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Discussion Starter #1
My first server build was detailed in this thread ... [Build Log] 'Set and Forget' ... a NAS in a CaseLabs Nova X2M running FreeNAS

The last-ish post in that thread was ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffhi View Post

I visited the FreeNas forum recently and found this post about the motherboard that I was using.

I haven't visited that forum for a while ... so ... why was I returning? My shell script had stopped returning my motherboard temperature. Why? Because the IPMI wasn't being found by the script. Why? Because my BMC was dead. Why? The watchdog had run itself crazy chasing its tail. Hmmm.

I now have the watchdog tied up in its kennel (disabled in BIOS) and I have an RMA in play for the board.

That fixes the (short term) problem. It also gives me a window to review my hardware for my 2nd NAS. I would like to keep / reuse my hardware as much as possible. I don't see much of a problem with most of the hardware (Hard drive cages, HDDs, case, fans) ... but, (obviously) the board has to go. And that will probably take the RAM - it seems most boards have moved on to DDR4 memory.

Here are two options that I am considering ...

Option One ... older motherboard that can (re)use my DDR3 ram from my current build ...

Quote:
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: Supermicro X10SL7-F Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Case: Zalman MS800 ATX Mid Tower Case

Reuse or have ...
CPU Cooler: CRYORIG M9i 48.4 CFM CPU Cooler - I just happen to have a spare in the basement
Memory: Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: 8 x WD Red 4TB 3.5" HDDs
Hot Swap Cage: 2 x Kingwin KF-4001-BK (4 HDDs in 3 5¼ bays)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Gold 450W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply

The new parts would cost me around $550
Option Two ... newer motherboard that needs new ram ...
Quote:
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 V5 3.4GHz Quad-Core OEM/Tray Processor
Motherboard: Supermicro X11SSL-CF Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
Case: Zalman MS800 ATX Mid Tower Case
Memory: 4 x Crucial 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory

Reuse or have ...
CPU Cooler: CRYORIG M9i 48.4 CFM CPU Cooler - I just happen to have a spare in the basement
Memory: Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: 8 x WD Red 4TB 3.5" HDDs
Hot Swap Cage: 2 x Kingwin KF-4001-BK (4 HDDs in 3 5¼ bays)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Gold 450W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply

The new parts would cost me around $850
Now ... you will notice that Option One and Option Two include a new case ... the Zalman MS800. The documentation for this puppy has says that it has 6 external 5.25" drive bays. Rubbish ... it has 10 if you are prepared to sacrifice the internal HDD (et al) locations. I am. With 10 5.25" drive bays ... I could put in 3 x hot swap bays with 4 (or 5!) HDDs each and still have a bay left over for (I have no idea what).

Also ... Newegg is selling this case for $59.99 plus $5 shipping (4-7 days) ... and it has a $20 rebate until the end of January. Sure - you get that $20 in about 3 months ... but that is still $20. Also ... the newegg 4-7 days shipping is rubbish. I ordered it today, FedEx is delivering it tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I ended up selecting Option One ...

Option One ... older motherboard that can (re)use my DDR3 ram from my current build ...
Quote:
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: Supermicro X10SL7-F Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Case: Zalman MS800 ATX Mid Tower Case

Reuse or have ...
CPU Cooler: CRYORIG M9i 48.4 CFM CPU Cooler - I just happen to have a spare in the basement
Memory: Crucial 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: 8 x WD Red 4TB 3.5" HDDs
Hot Swap Cage: 2 x Kingwin KF-4001-BK (4 HDDs in 3 5¼ bays)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Gold 450W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply

The new parts would cost me around $550
The Zalman case is already here (downstairs) and I have stripped it of its fans, GPU support bracket and managed to pop the plastic top off. According to comments in the interwebs - getting the plastic top off is very difficult. I can see why that is ... but a bit of care, observation and thinking enabled me to pop it off in about 2 minutes. You have to be a little careful removing it as all of the wiring for the front stuff is attached.

Front stuff? Yes ...
  • 2 x USB 3 ports
  • 2 x USB 2 ports
  • power and reset switch
  • fan controller for up to 6 3-pin fans
    this also means that you have to run power to the front so that the fan controller can control the vans via voltage
  • headphone and microphone jacks (not sure I will use that for this server)
The motherboard and CPU are on order from newegg via their SuperMicro Server Motherboard E3-1200 v3 Configurator. Total cost plus shipping ($5) was $475 ... the configurator saved me about $20.

Once I have my server rebuilt with these new parts, I will RMA the ASRock motherboard and sell my CaseLabs X2M NOVA (shock, horror!).
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
[Final Pictures]

I ordered two sets of 4 SATA data cables ... different colors so that I could trace them back to the HDDs. These are all meant to be 6" long ... none of them are.






Here is my 24-pin cable extension ... all in white, no sleeving. You can also see my new 8-pin cable there too.



The back of the case where most of the cable management occurred. The wago connector (middle left) is because I hate molex connectors. It provides power to the case driven fans (this case comes with a voltage based fan controller) ... and that would work if I had connected any of the fans to the case power (the green and yellow cables).



And here is Mr NAS in his home built rack.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffhi View Post

You have to be a little careful removing it [the top] as all of the wiring for the front stuff is attached.

Front stuff? Yes ...
  • 2 x USB 3 ports
  • 2 x USB 2 ports
  • power and reset switch
  • fan controller for up to 6 3-pin fans
    this also means that you have to run power to the front so that the fan controller can control the vans via voltage
  • headphone and microphone jacks (not sure I will use that for this server)
I've managed to detach the headphone and microphone wires from the circuit boards on the top. One less wire to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First pictures ...

Here is the case stripped down. I have taken out / off everything. You can see the cavenous front with the 10 5¼" bays. I am trying to work out where to put the two (2) hot swap cages ... towards the top ... or towards the bottom?

NAS3-0001-Case.jpg

NAS3-0002-Case.jpg

NAS3-0003-Case.jpg


This case comes with some 120mm fans (removed) ... it provides some slots for 120mm or 140mm fans (one on the bottom next to the PSU and two at the top). The bottom has a built in (and easily removable) dust filter while the top has a filter but it is not removable and difficult to get to. I guess that means bottom for in-take and top for exhaust.

NAS3-0004-Case.jpg


Here are the cables on the top plastic cover. I have removed the audio cable (see the empty white plug hole thing). I am tossing up whether or not to remove the top electronic panel (USB2, USB3) because I am not sure if I will ever use the front USB ports.

The black cable on the left is USB3.
The black cable on the right is USB2.
The yellow cable / wires are power for the fan controller.
The yellow / green wires are 3-pin fan wires (from the controller).
The other wires (red, white, black, green) are power / reset wires.

NAS3-0005-Case.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update from newegg / FedEx re ...

Quote:
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1231 V3 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: Supermicro X10SL7-F Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Scheduled delivery: Tue 1/31/2017 by end of day

That is TOMORROW!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Motherboard and CPU arrived. I have taken my current NAS offline and I am busy stripping it down and standing up the new NAS.
  • thumb drives moved, both inserted into back of motherboard
  • PSU moved ... the 24-pin cable is too short, even with the old extension. I am bringing my cable making abilities to the fore and making my own extension ... no individual wire sleeving, plain white wire, no large sleeving (maybe)
  • HDD cages moved ... they fit really well - I did reach out to Kingwin to see if I can put the cages in upside down and they said "no problems from our point of view - check with your HDD make". I googled for my WD drives and lots of people said they don't care (upside down is fine).
    In the end, I decided not to put them in upside down (main reason I was thinking about it is it would bring the cage ports (data, power) to the open side of the case. I worked out that I can insert the cables first ... and then slot the cages into the case.
    Also ... if the cage is upside down - the screw holes don't line up
    frown.gif

  • rear fan moved, made short fan cable to run off one of the motherboard fan headers
  • CPU installed
  • cryorig Mi9 installed - 92mm fan is running off FAN1 header
  • this motherboard needs an 8-pin additional power cable ... ordered some fittings from ModMyMods (arriving Sat) and will make my own power cable
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Newegg ($239 for the motherboard) advertises a PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE*. I found a cheaper price ($224) at colamco (never heard of them) but newegg decided that they didn't qualify as a MAJOR COMPETITOR and declined to match that price.

Fair enough.

I purchased from newegg because superbiiz didn't have this board in stock ... it is back in stock now ... for $217.

Surely superbiiz is a major competitor - I emailed newegg and am waiting for their reply. I included this in my email ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by email to newegg
Do you consider superbiiz a major competitor?

I checked my newegg ordering history and this is the 3rd motherboard that I have purchased from you. If you can't match this price, I might stop considering the PRICE MATCH and make my purchasing decisions based on price alone.
To be honest, I don't really care if they price match. They don't refund dollars, they don't give you a permanent credit. They give you a gift card that you have to use in 90 days (or there abouts).

It just so happens have I have $11 worth of 8" sata data cables in my newegg cart - lets see how they react.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by reply from newegg ...
Hello Ruff,

Thank you for contacting Newegg.

Thank you for your response. However, superbiiz is not our major competitor, either. Our major competitors include: amazon.com, bestbuy.com, rakuten.com,cdw.com, costco.com, crutchfield.com, dell.com, frys.com, gamestop.com,kmart.com, officedepot.com, officemax.com, pcconnection.com,pcmall.com, radioshack.com, samsclub.com, sears.com, staples.com,target.com, tigerdirect.com, and walmart.com.

Besides, I show you paid $229.99 and $2.94 for the motherboard. You may check the order confirmation email. However, since we do value you as Newegg customer, I have issued a $10.00 gift card as an exception for you. It will take about 1-2 business days for the gift card to be processed. It will be emailed to you once processed and expire in 90 days from the date issued.

If you still require any assistance, please feel free to reply directly to this email or you can visit our Customer Help Center to check our Help Topics and use our Self-Help tools.

Please click here to rate my service. We value your feedback!
As I mentioned above, I picked up the mobo and cpu as part of one of their combo packs ... saved me $20. Seems they split it $10/$10 between the two items. I'll wait for the card to come through and then I am getting meself some sata cables
smile.gif
.

Maybe I should change this build to 'SPONSORED BY NEWEGG'

Edit: Here is a pic of the stat cables I ordered ...



6" cables ... really ... 6 inches long? They will never fit!

They will! I'll post pictures illustrating how. And color coded ... so I can work out which port on the HDD cage goes to which sata plug on the motherboard.
 

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Update ...
  • swapped the ram to the new motherboard
  • made my 24-pin (23 actually) cable extension with plain, white wire (used up all of my white wire and had to order more)
    broke out my multi-meter to test that I lined up the pins correctly (I did)
    zip tied the wires together and plugged it in
  • plugged the stat data and molex power cables into the HDD cages
    slid the HDD cages into the case and inserted some (4 per side) screws
    plugged in the sata to motherboard, power to psu
  • plugged in the power wires from the front panel ... only the power wires
  • plugged in 3 ethernet cables
  • plugged in monitor
  • eventually remembered to plug in the keyboard - I did sit there for 10 minutes trying to get into the bios with the keyboard unplugged
    thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif
    thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif

  • plugged in the usb from the uninterrupted power supply
  • plugged in the power cord
  • pressed the power button ... nothing happen ... realized I was pressing the reset button
  • pressed the real power button ... computer came to life, monitor lit up 'supermicro' on the screen
  • exhaust and CPU cooler fans started up
  • I didn't have any HDDs in the cages so the fans attached to the cages did not start up (seems they are smart and only start if you insert HDDs)
  • set the 'boot from thumb drive' as #1 on the boot list
  • turned off computer, inserted HDDs and restarted
  • freeNAS started, pool imported, IP assigned to GUI
  • can see the GUI on my office computer (but on different IP address)
  • network storage is back
  • PLEX is back
So ... some small, around the edges items to wrap up but nothing major.

The real question is ... will I finish this rebuild log without a non-Ruff post.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update ...
  • a few funny things happening ...
    • 2 warning messages from FreeNAS, one about 192.168.1.3 (GUI IP) and the other about the LSI 2308 SAS driver not being current
    • also ... when I shut down the computer, it reboots ... quite a few posts about that behaviour with this motherboard
  • so ... flashed the LSI to the latest driver - that went pretty well
  • couldn't get my old GUI IP address back ... decided I could live with the new one (.11)
  • not sure if I can get rid of the warning message
  • fiddled with the BIOS some and I think I have stopped the 'reboot on shutdown' error
  • the 2 8-pin connectors and some pretty nice sleeving came today (thank you ModMyMods)
  • unfortunately, I don't have enough wire to make the cable ... another MMM order is on its way (USPS says delivery today ... Saturday)
  • as is the sata cable order from newegg ... it is in about an hr away but FedEx says it will get here on Tuesday ...
    ... as in they give it to USPS on Monday
    ... and USPS deliver it on Tuesday
    ... stupid FedEx SmartPost
    gunner.gif
    bruce.gif

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffhi View Post

The real question is ... will I finish this rebuild log without a non-Ruff post.
Too late. Build complete.
 

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Hi Ruffhi,

In the past week I have been looking at the commercially available turnkey NAS: Netgear, Synology and QNAP. The Netgear and QNAP are fuggly and the Synology aesthetic is nice, but their hardware is very expensive for fairly gimped hardware. So I started looking at FreeNAS and NAS4Free. Their turnkey hardware is fuggly squared and also relatively expensive for off the shelf hardware. It got me thinking that I could do better myself.

I know you were one of the folks following my CaseLabs Mercury S5 build two years ago... This time I have been reading your NAS v2 / Caselabs Nova build. I've found it really useful. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I've also noticed your NAS v3 as well. Has the experience of using FreeNAS been worth it, or in hindsight has it been not worth the messing around? Would a turnkey / slower solution from Synology be an okay solution in hindsight?

(My idea would be to reuse my S5 with an mATX Xeon-D board with 10GbE and build a new workstation maybe with Asus's X99-X-10G WS and a Xeon E5 with ECC memory.)

Simon.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonOcean View Post

Hi Ruffhi,

In the past week I have been looking at the commercially available turnkey NAS: Netgear, Synology and QNAP. The Netgear and QNAP are fuggly and the Synology aesthetic is nice, but their hardware is very expensive for fairly gimped hardware. So I started looking at FreeNAS and NAS4Free. Their turnkey hardware is fuggly squared and also relatively expensive for off the shelf hardware. It got me thinking that I could do better myself.

I know you were one of the folks following my CaseLabs Mercury S5 build two years ago... This time I have been reading your NAS v2 / Caselabs Nova build. I've found it really useful. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I've also noticed your NAS v3 as well.

Simon.
Simon - you are welcome. And a HUGE thank you for your post ... the first non-Ruff post in this thread.

Re your questions ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonOcean
Has the experience of using FreeNAS been worth it, or in hindsight has it been not worth the messing around? Would a turnkey / slower solution from Synology be an okay solution in hindsight?
Hard to answer because I didn't really spend much (any?) time looking at the turn-key solutions. What I would have done differently is spent more time looking at the FreeNAS forum recommended hardware sections (listed in my priority) ...

https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?resources/hardware-recommendations-guide.12/
https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?threads/hardware-recommendations-read-this-first.23069/
http://www.freenas.org/hardware-requirements/

... and not so much time following the builds of bloggers.

I swapped out of the Nova as I moved to an mATX board. The Zalman case that I am using now is just chugging on ... enough room to hold the hardware and simple enough to do the job.

My usage is pretty vanilla (Plex for movies and recorded TV, important file storage).
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonOcean
(My idea would be to reuse my S5 with an mATX Xeon-D board with 10GbE and build a new workstation maybe with Asus's X99-X-10G WS and a Xeon E5 with ECC memory.)
Check the hardware threads ... in particular, the guide.12 one.
 

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I've just finished reading through these hardware recommendations that you kindly linked to. I'd been on FreeNAS forums but missed this... I'd only seen some old hardware recommendation threads and not found the up to late pdf. Really useful. Thanks. Basically I can build my own kick ass Xeon E3 + 64GB ECC + X550 T2 10GbE using ZFS for about £1,000 (and use of some existing components I have... PSU, case etc) vs about £2,500 for a still inferior Synology turn key solution. These prices without the HDDs of course. The QNAP / Synology boxes at £1,000 are toys in comparison.

I've been going through my Lightroom collections and some pictures have been corrupted by bitrot, so while the drives are not dead I am beginning to get corrupted data. Hence my looking at ZFS and ECC CPUs and memory.

Anyways, thanks again!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If / When you post at the FreeNAS forums ... they will tell you that ZFS is not a replacement for backups. You need both.

My NAS is backed up each night for all the stuff I care about. Thankfully, that excludes recorded TV and ripped copies of my DVD movies. Honestly - who wants to backup 5TB of that stuff.
 

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Yup. I had gotten the hype regarding ZFS. Besides the value for money proposition that seemed like another selling point towards building my own NAS to run FreeNAS / ZFS.
 
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