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WAF home server

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I have been running a C1100 for the past 6 months and I love it, but it is a little noisy in my closet and I would like something a bit more efficient, quiet and has expandability. I also came home the other day with a few PowerEdge 2950s and 1950s and an APC NetShelter and the wife flipped a bit. I am going to sell all this equipment and get something much more practical for my needs.

I have ESXi on my current server and run my firewall and other various random OSes that I mess around with as well as a Server 2012 domain for training.

I have been looking at things like the HP Microserver G8, but I would need more than 16GB RAM I think. The Dell T20 and T110 can be had for cheap, but would need some work getting them where I want them. I thought about building my own, but not sure if I really want to or not, I dunno. I have not tried FreeNAS or any ZFS type solution as I have just been using my PERC 6i and doing a RAID 10 and have been fine with that. I would like to try it out though, but I can't with my current server. I am a huge fan of Synology (have one at work) and have been thinking of getting the DS412+ and using it as an iSCSI for the ESXi host as well, but that isn't priority right now.

Basically just wondering what you guys who have limited space and where noise is an issue do. I have only my office and a closet in it that has a shelf that my server sits on and that the modem and wireless router are mounted above. The NetShelter was going to go in the closet, but it is a little too wide to fit without taking the doors off and that would make it even louder.
    
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post #2 of 7
well that really depends
how much ram/cpu power do you need?

you can get two basic Microservers and distribute the load
the microserver can be upgraded with more powerful cpus but if the ram limit is ok

you can build a cheap-o mATX tower around an e3-1230 xeon

there are many many options

and you're title is misleading...
post #3 of 7
The E3-1230v2 is a great CPU, and is what I run in my NAS. It would do surprisingly well for a good amount of VMs in a home setting. Quad core 3.3GHz with hyperthreading, for like $200.

If the C1100 is too loud, I can say that a Dell R610 is quieter but still just as big. I wouldn't say it's silent, but it's definitely less audible which is one of the reasons I've replaced my C1100s with a R610 (planning on a second in the next few months).

Dell T110, etc are nice but getting one without a celeron is going to cost somewhere in the $600-850 range. For that, you could probably build something around a E3-1230v2 with 24GB of RAM.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for that info in regards to the R610. I have been eyeing the 1230 thinking that would be decent for my needs. And that is the processor I'd get for any of these small tower servers.
    
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcard36qs View Post

Hey thanks for that info in regards to the R610. I have been eyeing the 1230 thinking that would be decent for my needs. And that is the processor I'd get for any of these small tower servers.

e3-1230 - 230$
asus b85m-g - 70$
corsair cx430 - 60$
fractal core 1000 - 35$

that's 400$ without disks so go for it!!
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by boyk0 View Post

e3-1230 - 230$
asus b85m-g - 70$
corsair cx430 - 60$
fractal core 1000 - 35$

that's 400$ without disks so go for it!!

Forgot RAM, which would add $65 per 8GB DIMM. That motherboard supports up to 32GB of RAM, so 4 x 8GB DIMMs would add $260, bringing the cost to $660 without disks.
post #7 of 7
I just put together a "duct tape server" (what I call repurposed parts builds) for a friend, who is brilliant with the software side but almost clueless on the hardware side (I am the opposite, so we get along famously).
The only stipulations were decent efficiency, medium to small form factor, and a strong focus on disk performance and upgrade friendliness.

I got a 1yr old Dell Optiplex from a business for $175. Specs: i7-2600 CPU, proprietary MB (4x SATA2 + 2x SATA3, 8+8 USB2/3, 1x PCIe2.1 x16, 1x8, 1x4, 2x1, 4 DIMM Slots, 5 PWM fan headers, 6+2+1 VRM layout, 2x eSATA 6Gbps), 4x4GB DDR3-1600 8-8-8, AMD HD5850, Intel 1x10GbEth + 4x1bEth HW NIC, 490W PSU (swapped for a good one), Slimline BD-Reader/DVD-burner, 32-in-1 card reader with UHS1 support, and I got them to throw in a few PERC cards by givingthem a sstraight $250.
It was an absolute steal, found on Craigslist (I have gotten tens of thousands in server parts for 1/20th thecost thanks to the site!), and I even told the guy that I was pretty certain that he had the wrong PC because this had a fairly desirable graphics card added, and the memory wasn't factory, because I don't believe in taking advantage of people's lack of knowledge of a subject.
He just said that he didn't care, that they just got a whole new enterprise setup from Supermicro, and $175 was 175 times more useful to them than a PC serving as a dust settling surface in a closet.

Most around the $200 mark will have an i5-2400, 8-16GB RAM, HD5770 at most, and likely no fancy NIC. Regardless, they're still a steal for use as a compact server, and the SB Gen certainly aren't lackingffor power.


Thessecond half of the equation was a different approach to storage than usual. Obviously the drive options would be nonexistent in the Dell case, but it was deemed pointless to tear up a perfectly good machine. The first thought was an Areca 1882xi, which I love and are crazy powerful, but the limited external ports would make it too expensive for too little usability.
Then, I recalled that Areca makes "external RAID boxes", similar to the enterprise NAS units in form, but with their own, awesomely awesome, full featured hardware RAID CController, upgradeable Cache, integrated high-capacity BBU, fully hot-swappable setup, and much more, and can be utilized via plethora ofcconnectivity options, including 1 and 10GbEth with full support for teaming and link aggregation, 2x USB3.0 ports, 2x eSATA 6Gbps and 1x SATA3 internal, and could be ordered with Thunderbolt, custom optical Fibre channel links, and much more.

I showed it to him, and he said he didn't care how much (18-drive case), and said he actually figured it'd be more than twice what it was.

It's now filled with a mix of HGST Ultrastar 3 or 4TB and WD RE 4TB in two arrays. It comes out to over 50TB usable space.

The best thing? It is 100 percent modular, functioning as a headless NAS with HW RAID, acting as a hidden pron depository in your closet you filthy person, and it is completely compatible with different computers, you simply press off, unplug, move it, plug in, and turn on where the arrays are recognized immediately.

I have yet to see anything half as good for seriously powerful storage in a decor friendly package, much less something that is so versatile and can be used for so many things. It is perfect for an HTPC that can't get a good wifi signal, because you can download/rip films/movies directly to the units array/s, using a PC directly wired to the router. You can even simply just connect the unit itself to the router, headless, and use any networked PC to control it and download directly to the unit, and hooked up to your router, any computer on the network can have direct access. While you backup a few terabytes to one array from one computer, you can playback full quality Blu-Ray audio and video to another PC from a different array, and all the while the unit is downloading and sending thousands of media files.


I was so impressed, and having never had anything less than perfection from a variety of Areca RAID cards, I got one myself.


I have not been so excited and satisfied and pleased with a computer/part purchase in a very long time! It's so flexible that it's allowed me to significantly streamline my whole network.
Oh, and it can saturate every type of connection provided the drives do their part.
   
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