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SOLVED Newbie Hardware Recommendation

Western Digital Drives - The Preferred Drives of FreeNAS and TrueNAS CORE
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DayDreamer88

Dabbler
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
11
Hi everyone,

I'm new to FreeNAS and I was hoping to get some help on a new build. I've read the most recent FreeNAS Community Hardware Guide 2016-10 Edition Revision 1e) but I'm still confused about a few things. Namely, the SAS/SATA controllers and advise with regards to RAID.

The guide recommends against
"Using any sort of hardware RAID
  • Exporting individual drives as RAID0 volumes is not a good solution
  • The vast majority of hardware RAID controllers is not appropriate for FreeNAS"
It seems any motherboard combo you have already has a RAID controller. Is this something as simple as not using the hardware RAID controller and instructing FreeNAS to use software RAID?

I would like to make this as painless as possible by going with something pre-built and used and have mostly looked into Mr. Rackables as it appears to be well recommended based on what I've read in other threads.

Needs/wants:
  • Dual PSU
  • RAID6
  • Support for at least 8 hot-swap 3.5" drives (more would be great)
  • 64GB RAM minimum, 128GB preferably
  • Encryption
  • PLEX Server - ability to transcode 2-3 streams
  • Will run Crashplan PRO
  • CouchPotato
  • Owncloud
Price range: Up to $2500 without drives

I've been looking at something like the following: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2U-10-bay-6...837243?hash=item1ecd53c1bb:g:11EAAOSwIxZZfocR

Server Chassis/ Case SYS-6027AX-72RF-HFT1
Motherboard X9DAX-7F-HFT
Backplane BPN-SAS-829BTQ Backplane TQ 10 Bay SAS-2 compatible
NIC * Integrated Dual Intel 1000BASE-T Ports
IPMI * Integrated IPMI 2.0 Management
Processor
2x Intel Xeon E5-2680 V2 DEC (10) Core 2.8GHz

Memory
128GB DDR3
16 x 8GB - DDR3 - REG

Hard Drives None ( Add on drive with links below )
RAID / HBA
8 wired to Onboard SAS2 from LSI 2208 (1GB cache) HW RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60 support
**2 wired to Onboard SATA 3.0 6Gb/s with RAID 0, 1

HD Caddy 10x 3.5" Supermicro caddy
Power Supply 2x 1280Watt Power Supply PWS-1K28P-SQ
Rail Rail Kit 2U
PCI-Expansions slots Low Profile 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 3x PCI-E 3.0 x8, 1x UIO PCI-E 3.0 x8 (for SMC UIO) or 1x PCI-E 2.0 x4 (in x8

Would this work or is this just overkill?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

CraigD

Patron
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
343
I don't think the LSI2208 can be flashed to IT mode

RAID cards do not allow direct disk access, freeNAS needs this to work properly

Do you really need encryption? It often ends in tears...

Have Fun
PS I like you budget, my system will be a toy compared to your system once your done
 
Last edited:

Chris Moore

Hall of Famer
Joined
May 2, 2015
Messages
10,085
Hi everyone,

I'm new to FreeNAS and I was hoping to get some help on a new build. I've read the most recent FreeNAS Community Hardware Guide 2016-10 Edition Revision 1e) but I'm still confused about a few things. Namely, the SAS/SATA controllers and advise with regards to RAID.

The guide recommends against
"Using any sort of hardware RAID
  • Exporting individual drives as RAID0 volumes is not a good solution
  • The vast majority of hardware RAID controllers is not appropriate for FreeNAS"
It seems any motherboard combo you have already has a RAID controller. Is this something as simple as not using the hardware RAID controller and instructing FreeNAS to use software RAID?

I would like to make this as painless as possible by going with something pre-built and used and have mostly looked into Mr. Rackables as it appears to be well recommended based on what I've read in other threads.

Needs/wants:
  • Dual PSU
  • RAID6
  • Support for at least 8 hot-swap 3.5" drives (more would be great)
  • 64GB RAM minimum, 128GB preferably
  • Encryption
  • PLEX Server - ability to transcode 2-3 streams
  • Will run Crashplan PRO
  • CouchPotato
  • Owncloud
Price range: Up to $2500 without drives

I've been looking at something like the following: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2U-10-bay-6...837243?hash=item1ecd53c1bb:g:11EAAOSwIxZZfocR

Server Chassis/ Case SYS-6027AX-72RF-HFT1
Motherboard X9DAX-7F-HFT
Backplane BPN-SAS-829BTQ Backplane TQ 10 Bay SAS-2 compatible
NIC * Integrated Dual Intel 1000BASE-T Ports
IPMI * Integrated IPMI 2.0 Management
Processor
2x Intel Xeon E5-2680 V2 DEC (10) Core 2.8GHz

Memory
128GB DDR3
16 x 8GB - DDR3 - REG

Hard Drives None ( Add on drive with links below )
RAID / HBA
8 wired to Onboard SAS2 from LSI 2208 (1GB cache) HW RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60 support
**2 wired to Onboard SATA 3.0 6Gb/s with RAID 0, 1

HD Caddy 10x 3.5" Supermicro caddy
Power Supply 2x 1280Watt Power Supply PWS-1K28P-SQ
Rail Rail Kit 2U
PCI-Expansions slots Low Profile 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 3x PCI-E 3.0 x8, 1x UIO PCI-E 3.0 x8 (for SMC UIO) or 1x PCI-E 2.0 x4 (in x8

Would this work or is this just overkill?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
My question would be why do you feel like you need two 10 core Xeon processors. That is 20 real cores and 40 threads. Are you planning to run many virtual machines? What is the purpose, besides storage? That will help to guide you in hardware selection.
 

Ericloewe

Not-very-passive-but-aggressive
Moderator
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
17,830
The SAS2208 can't do IT mode, however, it does support the mrsas stack and, as such, allows for proper direct-attach disks.

An SAS2008, SAS2308 or SAS3008 would still be better and cheaper, but the SAS2208 will work.
 

Evertb1

Guru
Joined
May 31, 2016
Messages
689
Hi everyone,

I'm new to FreeNAS and I was hoping to get some help on a new build. I've read the most recent FreeNAS Community Hardware Guide 2016-10 Edition Revision 1e) but I'm still confused about a few things. Namely, the SAS/SATA controllers and advise with regards to RAID.

The guide recommends against
"Using any sort of hardware RAID
  • Exporting individual drives as RAID0 volumes is not a good solution
  • The vast majority of hardware RAID controllers is not appropriate for FreeNAS"
It seems any motherboard combo you have already has a RAID controller. Is this something as simple as not using the hardware RAID controller and instructing FreeNAS to use software RAID?

I would like to make this as painless as possible by going with something pre-built and used and have mostly looked into Mr. Rackables as it appears to be well recommended based on what I've read in other threads.

Needs/wants:
  • Dual PSU
  • RAID6
  • Support for at least 8 hot-swap 3.5" drives (more would be great)
  • 64GB RAM minimum, 128GB preferably
  • Encryption
  • PLEX Server - ability to transcode 2-3 streams
  • Will run Crashplan PRO
  • CouchPotato
  • Owncloud
Price range: Up to $2500 without drives

I've been looking at something like the following: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2U-10-bay-6...837243?hash=item1ecd53c1bb:g:11EAAOSwIxZZfocR

Server Chassis/ Case SYS-6027AX-72RF-HFT1
Motherboard X9DAX-7F-HFT
Backplane BPN-SAS-829BTQ Backplane TQ 10 Bay SAS-2 compatible
NIC * Integrated Dual Intel 1000BASE-T Ports
IPMI * Integrated IPMI 2.0 Management
Processor
2x Intel Xeon E5-2680 V2 DEC (10) Core 2.8GHz

Memory
128GB DDR3
16 x 8GB - DDR3 - REG

Hard Drives None ( Add on drive with links below )
RAID / HBA
8 wired to Onboard SAS2 from LSI 2208 (1GB cache) HW RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60 support
**2 wired to Onboard SATA 3.0 6Gb/s with RAID 0, 1

HD Caddy 10x 3.5" Supermicro caddy
Power Supply 2x 1280Watt Power Supply PWS-1K28P-SQ
Rail Rail Kit 2U
PCI-Expansions slots Low Profile 2x PCI-E 3.0 x16, 3x PCI-E 3.0 x8, 1x UIO PCI-E 3.0 x8 (for SMC UIO) or 1x PCI-E 2.0 x4 (in x8

Would this work or is this just overkill?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
For starters: with your budget you should be able to build a great Freenas system. Especially since the HDU's are not included.
Is it overkill? In the end you are the one to decide that. But there is a difference between want and need.
You have listed a couple of things you would like to do with the Freenas box. They can for sure be achieved with a more modest system without any limitation in what you want.

I guess that you have chosen Freenas because it offers you the ZFS file system and thus a good level of data protection. Keeping that in mind do you have also thought about a decent backup plan and maybe a UPS for your system?
 

DayDreamer88

Dabbler
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
11
Hi everyone,

Thank you for all the thoughtful relies. I guess you all are right I probably don't need a dual ten-core processor. I guess I'm just pretty prone to future-proofing mentality as realistically I do not do piece-by-piece upgrades (apart from maintenance) but full system upgrades every 8 years or so.

In this case however, I don't think my needs will realistically change for quite a while. The main function of this will be a media server streaming about 3 streams at once at most. While the data is not unrecoverable, it would be a nightmare trying to transcode my DVD/Blu-Ray media all over again.

Some of what will be stored is important however, so yes ZFS is part of what made me lean towards FreeNAS and I do plan on investing in a good UPS as well. As I mention in my list, I plan to have it backed up with Crashplan PRO.

Encryption will not make or break it for me... it was definitely more of a want though I can definitely say with confidence that I would not have the technical expertise to troubleshoot a complicated disk failure if encryption complicates it too much. Ultimately, I can just create a small encrypted TrueCrypt volume for truly sensitive data.

So again, I guess my needs/wants are fairly simple.

  • Dual PSU
  • RAID6
  • Support for at least 8 hot-swap 3.5" drives (more would be great)
  • 64GB RAM minimum, 128GB preferably
  • Encryption (want not need)
  • PLEX Server - ability to transcode 2-3 streams
  • Will run Crashplan PRO
  • CouchPotato
  • Owncloud
Price range: Up to $2500 without drives (This is more based on my inexperience with FreeNAS and wanting a pre-built unit that would just work without too much fuss, if I didn't have to spend this much that would of course be great).

Again, I appreciate all the advice. I guess I should probably read up a little more on hardware SAS/SATA/RAID controllers before proceeding.
 

danb35

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
13,102

DayDreamer88

Dabbler
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
11
Thank you m0nkey_ and danb35... I'm ready to pull a fry and say "shut up and take my money" on the turnkey-system http://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro-...834243?hash=item238caa6b83:g:WkoAAOSwHixZnz2y

I have one reservation though, with that many bays available I'd be tempted to fill them over time. Is 64gb really going to suffice for 36 drives? Everything I hear about ZFS suggests 64gb, how important is it above that?

Thank you!
 

Stux

MVP
Joined
Jun 2, 2016
Messages
4,242
Thank you m0nkey_ and danb35... I'm ready to pull a fry and say "shut up and take my money" on the turnkey-system http://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro-...834243?hash=item238caa6b83:g:WkoAAOSwHixZnz2y

I have one reservation though, with that many bays available I'd be tempted to fill them over time. Is 64gb really going to suffice for 36 drives? Everything I hear about ZFS suggests 64gb, how important is it above that?

Thank you!

Add more RAM when/if you need it. The motherboard supports up to 1.5TB of ram.

All-though this is "turnkey", you should check if the BIOS, HBA and Expanders need their firmware updated before commissioning.
 

VladTepes

Patron
Joined
May 18, 2016
Messages
275
Your obviously playing in the stratosphere compared to me but may ia ask - why two PSUs? If you have a PSU failure, that's what the UPS is for, to protect from data loss while it shuts down.

Is it so in the event of a PSU failure you can still use the system while waiting to obtain a new PSU?
 

Stux

MVP
Joined
Jun 2, 2016
Messages
4,242
Your obviously playing in the stratosphere compared to me but may ia ask - why two PSUs? If you have a PSU failure, that's what the UPS is for, to protect from data loss while it shuts down.

Is it so in the event of a PSU failure you can still use the system while waiting to obtain a new PSU?

A UPS won't help if you have a PSU failure. An active redundant PSU will.

Dual PSUs can also help deal with high spinup current requirements of many HDs, of course, that might mean you can't safely spinup all the HDs if one PSU fails.
 

danb35

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
13,102
Is 64gb really going to suffice for 36 drives?
Probably, though it would depend a bit on your workload. It's unfortunate, though, that the system is configured with all the sockets full of 4 GB DIMMs. Might be worth asking the seller if it can be configured differently (e.g., 8 x 8 GB DIMMs instead).
 

VladTepes

Patron
Joined
May 18, 2016
Messages
275
A UPS won't help if you have a PSU failure. An active redundant PSU will.

Dual PSUs can also help deal with high spinup current requirements of many HDs, of course, that might mean you can't safely spinup all the HDs if one PSU fails.

D'oh ! Of course. Cheers.
 

DayDreamer88

Dabbler
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
11
Thanks for all the advice!

I have asked MrRackables about configuration using 8 x 8 GB DIMM's. In the meanwhile, I did find the following: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2U-Supermic...676569?hash=item1ecede0899:g:EnsAAOSwxzBZptz0

While this only has 12 bays instead of 24 or 36 like some of the others. I can't perceive, even in in RAIDZ3 that I would need more than 32TB usable in the near future. It is also under the budget I originally thought to spend for the NAS (driveless alone).

What are your thoughts? Is it better to buy something "turnkey" like this or go for something like the http://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro-...=item238caa6b83:g:WkoAAOSwHixZnz2y&rmvSB=true suggested earlier and just add 12 drives myself (adding more later as needed)?
 

CraigD

Patron
Joined
Mar 8, 2016
Messages
343
I'm guessing 12 7200 RPM drives jammed into a small footprint will run hot and/or be very loud. 12 5400 RPM drives spread out in a case twice the size will have more airflow and the fans can spin slower

Once upon a time I upgraded to a 500Mb drive, I honestly thought I would never run out space, then MP3s came along, who knows what is around the corner.

Both servers will work, I like the 36 bay more


Have Fun
 

DayDreamer88

Dabbler
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
11
Ok, so it sounds like I am getting to the end of my journey and getting close to purchasing the http://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro-...2x-E5-2650L-Low-Power-70W-64GB-/152683834243? with 8 x 8 GB DIMMs.

It looks like the last question is going to be with regards to the LSI 9210-8i, most the information I can find is with regards to LSI 9211-8i. I'm going to start with Qty 12: 3TB drives and eventually may expand from 12, to 24, to 36. Will the 9210-8i support the 3TB hard drives and expansion this way?
 

danb35

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 16, 2011
Messages
13,102
I'm going to start with Qty 12: 3TB drives and eventually may expand from 12, to 24, to 36. Will the 9210-8i support the 3TB hard drives and expansion this way?
Missed this question earlier: yes, it will. AFAIK, that board is functionally the same as the 9211. You'll want to make sure it has the proper firmware version (IT mode, 20.07.00, IIRC), and if not flash it to that version--lots of information here on how to do that.
 
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