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Hardware Compatibility Check, First Build


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I'm coming from 5 years using Synology devices, currently running a DS1813+/DX513 with 13x4tb (10-2+1) and completely loving it. However I am hitting my roof on storage and don't really want to drop 2500 on a DS3615 unit to make the next jump in capacity when I already have a ton of old desktop hardware lying around from the last upgrade I did to my gaming rig. Enter XPEnology! This is fantastic and I'll be hoping to pair it up with my main Syno device as a secondary unit, cram all my old drives in and get some cheap ones on the used market, planning to upgrade them later on once I have squirreled away more cash into the "ongoing tech upgrade" fund.

 

So since this is my first time, I am not familiar with building hardware into a server chassis (I'm going to mount this thin in my short depth rack 19x19, designed for AV). I've spec'd out a handful of parts that I'd like to get checked by this fine community for comparability to make sure that what I buy will work, and if not, pick different parts.

 

Here goes!

 

[spoiler=Parts List]Chassis: (only one of these)

PSU:

Mobo: (only one of these, depending on fit)

RAM:

CPU:

PCIe Expansion Cards:

Cables:

Rack:

 

 

Thoughts? Has anyone used any of these parts? Do you think it will work, or even fit?

 

Ideally I'd like to cram as many drives into the space as possible, Hot-Swap externally accessible would be great. I'm really not married to a chassis yet, I just want the most 3.5" bays for the money, and the smaller the better. I'd pay a bit more to have a smaller chassis with the same number of bays, but the key is that the it fits into the short depth that I've got to work with.

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This is an extension of my current data warehouse. I'm a bit of a hoarder. Archiving photos, system backups, VMs, software, media, raw disk rips, and of course my wii game backups. Plus I serve a bunch of the same functions for other family members, friends, and neighbors.

 

It doesn't need to be rackmount, but I'm really trying to move to using rack mounted systems because of space conservation and for the ease of organization.

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Alternatively, Here's another build that I'm considering:

 

Chassis:

PCIe Expansion Cards:

 

This gets pretty pricey very quickly, though it does allow for serious expand ability considering I'm looking for a quick 10TB fix and longer term growth. I would love some good suggestions for reading about how to design/manage a SAS based build. Why are they so expensive? Benefits vs using common SATA 6Gb/s?

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SAS is more for enterpise storage. With SAS you will get better speeds.

SAS for home usage is abit overkill imo, SATA 6 will be fast enough in most cases.

Also, make sure xpenoboot supports the raid card, otherwise you are gonna have a hard time getting your drives to work.

There is a user with a 24 disk server, maybe look at that build for some inspiration?

 

 

 

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SAS is more for enterpise storage. With SAS you will get better speeds.

 

I hear you there, but I'm looking at it more for the Sata PM role. I've been scraping the internet trying to find out what the pieces are that would go into a medium (24) or large (60) disk array. Another thought that came to me was to set up a single beefy master/head server and then be able to slot in multi-disk slave boxes that would connect via...SAS? so the master can delegate. Part of what I'm really looking for is a primer in large data storage system design. Without knowing what I don't know, I feel like I can't find the info I'm looking for.

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I'll most definitely pick up the Norco 4U 24bay Hot-Swap ( http://www.norcotek.com/product/rpc-4224/ ) , if I did not already have some hot swap tower cases.

 

XPEnology is quite forgiving, as in basically most hardware are compatible as long as it's listed in the supported list here viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10973

almost all the major well known brand names are included.

 

I mostly recycle and reuse existing computer cases and add in some hot swap cages like the icy dock MB975SP-B ( http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=163 ) and MB973SP-2B ( http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=158 ), they also have 3.5" FDD bays to 2.5" HDD like ToughArmor series MB993SK-B, you can easily go over 12 disk bays depending on the type of PC case, Mid Tower vs. Full Tower.

 

I've replaced most of full blown Linux Samba Servers (Fedora / Ubuntu) with XPEnology, I still run a few FreeNAS boxes for those hardware that are too old for XPEnology to run on.

 

For SATA controllers, I usually go for the LSI 8i boards, as they are found relatively abundant and most affordable.

I usually go for LSI 9240-8i or LSI 9211-8i

for really old machines I'll pick up Promise SATA300 TX4

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...

I mostly recycle and reuse existing computer cases and add in some hot swap cages like the icy dock MB975SP-B ( http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=163 ) and MB973SP-2B ( http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=158 ), they also have 3.5" FDD bays to 2.5" HDD like ToughArmor series MB993SK-B, you can easily go over 12 disk bays depending on the type of PC case, Mid Tower vs. Full Tower.

...

For SATA controllers, I usually go for the LSI 8i boards, as they are found relatively abundant and most affordable.

I usually go for LSI 9240-8i or LSI 9211-8i

for really old machines I'll pick up Promise SATA300 TX4

 

Do you have the LSI cards configured to just to SAS to SATA translation and then let XPEnology do all of the RAIDing via software?

 

I feel like I'm between a rock and an expensive buy because the rack I already have (the one listed) is a short depth thing because I didn't want to spring for a big one when I didn't have equipment for it at the time, now I'm wishing I did because I'm limited to a short depth server chassis, or having this thing hang out the back until I buy a bigger rack. Either way I end up spending more money than if I had just gone with the bigger rack to start with. I'm leaning toward just going with the Norco 24-bay and be done with it, that give me tons of space to expand, and plenty of space inside the chassis to work.

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From experience it's better to let XPEnology handle the RAID, so go for the LSI 9211-8i cards, they are relatively short, these cards are basically full pass through SATA, or also known as Fake RAID cards :grin:

 

Similar size to a good Quad port intel i340-t4 NIC card.

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