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How to complete my server box

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
It looks like I'm going to be building a new server to replace 2 different FreeNAS boxes. I've decided that, at this point, it's better to go with higher grade equipment and I'm a bit lost on how to proceed.

I'm currently running a WHS 2011 server for media, which has a RAID card and 4 hard drives; and I have a FreeNAS box for backups that has 2 hard drives (all hard drives are the same). I want to create one big FreeNAS box with a raidz2 drive configuration of 8+2. My problem is that the board only has 6 SATA ports. I want a total of 12 ports so that I can have all 10 drives and 1 port available for an optical drive, and another available for a swappable drive bay. I will likely be able to get away with 11, or even 10, if I can create an executable installer on a flash drive....don't know if that's possible.

What do I need to allow me to use the number of drives that I want to use?

Here is the current list:

Fractal Design XL case (has room for most drives, but not all)
Power Supply- I'm not sure yet- I have 2 360w Seasonics that will free up, but that will not likely be enough, especially with the need for SATA power plugs if the drives will be able to fit internally.
Hard drives will all be WD Red 2TB
O/S will be FreeNAS
Board will be SUPERMICRO MBD-X9SCL-F-O http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182251
CPU will be Intel Xeon E3-1220 v2
RAM will probably be 2 sets of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139979

Unsure: HBA or PCIe SATA card
Unsure: Box to hold and power hard drives

It's about time I become familiar with the items I'm unsure about, I just need a little guidance as to what I'll need, how and why they're used.

Edit: I also have one of these that I'm not sure will do the job, and if I can use it, if I can buy another and use two in the same computer without conflict. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816129087
Edited by silvergoat - 2/15/14 at 12:51pm
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post #2 of 20
Don't bother with internal SATA cards, but installed find a SAS HBA. It's basically a hardware RAID card, that doesn't give RAID.

IBM ServeRAID M1015 is usually the top recommended card, which will support 8 SATA drives. You need SFF-8087 to breakout SATA cables, such as:
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-SAS8087S450-Serial-Attached-Cable/dp/B004KDO22K/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_1_2

If you need more than 8 more SATA ports, you can get multiple M1015s, or you can get an HP SAS Expander and connect that to the M1015. The M1015 can actually support up to 32 drives, when used with a SAS Expander (HP, Chenbro, and Intel all make reliable SAS Expanders).

Some alternatives of the M1015 would be:
LSA SAS 9207-8i (8 SATA drives)
LSI SAS 9211-4i (4 SATA drives) (Use SAS Expander as this card can support up to 256 drives with multiple Expanders)
Dell PERC H200 (flashed to IT Mode)
Dell PERC 6/i (flashed to IT Mode -- Not sure if this will support drives larger than 2TB)
Edited by tycoonbob - 2/15/14 at 1:27pm
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Kinda bummed that I missed an excellent deal on an 8 port 3ware RAID card that could have been used in this build. I think it was ~$150 for some reason, and I backed out. It looks like all of the options are well above that. I do have the 4 port version of the 3ware 9650....if I can use that and one of the cards you mentioned, I'll be right in the ball park of where I need to be.

I'm probably going to have to pick this up piece by piece.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Will probably be ordering the motherboard tonight, but before I did, I was curious if anyone had suggestions on memory....considering boards can be picky, and the approved list is a little bit confusing to figure out.


This is the board below:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182717

http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C216/X9SAE-V.cfm



I'm clueless on the memory.
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post #5 of 20
Are you still intending to use this as only a media server?

If so you can get away with a low amount of memory, 4GB+.

Server memory is not much different than desktop memory other than being EEC Registered memory, meaning that it can handle minor memory errors without crashing. The motherboard will determine what speed and size memory you can go with same as a desktop board.

You should be able do a bootable flash drive to install the OS. There are instructions pretty much everywhere on how to manually format a bootable flash drive or use something like Rufus to create one.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm almost certainly going to get 4x8GB memory. I just need to know which sticks will be 100% compatible so that I could avoid any headaches. So far I'm leaning towards 16TB (5x4TB in raidz1), so according to FreeNAS I would need more than 16GB.
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post #7 of 20
I guess it comes down to budget then. ECC memory will tend to be more expensive but since you are looking at a server processor and motherboard, ECC will be the best bet for stability for the system. Server memory will be about $75-$100 more for same capacity.

Non-ECC: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231610

ECC: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239371
post #8 of 20
If you're dishing out the money for a server CPU and a server motherboard, you should go ahead and get ECC RAM too. If you can't afford all 32GB up front, buy a pair of 8GB DIMMs and add another pair later.

Also, I'd reconsider doing a RAIDZ1 that large. I know ZFS has additional protection not found in hardware RAID (bit rot, etc), but the odds are not in your favor if you ever have to rebuild the array because of a failed drive. You are more likely (statistically) to encounter a URE during the rebuild of a single-parity based RAID over ~9TB. I only recommend RAID10 these days, but that has a much higher drive cost so I can understand. Just my advice.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
It's just a media server, so I can take a little more risk. Media will be duplicated in at least 2 other locations (another server and the original disks). Besides, budget is a huge concern since I will be buying parts over time as it is, and I can't easily afford all the goodies to go with a 10+ 2TB drive setup. So far I've only picked up the board, but the rest of the build may not happen until summer or fall so I still have time to consider different configurations. Thanks.
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post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ordered this memory

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239371&nm_mc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel&cm_mmc=TEMC-RMA-Approvel-_-Content-_-text-_-


Now I only have the CPU and the hard drives to go.

CPU will likely be this one, although I considered the E3-1265L

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117286

Power supply will be my recycled Seasonic G-series 360w

Hard drives T.B.D.
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