Will It Enterprise FreeNAS? (Review My Build)


Mar 25, 2019
Evening All:

Coming for a bit of advice on building a new FreeNAS box; have made several, but this is the first I've built specifically for performance rather than storage, and I'd love to get the build picked apart by some more knowledgeable than I, and crowd-build this NAS. My technical knowledge is fairly deep, and my skin thick, so don't be afraid to hit line drives if you need to. Network card/TOR is only there for reference.

Use Case: Most people leave this out even tho it's important. This will be a NFS box for sharing mounts for Proxmox VMs (could do iSCSI, but Proxmox really likes NFS). The workload is generalized, and although there may be some VMs with DBs, we're not looking at large, I/O intensive DB loads. At least a couple of these VMs (at first) will be large 1TB-4TB file servers (no intensive I/O, however) that will be moved to their own storage box designed for a different workload in 3-6 months.
This is in the vein of a POC box, and if it works out well, this design will be replicated to a full rack of these. So I'd like to pin the design down as well as I can.

Budget: There is none, BUT it's expected to be economical w/o cutting corners, and use as much of what I have extra of. eBay buys for drives is fine, I've got access to a wide array of E3- and E5- v1-v3 (but have several trays of E5-2690v1s) I can choose from w/matching Supermicro boards, and have boxes of the 9207-8is.

Some Questions
  1. Although I've read a ton about L2ARC, is there a sizing guide for say, RAM to L2ARC, or recommendations based on work load type, or is this a more ballpark it and tweak from there?
  2. One reason I've given the box 256GB is I have enough DDR3-1600 ECC RAM to fill around a rack and a half of these at that level (RAM isn't an issue). Is this an appropriate amount? If there's a point (say 128GB) where you get diminishing returns, what's the general threshold that begins?

  • Case: 4U Supermicro 24-bay 6Gbps SAS
  • Motherboard: Supermicro X9DRi-LN4F+
  • CPU: 2 x E5-2690
  • RAM: 256GB DDR3-1600
  • HBA: LSI SAS9207-8i (x3)
  • Pool Drives: 24 x 4TB 7.2K Nearline SAS
  • SLOG Drive: DC P3700 400GB
  • L2ARC: DC P3600 800GB (Total L2ARC Size/# of Drives?)
  • Network: Mellanox MHQH29C-XTR 10Gbe dual port
  • vDevs: 12 vDevs of 2 mirrored drives each? (spares?)
  • Pool Type: Mirrored
  • Compression: Yes

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