Tuesday, August 25, 2015

HP Gen7 N54L Hardware Upgrade

I have a HP Gen7 N54L. Although Gen8 is released but it also makes N54L more attractive. It is a Microserver and it's worth to get one as a home server. There is a 4 bay enclosure. If you make use of the space of optical drive and the eSata output, the server can serve totally 6 SATA devices which is good enough for a storage server for a SME. 

Originally the configuration is a 4GB ECC memory with a 500GB Black disk. The CPU is AMD Turion(tm) II Neo N54L Dual-Core Processor. It is embedded in the mainboard so there is no way to upgrade it. Also, the main board doesn't have any USB3.0, which is not acceptable nowadays. 

So what can we do in order to make it more productive? For me, I have purchased the following :
  • 2x 2TB Green disks (with software raid, will explain later)
  • Add 4GB non-ECC memory (totally 8GB)
  • Add a USB3.0 pci low profile adapter
I also upgraded the BIOS which can make the harddisks hot pluggable. 

Since I need some time to make a short procedure for the hardware, I just show the result at the moment.

# free
total used free shared buff/cache available
Mem: 8052260 826372 6648096 14800 577792 6854592
Swap: 0 0 0
# lspci |grep -i USB.3
02:00.0 USB controller: Renesas Technology Corp. uPD720202 USB 3.0 Host Controller (rev 02)

Of course I am a Linux guy so it is expected I installed a Linux on it. You can see there are 6GB free right now. And I can even use the USB3.0 ports to connect more hard disks (to backup, for example).

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