throw at this project is a HP ProLiant ML310e Gen8 v2 with 12GB RAM. There is currently only the HDD that came in the server (a 500GB SATA III drive) because I dont want to go spending money on HDDs until I figure out how im going to get this setup going.

 

I plan on using ESXi as its free, does everything I need, You guys all seem to use it (so thats a plus for compatibility, and support), and I am also going to run at least my nextPVR server on this machine as well as possibly a few other things down the road. However my DVR storage is going to be on an external USB 3.0 RAID 0 enclosure, I like to keep that storage separate because of its almost non-stop disk access with very large files. I have never used ESXi before, but I understand the concept as I have used Hyper-V before, so hopefully it will be pretty self explanatory for the most part. I assume it is used through a webUI?

 

So before I venture down this path blind I thought I would ask a few questions to see if I can get pointed in the right direction. I have read through the forums, and there seems to be allot of different info and different types of installations, along with a mix of "official" and "non official" XPEno boot images and such.

 

1. What is the latest version of DSM I can install? The offical thread lists 5.2, however I see people all over the forums, and youtube running DSM 6. I would really like the most current version possible. (I already know to disable the version updates, I ran hackintoshes for years, so that's just common sense now)

 

2. From my understanding minor point updates are no problem (DSM 6.0.0 to 6.0.2), but for major point updates (DSM 6.0.2 to 6.1.0) I should wait and check the forums for the green light. and obviously major OS updates like DSM 6 to 7 I would most certainly need to wait. (This is exactly the same as the hackintosh community.)

 

3. Hardware wise, how would I go about setting up the RAID in XPEno? There seems to be a few different ways people are doing it. I would like to take which ever route allows me to use my raid controller directly, so that possibly down the road I can migrate the array to an offical synology, use SHR, and take advantage of the easy rebuild process in the event of a drive failure. Unfortunately I don't know how I would do this, as I believe all my HDD bays are on the one controller, so where would I put ESXi and the VM's? Unless I can replace the ODD with a HDD, but I cant confirm if the ODD is on a separate controller (I imagine it is, but im not sure)

 

4. Networking, is it possible to passthrough an entire network card to XPEno? and if so what card do you guys recommend that is affordable. I would like atleast 2 1Gb/s ports that I can use in a Bond group in DSM. Preferably 4 if I can find a compatible card that is relatively affordable. We have multiple computers, iPhones, IPads, AppleTV's, and Roku's that will access this installation, so having 2Gb/s or better is a huge advantage.

 

5. Lastly, as I mentioned before I had two possible routes to take on how im going to use this XPEno installation. the first would be to just use it to offload large, but non critial data and tasks from my DS412+. Basically any data that I would like to keep, but could technically afford to loose. (eg. family photos and stuff would stay on the 412+) OR if its possible it would be great if I could use XPEno for everything but have my DS412+ in a high avalability cluster with it, so everything is on both servers, this way as long as XPEno is running I can use it exclusively, but should anything happen to it (which i imagine at some point it will), everything will just fail over to my 412+ and I wont loose anything, and everything will continue to run just fine (eg. Photostation, DS Video, Cloudstation, ETC...) (It should be mentioned that any irreplaceable data is backed up daily to a external HDD, and the entire disk station is backed up daily to another 412+ that is offsite.)

 

I apologize for such a long post, but hopefully some helpful members of the community can help guide me in the right direction. Im no IT pro, everything I know I have learned from lots of reading, and people willing to show me the ropes in new communities. I have a feeling that once I get a full grasp on how this works that its going to be allot of fun. Im looking forward to it.

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i will answere what i can :smile:

 

1. latest stable: 5.2, works perfectly. latest you can.. DSM 6. If you want a full working, stable go for 5.2. DSM 6 @ xpenology is still under development.. seems like it can run fine.

2. exactly.

3. dont know

4. works with HP Gen 8, i use two gig ports. You can tell DSM what traffic should go through what networkport.

5. iam using my HP Gen8 (DSM 5.2) for everything and having a DS112 as Backupnas for the critical data.

 

have fun and welcome to xpenology =)

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Thanks, for that. So far I managed to get DSM 6 running in ESXi beautifully (so far) with the help of a user here on the forums.

 

Im going to render allot of my original post null with this but Im going to be taking a different route with the storage. When I first got my 412+ I only had 2 1TB drives, and I slowly over time have built it upto 4 4TB drives. I didn't realize that that is just over $500 worth of HDD's, and that's if I want to go with WD Green drives, Red's would be closer to $900. So needless to say I don't have $500 to dump on all new drives, but what I do have is PLENTY of free space on my 412+, 7.48TB to be exact. SO I wont be running out of space anytime soon, especially considering that atleast 1/4 of the used space is junk that needs to be gone through.

 

So the question is how can I mount ALL shares (including home folders) from my 412+ to my Xpenology box? The thought was to use XPEno as the point of access, and my 412+ would continue storing everything. This way I get the power of XPEno when using apps, and accessing remotely, but the dependability of an actual Synology for storage, while at the same time keeping my 412+ fully operational in case something happens to my XPEno install (obviosly just change port forwarding) . The reason for needing to mount home folders is because both my wife and I are heavy users of CloudStation, and incredibly heavy users of Personal Photostations (it was actually Photostation that made me get a Synology instead of a Drobo. My XPEno install only has a 100GB Volume, and if I can remotely mount the shares from my 412+ id like to keep it that way, it gives me plenty of room to install packages, and that's about it, which for the setup I have in mind is perfect.

 

Also on a side note, seeing as im running DSM through ESXi can anyone reccomend a really cheap but decent 4port NIC? and how would I go about assigning all 4 ports through ESXi to DSM? I want XPEno to have 4Gb/s and im going to use the 2 onboard ports on my HP server for other VMs. and yes, I have a network switch that can support that amount of bandwidth. But I figured if XPEno is going to have to pull all its data from my 412+ that would give it 2Gb/s between NAS's, and 2Gb/s left over for access.

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Ok, potentially answerd one of my own questions...I hope.

 

So I have my 412+ at work with me today, we have another 412+ here, I was doing an offsite backup of the two units to each other, so I brought them together for the initial backup. Anyway thats not really the point.

 

I decided to run a test while I had the two units together.

 

-I went on my 412+ and in the "homes" folder I mounted my homefolder from my work nas using CIFS. So now I have my home folder from my work 412+, mounted in the homes directory of my personal 412+.

-I then went into the control panel of my personal 412+ and created a user with the EXACT same info as my user account on my work 412+. I noticed that when the user was created a home folder for that user was NOT created...I got a little excited.

-I then went into the DS Cloud app on my iPhone as I knew it would pull from the home folder, and only the home folder, and not give me an option to select anything else...and what do know...all my work documents are there!

 

So...it seems to have been a success! I seem to be able to mount what ever folders I want, into whatever folders I want. this is great news. But before I get too excited, can anyone poke holes in what I did? Permission issues, CIFS vs NFS, etc, etc, is there anything I may not have taken into consideration?

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Ok, im not sure if that last post was just an anomaly, or if there is some setting i need to change on my xpeno box, but now that i have my server back home i am unable to reproduce what i did before.

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