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Thread: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    The time has come to retire my aging N54L and replace it with a proper Freenas setup as I no longer need the HTPC functionality I'd been using it for.

    The plan is to reuse a number of existing parts, specifically:
    Asus Sabertooth 990FX
    FX6300
    Bequiet PurePower 750W.


    I know both the board and CPU are complete overkill, but I have them and buying new parts would cost far more than any electric bill savings. I also have some craptastic Gt210 or other that can come out of the N54L to get it booted.
    What I could do with is some reccomendations for a sound deadened ATX case with at least 6 internal bays that doesn't cost the earth.

    At the moment the candidate is an antec p100 which is on amazon at a cracking price at the moment.

    Ram will be 16GB of corsair value select, with probably 4 disks. Undecided if it'll be 3 or 4 TB. Probably 4 since it wants doing right first time (google suggests upgrading the storage without blatting the data is likely to be awkward at best.

    Am I missing anything obvious?

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Remember with FreeNAS, if you are using RAID-Z, that you should really be using ECC RAM, not just any old stuff. Also make sure your board supports this.

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    Senior Member Bonebreaker777's Avatar
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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Quick search on the web came back with the conclusion that his board does not support ECC. So rather a board with clear ECC support.Also voting for ECC with RAID-Z (ZFS).1GB for every TB of HDD/RAID/storage.

    Case whatever you fancy. I would choose a very insulated one with filtered air vents and to prevent CPU overheat, manually downclock.

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Would be pretty surprised if that board didn't support ECC ram, it seems to be a standard feature on Asus AM3 boards. Am running this machine with 16GB of ECC ram quite happily.

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonebreaker777 View Post
    Quick search on the web came back with the conclusion that his board does not support ECC. So rather a board with clear ECC support.Also voting for ECC with RAID-Z (ZFS).1GB for every TB of HDD/RAID/storage.

    Case whatever you fancy. I would choose a very insulated one with filtered air vents and to prevent CPU overheat, manually downclock.
    The manual and BIOS both disagree with you about ECC. Although to be honest I'm not sure about the utility of it for what I'm doing. Depending on cost I'll probably grab some anyway, but there are plenty of people apparently running without it for home use with no issues.

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    I know you want to reuse stuff you already have but it still might work out better just to upgrade to Gen8 Microserver @ £144

    Main difference between this and the N36L/N54L is a proper upgradable intel CPU (lots of people sticking XEON's in them to turn them into a full decent ESXi box)

    I'm still running on my N36L but do want to upgrade it this year... we shall see.

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Quote Originally Posted by herulach View Post
    The manual and BIOS both disagree with you about ECC. Although to be honest I'm not sure about the utility of it for what I'm doing. Depending on cost I'll probably grab some anyway, but there are plenty of people apparently running without it for home use with no issues.
    ECC RAM won't stop anything working necessarily, but if you had a single bit error you could lose your entire zPool.

    If you run regular backups, or if you don't care about the data then its not too much if an issue, but for the extra couple of quid it costs for the knowledge that you're not if a knifes edge, I think its worth it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dooms View Post
    I know you want to reuse stuff you already have but it still might work out better just to upgrade to Gen8 Microserver @ £144

    Main difference between this and the N36L/N54L is a proper upgradable intel CPU (lots of people sticking XEON's in them to turn them into a full decent ESXi box)

    I'm still running on my N36L but do want to upgrade it this year... we shall see.
    I'm in the same boat as you! Must.... Resist....

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Reading about it you see a lot of comments on those lines, and i cant help but think they must be overexaggerted. I can't believe the file system is so delicate that a single bit out of place can kill it? Maybe one file, but the whole pool?

    Good call on the gen8. Last time I looked at them they were much more expensive than that. Might be a winner

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Quote Originally Posted by herulach View Post
    Good call on the gen8. Last time I looked at them they were much more expensive than that. Might be a winner
    Here is a post on the CPU's that work in the Gen8: http://homeservershow.com/forums/ind...processor-faq/

    A quick google seems to have the i3's for £50-100 and the XEON's for £200-300... I would start looking around on ebay for a good deal if I wanted to upgrade.

    In a couple weeks I'm going to start playing with unraid on the N36L. The new version 6beta also runs XEN, KVM and Docker so could dump my nested ESXi lab.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Quote Originally Posted by herulach View Post
    Reading about it you see a lot of comments on those lines, and i cant help but think they must be overexaggerted. I can't believe the file system is so delicate that a single bit out of place can kill it? Maybe one file, but the whole pool?
    Flip a bit in a size field you could add or remove a few TB to an object, and I can't see that ending well.

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Quote Originally Posted by herulach View Post
    Reading about it you see a lot of comments on those lines, and i cant help but think they must be overexaggerted. I can't believe the file system is so delicate that a single bit out of place can kill it? Maybe one file, but the whole pool?
    Its to do with the 'auto healing' nature of the ZFS system. Im not going to pretend I can explain it better than others who have done so on the official forums, but this is the reality of the file system.
    Calling the file system delicate is somewhat unfair. ZFS was not actually purposely intended on being used for home servers, it is more for 24/7 enterprise and as such, the way it works is designed around actually having ECC memory. As long as you meet the specification for which is was designed, the file system is not delicate, its incredibly robust. If you use it against the devs recommendations, then the risks are presented to you and its up to you to decide if you want to take them.
    This is fairly standard practice for any kind of environment for any kind of product.

    If you would rather stick with standard RAM, have a look at unRAID, openfiler and openmediavault as alternatives. I'm sure there are more, you certainly aren't limited to FreeNAS.
    Last edited by Biscuit; 23-03-2015 at 04:25 PM.

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    My primary nas is a consumer 1155 board with an i5-3570 and 32 gigs of non-ecc ram. I'm running 10 seagate 3tb consumer drives.

    The mainboard had a realtek nic on it, so I added an intel pci-e card. Also added the infamous ibm m1015 raid card to support my drives.

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Thanks for all your input guys, my final list is as follows:
    Gen8 Microserver
    16GB Kingston Value ECC
    4* 3TB WD Reds (from at least 3 different retailers to mitigate against a bad batch)

    Intention is to configure it in RAIDZ1 for 9TB available storage. I've read up on the failure rates and reckon that for my use (primarily media) its probably the best balance of cost vs. reliability. I recently started using crashplan to sync both mine and my wife's PCs to the microserver and the cloud so losing a file (or files) which seems to be the most likely outcome of a failed drive + UER during restore.

    Any obvious mistakes? And indeed suggestions of what to do with the N54L (I don't need a HTPC as all the TVs are smart)

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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    16gb for a nas? Unless you are doing dedupe you are just wasting your time.

    Also a n54l will easily saturate a gig link, so why the upgrade?

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaxas View Post
    16gb for a nas? Unless you are doing dedupe you are just wasting your time.

    Also a n54l will easily saturate a gig link, so why the upgrade?
    It already does, the main reason is it can't handle plex and my wife has recently replaced her android tablet with an ipad, but also the current one is more or less at capacity and the drives that are in there are on the elderly side anyway.

    I'll freely admit theres also an element of new shiny in there as well.

    As far as the RAM that seems to be the reccomendation for FreeNAS, and whilst I could go with a roll your own type solution, ultimately I CBA, mostly because I hate SAMBA with a passion and have never been able to get it to work properly.

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    Bah Humbug. Dooms's Avatar
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    Re: Case/Hardware reccomendations for New Freenas system.

    Quote Originally Posted by herulach View Post
    And indeed suggestions of what to do with the N54L (I don't need a HTPC as all the TVs are smart)
    I was wondering that the other day, if I replaced my N36L what would I use it for? There has to be something! Would have some spare 2TB drives as well

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