Register for the iXsystems Community to get an ad-free experience and exclusive discounts in our eBay Store.

Can I use any PCIe SATA expansion card to add more storage ports in FreeNAS

mhweb

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
61
I'm having a hard time finding a micro ATX motherboard with support for ECC memory and at least 8 SATA ports, so I was thinking on getting an expansion card to increase the number of hard drive ports. However, I don't know if FreeNAS has any issues with most PCIe expansion cards.

Can I just add an expansion card to increase the number of hard drive on FreeNAS?

Thanks,
 

Jessep

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Messages
276

melloa

FreeNAS Expert
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
1,700
The usual recommendation is an older LSI SAS card with IT firmware.
Yeap ... with a cable ... the type of cable will depend on what chassis the server was built on ... if a regular desktop case, without backplane, etc, a breakout cable would be what he needs, but again ... @mhweb please provide server specs, including chassis, so the folks here can provide better directions.
 

garm

FreeNAS Expert
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
1,253
Any specific reason for needing 14000 passmark points in a NAS? Some things will be single threaded and then you are down to 2000
 

mhweb

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
61
@garm This will be my first NAS build that will no only be to store data but also to use Plex for video streaming in house, and planning to stream 1080p as well as (in the future) 4K. Running a cumple VMs are a possibility too. And I need something small and compact and silent as possible.

Do you have a better hardware suggestion? If I can change the hardware, it will be great.
Thanks,
 

pschatz100

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
828
Regardng Plex playback, whether or not you need to transcode will depend on your playback devices. If you use 4K compatible Roku's or Apple TV's or Smart TV's that can decode FullHD or 4K streams, then you will be able to Direct Stream most of the time - which will reduce CPU requirements.

Some knowledge of video formats would be helpful. Check the Plex forums for more information about this.
 

mhweb

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
61
@pschatz100 Thanks for the advise. What would you use instead in this configuration? (I already have the RAM, I would really like to use the case, and I need at least 8 hdd ports.)
 

pschatz100

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
828
That motherboard has a lot of stuff on it that you are not going to use. Why do you need 8 sata ports with five drives? Given that the board already has 8 sata ports, why do you need the I/O Crest board?

What do you plan to use as a boot device?

Do you really need the WD Red Pro drives? They're going to run hotter than regular 5400 RPM Red drives, cost a lot more, and I doubt that you would see any appreciable difference in performance. You don't need max streaming speeds for streaming videos.
 

sretalla

FreeNAS Expert
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
1,568
you can use a Marvell 9215 card to extern the hard drive
Caution. This forum has seen many reports of Marvell controllers being unreliable.
The usual recommendation is an older LSI SAS card with IT firmware.
This is a much better option.
 

etgr

Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
11
Caution. This forum has seen many reports of Marvell controllers being unreliable.

This is a much better option.
yes, it is the better choice,but the LSI SAS card needs a pcie x8 channel. This will reduce the expandability of the system.
 

sretalla

FreeNAS Expert
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
1,568
This will reduce the expandability of the system.
What other kind of expansion would you want for a NAS?

With an additional SAS expander/backplanes, that same single card can run as many as 256 drives.
 

etgr

Newbie
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
11
What other kind of expansion would you want for a NAS?

With an additional SAS expander/backplanes, that same single card can run as many as 256 drives.
What other kind of expansion would you want for a NAS?

With an additional SAS expander/backplanes, that same single card can run as many as 256 drives.
like 10 gigabit network
 

sretalla

FreeNAS Expert
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
1,568
like 10 gigabit network
Indeed network is the other primary concern of a NAS... there seem to be 2 slots... 1 for each?
 

mhweb

Newbie
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
61
@cbv well, unfortunately, the motherboard and cpu are more expensive (at the time of my search) than the more powerful AMD 2660x + mobo.
 

sretalla

FreeNAS Expert
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
1,568
Top