Project: No Name File Server. 56K beware

axan

[H]ard|Gawd
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Ok so it was time to upgrade my file server. My old one had 5TB in 2 raid 5 arrays(15 drives) and with 300 gb of space left it was time to expand. I couldn't come up with a good name for the new box(all the good ones are already taken ) so for now it will be "the no name" file server, if you have any suggestions for the name, post them.

Part List

Mobo Asus DSBF-DE
CPU Intel Xeon e5405 2Ghz Quad Core
Ram 2 x Kingston 2GB FBDIMM
Optical Drive Linteon slim dvd drive
OS Drive 80GB Seagate 7200.10 Sata Drive
Raid Card Areca 24 port SAS Card with 2gb of cache and Battery Backup later replaced with Areca 1280ML due to incompatibility with the Seagate hdds
Raid Storage Drives 20 x Seagate 7200.11 1TB drives in Raid 6
Case Norco 4020 with 20 hot swap hdd bays
PSU Corsair 1000HX

Time for some pics:
If you want to see full res version click HERE




Originally I was going to go with dual cpus, but I realized that 2 quad cores in a file server is way too much of an overkill even for [H]





 

axan

[H]ard|Gawd
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More pics:
Mobo:



FBDIMM ECC RAM



2gb ecc unbuffered ram for areca cache


Starting to put things together



 

swatbat

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Apr 25, 2001
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What OS you going to run on it?

Looking good so far. I'd personaly run a raid 1 for the boot os but other then that should serve you well.
 

axan

[H]ard|Gawd
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Areca 24 port Raid controller







External SAS port and Ethernet port (for management)




Card with upgraded cache memory


The card comes with sas to sas cables so in order to connect sata drives we need new cables (about ~$25 each)








 

axan

[H]ard|Gawd
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Starting to put things together











At this point it was getting late and I was going to take a brake, as i was putting the top cover on the case I realized that the thermalright HR-01 X won't fit in this case :(
Oh well thermalright ultima-90 on order and for now I'll run the case with the lid off.
 

axan

[H]ard|Gawd
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OK this was day 2. Time to hook up power and get this thing up and running.

The 80mm fans that came with the case are actually pretty good, move decent air and are fairly quiet.
Unfortunatelly 1 of them had broken power connector and the 2 exhaust fans had molex connectors instead of 3 pin. So they got the axe and got replaced with some scythe fans.



Here's what will power this beast. Corsair really outdid themselves on this psu. It's awesome.





Ok cable management on this thing is a bitch but I did the best I could




The mini sas to sata cables




Battery backup unit for the raid card


OK the whole thing up and running, final shots:






Right now I'm running stability test and building a 5 drive raid 5 array to play with.
 

axan

[H]ard|Gawd
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What OS you going to run on it?

Looking good so far. I'd personaly run a raid 1 for the boot os but other then that should serve you well.
Undecided for os yet, most likely gentoo with xfs as file system.
As for raid 1 for boot there is really no room to mount an extra drive :D. And once I have the os setup and running all the services and stuff I want I will clone the os drive and keep it as backup in case this one dies.
 

axan

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Some thoughts on the Norco 4020 case. You get what you paid for, the case is not bad. It has plenty of space and lets you have 20 swappable hdds; however, the hdd trays are pretty poor quality, sometimes it's hard to put the tray back into the case, you kinda have to wiggle it around to make it align properly. Definitely no comparison to Supermicro quality. Given it's $300 price tag it's a very good case but if there was a version of Supermicro 846 without the loud ass redundant psu and fans for ~$600 I would upgrade in a heart beat.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
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Dec 15, 2005
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46,062
Nice hardware! Another new member to the Norco club :D

Anyway some ideas for server names:
Deep Thought
Earth
42
The Library
The Beast
The Repository
The Archive
The Index
The Depository
Black Box
Collection
Kermit the Frog
Memory Alpha
 

gjvrieze

[H]ard|Gawd
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Sep 8, 2006
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Very nice build (almost patting myself on the back since you have almost a copy of my Plutonium 4!!!

Congrats and enjoy the new space!!
 

axan

[H]ard|Gawd
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yes forgot to mention that, lots of credit goes to ockie, gjvrieze and others from whom I 'borrowed' some ideas :D
 

ND40oz

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Did that board ship with the latest bios for the 45nm chips? I had forgotten that some of the 5000 series had been updated for them.

Also, why'd you go with 533 mhz ram, you're running slow for the 1333 fsb. Throw them in the white slots so you're in dual channel and pick up 2 more to run quad channel.
 

axan

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yes it came preloaded with bios v1004 which is the newest bios asus has on their page. It works with my 45nm chip no problem. As for the ram, it doesn't matter, it's a file server even 4gb of ram is overkill for this thing, my old server had 2gb and I never saw more then 10% mem utilization.
 

criccio

Fully Equipped
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Mar 26, 2008
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Gotta love hardware porn... especially storage porn!
I very soon plan to replicate this build, only with normal SATA PCIe cards and use WHS.
 

Blue Fox

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Jun 9, 2004
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What is performance like with the 1680ix-24 with the SATA drives? I might sell my 1280ML later down the line since that thing supports expanders, so I'm curious...
 

Met-AL

Supreme [H]ardness
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Is it good for raid cards to bend under pressure from the cables?
 

swatbat

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Undecided for os yet, most likely gentoo with xfs as file system.
As for raid 1 for boot there is really no room to mount an extra drive :D. And once I have the os setup and running all the services and stuff I want I will clone the os drive and keep it as backup in case this one dies.
Anyway to mount the drive where the floppy drive could go? You could have always gone with 2 laptop drives in the single 3.5 inch bay but I would have tried for the second 3.5.

Either way looking good.
 

axan

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Is it good for raid cards to bend under pressure from the cables?
Not really, I just looked back at the pics and saw that. Might want to move the cables to stop that, it does look pretty bad.
The picture is kinda deceiving there is virtually no pressure on the card. The cables are pretty stiff cuz technically that's 4 sata cables in fancy sleeving. You can sorta bend them to shape and they stay that way.
 

axan

[H]ard|Gawd
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What is performance like with the 1680ix-24 with the SATA drives? I might sell my 1280ML later down the line since that thing supports expanders, so I'm curious...
I'm in middle of installing gentoo x64, my first time doing 64 bit system so it might take a while :D When that is done I'll post some benchmarks of various configurations.
 

mjz_5

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May 24, 2001
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if they made the case 4 inches longer, would allow for easier cable management
 

axan

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Little update:

Installing Gentoo 64 bit went very smoothly. I got it up and running with the following services:
NFS
Samba
ProFTPD
MediaTomb

So software side everything is going great but I had a glitch with my array. Last night I set my array to expand from 5 disk raid 5 to 6 disk raid 6 (Just messing arround) Today morning I was woken by the beeping of the Areca controller. I looked at the event log and there was bunch of time outs and then it basically said migration failed and no matter what I did I couldn't get the array back online. Now I'm not sure what caused it, the box wasn't on ups and there might have been a power glitch. So right now I put it on apc 1500va ups and it's initializing new 5 disk raid 5, I plan to put some data on it and try to migrate it to raid 6 again and see how that goes.
 

colinstu

2[H]4U
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Oct 11, 2007
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That RAID card is going a little bendy on you... I'd move some of those cables around to prevent them from warping the card like that.
 

Greg-O

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Nov 22, 2006
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looks nice, all I can say is I wish i had the money to be able to throw something like that together... :rolleyes:
 

axan

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Update.

Having issues with the raid array. Basically the drives keep timing out and destroying the array. Talked to Seagate but they were no help whatsoever. I also contacted Areca, they are aware of the issue and trying to come up with a solution. The problem is SAS processor is not compatible with the Seagate drives. Seagate released a firmware fix for the NS series drives but nothing for AS. As of right now they have no ETA for a fix.
I need my array operation now so I'll be replacing the raid controller with Areca ARC1280ML.
 

axan

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ya it sux, basically wasted a week trying to get it to work. But the new raid card is on order and should be here Monday/Tuesday. Areca Tech assures me that since ARC1280ML is a sata card I won't have any issues.
 

brokenarrow03

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But after dropping that kinda cash and it not working. You'd think they would do more for ya considering these are $1200+ cards...or Seagate considering 20 drives at ~$160 each $3k+ and no ETA for a fix?
 

LittleMe

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But after dropping that kinda cash and it not working. You'd think they would do more for ya considering these are $1200+ cards...or Seagate considering 20 drives at ~$160 each $3k+ and no ETA for a fix?
You've got to consider that even so, how many people does Seagate really have running a setup like this? The people that will care the most are Areca and there is probably only so much they can do if it's the drives.
 

brokenarrow03

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You've got to consider that even so, how many people does Seagate really have running a setup like this? The people that will care the most are Areca and there is probably only so much they can do if it's the drives.
I agree. I would just expect a little more support from Seagate. Thats all...

ya it sux, basically wasted a week trying to get it to work. But the new raid card is on order and should be here Monday/Tuesday. Areca Tech assures me that since ARC1280ML is a sata card I won't have any issues.
Did they refund your first card?
 
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