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Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 06:17
by Six_Shooter
Well I'm going to try this again, the last time I tried to make this post I lost connection to the site for a couple weeks

through my home network. :/

Anyway...

I got interested in setting up a server or NAS a couple years ago. I found some information on using old PC hardware to do

such a thing and that piqued my interest even more. This was especially interesting because I just happened to have some

extra hardware kicking around. After some research I tried FreeNAS, but because of some "recommendations" by some of the

members on those forums, I decided to look at NAS4Free, and here I am.

I initially used a HDD that I borrowed from a friend to test with. I ended up having some issues, that I couldn't figure

out at the time, so I abandoned the project for about a year. I decided that since I still had NAS4Free installed on a USB

stick and I had a brand new HDD kicking around that I would give it a go again.

It turns out that the issues I was experiencing initially were due to the HDD I was using. This time it would fail to have

a file written to it along with making noises, so out it came and ended up in the trash...

The hardware was installed into a case I had kicking around.

System specs:
OS: NAS4Free 9.1.0.1 (847) Embedded
Motherboard: Asus M3N78-VM
CPU: AMD Athlon X64 Dual Core 6000+
RAM: 4GB DDR2
Boot Drive: 2GB Verbatim Store N GO
Storage: (UFS) will be 14+ TB usable (10.7 TB so far) WD Red and Green drives
PSU: Enermax
Case: Old case that's been customized
Other: APC UPS (USB connected), PCI-E RAID card (Not being utilized yet)

Here is the test set-up using an old Acer case I had kicking around:

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Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 06:28
by Six_Shooter
I acquired an old PC case that I thought would make a good case to use until I find a good server or full tower.

Before doing any work on it:

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I added a couple fans, one to the top:

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And one to the front (This was after I was done with paint and making a plastic panel for the front).

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"Wire managment"

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Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 10 Feb 2015 06:33
by Six_Shooter
I then set about moving the hardware over from the old tower.

This is actually one of the first PCs where I've tried to really get the wire management to be very tidy. I like how it turned out. The sad part is I already have another HDD to add, so that might mess with how the wire management is. :/

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Up and running. Eventually I plan to move it from here to where my "node 0" is, but I need to install proper shelves there for that.

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Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 11 Feb 2015 01:43
by kenZ71
Looks good. Given all the work you have done and assuming all your drives fit I would not bother with another case.

How are your drive temps?

Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 11 Feb 2015 04:44
by Six_Shooter
Thanks. :)

Yeah, all of my drives currently fit with space for one more comfortably. I could squeeze two more between the lower pair of drives, but there wouldn't be much space for cooling.

The biggest reason I want a proper server case or full tower is because I want proper HDD mounting for all of my drives. The top 3 right now are in the 5.25" bays and I just used long screws to hold them in there. Not an ideal way, but I figured it would work for now, which it does.

HDD temps are in the mid to low 20s when idle, and go up to mid to high 30s when writing or accessing data. Right now the ambient temps are pretty cool in the room where it sits. I don't know how the HDD temps will be during the summer, though I do hope to get the NAS moved to the space where the Node 0 is where it is usually much cooler than the rest of the house during the summer.

Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 11 Feb 2015 16:36
by mooblie
QUOTE:
The biggest reason I want a proper server case or full tower is because I want proper HDD mounting for all of my drives. The top 3 right now are in the 5.25" bays and I just used long screws to hold them in there. Not an ideal way, but I figured it would work for now, which it does.
------
You could always use this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 3TR1B32344
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Not only would it hold the drives securely, it gives you some noise reduction!

...or this:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/akasa-ca ... -120mm-fan
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Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 12 Feb 2015 05:10
by Six_Shooter
Those Akust adapters look pretty neat. Unfortunately Newegg.ca does not seem to sell them, and $13(USD)/pr I could buy or nearly buy a new tower that has enough drive bays by the time I bought enough of them.

It does give me ideas on how I could make my own though, which I might do, since I don't really like how I have mine mounted now simply using longer screws.

As far as other drive bay adapters, like the Akasa adapter, it's pretty much the same boat, by the time I bought enough adapters or drive bays I could use that money towards a tower that has more native drive bays and better cooling. That was one of the first ideas I had, but I simply couldn't find anything I liked. The other issue is I have 4 5.25" bays, so I could only use a single 3 HDD bay adapter, and still need other adapters.

FWIW, I do have a an old server tower (I received after starting on modifying this tower) that I might try to implement. The cooling issue is still not great, but the drive space is there and it has a interesting drive bay deal that is removable through the top of the server case. I have too much else to worry about right now, with school and all, so I'll likely leave things like that until after school is done. It's a little odd in layout so I'm not totally sold on using it.

Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 19 Aug 2015 15:03
by kaos
how did you cut the fan hole?
with what tools?

Whith that ?
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Thx

Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 22 Jan 2016 00:23
by Six_Shooter
kaos wrote:how did you cut the fan hole?
with what tools?

Whith that ?
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Thx
I'm pretty sure I just used some tin snips. It's been too long to recall exactly how I did it.

Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 22 Jan 2016 00:24
by Six_Shooter
I came here to mention that my NAS has been up for over a year without any issues.

I can now power it down to increase the storage capacity, since I'm running out of space... :D
Uptime07.JPG

Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 28 May 2016 22:56
by Six_Shooter
Well, I finally did some maintenance on the server. I noticed a couple months ago that there was a low humming noise from the NAS, which turned out to be the top fan. If I pushed it (with my finger) to get it to spin faster it would and eventually slow down, making the noise again. So I bought two new fans, this time in red, which I think I like more than the blue, and I also tried adding another 4TB drive that I've had on the shelf like two years now. Everything went well at first and added the drive just like it should, then during the first data dump to it the NAS dropped out of connection and rebooted. It then went into a boot loop. So I eventually unplugged the new drive and it booted.

So I tried plugging in the drive again, this time to a different SATA port. The NAS booted again, and I could play back from the new drive, but only the first bit of the movie that got loaded to it it seems. It may not have been a full transfer over since the original copy of that movie that I cut from another drive to paste into that one was still there.

Anyway, I think I'm down to the PCI-E SATA card I have in the NAS as being the issue. It's based on a Silicon Labs Sil3124 chipset, which seems to be hit or miss, I was hoping for more hit than miss. I considered buying another SATA card, but the best option I could find (Sil3114 based) at a local-ish computer place is about $50 CDN. I'd rather not spend that much on something I may not end up using after a while.

I have another option. I have a couple other computers that I plan to switch around the MoBos in, the one that will be left over, which I was going to use for a Linux box to get myself more in tune with Linux, will become my new NAS, then my old NAS MoBo will become my Linux box. The New NAS MoBo (currently my main PC MoBo) has 9 SATA ports, so I should be good for a while. I have 6 drives currently including the new one I recently tried to add, so I think I'll be good for space for a while. lol

Anyway, just before I shut down the NAS I took this screenshot:
Uptime09.JPG
494 days without an issue. I thought about waiting the 6 days to get an 500, but I wanted to get stuff moved around sooner so I needed to add that new drive to the NAS, unfortunately due to how this is working out, I have to use other drives connected to the machines to move data to temporary storage.

Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 30 May 2016 12:27
by Jack Foobar
If you are uncomfortable with that setup(as you should be), I would pick up 2 cooler master or icydock drive cages off ebay. Fit 4-5 drives in the space of 3. They come with rubber sound dampeners/shock absorbers. It's not just server tech. It's been mainstream for years. When you have 4-8 spinning disks running 24/7, they will vibrate. That needs to be mitigated by soft rubber dampeners/grommets in a suspended cage.

And I would also pick up, assuming 8 drives, a 3ware 9650se-8lpml for $20-$30 with cables.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=SA ... l&_sacat=0

It's a full on hardware raid card that can be set to JBOD if you are using ZFS. If UFS, even easier. The raid is a snap. Literally 3 seconds to set up. And the monitoring software works on freebsd(nas4free).

http://www.avagotech.com/support/download-search

Now, the card is dated and has a max xfer per port of 3Gbps (SATA II), and max storage of 4 TB per drive, but if it meets your needs, it'll do the job for $150 less than anything else out there at that port level.

If you only have 4 drives, there is a LSI/avagotech card called the 9212-4i(HP server model) that you can flash with 9212-4i4e firmware from avagotech. It is a SATA III 6Gbps HBA that you can flash with raid firmware(IR) or pass through HBA firmware(IT). That is $35 on ebay. Many people use this card on FreeNAS servers(haven't heard shit on here though). Btw, SAS=SATA. SATA=SAS. If there is a SAS server card, your SATA drive can use it without issue. It's just a card configuration geared for the server market, so they ignore the SATA part and just say SAS. But the engineering is interoperable.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=97 ... i&_sacat=0

When you start hitting 8 ports on SATA III it gets expensive, new or used. So, unless you are running on 10 Gig networking, the SATA II card should be fine(Tested mine 9650se at 220 MB/s, much more than my gig-e network can handle).

Just to let you know the 'nameology' of these cards, historically, AMCC->3ware->LSI->Avagotech->Broadcom. Corporate takeover hell, but the 3ware and LSI cards are rock solid. And the 9212-4i card I listed above is a HP rebranded LSI card. But it's the same exact card minus the external ports(which you don't need). Firmware identical.

You don't need alot of money to get good hardware. You just have to use your brain, as you've been doing. What you have been jerking around with is a software raid card/broken d*k HBA. Get a real one. It costs little to do the job right, you just have to work through the firmware updates to turn it into a $150 card.

If you have any questions, or if I hurt your feelings in any way, feel free to message me, and I'll do my best to assist you as only a sysadmin can.

Re: Six_Shooter's First NAS

Posted: 30 May 2016 19:36
by armandh
It's not for everyone but I spin my drives down.
my use has large gaps of time between steady work.

saves noise level, power and wear.