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First Freenas build. Looking for feedback

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
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Imran

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Nov 4, 2015
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Hi All,
I am excited to create my first nas build. I have been stalking these forums for about 3 weeks now and I have spent a lot of time reading the threads. There are some very knowledgeable people here and the stickies have helped me a lot in gaining understanding of freenas. All I need now is some feedback on the hardware list I have come up with.

I am exploring 2 sets of hardware, each with its pros and cons

Set1
Intel Xeon E5-1620 V3 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
ASRock EPC612D4U uATX Server Motherboard Socket LGA 2011 R3 Intel C612
Crucial 32GB (2 x 16GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory x2 Total 64GB ram
Western Digital Red 4TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive x8 In RaidZ2
Fractal Design Node 804 MicroATX Mid Tower Case
SeaSonic G 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
CPU cooler. Any recommendations?

Pros:
More disk space

Cons:
More noise?
Slightly more expensive (after excluding the cost of 2 additional disks)

Set2
SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SDV-4C-TLN2F-O Mini ITX Server Motherboard (Xeon D-1520 onboard)
Crucial 32GB (2 x 16GB) Registered DDR4-2133 Memory x2 Total 64GB ram
Western Digital Red 4TB 3.5" 5900RPM Internal Hard Drive x6 In RaidZ2
Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black Aluminum / Steel Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
SeaSonic G 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply
CPU cooler. Any recommendations?

Pros:
compact
lower power
10gbe

Cons:
Only 6 sata ports. Need an LSI HBA for additional storage and probably a new case
Lower cpu frequency

On top of either I have am planning CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS. I could probably go with a 450W PSU.


So here is what I am planning to do with this nas
1. Upto 2 simultaneous 1080p plex transcoding streams
2. 1 virtual box vm, maybe 2.
3. crashplan jail for backups
4. network file sharing for upto 10 devices

I am planning to put this nas box in home/small office environment, so I can't afford too much noise. On the other hand the cpu needs to be powerful enough to handle the above requirements.

I am looking forward to some experienced opinions. Please point out any obvious red flags if any. Thanks for your feedback.
 

PlowHouse

Dabbler
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
23
Looks solid, the only concern I'd have is to double check the ASRock mother board and make sure it supports ECC RAM. Looks like it supports the "Registered" RAM you're looking to use but to fully utilize ECC, you will want to just make sure that's embedded. Maybe the MB naturally supports it where the RAM is registered but it's worth checking. Especially since the SuperMicro board discloses that it supports RDIMM ECC RAM within it's specs...

Aside from that you're Proc supports ECC so you have the full circle in place for error checking.
 

PlowHouse

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Dec 10, 2012
Messages
23
Also, have you considered Mirrored vdevs for the primary box opposed to Raidz2? The resilvering times are much longer for Raidz2 than RAID10 (Mirrored vdev) and where you plan to have a secondary box it may be worth considering in terms of performance. Just a thought =D
 

danb35

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13,061
have you considered Mirrored vdevs for the primary box opposed to Raidz2
Lower capacity and worse redundancy isn't exactly a winning combination. Striped mirrors are going to do better in the IOPS department, and would be a more viable suggestion if this box was going to be a VM datastore--but for the stated use case this doesn't seem like a major issue.
 

Imran

Dabbler
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
13
Lower capacity and worse redundancy isn't exactly a winning combination. Striped mirrors are going to do better in the IOPS department, and would be a more viable suggestion if this box was going to be a VM datastore--but for the stated use case this doesn't seem like a major issue.
Yeah. I didn't consider mirrored vdevs for these reasons.

I would appreciate some feedback for the 2 hardware sets so that I can make up my mind about which one to go with.
 

Imran

Dabbler
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
13
Looks solid, the only concern I'd have is to double check the ASRock mother board and make sure it supports ECC RAM. Looks like it supports the "Registered" RAM you're looking to use but to fully utilize ECC, you will want to just make sure that's embedded. Maybe the MB naturally supports it where the RAM is registered but it's worth checking. Especially since the SuperMicro board discloses that it supports RDIMM ECC RAM within it's specs...

Aside from that you're Proc supports ECC so you have the full circle in place for error checking.
Thats a valid suggestion. Let me check that out. Thanks
 

PlowHouse

Dabbler
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
23
Lower capacity and worse redundancy isn't exactly a winning combination. Striped mirrors are going to do better in the IOPS department, and would be a more viable suggestion if this box was going to be a VM datastore--but for the stated use case this doesn't seem like a major issue.
Wouldn't necessarily agree that the redundancy is worse, if anything the theoretical amount of failed disks that could occur in a raid 10 compared to raid 6 is higher as long as two disks don't fail in the same mirror. Lower capacity yes, but as you mentioned, there shouldn't be an issue with either configuration.
 

danb35

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Wouldn't necessarily agree that the redundancy is worse, if anything the theoretical amount of failed disks that could occur in a raid 10 compared to raid 6 is higher as long as two disks don't fail in the same mirror.
...and that's the key. With RAIDZ2 (ZFS doesn't use RAID6), you can lose any two disks without losing data. With three sets of mirrors (ZFS doesn't do RAID 10 either), striped, you can have a total array failure resulting in the loss of all your data with only two disk failures--or you can lose as many as three disks with no data loss. It all depends on which disks go, and there's no way to predict that. I'll take "guaranteed to tolerate two disk failures" over "may tolerate as many as three disk failures or as few as one", all other things being equal.

Of course, all other things are not equal. The striped mirrors are capable of higher IOPS than the RAIDZ2. They're also easier to expand while keeping redundancy--just whack in another pair of disks. But they're less space-efficient, using half of the total storage capacity for redundancy, vs. 1/3 to 1/4 for common RAIDZ2 configurations.
 

PlowHouse

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Messages
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Raidz2 is the equivalent to Raid6 minus the write whole and other health check features found in ZFS, but the principal is the same (2 parity drives). This also applies to mirrored vdev's in ZFS which if built correctly is essentially RAID10. However, you make a good point about which raid "you" prefer as this is key to any FreeNAS configurations, there is no one for all solution. For me personally I would rather the performance of having mirrored vdevs rather than a raid with 2 parities. Solely because hard drives are much cheaper than they were in years past and rebuilding/resilvering on a RAID 10 is much quicker than Raidz1,2,3, so on... Many people look at this as wasted storage, which to many arguments they are absolutely correct, but the performance blows away Raidz2 and other parity specific raids. And to my point earlier, hard drives are for the most part "cheap". For a budget build Raidz2 rocks, but have you checked out some of the parts in this build? To me this doesn't look like a budget build and is definitely something that more than 1 or 2 home users will be connected to. With that in mind I pick performance and scale my hardware to my storage needs, not the other way around.

At the end of the day, neither raid solution is an excuse to avoid backups! Which looks like the replication of this build has that under control =D
 

Imran

Dabbler
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
13
Raidz2 is the equivalent to Raid6 minus the write whole and other health check features found in ZFS, but the principal is the same (2 parity drives). This also applies to mirrored vdev's in ZFS which if built correctly is essentially RAID10. However, you make a good point about which raid "you" prefer as this is key to any FreeNAS configurations, there is no one for all solution. For me personally I would rather the performance of having mirrored vdevs rather than a raid with 2 parities. Solely because hard drives are much cheaper than they were in years past and rebuilding/resilvering on a RAID 10 is much quicker than Raidz1,2,3, so on... Many people look at this as wasted storage, which to many arguments they are absolutely correct, but the performance blows away Raidz2 and other parity specific raids. And to my point earlier, hard drives are for the most part "cheap". For a budget build Raidz2 rocks, but have you checked out some of the parts in this build? To me this doesn't look like a budget build and is definitely something that more than 1 or 2 home users will be connected to. With that in mind I pick performance and scale my hardware to my storage needs, not the other way around.

At the end of the day, neither raid solution is an excuse to avoid backups! Which looks like the replication of this build has that under control =D
: ) Yes. I would always go for backups. At this point I am leaning towards a RaidZ2. The performance is good enough for the current usage and my current network. Hard drive are cheap yes, but combined they are still the most expensive part of the build. At this point I would rather eek out as much space efficiency as I can. I might change the tune if I was going for 12-16 disk nas.

I am more concerned about the noise and the cpu power between the 2 sets and would really appreciate some commentary on the hardware components : )

Is set 2 with the Xeon D-1520 powerful enough for my use case? If so, I would go with it. If it isn't I will go with set 1 and deal with the additional noise somehow.
 

PlowHouse

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I haven't used either of those cases before but I have used the Fractal Define Mini S cases which are great at dampening fan noise. I have to assume the cases you have listed would have close to the same sound dampening performance. As far as the processors go this link might help clear some thoughts if you haven't seen it already:
https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/avoton-xeon-e3-move-away-xeon-d-is-here.28267/

Personally, I'd go with the 1st set as you know that configuration will work as a nice plex server and have and the power to expand on other functions. For pure storage, that proc may be over kill but since you're scaling out a plex server you should get the performance needed to handle all your server functions. Also, if you plan to utilize encryption for any reason then the first set looks to be better suited for that. Ideally, someone who actually has experience building on either of those procs or at least the second option as a plex server would be better suited to answer your comparison questions.
 

Imran

Dabbler
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Nov 4, 2015
Messages
13
I would have replied earlier but was hitting database problems when loading the forum. Anyways, thanks for your advice. I am leaning that way as well.
 
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