Now I hear you all screaming! Deafboy! Your 600T isn't rackmountable!
Damn it, you know what, you're right yet again!
Back to craigslist! Haha. I came across an old Norco RPC-470 4u chassis, $40, sure, why not? Go to pick it up and I got even luckier! The chassis had the fans replaced with a couple Scythe AP-29 Gentle Typhoon fans. (still looking for one more, PM me if you have one
This, this was a mistake. This chassis it fine but the hard drive mounting solution is terrible. But it will do for now.
And this is how things sat for a while. But it was really bugging me in the back of my head that I essentially had to take apart the case to replace a hard drive. So while it had only been a month or two I started thinking about what I would like my system to look like for future needs. I wanted to have the option to add more drives, more fail safes, but more importantly I wanted it all to be super simple to do. So I started looking at some Supermicro cases but really couldn't find any great deals on ones that I like and ones that were SAS2 since the Supermicro ones have a backplane with a SAS expander. Well, I opted for a different route, went with the Norco 4224 since it was $100 off during the holiday sales on Newegg.
But the 4224 has very simple breakout board backplanes so I would need plenty of SAS ports. So right there I knew I would need some HBA cards so I could add more drives as I didn't really have the option to do too many more with onboard SATA ports. So I looked around and hey you know what, I found another great deal? lol. Picked up 3 LSI 9211-8i SAS raid cards. But raid and FreeNAS don't really go well together but these cards are THE go to cards in the freeNAS community to flash to IT mode and use as HBA cards. So I did just that.
I could have gone with a single SAS card and a SAS expander but I got a great deal on the cards and well, I felt like it gave me a bit more flexibility in terms of fail safes.
It's in RaidZ2 in 6 disk configs so I have essentially 4 disks of usable storage and 2 disk redundancy. OS is loaded on boot into memory so the OS is just off of a USB stick so all drives attached to the SAS cards are for the pool. Will eventually expand the pool as I add new drives (6 at a time) with a new vdev.
Each SAS card covers 2 rows of drives. So if a card goes I would only drop 2 drives per vdev so I would still have access to the data as I either move the drives or replace the card. So right now it's extremely overkill as each SAS card is only handling two drives. lol. Won't be as overkill as I populate more of the drive bays. But it's all configured so I just have to add the drives in and go, no need to open the case.
Each sas card can do 8 drives or 24 in total for the system (not counting onboard sata ports).
Let the case swap begin!
Next up I was at work and found a APC UPS sitting around, asked if I could have it and sure enough they let me have it. It didn't work but was worth checking, ended up just needing the battery replaced but whatever, got a new battery off of amazon for pretty cheap and works gloriously. Not rackmountable but it does the job for the time being.
Next craigslist find! 64GB of registered ECC memory (4x16GB Dimms)