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What kind of hardware do I need to run a seedbox at home?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Cheap as possible really to support around 48TB of data? Would only be used for torrents. I fancy the idea of a project about getting 2nd hand hardware together and building it! Would be running on Xubuntu.

Would I need some kind of firewall too? I have an Asus router.

Thanks!
    
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post #2 of 6
how many drives?
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Unsure how many drives. Probably a lot. But to start probably 4-6. Hot-swap would be nice for archiving.
    
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post #4 of 6
really, any quad core from 2009+ will work,you just need to find a board with enough PCI-E slots to fit raid cards. then a man of a power supply.
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post #5 of 6
@OP

A couple of points. Cerberus is correct about the PSU. Assuming you start with 4TB drives and you want 48TB of usable capacity, you're looking at 14 drives in RAID 6, 15 drives in RAID Z3 and the same in UnRAID with three parity drives. A Western Digital Red 2.0TB has a max current draw of 0.60A on the 5V rail and 0.45A on the 12V rail. That's 1.05A max draw per drive. Multiply that by 15 and you're looking at 15.75A, assuming a 4TB Red is running the same figures.(probably a little higher due to higher platter count).

My current PC has 8 5400RPM 2TB 3.5" drives plus a single 2.5" 7200RPM boot drive, and adding tenth drive can cause one of the others to drop out. The PSU is a ToughPower 850W, so you're probably looking at a 1KW supply - staggered spin-up can reduce current draw on boot, but at some point all of those drives will be active for an extended period of time: patrol read, extending the array past 10 drives, or replacing a dead drive and resilvering.

Since this is a torrent box, I wouldn't bother with hardware RAID cards - most of them will only support 8 drives out of the box, and since the days of natively spreading an array across multiple cards seem to be over, you'll have to pair one up with a SAS Expander. If it was me, I'd get an 8-port or 16-port "plain Jane" HBA and use either Linux software RAID (possibly with LVM on top) or ZFS RAID Z2/3.

Router-wise, whether your router will be able to cope will depend on how many peers will be requesting content from you. Replace it when you need to. thumb.gif

EDIT
Quote:
Originally Posted by 86JR View Post

Unsure how many drives. Probably a lot. But to start probably 4-6. Hot-swap would be nice for archiving.

You mean being able to pull any drive from the array and read its contents on a separate machine? If that's the case, a striped array is useless. You'd be better off with something like unRAID, FlexRAID or SnapRAID, but I have no idea if their licencing supports that much data volume.
Edited by parityboy - 3/20/17 at 8:02am
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post #6 of 6

I'm late to the thread but here is my opinion on your server:

If you want to have a large number of drives and have the ability to hot swap them you are best off with SnapRAID or UnRAID.

 

http://www.snapraid.it/faq

 

With SnapRAID you can use any OS and any file system, you can add or remove drives from the array without affecting the array. The one weakness of SnapRAID is read speed as it's limited to one drive due to the array not being a traditional RAID array but a software one. Also you can assign as many parity drives as you like.

 

UnRAID has the same strengths: you can add drives after the creation of the array, you can mix drives of different speeds and sizes (just like SnapRAID) and you can remove drives as you see fit. Its main weaknesses are file system: it's a non-standard file system and RAID so you will need third party software to read the drives in Windows. Also you can only assign two parity drives, which I see as an unacceptable weakness in a large array due to the inherent risks when rebuilding the array after a lost drive.

 

Both are really easy to use and are very flexible. I just use SnapRAID because it is simply wonderful and I intend to expand my array to 12 drives eventually, allowing me to assign three parity drives. My dream setup is a 24 drive 4U chassis with 18 data drives, 5 parity drives and on OS drive.

 

As long as the server is only a file server and not many people are accessing data simultaneously you won't need a hugely powerful CPU. My server has an AMD quad core 3.2Ghz with 8GB ECC RAM (usually 50% used). I use Windows 8.1 and my longest up time is 5 weeks and that's only because a power failure caused the server to crash and restart. I know this because my router also rebooted at the same time. My server is a Plex server which is accessed by 7 people.

 

If you are planning on running a Plex server and don't mind getting new hardware you could wait for Zen R5 and get the 6C/12T one as it will be superbly powerful for the price. Or if you want second hand you can get an AMD 1090T and a board. If you want Intel you need to look into Xeon (if you want ECC RAM which I recommend) or you can get an i7. You won't need the most powerful system as long as not that many people access the system but the more people access the system the more powerful CPU you need but if you don't intend to run Plex this is irrelevant.

 

For a simple file server a dual core high powered CPU will do just fine. If you intend to save power you can look into one of those Atom boards but whether it's worth it to you is another question. To me they're not worth it as they are too weak to run the server I want and they cost a lot so I prefer to get second hand hardware to save lots of money, which will take an Atom system years to earn back.

 

I can't help you with RAID cards but if you intend to run SnapRAID or UnRAID you need to look into a RAID card that can be set to HBA mode so that all it does is pass the drives to the OS. Alternatively you can get a PCI-E SATA card but I think an LSI 9211-8i set in HBA would be better as you can connect many more drives to it. I haven't been able to find a PCI-E SATA card with more than 8 ports so you will need two if you are planning on using more than 14 drives (8+6 on the board), which adds to the cost.

 

I do agree with the PSU wattage as you will need lots just in case they all spin up and they put strain on the PSU. An HD might only use 10W but if you have 10 spinning up simultaneously (RAID 5, 6 or 7) they will put heavy strain on the 5V rail. I will upgrade my 400W when I have enough drives to warrant it.

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