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talon2352
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HP Z8 G4 Raid 1 m.2 SSD PCIE

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HP Z8 G4
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hello,

 

is it possible to create a bootable RAID between two internal M.2 PCIe-attached storage SSD ?

​(The Personality Module carriers can accommodate two M.2 modules up to the 22110 form factor. The Z Turbo Drive Quad
Pro can accommodate four modules up the 22110 form factor.)
 
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DGroves
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yes, in theory you can create a bootable raid but it's not something i recomend here's why

 

the tubo z quad card is a software only card, as such it is normally unable to boot due to the system being unable to find the 2 ssd's during windows setup to enable raid

 

however, it should be possible to onstall a os from another drive, then create a raid 0/1 drive on the tubo quad using the windows HD setup this will write the nessary raid boot code onto the 2 drives, if you then shutdown windows and remove the single os drive leaving only the software raid drive you previously created and again run the windows setup, in theory it should now find the raided drives since the nessary raid boot code has allready been writen

 

would i do this on a production workstation? absoluty not since i use a workstation to make a living and the above setup is fraught with potential pitfalls in reguards to raid relibality or recovery when something goes wrong

 

you do not have a cheap system!!! do not make your G4 system into a non reliable system,.... spend the money for a LSI based raid card that will support  SSD"s in raid and be bootable,....such cards are about 300.00 USD

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BambiBoomZ
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talon2352,

 

It seems it would be possible to create a RAID on M.2 drives within in a dual or quad configuration, but the question is as to whether there are wothwhile benefits. I've never set up a RAID using M.2s but RAID controllers boot on their own BIOS and they can certainly see the drives. There are certainly users running RAIDs from PCIe drives such as Intel 750.

 

However, are the performance benefits worth cutting the drive capacity in half plus the risks of failure?

 

In a z620 (E5-1680 v2 8C@4.3Ghz) I used a Z Turbo Drive 256GB M.2 AHCI that on Passmark Performance Test produced a Disk Mark up to 14550- in the realm of current M.2 NVMe drives. That drive would boot an OS/Applications partition containinng 170GB amazingly quickly.  A z420 (E5-1660 V2 running 6C@4.1GHz was prepared to compare the boot up time to the Z620, using a Samsung 860  EVO 500GB with the identical OS (HP Win 7 Pro OEM) and programs.

 

The Passmark Disk Mark of the 860 EVO was 5416. With the z620 and z420 side by side, the all-core speeds matched at 4.1GHz, and deciding on a function set  point, the two systems were started as nearly as possible at the same time and timed using a 10th /s chronograph watch.  This was done three times and from power on to the same particular point in startup as nearly as possible, and the time difference in the two drives ranged from 8 to 13 seconds. Those timing are probably +- 2seconds.  Startup  of course, is more a function of processor speed than disk speed.

 

In the end, the difference was so small and the very small difference in duration of file transfers done- usually between 1GB and never more than 70GB, it was deicded that the 860 EVO with a capacity double that of the Z Turbo Drive means the best conifguration is to have the Z Turbo as boot /programs drive and followed by the 860 EVO to contain the file folders and the extensive libraries used are in a separate partition that only include those for the current projects.

 

So the question remains as to how important a few seconds here and there is to work flow.

 

In my view, as long as there is no real time working latency, the advantages of M.2 are mostly in the benchmark numbers. and, multiple M.2 drives would be better used  as caching drives, or to separate program functions from file functions. Your uses may benefit from M.2, if you are running simulation and/or real time analysis of particle physics experiments, complex simulations or etc, or have constant huge database analyses and file transfers, but overall the bottleneck is going to be the CPU and generally, the single-thread performance.

 

There arem of coursem also some risks of problems in a RAID- especially RAID 0- and rebuilding a RAID 0 through analysis is a complex and lengthy process. We had a RAID 1 rebuild on a server (that would be considered an antique today) with  300GB 15K SAS HDs and that required about 20 hours. I

 

If the idea is system protection by drive mirroring, consider having a pristine, fully configured drive image in a remote storage  to protect it from hacking and have scheduled data backups. In the event of a drive failure, that image will restore the system far faster than a RAID rebuild. And of course automatic backup is useful. The programs I use are all set to backup every 5 minutes which they do to a special partition on an Intel 730 480GB.  I also backup to a 2TB HD in an external USB enclosure that is run only when backing up so as to isolate it from malware / ransomeware.  Run only a souple od hours a week the drives last forever as well. It's perhaps unnecessary, but on occasion I've backed up to the HD, defragged, and then copied back to the SSD's- defragmented and consolidated. This was done after discovering that in less than one year, a 70GB files partition on the Intel 730 was 22% fragmented. SSD access time is extremely fast, but there are limits.

 

What are your applications and file sizes? What is the configuration of your Z8?

 

BambiBoomZ

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talon2352
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First, thanks to 

 

 

 

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DGroves
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the G4 supports intel AMT remote managment, as such you can access the system even if the computer is in a not booting state, you might want to read up on this feature and see if it suits your needs

 

https://software.intel.com/en-us/documentation/amt-reference/use-cases-of-intel-amt

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