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R710 Build- My first NAS

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NASr710

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Hi all. I am looking to build a machine based on a Dell R710 server. I am new to all this and not IT professional.

INTENDED USE:
Home sharring of files. Photos, video, documents. I would like to locate iTunes music library and backups as well.

I would like to start with 4TB of storage and keep a bay empty for doing offsite backups. Planning on running ZFS but have not yet decided on what software raid to run. I have been playing with FreeNAS for little over a week now with existing configuration. I installed OS on a new thumb drive.

Here are the specs:

PARTS OWNED AND CURRENTLY USED:
-Dell R710 service tag 3tbhcp1 with 6 x 3.5” bays
-Intel Xeon X5677 3.45GHz is quad core. One processor installed.
-DDR3 12 GB UDIMM (2GB x 6) PC3-10600E 1333MHz Optimized (slots a1 through a6)
-SAS 6/iR Integrated controller
-500GB used drives for testing purposes.

PARTS NEEDED:
-Dell H310 3p0r3
-SFF-8087 Cable

PARTS ADDITIONAL:
-32GB RDIMM (8GB x 4) PC3L-10600R (may have more)
-178g Dell Broadcom 0g218c dual port PCI-E Network interface card (currently installed)
-DM479 Perc 5e raid controller E2k-UCP-50(currently installed)

The H310 will help increase the size of the drives and am learning that current SAS1 hardware does not work well with FreeNAS. There seem to be different h310s out there. I was going to pick up a used one off eBay?

I am a little confused about udimm vs rdimm, and RAM requirements. If I were to run a ZFS mirrored configuration using two 4TB drives for 4TB of usable space, I would need approximately 20GB of RAM?

Lastly, I am running OS off USB drive. I was told that this could be problem if it fails. Is there a way of having backup USB in machine (mirror)? I have read that most people make a copy of USB and keep it out of machine.

Thank you.
 

danb35

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Planning on running ZFS
Good, since that's your only option with FreeNAS.
There seem to be different h310s out there. I was going to pick up a used one off eBay?
That should be fine, but I'll leave to others any specific suggestions as I'm not familiar with the intricacies (if any) of that card.
If I were to run a ZFS mirrored configuration using two 4TB drives for 4TB of usable space, I would need approximately 20GB of RAM?
No, 12-16 GB would be fine unless you were going to have a heavy VM or iSCSI workload.
Is there a way of having backup USB in machine (mirror)?
Sure there is. You can either select two (or more) devices to install on using the installer, in which case they'll be mirrored, or you can add a second device as a mirror later. See http://doc.freenas.org/11/system.html#mirroring-the-boot-device for the latter. Or, better yet, install to a small SSD and be done with it.
 

NASr710

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Thanks for your response. I went ahead an ordered the h310 from Amazon for $25 new. Plus the cable that everyone recommends SFF-8087 Monoprice cable (also on Amazon). I think I should be able to flash it directly in the r710 using the idrake with machine off but will review the posts on this prior.

For RAM, i thought the rule of thumb was 5GB RAM per 1TB of storage? I will probably go with the RDIMM.

Thank you for link to mirroring OS. This should be best way to proceed. I think R710 only has only one internal USB so I will try to find a smaller USB for rear USB ports.

I suppose I can keep my current OS installation when I replace the RAID card or do I need to do a fresh install?
 

danb35

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For RAM, i thought the rule of thumb was 5GB RAM per 1TB of storage?
No, that's never been the recommendation, unless you're using deduplication.
 

NASr710

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Received h310 and cables. Dropped them in. Pulled out the old SAS RAID cards. Flashed it and back up and running. Now I need to order some drives. I am planning to do some offsite backups as well so I need to do some reading on different options.

Are the old SAS cards worth anything?
 

NASr710

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I am looking at options for drives. I am looking at the 6 or 8TB WD Red 5400 drives.

I initially was looking at simply doing a mirror. But 3, 6TB drives on RaidZ1 is about the same price as 2, 8TB drives Mirrored. I guess three drives spinning would consume a little more energy?

The 8TB WD 5400 go for $249 and 6TB $190. From the Hardware Guide, it recommends the 5400 over the 7200 due to heat issues. I am leaning toward two 8TB drives mirrored.
 

ak2812

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Dec 6, 2017
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Which cable did you get for use with the H310? I looked up SFF-8087 cable and I got so many variations.
Let us know how it goes for you. I am interested in doing the same with my spare R710.
 
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NASr710

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Ordered the Monoprice cable sold by ezsell119 off Amazon. Paid $8.88 each (you need two cables). Just checked price, and it went up to $14.05. At that price, you may want to buy directly from Monoprice. Something is going on with pricing at Amazon since after I order, prices seem to go up; it can't just be luck. The cable fits perfectly in the chassis, but you do not have the 90 degree bend at the backplane; not too much of an issue since the plug sits low enough that there is room to curve cable. It is about 4-6" too long so I will need to ziptie the cables.

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-30...pons&keywords=monoprice++sff-8087+cable&psc=1

The h310 3p0r3 I also bought from Amazon from ebid-dealz. It was listed at 27.99 but when i checked out, they gave me discount so ended up being 25.19. It was claimed as being new.

https://www.amazon.com/3P0R3-Contro...s&ie=UTF8&qid=1512654562&sr=1-2&keywords=h310

Both included shipping.

>edited to add links.
 
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NASr710

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Sep 21, 2017
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No problem. the SFF-8087 is actually the connector. There is one SFF-8087 at each end of the cable. You need to be careful because some cables have SFF-8087 connectors on one end, and a different connector on the other.
 

NASr710

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Since i posted, everything is set up. The 8TB drives are running beautifully. I will need to figure a way to do offsite backups. Started adding data to the NAS.

I have been using 32GB USB drives, one is set up as mirror. These are brand new drives. I already had one fail after about 50-100 hours of run time. It was a little surprised that the NAS did not tell me which one was bad or corrupt. I unplugged each one and rebooted until i found it. Then just replaced it with a new USB. Seems like the OS recognized it and automatically mirrored the OS onto it. I assume that is normal? I thought I would need to do something to get it set up.

I am a little worried about running the OS on a USB drive now. I am thinking of some other options like an SSD. Has anyone had success setting up an SSD in an r710 without using the drive bays?
 

NASr710

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@tahoward, Thank you. I did not think of using a PCI-E adapter. I am looking to install Plex, but trying to figure out where the Plex OS would reside. I assume on my USB?
 

danb35

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I am looking to install Plex, but trying to figure out where the Plex OS would reside.
Plex isn't an OS, it's application software, and it would reside where any other jail does. By default, that would be on your storage pool, and it would never be on your boot device.
 

NASr710

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I think I read something about that. So when I back up FN, it does not backup plex or my plex settings i assume. That would be done through a snapshot?

How does hardware requirements change when installing Plex? I did not see much about ram requirements on their site.
 

danb35

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So when I back up FN, it does not backup plex or my plex settings i assume.
Since any backup of your FreeNAS box would be something you'd configure yourself, only you would know the answer to that.
How does hardware requirements change when installing Plex? I did not see much about ram requirements on their site.
I'd say at least another 8 GB of RAM over whatever else you'd be using for FreeNAS. For CPU, their number is a passmark of 2000 per transcoded 1080p stream.
 

NASr710

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Yes, i need to set up some kind of offsite backup routine. Not done yet. But I meant just backing up FN OS/configuration.

Thanks. that give me an idea of what to expect. Currently, I would only use it for photos and music. Maybe a few home movies. No commercial movies or video.
 
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