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Hardware Thread, Storage Server in Technical; Hi, Im looking to build storage server, basicly im looking to see what people have? Im looking to build one ...
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    stevenwba's Avatar
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    Storage Server

    Hi,

    Im looking to build storage server, basicly im looking to see what people have?

    Im looking to build one with about 6-12TB of storage depending on if i choose 1tb or 2tb hard drives.

    Obviously processing power isnt an issuse so looking to use a cheap amd athlon 64 x2.

    Motherboard is what im looking for really as i need one with many sata ports and to fit my ATA case

    So can anyone recommend a spec and any problems building this i might run in too? as ive never done a file server before

    Regards

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    Is there going to be much of a cost advantage to you building one? Considering you wont have a support contract, nor the luxury of a proper rackmount server chassis with hot swap drives (I assume, you could have bought one for all I know)

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    stevenwba (24th February 2010)

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    stevenwba's Avatar
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    Well all the 12tb ones ive seen so far are all 8k, so im sure i can put something together cheaper, just need a decent motherboard, as ive got a lovely big atx case that could fit 8 hdds, get me a copy of win xp/server 2003, share the drives, connected it to the lan and use it to jump all my files on, is what i want to do.

    This is a budget one, i dont require any redundency or backs or anything like that as the data is that important and will be keept other places too.

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    What's the purpose of the storage? User data, backups, mix of both?, something else?

    Do you need 12TB raw or 12 TB after redundancy & hot spares?
    Does it need to be 12TB or can it be 12TB of space, taking deduplication into account? (depends on your data).

    Someone recently pointed out Boston Igloo storage to me (no affilitation and I don't get commission). They (according to quick sales talk) support Windows, Linux and Solaris apparently.

    If it's just for backups (a few or a handful of servers backing up), I'd look at a QNAP nas stuffed with 2TB drives.

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    stevenwba (24th February 2010)

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    As Pete said, we could use a bit more information about what you're using it for and also what your budget is. If this is storing important data then personally I wouldn't want to build it myself. If anything goes wrong, you get blamed and have to figure out what needs fixing. If something fails on my under-warranty Dell/HP/Sun/Whatever server then I have a replacement part and an engineer (if required) the next day.

    What RAID type are you planning to use? Rebuild times with 2TB drives will be very long, during which you'll have degraded performance and the possibility of complete data loss if using RAID-5.

    You say you're looking for a motherboard with lots of SATA ports - your disk controller really shouldn't be on the motherboard, it should be a dedicated RAID card. If you did insist on using on-board RAID then you will need a half-decent CPU to handle RAID calculations if the on-board RAID offloads onto the CPU.

    Is performance a requirement? Have you considered the RAM requirements on your RAID controller to provide a fast cache to make up for the (relatively) slow SATA drives?

    12TB is a lot of storage, with 8 drive bays you're looking at needing 2TB drives. Say RAID-6 and 2 hot-spares, you'll only get 8TB before formatting. Does this data require backing up and if so do you have the space to handle it?

    Sorry to sound so negative, I guess I'd just feel very wary about storing 12TB of data on something home-built using consumer-level hardware. Would your budget allow for something like one of Sun's lower-end S7000 open storage models?

    Sun Open Storage - S7110/7210/7310/7410

    I really can't praise this stuff enough, let me know if you want any more info.

    Chris

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    stevenwba (24th February 2010)

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    i have used an HP dl185 with 12 750gb hard disk before, good server did the job, just over a grand but no hard disks, but i just bort a load of 1tb ones from a reseller for 250 each. but i wouldn't use a homemade one with that much data on it!

    Toby

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    stevenwba (24th February 2010)

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    Main purpose of the need for storage is for personal useage not work, ive recently started recording in HD, i have it burnt to dvd, so if everything failed it wouldnt be the end of the world, so although not need for 12tb as that would be assuming id buy 2tb hard drives, but looking i think 1tb for 60 each will do the trick with 6 of those, and as i said all of the footage is edited and burnt of dvds.

    So really its just a home file storage system, the reason i said so big is i dont want to run out of space any time soon.

    And as its for me and not work i want to do this for as cheap as possible.

    Biggest expense is for the 6 TB hard drives which at the min i can get for 360

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    I'd build one using 1TB SATA drives and use FreeNas for the O/z i've tried it before and it works really well.

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    stevenwba (24th February 2010)

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    In that case your plan makes a lot more sense, I was assuming it was for user data in a school.

    I'd still recommend a RAID card if possible, it'll make managing your drives a lot easier as well as giving you better flexibility and performance.

    j17sparky - I get a 404 on that, have you got the correct link? I could use the latest version of that doc.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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    stevenwba (24th February 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenwba View Post
    Motherboard is what im looking for really as i need one with many sata ports and to fit my ATA case
    No worries - pre-built servers with support contracts are for sissys, anyway. We have something very similar to what you're describing above acting as our backup server - an Antec 900 "gaming" case stuffed full of 500GB harddrives. You can get motherboards on eBay with up to a dozen or so SATA ports, although if you want any kind of decent performance you'll be needing a better disk controller card. We run the latest release of OpenSolaris on ours to allow for the use of RAID-Z with deduplication support, plus we run Samba to provide shares to Windows machines and a patched rsync to backup VM images.

    What case and power supply do you have? Remember that half-a-dozen harddrives will take a fair bit of power (I think we got a kilowatt power supply in the end) and need a fair bit of cooling - the Antec 900 case has two huge great fans in the front where the drive bays are for just this reason. You'll also need a bunch of two-way SATA power adapters to actually be able to plug all your harddrives in. Also, don't forget that 6 harddrives in a case will be really quite heavy, so you might want to put the PC in place before you go putting drives in it.

    --
    Dav

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    stevenwba (24th February 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by danrhodes View Post
    I'd build one using 1TB SATA drives and use FreeNas for the O/z i've tried it before and it works really well.
    Thats for posting that just checked out FreeNAS and looks very interesting, im guessing you used to simply FTP your date to the storage server?

    Is is possible to create shares of folders on there or not?

    Regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    No worries - pre-built servers with support contracts are for sissys, anyway. We have something very similar to what you're describing above acting as our backup server - an Antec 900 "gaming" case stuffed full of 500GB harddrives. You can get motherboards on eBay with up to a dozen or so SATA ports, although if you want any kind of decent performance you'll be needing a better disk controller card. We run the latest release of OpenSolaris on ours to allow for the use of RAID-Z with deduplication support, plus we run Samba to provide shares to Windows machines and a patched rsync to backup VM images.

    What case and power supply do you have? Remember that half-a-dozen harddrives will take a fair bit of power (I think we got a kilowatt power supply in the end) and need a fair bit of cooling - the Antec 900 case has two huge great fans in the front where the drive bays are for just this reason. You'll also need a bunch of two-way SATA power adapters to actually be able to plug all your harddrives in. Also, don't forget that 6 harddrives in a case will be really quite heavy, so you might want to put the PC in place before you go putting drives in it.

    --
    Dav
    Good to see im not the only one attemping/doing this diy storage user, ive got all the adaptors and sata cables i need, its the cooling and power is my main concern, i have 500w psu and the moment, and ive never even looked at/installed cooling at all so dont even know where to start there

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenwba View Post
    Thats for posting that just checked out FreeNAS and looks very interesting, im guessing you used to simply FTP your date to the storage server?

    Is is possible to create shares of folders on there or not?

    Regards
    Yes you can setup shares so that you can map drives from a windows machine. Its a very good O/S, very stable and very quick to deliver. It also has capability to use external raid cards and internal software RAID if you dont want to splash out for an expensive physical card, Id defo go down the freenas route!

    D

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    I've got an 8Tb home brew server at home running Windows Home Server. Would strongly recommend looking at that too - 60, automatic backups, ftp client, scheduling on/off times, web access, etc...

    Hardware wise just get something decent amp wise for the PSU - I'm running ten hard drives (2*80Gb, 8*1Tb) from a Corsair 550Watt. Using PCIe 4 port raid cards, as well as the onboard satas, and it'll happily read at 90mb/s. WHS also has the advantage of not needing to resync the entire array if it breaks, and easily letting you import and remove hard drives as needed, as opposed to a software RAID5 array which can be a bit terrifying. (On a sidenote, using 5 drives in RAID5 on server 2008 I never got over 20% CPU usage on a 2.2Ghz Core2Duo, so you don't need a huge amount of power.

    The Sharkoon Rebel12 case is also worth looking at, 60 when I bought it, base on the Coolermaster Stacker design, but with an extra 6 HDD bays on the bottom of the case.

    RwD

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