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Will it FreeNAS? Yes!

Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
5
I've lurked for quite some time in the forums, reading, learning, and ultimately deciding to build a FreeNAS system over buying a prebuilt. I had actually acquired some of the hardware in 2017 in my initial desire to build a NAS until I realized how much the drives would cost... That all changed last week with the Newegg 8TB WD Red sale and my wife's growing business storage.

For starters, my equipment is a bit older because it was purchased based on a previous hardware guide that is now obsolete or cannibalized from my old desktop. What my system will be using as of right now:

Case: Rosewill ATX Mid Tower case w/ 3 fans (fits 7 3.5" drives max, but contemplating a newer/smaller case)
MB: Supermicro X10SLL-F
CPU: Intel i3 4330 w/ active cooler (cooler needs replaced)
RAM: 2x8GB Micron MT18KSF1G72AZ-1G6E1ZE ECC DDR3 DIMMs
Boot Device: Sandisk 64GB Ultra Fit USB x2
HDD: WD Red 8TB x4
PSU: Seasonic M12II 620W Bronze PSU (plan to change this out for something newer)

At the moment I'm still waiting on the WD drives to be delivered, so I scrounged up some old 2.5" drives to familiarize myself with FreeNAS.

Last night I decided it was time to begin building, so I stripped the old desktop case and got to work. As you can see, everything fit nicely after rearranging some standoffs and removing excess components. For the time being the CD Drives aren't going anywhere because I don't have the front panel pieces to fill those gaps. The bottom right has the capacity for 5x3.5" drives with 2 more trays right above there.

20191201_193050.jpg


Once everything was installed in the case, I hooked up an old VGA monitor and booted to BIOS, but wouldn't it figure, it was password-protected... So I pulled the CMOS battery and we were in. After I made sure everything in BIOS looked good, I connected to the IPMI port and opened a web browser. Guess what, another non-default password! That's what I get for buying on eBay :D After some reading and tooling about, I found you can reset the password by using FreeDOS and the IPMICFG tool from Supermicro (https://ericmathison.com/blog/reset-supermicro-ipmi-password-to-factory-default/). With that finished, I flipped through some menus to see what was there but didn't really change anything yet.

After all of that, I finally booted from the USB drive and let FreeNAS install! Everything went off smoothly and I was able to log in to the system via a web browser and normal Ethernet port on the NAS. It was at this point I stopped and decided to go to bed. In the coming days I'll be messing with the temporary system before the WD drives arrive and preparing myself for the final (maybe) system.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on anything I've done so far and gladly take critiques. Case and PSU recommendations are also welcome! I have a lot more reading to do, so thanks to everyone in the community who has helped those who have asked questions before or offered advice to the new guys (myself included).

Cheers!
 

Attachments

Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
5
P.S. What I'll be using the system for:
Windows 10 backups for 2 computers
Business file storage (photos and videos by the TB)
Private Cloud for phone photo backups
Future endeavors in Plex media streaming
 

PhiloEpisteme

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
757
Boot Device: Sandisk 64GB Ultra Fit USB x2
If you can, you may consider booting off of SSDs. This isn't a HUGE deal but they are more reliable than USB and may save you a headache.

RAM: 2x8GB Micron MT18KSF1G72AZ-1G6E1ZE ECC DDR3 DIMMs
Generally I recommend you buy the largest modules your board will support; this makes future upgrades easier. If you do find yourself upgrading memory in the future I suggest you opt for the larget modules over these 8GB modules.

Sounds like a pretty decent built to me. What is the layout of your drives? Do you plan on two striped mirror vdevs?

As always; keep in mind that no amount of parity in a pool is a replacement for a backup. Keep backups of all of your important data.

Also, make sure to keep storage utilization below 80% to avoid performance issues; and avoid 100% at all cost lest you fall victim to one of the odd issues folks who let that happen experienced. :)
Case: Rosewill ATX Mid Tower case w/ 3 fans (fits 7 3.5" drives max, but contemplating a newer/smaller case)
Oh, and you can easily bump this to 9 by adding a PCIe HDD bracket.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
5
If you can, you may consider booting off of SSDs. This isn't a HUGE deal but they are more reliable than USB and may save you a headache.


Generally I recommend you buy the largest modules your board will support; this makes future upgrades easier. If you do find yourself upgrading memory in the future I suggest you opt for the larget modules over these 8GB modules.

Sounds like a pretty decent built to me. What is the layout of your drives? Do you plan on two striped mirror vdevs?

As always; keep in mind that no amount of parity in a pool is a replacement for a backup. Keep backups of all of your important data.

Also, make sure to keep storage utilization below 80% to avoid performance issues; and avoid 100% at all cost lest you fall victim to one of the odd issues folks who let that happen experienced. :)

Oh, and you can easily bump this to 9 by adding a PCIe HDD bracket.
I may be able to move some drives around in my desktop to use SSDs or just buy 2, they aren't super expensive. I will definitely remember to buy larger memory modules in the future, those were what could afford 2 years ago when the DRAM prices were sky high... I do plan to do 2 striped mirror vdevs, but if I added a 5th drive perhaps zfs2. I already plan to have 2 external USB drives that I keep backups on a weekly basis, stored in a safe when not in use. Contemplating having one off-site as well with my parents. I don't think we will be coming close to full utilization of 16TB anytime soon :) but you never know. If we start filming in 4K it's very possible... Thanks for your insights!
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2016
Messages
7
If you can, you may consider booting off of SSDs. This isn't a HUGE deal but they are more reliable than USB and may save you a headache.
Agreed, I've burnt through a lot of USB drives over the years, they're just not suited to constant usage with the later versions of FreeNAS
 

Newfoundland.Republic

FreeNAS Experienced
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
127
You can pick up a couple of Kingston AS400 120GB drives for about $20-25/each. My experience is that a good USB 2 (note the 2) thumb drives cost about the same. 120GB is much more than you need but will likely be much more reliable.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
5
UPDATE: All the WD HDDs arrived and I've installed them into the case. I reloaded FreeNAS onto an SSD, but will be purchasing 2 new drives to first mirror one, and then replace the existing one and mirror the second new one. I've decided to follow the burn-in procedures here https://www.ixsystems.com/community/resources/hard-drive-burn-in-testing.92/ as a starting point and the drives are currently going through their badblocks tests which will take a long time I presume. After they're done I'll be creating a pool of 2 striped mirror vdevs. I do want to verify I am thinking this through correctly before proceeding with it.

WebGUI -> Storage -> Pools -> Add
Select 2 of the drives and create a mirror to get 7.28 TB, thus creating the first vdev.
Then "extend" the pool as explained in 9.2.6 of the documentation by adding another mirror of the other 2 drives.

The other thought was Legacy WebGUI -> Storage -> Volumes -> Volume Manager
Select all 4 drives and just pick RAID10.

I've read the documentation quite thoroughly and I think I've got it right, just looking for a sanity check. Thanks everyone!
 

PhiloEpisteme

FreeNAS Guru
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
757
That sounds right to me. I suggest you follow the new GUI, itll do what you expect. You can verify the pool setup after its built with a quick look at the final pool status, it should show each vdev as an indentation similar to the following.

Code:
Pool
  Mirror vdev
    Disk0
    Disk1
  Mirror vdev
    Disk2
    Disk3
 
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