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Hi :)

 

I read that XPenology can run "on almost any hardware".

Are there any known incompatibilities/limitations that I should know about to avoid any pitfall?

 

For my first trial at XPenology, I was thinking of running it on the following hardware if this would be possible:

 - MB: Asus P8B75-M LX or Asus P8Z77-M or Gigabyte ga-z87-hd3 (this one supports 6 sATA3 6gbps drives)

 - CPU: i3-3220 or i5-3470 or i7-4770s

 - RAM: DDR3 1333 or 1600MHz

 - iGPU

 - sATA3 6Gbps controller: any >=8 ports PCIe card I could find. Like, Delock 89384 (jmicron) or Delock 90391 (Marvell 88SE9235, Marvell 88SM9705) OR maybe two 4-ports cards if they are easier to find...

 - HDDs: 8 Seagate Ironwolf 12TB sATA3 6gbps drives in RAID5

 - PSU: would 400W be enough? (I have a 750W laying around if that is necessary). Synology PSUs for 8 bays are 250W but that's a different rig, obviously...

 

Thank you very much in advance for your feedback.

Best,

-a-

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Just a quick comment (I guess someone will correct me if I'm wrong ;-))

Some SATA ports are using a multiplexer to support all the ports on the card, those are generally not supported.

 

If you need to use an extra card for your Sata ports, maybe a LSI based SAS HBA in IT-mode would be a better choice?

The example I linked to, will give you 16 ports, but you will need 4 SAS-SATA breakout cables.

You can also find 8 ports HBA's.

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14 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

iGPU

that to use for transcoding is only supported with 918+ and that needs at least a 4th gen intel cpu

 

14 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

- CPU: i3-3220 or i5-3470 or i7-4770s

from these only the i7 is 4th gen (1st number is the gen)

 

 

14 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

 - sATA3 6Gbps controller: any >=8 ports PCIe card I could find. Like, Delock 89384 (jmicron) or Delock 90391 (Marvell 88SE9235, Marvell 88SM9705) OR maybe two 4-ports cards if they are easier to find...

beside the "no sata port multipliers with xpenology/dsm" you should do some number crunching

your delock 89384 has 10 ports, is a 2 lane pcie 2.0 card

thats 1000MB/s for 10 disks

 

if you are aiming for transcoding and going with 918+ the lsi sas might not be the best choice, you might want to read this

https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/28321-driver-extension-jun-103b104b-for-dsm623-for-918-3615xs-3617xs/

 

i'd suggest one or two jmb585, pcie 3.0, two lanes, 5 ports, thats ~1800-2000MB/s for 5 disks, good enough for hdd's

if you systemboard has two wider (then one) pcie lane slots you can have 10 ports or 5 ports plus 10G nic

the 1x slots could also be used with cheap pcie 1x 2port controllers (there is a jmb582, same as before but only 2ports

https://www.sybausa.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1043

 

if you start with 8 disks and 6+5 ports you can still have a 10g nic and with two pcie 1x slots there are 2 x 2  more ports if you need it

atm all cheaper 8 or 10 port ahci controllers (without multiplexer) that use 2 x pcie2sata chips and a pcie bridge chip use ony pcie 2.0 two lane  to the hos computer so its nor really a good choice but maybe in 2021 there will be at least a cheap pcie 3.0 bridge chip that would make 2 x jmb585 cards a possible choice

(asm1166 is 6port ahci, also pcie 3.0 but my test card had weird problems and the computer saw 32 ahci ports, so if going with this there might be unpleasant problems as dsm is only ok up to 24ports in the state we have it now)

 

14 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

PSU: would 400W be enough?

usually it should do, i have a 400-450W with 12 x 4TB disks

 

 

 

Edited by IG-88
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Thank you VERY much both @bearcat and @IG-88 for your valuable explanations and recommendations.

I will need to take the time to study them in details. (I have no idea what multiplexing of sATA ports means, yet. Or HBA, or ...)

What kind of bandwidth would each HDD require? @IG-88 you mentioned 1000MBps for 10 disks would be too little IIUC. How much bandwidth should I have for 8 disks? No matter what I do, there is no way I can give each of them the full 600MBps theoretical max of sATA3 unless I find some PCIe3.0 x8 sATA3 controller with 8 ports (if that even exists, or a PCIe2.0 x16, even less likely, I guess) AND I go without a dGPU (or only with a dGPU in a PCIe2.0 x4 slot).

 

I wanted to avoid involving a dGPU in order to save some PCIe lanes:

Asus P8B75-M LX : 1x PCIe3.0 x16, 2x PCIe2.0 x1

Asus P8Z77-M : 1x PCIe3.0 x16, 1x PCIe2.0 x4, 1x PCIe2.0 x1

Gigabyte ga-z87-hd3 : 1x PCIe3.0 x16, 1x PCIe2.0 x4 (The PCIe x4 slot shares bandwidth with all PCIe x1 slots. Both PCIe x1 slots will become unavailable when a PCIe x4 expansion card is installed), 2x PCIe2.0 x1

 

I don't plan to do any transcoding with this rig since it is not meant to be a media server but needs might change in the future and it may be worth being on the "safe side" if that doesn't become too inconvenient/expensive. What kind of dGPU would make sense? I mean if I wanted to do transcoding. I don't want to put a dGPU in here that would occupy space while not being able to transcode efficiently if/when I need to.

 

Thanks again for your help :)

Best,

-a-

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15 hours ago, IG-88 said:

that to use for transcoding is only supported with 918+ and that needs at least a 4th gen intel cpu

Thanks :)

Can you point to where I can find this information so I can better plan what I will build.

AFAIU XPenology rigs present themselves as existing DS models to the OS (DSM). Could an XPenology "DS918+" have 8 HDDs? Or do I need to use a different model to spoof DSM?

I'd like to stay as close as possible to a DS18XX+ but AFAIR XPeanology rigs use all the same reference model. It use to be a 12 bay IIRC. Now it's the DS918+?

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On 12/3/2020 at 12:09 PM, bearcat said:

Just a quick comment (I guess someone will correct me if I'm wrong ;-))

Some SATA ports are using a multiplexer to support all the ports on the card, those are generally not supported.

 

If you need to use an extra card for your Sata ports, maybe a LSI based SAS HBA in IT-mode would be a better choice?

The example I linked to, will give you 16 ports, but you will need 4 SAS-SATA breakout cables.

You can also find 8 ports HBA's.

Hi :)

Sorry but my google-fu appears to be weak:

 

Is LSI a brand? Or a chipset family? Or ...?

Apparently it's a brand belonging to Avago & Broadcom now.

 

What is IT mode?

"... some LSI cards can be switched in IT (pass-through) mode rather than RAID mode (and vice-versa) by simply loading the appropriate firmware."

 

What is the difference between an HBA and a controller?

Apparently an HBA will have a chip to do the "work" while a controller will rely on the CPU. Is that right? In addition HBAs don't use internal port multipliers, right?

 

Why SAS Host Bus Adapters & breakout cables rather than sATA HBAs? Because there aren't any?

 

Could I use the 6 sATA3 ports on the Gigabyte ga-z87-hd3 and add a cheap PCIe 2 ports sATA controller? 2 drives would need at most 1200MBps. PCIe2.0 x2 is 1000MBps, x4 is double that while PCIe3.0 x2 is 1969MBps but I would need a mainboard with multiple PCIe3.0 slots if I need to use a dGPU...

PCIe cards I find with 2 sATA ports are generally PCIe2.0 x1 meaning 500MBps, way below the theoretical limit of 2x600MBps. Do they make them intentionally as a bottleneck or are those theoretical limits so unreachable IRL that there is no sense to make cards that can actually meet them?

 

All this became very complicated all of a sudden 😅

 

Thanks for the education

Edited by asheenlevrai
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What about this one:

https://www.supermicro.com/en/products/accessories/addon/AOC-SAS2LP-MV8.php

It's less expensive.

It doesn't support RAID5 but I guess I will use the software RAID from DSM, right?

 

PCIe2.0 x8. That means no dGPU... Or a more modern mainboard.

 

Are these the type of cables I would need to connect sATA drives on such cards?

https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Internal-Mini-SATA-Cable/dp/B01M1D8ICT

Edited by asheenlevrai
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22 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

 

"... Supermicro's SAS2LP-MV8 controller (based on the Marvell 9480 host controller)..."

its not a lsi/avavo/broadcom controller at all, complete different chip and needs different driver that might not be suppored at all by dsm/xpenology

 

don't mind the brand name look for the chip on the card it can be confusing as the cards names often starts with sas like sas 9300-8i (and there are oem brands like hpe/dell/ibm with there own names) but the chip - that needs to be supported by a driver in dsm - also starts with sas like sas3008 in that example, you need to simmer it down to the chip it uses and maybe even check on the pci vendor and device id of the card (with a tool like lspci) because the in the end its baout driver support and the vendor and device id is whats the driver is looking for

 

DSM in general is a appliance, not a full/normal linux (like other open source nas systems, OMV, FreeNAS, ...) its not meant to be extended at will by the user

its even protected to only run on synology branded hardware and xpenology does cut arount that protection and adds some drivers to make it run on more hardware (synology only packs drivers that are needed for there own hardware to work)

 

22 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

It doesn't support RAID5 but I guess I will use the software RAID from DSM, right?

 

thats a basic fact about the dsm system, its solely  based on software raid (mdadm), so support for (usually proprietary) hardware based raid in not a thing, there might be a few additional drivers that add this but it makes no sense at all (in most cases, where its not about virtualization)

 

23 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

Are these the type of cables I would need to connect sATA drives on such cards?

https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Internal-Mini-SATA-Cable/dp/B01M1D8ICT

 

is more often SFF-8087 to 4 x SATA, only a few newer controller (and some mainbords) use  SFF-8643 to 4x SATA

 

 

23 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

PCIe2.0 x8. That means no dGPU... Or a more modern mainboard.

 

no support at all by dsm, its intel's internal GPU or nothing (intel quick sync video, starting with 4th gen cpu's aks hasswell)

there might be nvidia based support in the future but i would not count on it and there is no schedule, so dont count that in as it may never happen or will be gone in the next dsm 7.0 version (if there ever will be a loader kak hack is unknown)

 

On 12/4/2020 at 1:33 PM, asheenlevrai said:

AFAIU XPenology rigs present themselves as existing DS models to the OS (DSM). Could an XPenology "DS918+" have 8 HDDs? Or do I need to use a different model to spoof DSM?

 

the (hacked) dsm versions (3615ds, 3617ds, 918+) come with a default driver count that was in the original units, with 12 for the 3615/17 not much work was needed and the default was used (for a long time) it was documented to extend this manually be editing a text config file (synoinfo.conf), synology did there own thing to manage the drives and its possible to tweak that up to 24, but when updating dsm (bigger updates that com with a full dsm *.pat file of 200-300MB) that tweak will be reset and the user data raid will e shown as broken on next start, it should be working fine when re adding the tweak for more drives correctly but there are no guarantees and in some scenarios when just the redundancy drives are missing (like raid6 with 14 drives, set back to just 12 drives) it will start the array with out the redundancy disks and you would need to rebuild them (12-48h) and you will be without any raid protection in that time frame

 

the 918+ comes with a default of 4 and makes the system of less use to have it with that low number and the way above of manually extending (complicated and impractical) would make it less useful but it supports intel qsv and m.2 nvme so it was a desirable target for a new loader

jun (who made the loaders) implemented a way to change the default value on boot to a certain number he though would be good (16) and easy to handle (i guess he took "room" for external  usb and esata drives into account), a (diff) patch checks at boot if the default is present (like on 1st install or after a bigger update) and changes that value to the number in that patch

to really up the number of dives in the patch (the right way) its not just exchanging a number, you would need to redo the patch and pack that in a new extra.lzma or loader

in 918+ its easier at 1st glance but when done the easy way it will impact on the usb/esata config and can be trouble when using these, on 3615/17 there is no area in the patch at all as it does not patch the drive number, so a hole redoing whats done in the 918+ patch would be needed

the need for >12 or >16 drives is not that big so there is nott mach activity on that (bigger hdd's available, cost per port / drive slot)

 

On 12/4/2020 at 1:33 PM, asheenlevrai said:

Can you point to where I can find this information so I can better plan what I will build.

 

https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/13333-tutorialreference-6x-loaders-and-platforms/

https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/28321-driver-extension-jun-103b104b-for-dsm623-for-918-3615xs-3617xs/

 

23 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

What is IT mode?

"... some LSI cards can be switched in IT (pass-through) mode rather than RAID mode (and vice-versa) by simply loading the appropriate firmware."

 

sas term, acronym for initiator target mode

newer controller (like the 12GBit sas 3xxx chip based) might not have and need that special firmware to switch, the can switch to that mode in the firmware and thats not limited the lsi/avago/broadcom, hpe does have that in its own series smart array series since P420

if its present and how its nemed depends on the chip and card vendor, the only way to to know for sure would be a positive list (we dont have), so its a lot of guessing and searching the foum (or being around here so much you might know by heart)

btw. dont buy a HPE SA controller, afaik the driver is not working or at least not often tested to not work, a got a P410 lately (1st hardware supported by hpsa.ko driver) so i might be able to test the driver but even if, as it does not have a mode for single disks it would be only the raid mode i can test but i guess if that works it should work with single disk mode (i simply forgot how they named the equivalent to IT mode)

 

On 12/4/2020 at 1:33 PM, asheenlevrai said:

I'd like to stay as close as possible to a DS18XX+ but AFAIR XPeanology

 

as the hack/loader is specific for one model you can't use another dsm type

i dont know all layers of protection used an possible but at least the presence of model specific hardware devices (pci id's) are checked and the loader emulated that

there is even a good example, there is a loader from china for the 1019+, it looked like a ripoff of the 918+ loader and the 1019+ hardware ist the same as in the 918+ only it does come with one more disk slot in the original hardware so the security check about the hardware will work with the one from loader 918+ (i guess that part i done in the kernel that is loaded before the dsm original kernel) - so in terms of hacking and new dsm or hardware support its still only jun who did it and as long we dont hear anything new from him ...

(i heard from one user who claimed to be be near a universal hack to have a loader covering all dsm types but never heard or seen anything of him for over half y year so ...)

 

On 12/4/2020 at 2:41 PM, asheenlevrai said:

Why SAS Host Bus Adapters & breakout cables rather than sATA HBAs?

 

hba's are more expansive and for real server's and disk shelves (sas did not even remotely took the home user market into account, only i a way that its downward compatible and you can use sata drives in sas)

maybe read the wikipedia article about SAS (yeah the special air service one might be interesting too)

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Attached_SCSI

 

On 12/4/2020 at 2:41 PM, asheenlevrai said:

Could I use the 6 sATA3 ports on the Gigabyte ga-z87-hd3 and add a cheap PCIe 2 ports sATA controller? 2 drives would need at most 1200MBps. PCIe2.0 x2 is 1000MBps, x4 is double that while PCIe3.0 x2 is 1969MBps but I would need a mainboard with multiple PCIe3.0 slots if I need to use a dGPU...

 

i usually go with 250MByte/s for HDD's and 550MB/s for SSD's when doing some raw estimate

there are at least two cheap options for pcie 3.0 to sata cards, 5port jmb585 and 6port asm1166 (i had troulbe with the alter one but maybe later versions with better firmware might do it for xpenology)

also keep in mind the most low cost oriented cpu/chipsets fom intel like apollolake/geminilake are only using pcie 2.0 and only the new 2021 chipsets are going for more

most home use is covered with 4 or 6 onboard sata and that even changed already to M.2 nvme (most people will look for a 2x M.2 board now)

as mentioned dGPU is not a thing with dsm and instead it might be good to have a 10G nic as option (up to 5G might be added with usb3 and without nvme cache there is not much loss when 5G is the limit

 

On 12/4/2020 at 2:41 PM, asheenlevrai said:

PCIe cards I find with 2 sATA ports are generally PCIe2.0 x1 meaning 500MBps, way below the theoretical limit of 2x600MBps. Do they make them intentionally as a bottleneck or are those theoretical limits so unreachable IRL that there is no sense to make cards that can actually meet them?

 

there is no big conspiracy for keeping us away from decent hardware, its more like there is not much money involved in that area of the consumer market and its not to expect to to grow in a way that can be expected from data center and cloud market, if we are lucky there are some table scraps like cheap older sas controller or 10G nic's

we can keep looking for used server hardware but thats usually problematic as its feed of hardware is not foreseeable, addon's like cable can be "exotic" and expansive and power consumption might be high (overpowered)

 

at least take intel qsv capable cpu and a systemboard with enough pcie slots so you can rearrange when the needs change, i would not use mini-itx as long as it does not have to be a compact housing, mico-atx seems to be my minimum now a it can have up to 4 pcie slots

also keep in mind that dGPU for tranconding its no that big of problem with normal linux (like OMV) and it does not need to have all the 16 pcie lanes for this, might work on 4x and less as long as the card fits in (some slots are open at the end to fit in bigger cards that work with less pcie lanes, the often mentioned lsi sas controller with 8 lanes will work with one lane too)

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Once again, thank you very much for the very detailed reply and the links.

It looks like things are much more complicated than I first imagined and I need to learn a lot about different things before I can get things started.

 

Thanks for clarifying the fact that dGPU in DSM are not an option and that it is either iGPU with Haswell and up or nothing at all. That's one less thing to worry about actually 😜

Now, from what I could understand after a little reading I have 2 options:

 - Either I go the DS3615/17xs route (and I get support for 12 drives OOTB)

 - Or I go the DS918+ route and I get support for UEFI boot, transcoding, NVMe cache but I need an Haswell CPU (or higher).

 

As I mentioned earlier, these features would be welcome but are not necessary for me. I just need a DS18XX+ "clone" that can thus support RAID5 on 8 drives. I guess I'll chose the former option (and loader 1.03b) then. Let me know if you think this is a mistake for some reason.

 

On the other hand, this whole driver compatibility mess about sATA controllers is very difficult for me to understand yet. I thus looked into mainboards that would come with 8 sATA3 ports onboard (since all the MBs I have have at most 6 of those). I could find a X570 model for less than $150.- which seems reasonable (I still need to confirm that this model can boot in BIOS-CSM mode) though probably overkill but I have no other option without looking at the 2nd hand market. Now, could I use this with a cheap Ryzen CPU (the cheapest one available in my region would be a Ryzen 3 3200G with Radeon Vega 8 iGPU for another $100.- or less)? (Are AMD iGPU supported at all? I guess not, but that's not a major inconvenience anyways).

 

Thanks,

-a-

Edited by asheenlevrai
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19 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

- Or I go the DS918+ route and I get support for UEFI boot, transcoding, NVMe cache but I need an Haswell CPU (or higher).

btw. 16 drives ootb as the loader takes care of it on boot

 

19 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

"clone" that can thus support RAID5 on 8 drives. I guess I'll chose the former option (and loader 1.03b) then. Let me know if you think this is a mistake for some reason.

if want to go more conventional and reliable then use 3617, some people claim 918+ can have performance issues and 3617 delivers more stable  performance

the m.2 of the 918+ is also tricky as it needs a lib patched to work and you can loose the cache on updates so its suggested to disable the m.2 (r/w) cache before updating dsm

 

19 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

. I could find a X570 model for less than $150.- which seems reasonable (I still need to confirm that this model can boot in BIOS-CSM mode)

if it the Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 then yes it does (manual as pdf, and search for csm)

 

19 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

(Are AMD iGPU supported at all? I guess not, but that's not a major inconvenience anyways)

no, synology launched  a embedded amd system lately but a dont know if that is the start of a new line or just a unicorn

there might be nvidia support as synology uses nvidia in its dva series but nothing is in dsm to support anything from amd (gpu's)

 

 

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13 hours ago, IG-88 said:

btw. 16 drives ootb as the loader takes care of it on boot

 

Oh! so IIUC DS918+ in XPenology supports 16 drives OOTB?

 

13 hours ago, IG-88 said:

 

if want to go more conventional and reliable then use 3617, some people claim 918+ can have performance issues and 3617 delivers more stable  performance

the m.2 of the 918+ is also tricky as it needs a lib patched to work and you can loose the cache on updates so its suggested to disable the m.2 (r/w) cache before updating dsm

 

if it the Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 then yes it does (manual as pdf, and search for csm)

 

It is this one 😜 or the 4s (I'm not sure which one makes more sense). I know it supports CSM OOTB but users reported that CSM was permanently disabled after a BIOS uprgade IIUC.

 

13 hours ago, IG-88 said:

 

no, synology launched  a embedded amd system lately but a dont know if that is the start of a new line or just a unicorn

there might be nvidia support as synology uses nvidia in its dva series but nothing is in dsm to support anything from amd (gpu's)

 

 

OK, thanks. But If I get an AMD APU just because it is currently the cheapest option, can XPenology just "ignore" the iGPU or is it going to cause any trouble?

 

Tx

-a-

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11 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

OK, thanks. But If I get an AMD APU just because it is currently the cheapest option, can XPenology just "ignore" the iGPU or is it going to cause any trouble?

at least i never heard of a case when a not loaded iGPU driver caused problem to the processor cores

 

11 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

Oh! so IIUC DS918+ in XPenology supports 16 drives OOTB?

918+ default from synology is 4 drives and as is obviously to low for normal use jun extended it in his patch in the loader to 16, thats checked in every boot so if dsm update resets it to 4 it will be again patched to 16 on boot

the "xpenology" default is 16 as a result

12 hours ago, asheenlevrai said:

I know it supports CSM OOTB but users reported that CSM was permanently disabled after a BIOS uprgade IIUC.

 

i guess that normal now days, asus does this always if i update my ryzen systemboard and afair it also happend on my two gigabyte boards - its not like i do update the bios every month, the settings should be documented anyway as its always possible to loose the bios settings

 

 

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