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dlewis23

New Storage Server

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As some of you know I run a file/image hosting service and my current storage solution is quickly being out paced by the sites growth. For the amount of files I'm hosting the way I currently store files across many drives and NAS devices is very inefficient. So I have to build something of my own. This will be the first of 2 storage servers I have to build over the next month.

The Hardware:

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147156

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103888

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157199

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371030

OS: UnRAID

Hard Drives: 9x http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148681 or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145493

Ram is just going to be a basic 1GB stick and I will have 2 PIC-E Raid Controllers so I can have all 9 drives. Depending on what kind of bulk deal I can get will decided what drives I end up getting, should find out tomorrow or Tuesday.

In the end if I go with 2 TB drives I will end up with 14.4 TB usable space, using 3 TB drives I get 21.6 TB usable space but at almost double the price. I'm leaning toward 2 TB only because the cost savings can then go towards the second server.

I will have all the parts this week so this should be a fun project overall. Pics of the parts, build, and finished product coming soon.

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looks awesome although if it were me i'd be going for a tad beefier CPU like the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103903

it has a lot nicer L1 and L2 cache for not a whole lot more, i actually own one of these chips and it's in my brothers computer i used to use it as my main CPU back a year or so ago

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looks awesome although if it were me i'd be going for a tad beefier CPU like the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103903

it has a lot nicer L1 and L2 cache for not a whole lot more, i actually own one of these chips and it's in my brothers computer i used to use it as my main CPU back a year or so ago

For this type of server that CPU is beyond overkill. The CPU I picked out is overkill. All this server will do is store files, it does nothing else. The OS it runs (UnRAID) is an extremely lightweight Linux that will never tax the CPU. I've seen 24 drive media server builds use a Celeron 430 and they never run into any kind of CPU issues.

Plus I have to keep power usage to a minimum. Since I will be collocating this server I have to pay for power usage.

EDIT: Forgot to add, the Sempron 145 Processor can actually be unlocked and turned into a Athlon II x2 by just changing a bios setting. I won't do it because I need to keep heat and power usage down, but the option is there.

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I recommend 2T's, and I recommend Western Digital. (I have had huge issues with Seagate, mostly with them failing after 3-12 months, almost ALWAYS. I have had the same WD 80G for 7 years, and it still works 100%.)

Also, are your RAID cards SATA-II, or SATA-III?

Thanks,

EBrown

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I take it this OS is ready to accept scsi jbod as well ?

Yes, but it will turn them into a Raid in one big drive on its own, since thats what UnRAID does.

I recommend 2T's, and I recommend Western Digital. (I have had huge issues with Seagate, mostly with them failing after 3-12 months, almost ALWAYS. I have had the same WD 80G for 7 years, and it still works 100%.)

Also, are your RAID cards SATA-II, or SATA-III?

Thanks,

EBrown

The problem with going with WD drives is there green drives are 7200 RPM and they use more power then the Seagate ones. I have been running 4 of the Seagate green drives in the Netgear NAS I have for a while now with no issues. It seems as long as you keep them cool they are really solid.

The motherboard is SATA-3 the raid cards I'm getting are SATA-2. The mix doesn't really matter much since the entire setup will be limited by the network port speed of 1 Gbps.

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Yes, but it will turn them into a Raid in one big drive on its own, since thats what UnRAID does.

The problem with going with WD drives is there green drives are 7200 RPM and they use more power then the Seagate ones. I have been running 4 of the Seagate green drives in the Netgear NAS I have for a while now with no issues. It seems as long as you keep them cool they are really solid.

The motherboard is SATA-3 the raid cards I'm getting are SATA-2. The mix doesn't really matter much since the entire setup will be limited by the network port speed of 1 Gbps.

Ah, that makes sense.

So is speed really an issue for it then? (I only ask because you may be able to find a cheaper HDD of the same size, just slower.) Otherwise, I think the Seagate 2T's you picked out will work fine.

The only issue I can see right now, is the lack of enough SATA power cables on the PSU. (Unless you have Sata to Molex, in which case ignore this.)

Here is a PSU with 9 SATA Power Cables out of the box: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207013

It's slightly more expensive than your first choice though, and again, if you have Sata to Molex, yours will work just fine.

Thanks,

EBrown

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Ah, that makes sense.

So is speed really an issue for it then? (I only ask because you may be able to find a cheaper HDD of the same size, just slower.) Otherwise, I think the Seagate 2T's you picked out will work fine.

The only issue I can see right now, is the lack of enough SATA power cables on the PSU. (Unless you have Sata to Molex, in which case ignore this.)

Here is a PSU with 9 SATA Power Cables out of the box: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207013

It's slightly more expensive than your first choice though, and again, if you have Sata to Molex, yours will work just fine.

Thanks,

EBrown

Speed will be an issue, but it will just be limited to the 1 Gig port. The goal is to get about 70 Mb/s (560 Mbps) read/write, which on this type of setup with parity.

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Speed will be an issue, but it will just be limited to the 1 Gig port. The goal is to get about 70 Mb/s (560 Mbps) read/write, which on this type of setup with parity.

Alright, that sounds good.

Which RAID mode are you using then? (Obviously not 0, 1, or 2 by the looks of it.)

Thanks,

EBrown

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Alright, that sounds good.

Which RAID mode are you using then? (Obviously not 0, 1, or 2 by the looks of it.)

Thanks,

EBrown

None. I'm using UnRAID. The OS UnRAID makes its own raid at the OS level, its not like a traditional raid. It works just like a Drobo you just supply your own hardware.

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None. I'm using UnRAID. The OS UnRAID makes its own raid at the OS level, its not like a traditional raid. It works just like a Drobo you just supply your own hardware.

Oh, ok. That makes more sense.

So what features does the RAID the OS makes have? Parity, etc.

Thanks,

EBrown

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Oh, ok. That makes more sense.

So what features does the RAID the OS makes have? Parity, etc.

Thanks,

EBrown

Parity, really easy recovery of a drive does fail. Boots from a flash drive which is awesome. It has active directory support, cache drive for better performance, can handle up to 21 drives on a single setup.

I picked up the drives today. Got a good deal at Compusa on 2TB hitachi Drives.

large_2TB%20Drives.png

So thats what 9 drives looks like on my table. lol..

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I finished the build this morning after picking up a few SATA cables and making some short brackets for the SATA Raid Cards.

Overall not bad, 16TB of usable protected space. Will be working on #2 real soon, probably after this ships and is all setup in the datacenter. Now I gotta build a damn box to ship this sucker. <_<

Here are some pictures:

large_IMGP8392.JPG

large_IMGP8394.JPG

large_IMGP8398.JPG

large_IMGP8401.JPG

large_IMGP8405.JPG

large_UnRAID%20Drives.png

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What is the pricing for it all? (The Datacenter stuff, hosting your server there and whatnot.)

Thanks,

EBrown

The price of the server with the software was about $900. The drives were the most expensive thing. As for the monthly hosting cost I can't give that cost away. I never say what my operating costs are.

I will get most of the cost of the server back. Since this will be replacing my current storage Items that I will sell once everything is on the new server.

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I finished the build this morning after picking up a few SATA cables and making some short brackets for the SATA Raid Cards.

Overall not bad, 16TB of usable protected space. Will be working on #2 real soon, probably after this ships and is all setup in the datacenter. Now I gotta build a damn box to ship this sucker. <_<

Here are some pictures:

large_IMGP8401.JPG

large_IMGP8405.JPG

Beautiful job!

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Yea it is nice and clean, plenty of room for heat removal.

There really isn't much heat to remove out of this thing. The CPU is running at a max of 28C when I had the lid off. And the drives never go above 32C. It will probably run cooler once its in the DC since they keep it at 75F.

i was just thinking the same thing myself CA3LE, it looks like a very well put together machine there lewis not bad cable management either although i'm sure that wasn't a main concern but it looks very good

~ TriRan

Cable management was the primary concern of the system. Since the server is going to be far away I won't have quick access to it, so I needed everything to be cleanly laid out and labeled so that if something did happen like a drive failure I can tell my host what drive specifically to remove and its exact location.

I labled every cable at both ends saying what drive goes were and I labeled the drives with there serial number and disk location in the server, from Parity to disk 8.

This setup is pretty fast too. WIth out doing any customization on it yet, I'm getting about 50 MB/s read and write to it and thats through a real cheap. as in free Netgear router. Should be a little quicker once I do some tweaking then a lot quicker once I get on a real switch.

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I suppose my point was there is always heat , and as you know , the closer you can keep the internal temps to the ambient DC temps the better.

Some people just cram the cables in as they build and shovem over if even that, which creates disturbances in the flow of air as designed by the case / structure.

off topic , should be interesting to see what can be done with these old HP DL380 6x1TB scsi Seagates, SGI RS-0800-LVD 8x1TB Seagates and unraid, I need the VHDCI cable and a few more drives and I'm golden.

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