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Advise for hardware setup

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hamvil

Cadet
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
3
Hi,

after browsing the forum I come up with the following HW setup, my personal target was to have something not noisy and capable of handling the load of a DLNA server (for transcoding):

* FRACTAL DESIGN R3
* Antec TruePower 750 W (I'm not sure if this is really needed even for an 6 HDs setup)
* ASUS M4A88TD-M Micro-ATX (it has 6 SATA ports)
* Kingston 2 x 2 GB (I could probably increases it to 8 Gb since it is very cheap)
* AMD Phenom II X2 560
* Seagate Hard disk Barracuda Green 1Tb x4

What do you think? Is there any componet i could replace in order to same some money?

BTW, using ZFS will I be able to add another drive without having to format everything?

Thanks
R.
 

survive

Behold the Wumpus
Moderator
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
875
Hi hamvil,

Here's my thoughts:

1) The case is fine. It's a very nice case (i have one myself), it's not quite Antec Solo quality but very well built for $100. Be sure to pick up a third 120MM fan.

I would look into some Molex to 4X SATA power converters from Monoprice:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/p...=10226&cs_id=1022604&p_id=5188&seq=1&format=2

So you don't have to wrestle the sata power over....this works well with a modular PSU...just set the SATA cables somewhere you won't lose them.

2) PSU is total overkill. It's a very nice PSU, don't get me wrong, but I think you would be lucky to use even 250 watts in this system. I would go with something smaller...a good 500-550 should be more than fine, I'd even do a 430 watt Seasonic I think.

3) the board is fine, but I would consider getting something bigger since the case has no problems taking it...more slots = more options.

4) Get the 8GB & be done with it. Memory is so cheap these days it makes no sense to cut corners here.

5) CPU should be fine. I ran 6 1TB Samsungs on an AMD 4850e (2.5Ghz Athlon II) and it ran great. Never did any transcoding, but for the regular NAS stuff it was perfectly fine. If you (or friends or family) are near a Microcenter they have absurd pricing\deals on CPU's & mobos....840's for ~$50 that sort of thing.

6) Seagate isn't may drive-of-choice, but that's a near-religious topic influenced more by karma and legend than fact...drives should be fine.

You need to understand one thing about ZFS....you can't actually add a single drive to an existing pool like you can with a hardware RAID card, it just doesn't work that way. You can add another vdev to a pool & add capacity that way so planning is key here. Read this (heck read the whole page):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zfs#Limitations

I actually switched from the mobo (6) mobo SATA ports to an 8 port LSI\IBM SAS card to use all 8 bays in the R3, the system actually turned out much cleaner by swapping the rats nest of SATA cables for a pair of $10 SAS cables.

Please feel free to ask me anything else you want about your new NAS!

-Will
 

hamvil

Cadet
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
3
Hi survive,

thanks for the info. I will probably go for a smaller PSU. I was also considering a dedicated LSI controller but it is hard to find them in Italy and shipping from outside the EU is not an option.

One last thing, if I've got this right i could create a zpool composed of 1 vdevs with 4 drives in raidz1. Then to expand it I could either:

1) replace every drive in the pool with a larger one, allowing the pool to "resilver" after each swap.

2) create a new vdev with 4 drives in raidz and add it to the first pool.

In the first case the redundancy is one drive right? While in the second scenario I could lose one drive in each vdev and still keep all my data.

If this is correct, are both options supported by FreeNAS?
 

hamvil

Cadet
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
3
Hi survive,

thanks for the info. I will probably go for a smaller PSU. I was also considering a dedicated LSI controller but it is hard to find them in Italy and shipping from outside the EU is not an option.

One last thing, if I've got this right i could create a zpool composed of 1 vdevs with 4 drives in raidz1. Then to expand it I could either:

1) replace every drive in the pool with a larger one, allowing the pool to "resilver" after each swap.

2) create a new vdev with 4 drives in raidz and add it to the first pool.

In the first case the redundancy is one drive right? While in the second scenario I could lose one drive in each vdev and still keep all my data.

If this is correct, are both options supported by FreeNAS?
 

survive

Behold the Wumpus
Moderator
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
875
Hi hamvil,

Yes, you can expand the pool either way you describe. Case 1 costs you the capacity of 1 drive (same as RAID-5), the second case is also as you describe it. Once you add the second vdev you will also (potentially) double your throughput to the pool since there are 2 vdevs underneath it.....it's like a 2 drive RAID-0 array with 2 distinct I/O queues feeding it, but losing the "wrong" 2 drives will cost you the whole pool. Depending on how you connect to the filer the increased performance might not be noticed\matter in the long run.

If you swing that way, take a look on ebay.it, I see a ton of BR10i's (LSI HBA card) for sale there. Most of them should be new-in-the-box stock that's being cleared out. They won't do bigger than 2TB drives but are well supported under FreeBSD\FreeNAS. Here's a list of some controllers: http://blog.zorinaq.com/?e=10

-Will
 

b1ghen

Contributor
Joined
Oct 19, 2011
Messages
113
* Antec TruePower 750 W (I'm not sure if this is really needed even for an 6 HDs setup)

Like said before, that PSU is way overkill, something in the 4-500W range is better for efficiency and expandability unless you want to go with a crazy amount of drives in the future.

* ASUS M4A88TD-M Micro-ATX (it has 6 SATA ports)

I have the exact same board in one of my setups, works fine and supports ECC RAM which I am running. Maybe add an Intel gigabit NIC because the onboard Realtek isn't the best, I am still running the Realtek myself though since it's sufficient for my needs.

* Kingston 2 x 2 GB (I could probably increases it to 8 Gb since it is very cheap)

I would go for at least a 2 x 4 GB setup (ZFS loves RAM so maybe even 4 x 4 GB if you have the budget) with current prices of RAM being so low, I personally have 2 x 4 GB ECC but ECC is a lot more expensive compared to regular DDR3 now so not sure if I would go the ECC route again in a new build to be honest.

* AMD Phenom II X2 560
I use an AMD Athlon II X3 455 (with the fourth core unlocked) in my setup, I am not sure if DLNA transcoding benefits more from more cores (Athlon II X3-X4) or L3 cache (Phenom II X2) but I like to believe that Freenas benefits from more cores.

* Seagate Hard disk Barracuda Green 1Tb x4

I have the same drives but 2TB, 6 of them in a RAIDZ2 has been running flawless for about 8 months now.
 
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