Help on NAS/Server build

Smurfz87

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Apr 14, 2013
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Hi,

I've lately been working on setting up a homemade NAS/Server setup which I plan on using as a homepage host (personal) // media senter (home & remote) // minecraft server and possibly some other stuff that only time can tell =)

My questions are:

RAM - Heard that I should allocate aprox 1GB of ram / TB space, which means that from that advice I should go for 16GB to cover for my space. But is the ammount needed? or is it better to go for lower CL and like 8GB RAM? And does the Bus speed make a huge impact? (how does it all balance out?)

Motherboard - when it says in the description that it only supports these speeds: 1600 MHz, 1333 MHz, 1066 MHz, 1866 MHz, 2133 MHz, does that mean that it can't run on quicker RAM, or just that it won't be able to utilize it?

GPU - Does a server need a good GPU or it it ok just using your old one so the server will start up okay?

HDD - Since I'm planning on using it for multiple purposes, would it be smart investing in 1 SSD alongside the 16TB of space to run the server program and the game servers off? (just something small like 64GB or 128GB) Or is this just wasted?

Drive Controller - what is it good for? And is it needed? Exactly what I'm referring to is: LSI SAS 9207-8i which costs like 300$. Sounds a bit expensive for something that I don't know what does exactly.

OS - For my use, will FreeNAS be the best choice or are there better alternatives?


Full or partial answers, with maybe some pointers to where to read more on the stuff would be great! =)

Current planned build is:

Motherboard: ASUS M5A99X EVO R2.0
CPU: AMD FX-8350 8-core
HDD: 4x Western Digital RED 3TB NAS
CPU-Cooler: Corsair H80i Hydro Series
Case: Cooler Master HAF XB
GPU: XFX GeForce 9600GT 650M (old one lyin about)
PSU: Fortron/Source Epsilon 600W
RAM: Undecided
OS: FreeNAS ?
 

noidea_77

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Well, your planed setup would serve at least 20 users with demanding applications, like databases. It's way oversized. pre-build nas boxes, that do all you want, use intel atom cpus with 1 or 2GB of ram. If you want to build it yourself, go for an apu like the AMD A6-3650 (with internal graphics) and 4GB ram. A dedicated disk controller like the LSI is useless in your case. Use the mobo controller instead. As money obviously doesn't matter, you can use a small ssd for the freenas installation.
 

Smurfz87

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I actually got that Netgear NAS drive already... but I ain't happy with the performance, and 256mb ram?! Can't run shit on that m8 :p I am currently using it to stream media for the most of the time, and when 2-3 people watch something at the same time through Plex (sharing with friends as I got a 75/75MBPS connection) it starts having trouble with the buffering, and trying to access any of the files at the same time in the background is... an adventure of it's own. Planned spending is max $2.000, tho I'd prefer between $1.000 to $1.500.
 

noidea_77

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Yes, the Netgear is a bit undersized. This is fast enough to use the entire 1Gbit connection: Qnap Turbo Station TS-469L. The QNAP site has a lot of information about additional software for this device, like databases, media servers etc. The Netgear is perfect for the backup tough.
 

wachuko

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So happy I came across this post. Qnap Turbo Station TS-469L now on my wish list. Thank you!
 

Smurfz87

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The price on that here (in Norway) is approx 1450$ (£965) without the HDD's. For the system I've set up with 16GB of CL11 2133MHz RAM (and 4x 3TB HDD's) I'm up at 1550$ - 100$ more and I can change out the case and put in 8 HDD's if I want to once upon a time. Yes, it probably consumes more power, but I have a standard payment to my landlord / month, so does not really matter.
 

noidea_77

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That's strange, because it's only €523,91 in Germany without disks.
 

erpsaa

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May 17, 2012
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Good luck whatever you end up doing.
 

Smurfz87

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Ended up building a setup for 1900$:

Storage:
Sandisk SSD Extreme 120GB
4x WD Red 3TB NAS HDD

CPU:
AMD FX-8350 8-Core Processor

Motherboard:
Asus M5A99X Evo R2.0

RAM:
Kingston DDR3 HyperX Predator 16GB

Case:
Cooler Master HAF XB Midi Tower

Cooling:
Corsair H80i Series CPU cooler
2x Noctua NF-A14 ULN 140mm case fan
2x Noctua NF-R8 80mm case fan

Raid Controller Card:
Highpoint RocketRAID 2720 SGL

Graphics card:
Asus GeForce 610 2GB Silent PhysX (fanless)

also bought some HDD bay size converter brackets & mSAS to SATA cable.

Was planing to run it with FreeNAS but found out the controller card is not compatible with that OS, so ended up with Windows Server 2012 which I currently run in the 180 days trial version, and once I start school in the autumn I'll get it activated through Dreamspark. Setting it up with my limited server knowledge has been a bit of a test, where I first tried with the FreeNAS software for 3 days, formatted and installed Windows Server 2008 and worked on that for 2 days till I got "Windows Server 2012" as a search suggestion from google.com when seaching out some Server 2008 stuff. So I formatted again, installed Server 2012, only to discover I installed the version without a GUI, so had to reinstall 1 last time o.0

Now it's running great, set up the RaidControllerCard to create the Raid5 yesterday witch took about 8 hours, disconnected the keyboard, mouse and monitor, just running it by remote desktop from my stationary pc which works great!

Set up Plex Media Server and currenly transfering files from old NAS to new server =)
 

erpsaa

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Excelent!

Much more comfortable than your sounded earlier. I have some comments I'll send along to you which you can hand on to and I have two questions, which become more important, since the Rocket RAID card is better than Fake BIOS RAID, biut it exposes your storage array to malware or anything that could happen to your boot disk. Here is why:

What I call a Hybrid is technically called Hardware-Assisted Software RAID. While this is still software RAID, the hardware assist helps to overcome some of the weaknesses of pure software RAID. These solutions usually come with additional hardware (e.g. an HBA with a RAID BIOS or just a RAID BIOS integrated onto the motherboard pr PCIe card). The additional BIOS makes the RAID functionality available when the system is switched on, providing redundancy during boot that reduces the impact of medium errors on RAID which otherwise could lead to data corruption or an inoperable system. In addition, most of these solutions provide a BIOS setup software which is available at system boot.

The bad news and then my two questions:

RAID functionality is still dependent on the OS as the driver runs on top of the OS. However,multiple drivers for a variety of OSes do allow migration of the array to other OSes. This might be limited by the availability of a RAID driver for very
new OSes (e.g. newer versions of an OS might need a new RAID driver – RAID drivers are more complex than normal HBA driver programs, and therefore, it might take longer to develop them)

I only added the above because it causes issues wiith VMware, which you are not running anyway. Here is the big one.

Malware abd viruses: Because RAID is running as an application on the computer system, viruses and other
harmful software might impact RAID functionality, also, a crash effects the array, Software or hardware problems on the server can impact data consistency and integrity. There is No write-back cache with HW assisted software RAID it runs only in write-through mode, but hardware RAID can run in write-back mode if it has a battery, adding another level of data protection.Write-back mode significantly enhances the write performance of a RAID array There is no way to add a battery for hardware assisted software RAID.


ROC RAID On Chip is HW RAID, has its own processor, its own BIOS and nothing to do with your system.

My questions are:

1. What are you using or planning to use to backup both your boot disk and RAID-5 array? YES, RAID-5 arrays can go down, so can RAID-6, especially if they are not ROC and the Parity drive will do nothing.

2. Would you be interesteed in BETA testing a new releaase of Enterprise Backup and Restore I've used for years, along with the same RAID-0 8 x 240GB SATA600 Vertex Enterprise SSDs. Gone down three times, back up in 10-15 minutes and if I'm in a rush I just use one of the single HDD's I backyp the array to. The difference in the new version is GUID GPT RAID imaging to one drive and the ability to restore.

If you are interested, email me at dpoulos-at-erpsaa.com

If not, all the best, nicely done!

Dean

 

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