My new home NAS: HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L running FreeNAS 8

I recently bought an HP ProLiant MicroServer for my new home NAS. My previous NAS was a Synology DS211j, and it performed very well, up until recently. My two biggest reasons for replacing it were:

1) It would randomly drop off the network. The LAN led would flash rapidly, but there was no activity on the switch port. It was also unpingable. This means the NIC was probably failing, and the unit would need to be replaced.

2) Synology had the idea to force MyDS registration in DSM 4.2 BETA. This meant I wasn’t getting another Synology if I could help it.

After some searching, I happened on the HP ProLiant MicroServer for the physical unit, and after a couple days of thought and planning, FreeNAS 8 BETA 3 for the OS.

Now, as my luck would have it, the first time I removed the motherboard from the chassis, I knocked a jumper cap off the board, which resulted in the unit not POSTing. A little intuition helped me find the right spot to replace it to. Here’s photos of the jumper locations in case anyone else shares my bad luck:

I installed a 4GB USB stick in the motherboard’s USB header with FreeNAS installed on it, and am using 2TB drives in slots 1-3 in RAID-Z1, and a 250GB 7200RPM drive in slot 4 for ZIL. In case you want to argue why I should be using an SSD instead of a conventional hard drive, you’re welcome to buy me one, but you might want to read this post first.

So that’s that. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more posts on FreeNAS and my NAS setup in general in the future.

Have any questions or comments about the above? Please share them in the comments section below. Thank you!


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