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Building my first NAS, advice needed.

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Riley

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Oct 11, 2011
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I'm looking into building my own NAS, I'm looking for good speeds and around 6-8TB of space and redundancy. Looking at using RAID 5 and freeNAS. This my current parts list:

FRACTAL DESIGN DEFINE SERIES MINI MICRO ATX $189
HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL 8-Port PCI-Express 2.0 x8 SAS/SATA RAID Controller ~$200
SILVERSTONE STRIDER ESSENTIAL ST50F-ES 500W PSU $109

ASUS E35M1-I AMD ZACATE AMD HUDSON M1 DDR3-1066 SATA3 MINI ITX $208
Or
GIGABYTE GA-Z68M-D2H INTEL Z68 DDR3 SATA3 RAID CROSSFIRE LGA1155 PCI-E $189 +
INTEL CORE I3 2100 SANDY BRIDGE 3.10GHZ 3MB 65W LGA1155 $165

WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 2TB WD20EARX 64MB CACHE SATA3 $114
Or
WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR BLACK 2TB WD2002FAEX 64MB CACHE SATA3 $219

Have 4GB DDR3 from an older system.

These prices are New Zealand dollars, everything is available from here except the raid controller which I will have to get from Amazon/Newegg using a post forwarding service.

Questions:
Is FreeNAS scalable, can I have 4 HDD's in Raid 5 and then add more HDD's at a later date? If I can get the money together I was planning on 8 HDD's.
Is the extra power of the i3 and mobo going to make any difference over the AMD Zacate?
Will the raid card offer me a decent performance boost, and is it a true raid recovery from a dead HDD might not be repairable with the onboard software raid?
Any ideas on what sort of performance I could expect from this system?
Does the system drive matter? At this stage I was just planning to throw it on an old 2.5" HDD or boot it from a flash drive.
Is spending $ on the faster drives worth it? (power draw is not a concern)
Is there any ways to offer better protection for the data?


Any other advice on my choice of parts would be appreciated.
 

survive

Behold the Wumpus
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May 28, 2011
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Hi Riley,

My thoughts, in order:

Case: nothing wrong with the case....I got an R3 myself...be sure to pick up an extra fan if the front supports 2 120's. I used both stock fans in front on mine and added a third 120MM fro the back. The R3 is nice...it's almost there , but it does have a few "features" that remind me I'm not using an an Antec Solo anymore!

Raid controller: Unless you were planning on using the card as a proper RAID controller I'd toss the Highpoint in a second and find myself a nice LSI card and cables for half the money.

PSU: Nothing wrong with a SilverStone PSU I suppose, but given my choice I'd get a SeaSonic, a Corsair or an Antec. I'd make sure it's modular.

Board: If you are looking to go LGA1155 I'd take a long hard look at the Supermicro 1155 boards. Take a look here:

http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon3000/#1155.

Take a look in the forums to verify what they the sort of performance you would be getting from an E-350. A core I3 has the grunt to do just about anything a FN box needs

Drives: That's up to you

Ram: I don't know what RAM is going for down there, but just be sure you go to 8GB

Questions:

You can't "grow" a pool by adding a single drive to it later...zfs will not suck in the new drive like a proper RAID card can, instead you would have a pool with a 4 drive raidz with another single zfs drive, which pretty much destroys your redundancy. You can add a second proper vdev to the pool like another 4 drive raidz and retain your parity.

More grunt is always good....in particular with CIFS which is single threaded so something with a high clock speed helps with throughput.

The RAID card shouldn't be any faster than letting ZFS do the volume management. If you need more ports just get a proper LSI SAS HBA...the last one I got, an 8 port IBM BR10i, cost me about $70.00 US for card & cables. The process for replacing a failed drive works in most cases and the devs are busy making it work even better.

My 6 drive raidz turns around 700MB/s in my crude "dd" tests, but almost anything you have listed should be more than enough to saturate a gig-e connection.

Just get a proper 4-8 gig key and use that. I currently use a Compact Flash card with adapter that plugs directly into the IDE header, works real well & it boots much faster. Forget using an HHD to boot from.

-Will
 

Riley

Cadet
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
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Cheers Will, lots of helpfull information there. I'll probably get the cheaper green drives so I can add them all at once to the same raid configuration.

Is there somthing that makes the Supermicro boards better then the rest, I can't find any suppliers over here so I'd have to get one shipped over. What would be your second choice on boards?

As for the raid cards, do you have any links to sites that sell them? This is the only local site I can find that sell sata controllers http://www.pp.co.nz/HardDiskDrives-Controllers.php , if you have some spare time would any of those do the job?
 
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