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Home NAS: 6x1TB, Pentium G4400, 16gb ECC RAM, Asus P10S-I

galacticponny

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
5
Hi FreeNAS community,

After reading docs and the forum I started picking parts for my home NAS. Intended use: File sharing (with compression enabled) for 2 people and occasional single video stream via Plex. I will be thankful for a review of parts I am ordering:

Cpu: Used Intel Pentium G4400 - when prices drop eventually I will replace it with Xeon series. This particular one probably comes from some kind of crypto mining gear -seller has 6 used ones and a bunch of used graphics cards.
MOBO: Asus P10S-I - I know that Supermicro is mostly recommended, but the price difference in my country is quite big.
Ram: Kingston Ktd-pe424e/16g 16gb Ddr4-2400mhz Ecc - again, expensive in my country, but single 16gb module allows further expansion to 32gb on Asus P10S-I
Mini SAS to SATA adapter: Supermicro CBL-SAST-0616 50cm Mini-SAS HD to 4X SATA the board has 6x SATA interfaces, but only two of them have SATA connectors, rest is available via Mini SAS connector.

HDDs:
1x WD Black 1TB WD1003FZEX - This is my old drive I occasionally used in a PC and for backups
2x WD Blue 1TB WD10EZEX - Both brand new
3x WD Red 1TB WD10EFRX - Used drives, each with less than 7000 work hours. Probably taken from old office workstations. Diagnostic tools show good health info.

PSU: Seasonic FOCUS Plus 550 Gold SSR-550FX 550W 80+
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX

I know going with used drives is not a perfect solution, but I wanted my pool to be 6 drives RAIDZ2 and I got a good deal for these 3 WD Red drives. If drives start failing soon I will replace them with new WD Red 1TB. If none of the drives fails for next 3 years I will gradually replace them with bigger drives to expand my pool.

Best regards,
pon
 

RickH

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
61
Hi, and welcome to the community.

It looks like you've already spent quite a bit of time doing some research, and your basic plan looks solid.
I think you'll find that particular processor will be more than enough for your usage, I wouldn't worry about spending any more to upgrade to the Xeon.

I know going with used drives is not a perfect solution, but I wanted my pool to be 6 drives RAIDZ2 and I got a good deal for these 3 WD Red drives. If drives start failing soon I will replace them with new WD Red 1TB. If none of the drives fails for next 3 years I will gradually replace them with bigger drives to expand my pool.

Other people on this forum may have a different opinion, but I have absolutely no issues with using used drives - I do it all the time. You're making the smart choice and going with RAIDz2 so you'll have plenty of redundancy and as long as you pay attention to your drives (I would recommend setting up email alerts if possible) you should have plenty of time to replace a drive if it fails.

My only advice would be this:
Using 1TB drives in a RAIDz2 config is really going to limit your overall storage capacity. Remember that ZFS performance really drops off at pool usages over 80% - respecting this '80% rule' and assuming your 1TB drives are really only 1,000 MB, you're usable storage capacity with that configuration is going to end up right around 3.1 TB. You're going to be spending a lot of money on all the rest of your hardware to end up with a relatively small amount of available storage...

If you can afford it, I would highly recommend starting with larger drives - I've had great luck using refurbished 3TB HGST drives that I typically pick up for USD $40 - $50. (Although this may not be available to you in your country)

I totally get it if that isn't an option at this point, and it is fairly easy to upgrade in the future. Best of luck!
 

Arwen

Dedicated Sage
Joined
May 17, 2014
Messages
1,555
...
I know going with used drives is not a perfect solution, but I wanted my pool to be 6 drives RAIDZ2 and I got a good deal for these 3 WD Red drives. If drives start failing soon I will replace them with new WD Red 1TB. If none of the drives fails for next 3 years I will gradually replace them with bigger drives to expand my pool.
...
One thing you can do, is when a drive fails, purchase the drive with the cheapest cost per TB. Thus, that might be a 4TB today. And later 5TB or 6TB drive. It's perfectly alright to have sized mis-matched drives, as long as you understand that the smallest drive determines the vDev size. This puts you on the road to larger drives sooner, than if you purposefully buy 1TB replacement drives. Anyway, something to consider.
 

Elliot Dierksen

Neophyte Sage
Joined
Dec 29, 2014
Messages
1,005
One thing you can do, is when a drive fails, purchase the drive with the cheapest cost per TB. Thus, that might be a 4TB today. And later 5TB or 6TB drive. It's perfectly all right to have sized mis-matched drives, as long as you understand that the smallest drive determines the vDev size
I think you would also want to have drives of reasonably comparable performance even though that isn't a necessity. I could see getting some odd performance if the vDev included 5400,7200,10K, and 15K drives.
 

galacticponny

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
5
Thank you for your input.

1TB is not optimal when it comes to price per GB, but yeah - I had to cut down the initial cost. Replacing failed disks with higher capacity ones to get closer to expansion possibility is a good point. In the meantime I will hunt for barely used 4TB or bigger drives, so I am ready to drop a replacement when needed.

This Seasonic PSU can optionally run in semi fanless mode. This mode does not use fan when loads are below 30% of rated power. Do you have any suggestions on whether this kind of mode should be used in NAS hardware?

With my normal PC packed into a full size ATX tower I am pretty confident I can use this mode - PC does not run 24/7 and the PSU position enables some airflow pushed by front case fans. With NAS packed into a dense housing I am leaning towards continuous fan operation.
 

rvassar

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
764

The interesting thing about that Asus motherboard... It appears to use the old style 20 pin PSU connector, which makes it a bit of a modern oddity. Make sure your PSU supports this, or you have the space to overhang the 4 extra pins.

On Drive density... 3.1Tb raidz2 is not substantially different from the 3Tb you'd get from 3 mirrored vdevs. The mirrored vdevs will have better performance, lower CPU requirement, and you get immediate capacity expansion when you replace the disks in a vdev. Consider, if next week you turn up two used 4Tb disks, you could simply replace a mirror-half, let the 4Tb drive re-silver into the pool, then replace the other side of the mirror with the other 4Tb disk and let it re-silver again, and do the pool expansion. You'd then immediately go from 3Tb to 6Tb, and could repeat the process twice more with whatever other drives you managed to collect, so long as they are in roughly identical pairs and larger than 1Tb. Even if they're not the same size (i.e. you get a 2Tb and a 3Tb pair), it still works, you just waste the extra space on the larger device.
 
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galacticponny

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
5
rvassar thanks for suggestion, I will consider this option. I still have to figure out best solution for me. About the PSU the 24 pin plug can be split to 20 + 4 pin plug. In that case 4pin remains unused.

I put together all the parts listed above but the WD Black, cause I don't have access to that drive yet. I temporarily installed Windows to run crystaldiskinfo checks and it seems that everything works fine.

I ran wdidle3 on all of the disks I have so far and all of them have idle time set to 300. I am tempted to disable idle mode, but I have read about some funky behavior people get with idle disabled. I am not hdd-experienced enough to test if idle disabled works for me - often settings that appear to fix something break something else or worse the thing they were supposed to fix :)
Do you have any suggestions in that matter?
 

Bozon

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
152
Am I missing something ( I probably am because I am new also ), where is Freenas booting from? This Mobo only has 6 Sata slots and your vdev is going to be 6 drives. Are you booting Freenas from a Flash drvie through USB?
 

galacticponny

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
5
Correct, boot from USB stick. You can even install FreeNAS to two USB sticks, one for normal run and second one for redundancy - in case first one fails.
 

rvassar

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
764
rvassar
I ran wdidle3 on all of the disks I have so far and all of them have idle time set to 300. I am tempted to disable idle mode, but I have read about some funky behavior people get with idle disabled. I am not hdd-experienced enough to test if idle disabled works for me - often settings that appear to fix something break something else or worse the thing they were supposed to fix :)
Do you have any suggestions in that matter?

I do not. I run mine 24 x 7 with no spin down, etc... But mine hosts VM's for an ESXi box, and there's always something going on, so even if I did, they'd spin right back up seconds later.

You do want to read the resource on TLER and determine if you need to enable it on your drives.

Checking for ERC/TLER
 

Bozon

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
152
Correct, boot from USB stick. You can even install FreeNAS to two USB sticks, one for normal run and second one for redundancy - in case first one fails.

Yes, absolutely use two USB sticks, because USB sticks aren't that reliable, and reimporting a pool when the boot drive fails isn't supposed to be fun, or that is what I keep reading over and over again, and experienced users keep frowning on the use of USB sticks as the boot drive(s).
 

galacticponny

Neophyte
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
5
You do want to read the resource on TLER and determine if you need to enable it on your drives.

Checking for ERC/TLER

Well, I checked TLER with smartctl and as expected it is on for the WD Reds but not available for Blue.

Is there anything more I could do with WDTLER.EXE than with smartctl? I don't want to go through running FreeDOS if there is nothing more I can do about TLER for Blues.
 

rvassar

Neophyte Sage
Joined
May 2, 2018
Messages
764
Well, I checked TLER with smartctl and as expected it is on for the WD Reds but not available for Blue.

Is there anything more I could do with WDTLER.EXE than with smartctl? I don't want to go through running FreeDOS if there is nothing more I can do about TLER for Blues.

I'm really not sure. I don't have any WD Blue drives at all. Did you try activating it anyway?
Ala:

smartctl -l scterc,70,70 <device>
 
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