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New Build and New to Freenas

Abk

Newbie
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
3
Hello !

First of all thanks a lot for checking my post.

I'm new to the freenas community and also english is not my native language , i already apologize for the mispelling/mistakes i'll make.

So , long story short , i bought a few years ago a Synology 2 bays Nas and after month of thinking about it i'm going to switch to a Freenas build :

Why?
  • The Synology served me well but it has its limits
  • It's not upgradable as i want it to be
  • Getting a bigger unit is really expensive and i don't get as much performance as i would get with a Freenas build.
  • Heard and saw a lot of things about the different Nas OS and i chose Freenas.

After reading lots of posts on this forum , i need to adress my goals with this project
  • Having a reliable storage box in my home
  • This box must be upgradable and maintainable
  • Powerful enough to serve my needs
  • Longevity , i need this system to last me a few years at a minimum

What are my needs then? (In no particular order and not exhaustive)

Now :
  • Having at the end 15 to 20 TB of "safe" storage
  • Streaming media to different pc/Android Box in the house
  • Powerful enough to handle some VMs for a beginner like (Want to start learning about those ^^)
  • A platform where i could learn about Freenas , understand what i'm doing and what i can do with the plugins

In the future
  • Host a personal cloud / Email Server
  • Being able to access it remotely
  • Upgrade to 10gbits (But need to upgrade most of my network so it will wait)

So this is the context , and now let's speak about the build

Most of the parts i've chosen are from the different recommendations i found on the forum (Thanks a lot for that)

Motherboard : X10SL7-F
I was looking at other models like the X10SLM+-F , but after checking the forums the X10SL7 seems to be better for my needs mostly because of the number of drives i can add natively on the board (After Flashing the LSI Controller to IT mode if i recall correctly)

CPU : Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3
First i was going for the low powered Xeon , but after reading about it , it does not seems to make a big difference and even if it did , i'm more after performance that power saving with this build.

Case : Fractal node 804
Classic choice , mostly because of the space , i don't have the space for a server rack . It's gonna live in a closet (With airflow).I'm open to suggestions of course !

CPU Cooler : Noctua NH-U12S
I didn't see a lot of specific CPU Coolers on the different builds i've checked. I know it might be overkill , and No i won't try to overclock (Don't even know if i can with this board). I'm just a big fan of Noctua and the reliability, silence and peace of mind they provide.

RAM : Crucial 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR3-1600 CL11 Memory
Generic choice , i had some Crucial parts in the past and didn't have any problems and saw this kit in differents nas build with the same board. For the question you might be asking yourself : "Why not going with 32gb" , the reason is budget . I'm going for 16 at the beginning and plan to upgrade to 32 in the future (In sync with the storage upgrades)

Powersupply : SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 550 W 80+ Gold
Same as Noctua , i'm a long time user of Seasonic so it was a no brainer for me. The question i have is only the amount of W. I'm planning to get 12 drives at the end in this Nas , so 360W for the drives (30w per drive , took that info from the forums). I was thinking going for 650 for peace of mind. Happy to have any inputs on that.

Drives : Goal is to buy 4 of those to build the first pool and to back up what i have on my current Synology Nas, i'll add more drive later when i saved enough money ^^

So here it is , that's what i'm planning to do . I would be really thankful if you guys can check that and correct me where i'm wrong.

Thanks a lot for reading.
 

LeDiable

Member
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
30
The product info there lists the drive model number as WD40EFAX which I believe is an SMR drive, and most people are going to strongly advise against using any SMR drive. If you can find the WD40EFRX you will be safe. Someone better double-check me on that, I might have them switched around.
 

Etorix

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2020
Messages
56
The list looks reasonable, provided that you avoid SMR drives.
Regarding silence, bear in mind that 8+ HDD in a very open case and the fans to keep eveything cool will buzz constantly. Not loud but very audible.

You may need to do more research on pool geometry, especially as you want to expand. 4*4 TB in a (safe) RAIDZ2 configuration indeed provides 8 TB of raw storage, of which no more than 6 TB should really be used. From that, expansion involves either adding four other drives in a second RAIDZ2 vdev or replacing all drives in the vdev by larger drives. There is currently no way to just add a drive and grow from 4-wide to 5- or 6-wide RAIDZ2.

10G is actually a very esay upgrade. Most devices are stuck with Gigabit anyway, 10G is for the NAS and the main (sole?) desktop. Possible cheap switches: ASUS XG-U2008 (Base-T), Microtik CRS-305-1G-4S (SFP+), QNAP QSW-308/M408/M2108.
 

Chris Moore

Wizened Sage
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
9,999
I would stay away from Western Digital drives. I have had too many problems with them over the years. I recommend Seagate Exos drives. I use them in the servers at work and I am in the process of replacing all the WD drives we have with Seagates.

IMG_20210107_111244605-s.jpg
 
Last edited:

Newfoundland.Republic

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
512
@Chris Moore - Does this mean there will be a sale on used WD drives? :wink:
 

AndroGen

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Messages
32
You might want to check the model, WD Red in size less than 8TB are SMR drives, what would not work with TrueNAS.
You would need to go with "WD Red Plus" or "WD Red Pro" - they should be CRM (technology used to store the information ton the disk), but again, you would need to check the model number to avoid the problem.
 

AndroGen

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Messages
32
I recommend Seagate Exos drives.
@Chris Moore, what would be your view on Seagate IronWolf or Seagate IronWolf Pro?
Exos has multiple different models, this choice becomes a bit confusing...
Asking as I'm on the way to add another machine to the rack, and not sure which HDD (brand/model) to choose.
 

Chris Moore

Wizened Sage
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
9,999
The IronWolf drives, where I am, tend to be overpriced. The Exos are the 'enterprise' storage drives and usually a little less expensive.
I would go with Exos if price was not part of the question.
Asking as I'm on the way to add another machine to the rack, and not sure which HDD (brand/model) to choose.
What capacity are you looking to get?

We have sixty of these attached to one of the servers at work for about two years now and zero problems:

 

AndroGen

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Messages
32
I would go with Exos if price was not part of the question.
I've just checked the prices (in Germany)
Seagate Exos E 7E8 8TB, 512e, SATA 6Gb/s (ST8000NM000A) - ~180 Euro
Seagate IronWolf NAS HDD 8TB, SATA 6Gb/s (ST8000VN004) - ~215
Western Digital WD Red Plus 8TB, SATA 6Gb/s (WD80EFAX) - ~215

Seagate Exos X X16 10TB, 512e/4Kn, SATA 6Gb/s (ST10000NM001G), seems to be also Hyperscale, 9 disks, 14 heads - ~240
Seagate IronWolf Pro NAS HDD +Rescue 10TB, SATA 6Gb/s (ST10000NE0008) - ~270
Western Digital WD Red Plus 10TB, SATA 6Gb/s (WD101EFAX) - ~270
Seagate Exos X X10 10TB, 512e, SATA 6Gb/s (ST10000NM0016) Hyperscale model, 7 disks, 14 heads - ~250

It looks like Exos X16 is even cheaper... Hm-m-m, I was not considering (looking at) this as expected to be extremely expensive...
Why is that? Why Exos with Helium is cheaper than IronWolf...
Do you know by the chance, what is a difference between "SATA 6Gb/s Hyperscale" and "SATA 6Gb/s Standard" models?
Does it make sense to look at Seagate Exos E 7E8, as there is no Exos X on German market?
My current main machine works fine on WD Red 8TB (in the transition to TrueNAS)
 

Samuel Tai

Never underestimate your own stupidity
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
2,062
Do you know by the chance, what is a difference between "SATA 6Gb/s Hyperscale" and "SATA 6Gb/s Standard" models?
I don't have hard evidence either way, but this sounds like marketing speak for different disk cache management firmware. The Hyperscale models appear to be optimized for 4k block transfers at high duty cycles; the standards may be tuned more for regular server loads at 512e-byte blocks. For the number of drives you're planning, it'll make no difference either way. Use whatever's more budget-friendly.
 

Chris Moore

Wizened Sage
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
9,999
Why is that? Why Exos with Helium is cheaper than IronWolf...
Seagate advertises the IronWolf to consumers and I think they plan to make the markup from small sales to the consumer market.
The Exos drives are mainly targeted to the datacenter where we buy drives in quantity and they make their money in volume of sales.

It is just my theory.
 

Chris Moore

Wizened Sage
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
9,999
Why is that? Why Exos with Helium is cheaper than IronWolf...
To give an example, maybe some perspective... Just in the small group I work in, we bought 680 of those Exos hard drives last year.
 

AndroGen

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Messages
32
...we bought 680 of those Exos hard drives last year.
- cool, I am in IT business, but the infrastructure and cloud provisioning are no longer my focus, moved away from the infrastructure many years ago... still the HW has some place in my heart.
Here, it is my private lab setup for some personal and family projects, hence, it is in (relatively) small numbers.
The power consumption and noise are also part of my consideration.
Looking on the spec Red seems to be less power hungry.

Coming back to my earlier question
Does it make sense to look at Seagate Exos E 7E8, as there is no 8TB Exos X on German market?
 

Abk

Newbie
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
3
"Trying to keep up with the conversation" ... Uhh i agree?

Only joking , thanks for the feedback , really appreciate it
 

ChrisRJ

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
102
Not sure if this is relevant here, but anyway: My old FreeNAS is running with 6 WD Red 4 TB (CMR, before the re-branding) in RAIDZ2. Over the years I had to replace 4 of those drives, which is certainly a record for me. Yes, the temperature (37-42 degrees celcius) could be lower, but is comfortably within the specified range. For the new FreeNAS, built in October 2020, I moved to Seagate Exos 16 TB. Initially I had looked at the Ironwolf and also HGST, but then decided for Exos based on the price.
 

indy

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
247
I assume you going to buy that hardware used?
The X10SL7-F is over 7 years old and EOL.

Newer boards often come with 8x SATA (and not those crummy 3 Gbit/s) which might be enough to fit your chosen case and your initial needs.
While the LSI HBAs are fast and rock-solid they do use quite a bit of power and need to be cooled accordingly.
You could always add in an extra card later if you need to expand your storage.

Considering WD reliability: I have 11 of those running in my system for 7 years straight and not a single one has failed yet.
Anecdotal of course, but they cant be total crap.

As Etorix said, the most important thing to consider is probably the pool layout.
 

Chris Moore

Wizened Sage
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
9,999
Considering WD reliability: I have 11 of those running in my system for 7 years straight and not a single one has failed yet.
Anecdotal of course, but they cant be total crap.
Considering that some of the 4TB drives I have pulled out this month have been running since 2013, they are not total crap. The thing that frustrates me about WD is the way they fail. They will exhibit no symptoms before they become completely unusable. For example, I came back to work on the day after a long (New Years) weekend and had seven failed drives. Coincidentally, the system had been runing a backup and the scheduled pool scrub kicked off while the backup was running, I guess they just couldn't handle it. Seagate drives do fail, but they don't usually just catastrophically crash and burn.
Partly a symptom of how many drives I have running, but I have had to change out 13 failed WD drives in the past two months. Seven in December and six already in January.
 

AndroGen

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Messages
32
I assume you going to buy that hardware used?
If you refer to me, then no, when it is about HDDs, I prefer to acquire new and use it with no worries for a long time.

my past, but not NAS experience was: WD - no failure besides one case, when the power plug was pulled off unexpectedly and by mistake - one drive just got the HDD controller burned (guessing). Seagate - few (since than I've lost trust to the brand a bit), IBM - mainly died from the age (~15+ years old), Samsung - just failed (very few devices were used in total)... but this is from some "tenths" of devices - definitely not enough to make any statistically correct conclusion.
 
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