Build Your own DIY home or lab Storage Spaces Direct Cluster orderd from ebay Part 1

So i built a 2 node S2D cluster  a while ago at home on some old HP G6 nodes i got cheap. But have decided to get rid of that and setup a new 3 node cluster with bit’s i can find on ebay. And reuse disks i have. This will be a multipart blog post as the parts are orderd and they come in. And during the build process. I will provide a step by step guide in building it, installing, configuring, monitoring and troubleshooting Storage Spaces Direct. Including switch config.

So the hardware i have decided on is a HP DL380e G8 25sff chassie as it has 2 2.5″ drive bays in the rear including an extra 2 PCIe slot’s. These are addon’s and need to be orderd. So the list of HP hardware is as follows


3 x HP DL380e G8 SFF 2xXeon 8Core E5-2450l cpu with 128GB memory. About 850 USD pr server.
3 x HP H220 About 75 USD a piece
3 x HP 663280-B21 Rear SFF kit About 240 USD a piece
3 x HP 688037-001 PCIe riser cage About 95 USD a piece
3 x HP 687962-001 PCIe board About 55 USD a piece

Disk Drives

Intel P3600 400GB PCIe NVME for cache. Need 6 about 350 USD a piece. EOL product
Samsung SM863a 960GB SSD 3 pr server. About 450 USD a piece
WD Red NAS 1 TB 2.5″ HDD. 4 on each server. About 70 USD a piece.


3 x Mellanox ConnectX3 MCX312A-XCBT 10Gbit about 90 USD a piece. Might go for MCX314A-BCBT 40GB cards as i have 2.

I have a Quanta LB8 10Gbit switch that i will start off with and test with. But want to test with a 40Gbit switch as well and is looking into this switch.

Arista DCS-7050QX-32 wich is a 32x40gbit QSFP switch with DCBx functionality. And prised at only 750 USD on ebay it’s a bargain for 40Gbit test lab.

The goal

Is to build a lab to test new builds of Storage Spaces Direct, as it will run insider build on the physical hosts. And install a nested 2 node S2D cluster to test new versions of S2D on. And to start testing out Azure Stack and Project Honolulu with HyperConverged.

And t

So stay tuned for more posts about this build.


5 thoughts on “Build Your own DIY home or lab Storage Spaces Direct Cluster orderd from ebay Part 1

  • September 15, 2018 at 11:52 am

    B120 is SATA only. I will reconsider using two SATA SSDs into RAID1 with onboard. FYI: works also if you define all SAS disks on P420 as RAID1 (JBOD).


    • September 17, 2018 at 8:58 pm

      Yes that is correct. It is not supported to use Raid mode on disks for S2D. They need to be pure HBA pass trough.


  • September 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    I am in similar project. 2× DL380e LFF with 14bays (two from behind), 2× 600GB SAS for system, 2×Samsung 900GB SSDs for cache, 4×4TB SAS.
    Do you have any experience using H220 HBA together with P420

    Regards, Andrej

    • September 15, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Should work ok. Plan is to use P420 for the 2 rear bays for OS drives? I was using the onboard B120 prev for the 2 rear bays.


  • December 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Looking forward to your next post in this series.


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