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Critique NAS Build.

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Nexitus

Dabbler
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
27
Hi everyone,

First time poster on this board as I have been debating about whether it be best for me to buy a pre-built NAS solution or build my own. After contemplating it, I think it is the most cost effective (and fun) to build my own NAS, and use FreeNAS as the OS.

As this is my first FreeNAS build there are many things I am unsure of. I have searched and read many threads regarding hardware that I see as potential concerns for my build:

Here is the proposed list of hardware (it is a tad overkill but inexpensive):

Case:
Lian Li PC-V354

Motherboard:
ASUS F1A75-M Pro

CPU:
AMD A4-3400

Ram:
Mushkin Enhanced Silverline Stiletto 8GB

Hard Drives:
8x Western Digitals WD20EARS

Power Supply:
Seasonic X-560 (already own this)

I have two concerns here. First is the 4k sectors with the WD20EARS drives. I believe I read that 4k sectors are now "supported" by the latest RC of 8.0.1, but I wanted to see if anyone could give me a confirmation on this. What I'm looking to do with the drives is to build one pool of 8x 2TB raidz2 (Not sure if its more beneficial to make 2 pools of 4x 2TB raidz2 though). Anyone know if the performance is optimal at all?

Another concern of mine is that, since the motherboard only has 6 sata ports on-board. I will need at least an additional 2 sata ports. I have been looking all over for an inexpensive solution. A friend said that any SI 3134 (or 3132) card should be able to act as a HBA for the additional drives. So naturally I see a lot of people posting this Syba Sata Controller.

However, at the same price point, people had success with buying this IBM ServeRAID and reflashing it into a LSI 9240-8i. Would the better solution be the IBM/LSI card? I assume performance "should" be better on the IBM/LSI card and be more reliable as well.

Thanks for the help!
 

Durkatlon

Patron
Joined
Aug 19, 2011
Messages
414
I am running with EARS drives and they work fine. There's an option when you create the ZFS volume to force 4K sectors.

The two ZFS configs you propose are not the same. 8x2TB RAIDZ2 has 2 redundant drives, leaving 6x2=12TB of usable space. A set of 2 of the 4x2TB RAIDZ2 devices has 2 redundant drives in each virtual device, leaving just 4 drives worth (8TB) of usable space. Of course you do have even more redundancy in that setup, but probably a bit overkill.
 

Nexitus

Dabbler
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
27
Thanks for the reply Durkatlon.

You're completely right, I totally missed the part where the two sets would need 2 drives to be indepently for the parity, thus lowering the actual amount of space I would have on my NAS.

Are the EARS drive comparable to performance to a 512 drive?
 
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