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dgoodlad

Newbie
Joined
Jun 28, 2011
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2
Hi all

Since it might be of interest to some of you, I thought I'd mention that I recently published an article describing my new FreeNAS 8 machine. I put a lot of effort into researching hardware, which really helped make the install and setup a cinch.

The article is available on my website at http://d.goodlad.net/articles/home_file_server/.

Cheers
Dave
 

Tekkie

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2011
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344
Nice write up

Well done. :)
 

ctantra

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
29
Very nice Dave. I learn a lot from your article. Thanks.
 

BobCochran

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
184
SAS Controller Needed?

I am wondering if I need to use an SAS controller for my FreeNAS server. What I have right now is an MSI 890GXM-G65 motherboard and two hard drives connected to this motherboard over SATA 6Gb/s. Perhaps I need to add an SAS controller instead of relying on the AMD SB850 chipset? Dave's motherboard has the same chipset and he elects to use an SAS controller. Others seem to be using SAS or HBA adapters too.

I also notice that Dave's motherboard has one PCIe x16 connector and one PCIE x8 connector and if you use both these connectors they run at x8 speed rather than x16.

Put another way, should any FreeNAS server be configured similarly to Dave's for best results across all the supported protocols such as AFP?

I am having a lot of difficulty getting Time Machine backups to work for OS X Lion to FreeNAS 8.xx. I do understand there are problems with the netatalk version being used in FreeNAS. I just wonder if my "just get the FreeNAS release on a USB stick and add a hard drive" casualness is one of my problems here.

Thanks

Bob Cochran
 

dgoodlad

Newbie
Joined
Jun 28, 2011
Messages
2
I am wondering if I need to use an SAS controller for my FreeNAS server. What I have right now is an MSI 890GXM-G65 motherboard and two hard drives connected to this motherboard over SATA 6Gb/s. Perhaps I need to add an SAS controller instead of relying on the AMD SB850 chipset? Dave's motherboard has the same chipset and he elects to use an SAS controller. Others seem to be using SAS or HBA adapters too.

I also notice that Dave's motherboard has one PCIe x16 connector and one PCIE x8 connector and if you use both these connectors they run at x8 speed rather than x16.

Put another way, should any FreeNAS server be configured similarly to Dave's for best results across all the supported protocols such as AFP?
With consumer-grade SATA hard drives, you're not going to notice much (if any) significant difference by using a SAS controller. The main reason behind using the SAS controllers in this case was to avoid the added requirement that the motherboard have a good SATA chipset with 8+ ports.

The controllers that I use are PCI-e x8, so it doesn't matter that the x16 slot drops to x8 speeds.

I am having a lot of difficulty getting Time Machine backups to work for OS X Lion to FreeNAS 8.xx. I do understand there are problems with the netatalk version being used in FreeNAS. I just wonder if my "just get the FreeNAS release on a USB stick and add a hard drive" casualness is one of my problems here.
I believe that the latest beta 8.01 release has an update to netatalk that adds Lion compatibility, but I have yet to try it.

Dave
 

BobCochran

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
184
Host Cables and Virtualization?

Dave, thank you very much for replying to me. I appreciate the explanation that you want to use a lot of drives without need to resort to the onboard SATA chipset, hence the choice of an SAS controller.

While checking Ebay, I notice that host SFF-8484 to SATA cables from one vendor are pretty expensive, over USD $44. I don't think of that vendor as being a quality vendor. Are these cables normally quite expensive? Other Ebay vendors sell cheaper cables, but they don't seem to specify whether they are host or target cables.

I am using the 8r7209 nightly build of FreeNAS, but afpd (even with delphij's patches) tends to quit early in a Time Machine backup. This is under OS X Lion 10.7.1. I am using ZFS volumes without any RAID with FreeNAS, maybe I should change to UFS but no RAID.

I am also thinking of reconfiguring my server. I want to install something like Fedora 16 (which is still in alpha, I think) and then add FreeNAS 8 as two virtual machines. The first virtual machine will be the NAS server. The second will be a development version of FreeNAS. I can also have the flexibility of adding other virtual machines for other purposes, too. Do you think this approach will work well from a FreeNAS storage server point of view?

Thanks again!

Bob
 

BobCochran

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
184
Where To Find SFF-8484 Host Cables?

Where can I find SFF-8484 Host cables at reasonable prices? They are available on Ebay, but I'm not sure the most expensive vendor offers quality products.

Thanks

Bob
 

TasMot

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2011
Messages
14
Bob, Monoprice.com is the place to go for inexpensive cables. I have purchased at least a dozen cables from them (HDMI, eSCSI, USB, audio, video and so on) and have not ever had a problem. I bought a cable at Best Buy (what a joke now) to plug my iPod into my vehicle AUX port, it was almost $18. I returned it and bought one on Monoprice for $0.70. Yes, that is correct, seventy cents. Since I bought a bunch of USB cables to use for charging my wife's and my new smartphones at the same time, it worked out to about $0.50/ cable for shipping.

The hardest part of using monoprice is looking through the thousands of cables they have to find the one that is needed. They ship very quickly. I am not associated with them but I love having them available to buy cables from.
 

aghadjip

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
18
Dave,

Thanks for posting this, alas the 4 cards that I bought did not work in the motherboard that I had. They would show up in POST but i could not get into them to configure them. I ended up getting 2 LSI SAS3041E-R controllers instead. Just wanted to say thanks for the information, even though it didnt work for me. Ill try the cards out in another board, possibly when I upgrade my esx machine

intro thread specs... http://forums.freenas.org/showthread.php?5688-old-7er-trying-out-8
 
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