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Guide: How much will a proper home FreeNAS setup cost me?

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mattlach

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#61
NOTE: I'm also one of those tiny case guys. I'm sick of big, reverberating noise boxes, taking a big footprint, making echo / reverb noise, being unable to fit into certain locations.
My HTPC is a very very small case, yet capable of a full length gaming card (even tho I've not got one in there)

I suspect my next FreeNAS machine to go in a Node 304 case TBH, unless something else comes along.
Also this all depends on SSD's, if there's some miracle and 4TB SSD's drop to sub $200 US in the next 12 months, then I may look at a case which could hold say 10 x2.5" instead of 6x3.5" (although SSD's would be quieter / cooler anyhow)
I understand the appeal, I've done it myself in the past. (just not for a NAS box)

In the long run I found it to be too frustrating when it came to wanting to add things to my computers, so these days I instead try to build large, but silent boxes I can hide under my desk (for desktops). Servers, I just put in the basement next to my patch panel, where they are neither seen nor heard.

(Except for that HP DL180 G6 Dreamliner which literally sounded like a jumbo jet, and could be heard two stories up in my bedroom with all the doors closed. I called that one a mistake, and stopped using it :p )

I guess I am a little bit of a power user though, so expansion is important to me. My desktop uses all of the PCIe expansion slots my Asus P9X79 WS provides (in order):
  • GeForce 980ti #1
  • Brocade BR1020 10 Gig Ethernet Adapter
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD
  • GeForce 980ti #2
  • Intel SSD750 400GB

Same thing in my VMWare ESXi box and its SuperMicro X8DTE board which contains the guest that runs my FreeNAS:
  • LSI 9211-8i SAS HBA #1
  • LSI 9211-8i SAS HBA #2
  • Nvidia Quadro 2000 #1 (for remote media display)
  • Nvidia Quadro 2000 #2 (for remote media display)
  • Brocade BR1020 10 Gig Ethernet Adapter
  • Intel PRO/1000 PT Quad Port Ethernet adapter

I bought that server board specifically because of how many 8x PCIe slots it had (6).
 

David Dyer-Bennet

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#62
I find 6 hard drives a severe limitation. With modern ideas about necessary redundancy (for big drives), 6 drives means a 4+2 RAIDZ2 pool max, which means only 4 drives worth of data, which isn't enough. (5+1 is both inadequate redundancy, and also doesn't buy you a whole drive more worth of data because 5 is not a power of 2).

I've been putting add-in drive bays (adding 4 drives in what the case originally intended to be 3 exposed 5.25" bays to a case that already took 6 drives internally, say), and 4-port add-on controllers to supplement the motherboards which seem to support 6 SATA disks pretty consistently. This lets me build an 8+2 pool; which is not enough really for 8, want an 8+3, but supporting 11 drives is a step up in cost, or requires replacing existing otherwise-satisfactory components.
 

diskdiddler

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#63
If you exceed 6 disks you're starting to look at extreme heat, noise and potential power issues (well, in my opinion) That's why I've opted for 6.
You can now purchase 8TB Seagate NON ARCHIVE (regular disks, no silly technology to store data) finally. So that's still a 30TiB array or something like that.

I'd love to move to 10 disk or 30 if it would somehow save money but the long term power savings of a 24/7 machine indefinitely is going to slowly add up. Plus I hate heat and noise
I'm _REALLY REALLY_ hoping that in under 36 months, an SSD ONLY FreeNAS machine, exceeding 30TB is possible, for under 2k US (I want this for heat, noise, power use, speed - in that order, surprisingly)



EDIT: Just to clarify I refer to power issues in regards to your electricity bill. Spinning 6 disks, with spindle motors and actuators for a year isn't expensive but it's not dirt cheap either.
 
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DrKK

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#64
Yeah, well, this little post is really for people getting their feet wet on a new home NAS. I think 98% of people trying out a home NAS for the first time will be able to manage their needs just fine with six drives. Anyone needing bigger pools than that won't need this "guide" anyway.

So, ok, objection noted, but not particularly relevant.
 
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#65
Hi,

I'm preparing myself for version 10. My box, is already suffering with not enough memory (it only has 6gb, odd config I know).

The actual setup is
Asus P5k-Deluxe
Core 2 Duo E7500
6 GB RAM
LSI 9211-8i
4x4TB Seagate ST4000DM000 in RAIDZ2
3x3Tb HD in Stripe for bkp data


As per DrKK suggestion/setup I'm looking for:
SuperMicro X10SLM-F
probably using a G3250 processor
32 Gb RAM ECC
LSI 9211-8i
4x4TB Seagate ST4000DM000 in RAIDZ2
3x3Tb HD in Stripe for bkp data

I would like to know if my LSI9211 will work properly on this motherboard.
Is this setup a good choice for version 10 ? My actual setup is really power hungry. Does the new one would save energy ?
 
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Mirfster

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mattlach

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#67
I would like to know if my LSI9211 will work properly on this motherboard.
LSI controllers tend to just work on any system you put them in. They HIGHLY recommend you flash the controller firmware to match the driver version you are using. This is where you might run into trouble.

Some people have found that they can't flash LSI controllers firmware on some motherboards. (All server motherboards typically work, and most consumer boards typically work, but some don't). Some people wind up having to pull their LSI controllers out of their servers, and temporarily putting them in different machines just to flash the firmware, and then putting them back in.

I would think that the Supermicro motherboard would not have this problem, as Supermicro makes solid server products, though I ahve no personal experience with that particular model myself.

Is this setup a good choice for version 10 ? My actual setup is really power hungry. Does the new one would save energy ?
At first I was going to comment, that you might need a Xeon if you want ECC, but I was wrong. Apparently these low end chips support ECC (provided the motherboard BIOS does, which a Supermicro board certainly will) That's a bit of a surprise to me, and a very positive one.

As far as power efficiency goes, I'll give it a big fat "it depends". The TDP of those CPU's are pretty close, but the more modern architecture of the new one will likely allow it to have a lower load, and scale back voltages more, reducing power usage a little.

I would be less concerned with the CPU when it comes to power consumption though. Honestly a good chunk of the power use is going to combe from a combination of the drives (which you are not changing) the SAS controller (which you are not changing) and - surprisingly to many - your fans. Fans can be a HUGE power drain on a system. Unless you really need them, reduce the quantity and run them slower.

Your choice of power supply will also have a bit of an impact. I would estimate the typical load power of the system and get a 80+ Gold or Platinum (or even titanium if you can find one) rated power supply that is rated at approximately double the power rating where your system typically sits. (provided this means that it is powerful enough to run the system at load). Power supplies tend to be the most efficient at about half load, and this can have a surprisingly large impact on power use.
 

DrKK

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#68
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