Built a new NAS and it's fast [Archive] - Glock Talk

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JimmyN
08-29-2011, 14:43
I built another NAS box, but this time using new hardware rather than 10+ year old stuff from my junk boxes. I knew it would be faster, but it has turned out even better than I expected. It's at least 3 times as fast and I was already getting 200Gbs+ transfers from my junk parts.

Here's what I got from Newegg:
Lian Li Lancool Case 6-3.5" internal bays
AMD Athlon II X4 3.0gz CPU
Asus motherboard 6 -SATA6 ports, USB 3.0
Corsair CX 500 Power Supply
4 gigs RAM

Total price delivered to my door was $301.95 + $1.92 shipping.
That is competitive with an off the shelf NAS with 6 drive capacity. The quad core CPU and 4gig RAM are overkill and I could have come in lower if I had backed off a bit but the price was OK, and it was a combo deal so I went with those choices.

I used existing drives I had on hand, some SATA3, and some SATA6, 1.5TB and 2TB capacities. Installed FreeNAS .7.2.6694 (64bit), takes about 20 minutes. Finished it up yesterday after the power came back on from the hurricane, so I've been doing some testing this afternoon.

The problem is I can't really load it up, the PC's I'm connecting with just won't read and write fast enough. I have to double up so the NAS is handling two PC's at the same time in order to get some idea of what it's capable of doing. If things aren't too busy tomorrow I'll do some system tweaking and add a 3rd PC for concurrent transfers.

I was copying a Windows 7 iso file to test with, it's 3.1gigs in size. Just drag and drop it in Windows Explorer to the NAS and back. So these file transfers are using Samba/CIFS shares, which adds some overhead.

Simultaneous writes to the NAS
The left side of this first graph shows a ~575Gbs write from a Windows XP system to the NAS. That's as fast as that PC can read it from the drive and send it. The right half of the graph I started the copy again, plus added another file copy to the NAS from a second PC. The second PC only added ~260Gbs, it's slow and that's all it will do (IDE drives and PCI NIC), but the total throughput increased to ~680Gbs.

You can see the first write start at ~575, then the second write from the slower PC starts and it jumps to ~680Gbs. The first one finishes up and it drops back to ~260 as the slow one finishes. I can copy a 3gig file to the NAS in 52~53 seconds with the faster PC.


218690


Simultaneous write and read
The second graph shows a simultaneous write and read. The slower PC is copying a file to the NAS, the faster PC is copying a file from the NAS. That is the fastest write speed I can get with that PC and the fastest read speed with the slow PC. So those speeds are actually PC limitations rather than NAS, but I wanted to see it with good traffic flow in both directions.

218688

The Hardware
The highest CPU load has had peaks to 12% (averages 6~8%) and temp is running 18C while it's working. Max RAM used has been 9% of 4gigs. If I let it sit for 20 minutes it idles down. All the drives stop and CPU drops to 900mhz while it waits. My Kill-a-Watt meter shows it's only drawing 38 watts when idle. The 3 - 140mm fans that came in the case are a big part of that, I need to slow them down.

Anything this fast has got to be illegal, and I haven't even starting tweaking yet. I'm going to experiment with dual NIC's later using link aggregation to increase throughput and provide failover, my problem is going to be rounding up enough PC's to put a good load on it.

So that's my latest FreeNAS box, and I thought some of you might be interested in hearing about the build and results so far.

Pierre!
08-29-2011, 18:18
***> NICE <***

You got me drooling to put this together! It would be the *bomb* to attach Win7 Images to it... with all that speed!

Nice Job JimmyN! Yer gonna get me to learn about Samba shares one way or the other... (LOL)

Congrats!

Looking forward to more *benchmark* mania!

Patrick

Linux3
08-29-2011, 20:48
Interesting. Which mb did you get? I looked at the combo deals and there are too many choices.

I don't think you over did it with the 4 core AMD.
Remember, each Ethernet controller needs it own core if you are seeking performance.

Get yourself a 4 port Ethernet card for the NAS. If your systems you want to back up have 2 Ethernet controllers use 1 for the LAN and one for point to point to the NAS. Then you will appreciate the 4 cores and 4 gigs of RAM.

Or better yet. Get this managed switch;
http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/powerconnect-2808/pd

Then trunk, bond or mirror (whatever you want to call it) the 4 ports on the NAS to the switch and configure them as one 4 gig pipe. Then you can back up and feed multiple systems all at the same time.

I use Bonding a lot. Very cool technology.
http://www.linuxhorizon.ro/bonding.html

BlownFiveLiter
08-29-2011, 22:25
Wow, that's way overkill for anything I could ever need! I was thinking about buying a very cheap Atom board with RAID support and a picoPSU. Nice low power, low cost solution, just for serving up files.

IndyGunFreak
08-30-2011, 08:02
Wow, that's way overkill for anything I could ever need! I was thinking about buying a very cheap Atom board with RAID support and a picoPSU. Nice low power, low cost solution, just for serving up files.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131731 -- Only thing that sucks about that one, is they went w/ Laptop RAM...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131732 -- This board, is just awesome. If you don't have major, super power needs, it will work for you perfectly. Runs cool, and has plenty of SATA ports. I think Asus has a Mini-ATX version for a little more, if you're afraid of ITX.

JimmyN
08-30-2011, 09:57
Interesting. Which mb did you get? I looked at the combo deals and there are too many choices.



It was an e-blast special or a Shock 48 hour sale, everything I bought except the RAM was one or the other. They may not have that specific combo still available. I'll check my invoice for the number and see if they still have it listed.


When you shop for a motherboard avoid the Realtek chipset for onboard LAN. If the motherboard you really want has a Realtek 8000 series (8111, 8168) you'll need another NIC adapter and disable the onboard LAN.

FreeBSD UNIX and Realtek don't play well together. FreeBSD includes a Realtek driver but the Realtek chipset works so poorly with FreeBSD that they don't even include the driver in FreeNAS since it's primary function is networking.

I have a Realtek 8111/8168 driver that I compiled from source from Realtek, using FreeBSD 7.3, You can put it in the /boot/kernel directory and add an "enable" line to loader.conf so it will load at boot. But it won't give you the best speed. And if you use the 64bit FreeNAS I can't help you at all with that, since I've never found Realtek source code for a 64 bit driver.

If you install FreeNAS .7.x on a system that has a Realtek 8111 it won't even recognize the chipset. Your only option when installing and assigning the adapter will be "Auto Detect", since the adapter won't be listed to select, and it's never successful since there is no driver.

You'll get the best results with Intel chipsets, especially the CT series which are well supported in FreeBSD. This is an excellent adapter for FreeNAS, it's PCI-e, and reasonably priced (free shipping too).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106036

Two or more of those will parallel real well with FreeNAS if you want to use link aggregation (LAGG in FreeNAS). But if you don't have a switch or router that can handle LACP you'll need to use load balancing for the dual NICs rather than LACP.

JimmyN
08-30-2011, 11:27
Sorry I was late getting back to everyone this morning it's been busy. I thought some might be thinking about building a FreeNAS box, so I wanted to throw out a few tips.

The motherboard selection is not critical, having enough SATA ports for expansion is the main criteria. And avoiding the Realtek LAN chipsets, or plan from the beginning to use the Intel adapter I linked to above.

I would recommend the 64 bit FreeNAS and a "Full" install (the OS+Swap+Data option), rather than "Embedded". The embedded is very small and the OS only takes 128megs, you can install it on a thumbdrive or CF adapter and boot from that each time. But it limits what you can do later, since none of the OS resides on a hard drive each boot is a brand new world and it's hard to make some configuration changes outside the webgui and have them survive a reboot.

I use an old IDE drive that's too small for anything else, I think it was a WD 40gig that I put in the new box. You'll have an IDE controller to plug it into so it won't take any of your SATA ports. Then you can do a full install and you'll even be able to add some FreeBSD packages since the OS will have space if you're not using "Embedded".

I installed "iperf" last night using 'pkg_add -r iperf' from the console command line. It will fetch the correct version for your kernel and install it automatically. When the prompt comes back type in "iperf --help" and you'll see it's installed and ready to go.

I'd set the OS partition at 1gig or more, no swap partition since it won't use it anyway, and the rest of the drive will be formatted as a DATA drive. You can use it or ignore it. I store php scripts I'm playing with in that space, text files with system notes on what I've done, etc.

If you plan to use the 128bit ZFS filesystem, which I highly recommend for data protection, you'll need to use the 64bit version of FreeNAS and have at least 2gigs of ram. ZFS uses RAM for cache space and will use all it can get.

Do not use a hardware RAID if you use ZFS, it won't be able to provide data integrity checking and automatic error correction. ZFS is unlike any other file system since it's both a filesystem and RAID combined, it's probably the best filesystem ever developed as it will find and correct disk errors. Every week or so do a "scrub" command and it will look for errors and fix them. If you want to use RAID use ZFS RAIDZ, which is equivalent to a RAID 5, or use RAIDZ-2 which is double parity and similar to a RAID 6. But unlike RAID 5 or 6 ZFS will actually repair any corrupted files on the disk using information from the other drives in the array. With a 4 disk RAIDZ-2 any two of the 4 drives can fail simultaneously and keep on working. Replace the drive(s) and it will rebuild the array from information on the remaining two or three drives. The rebuild process will take quite a while.

All the configuration is stored in a single file, "config.xml" That is the only file you'll need to restore the OS and your setup should your boot drive fail or you manage to mangle the system up. It's in the conf directory. "/conf/config.xml"

Put it on a thumbdrive and save it. That file plus your install CD is your complete operating system backup. If you need to re-install the OS you can then copy the xml file back to /conf and all your configuration, drives, mount points, shares, users, etc, will be just like they were.

I have quite a few years experience with FreeNAS, plus I use FreeBSD, so if anybody has problems, like how to mount the thumbdrive, I can help you out.

I ran iperf last night to test the network, from PC through the switch to the NAS, and I'm getting 940mbps. That's no load speed, I'll test some more with a load on the network. It's probably about as fast as you can get on a 1gig LAN.

BlownFiveLiter
08-30-2011, 15:55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131731 -- Only thing that sucks about that one, is they went w/ Laptop RAM...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131732 -- This board, is just awesome. If you don't have major, super power needs, it will work for you perfectly. Runs cool, and has plenty of SATA ports. I think Asus has a Mini-ATX version for a little more, if you're afraid of ITX.

I actually have an Atom ITX board already that I could use, but I was thinking of using it for a server on colocation somewhere (Supermicro X7SPA-HF (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182234)). For home, I was thinking more along these lines (http://www.ascendtech.us/itemdesc.asp?ic=MB4FOX45CTP330S). I don't need anything more powerful than that. I'd probably pick up a PCI RAID card and a few 1-1.5TB drives, so I could set up RAID 5. I'd really only use it for a file server, so I don't have to store everything locally on my PC. I have my laptop, plus two other PC's that I use, so having the files available on each system would be nice. I've contemplated building a HTPC, so the home server system would be nice, for storing movies that I could stream over the network.

IndyGunFreak
08-30-2011, 16:42
I actually have an Atom ITX board already that I could use, but I was thinking of using it for a server on colocation somewhere (Supermicro X7SPA-HF (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182234)). For home, I was thinking more along these lines (http://www.ascendtech.us/itemdesc.asp?ic=MB4FOX45CTP330S). I don't need anything more powerful than that. I'd probably pick up a PCI RAID card and a few 1-1.5TB drives, so I could set up RAID 5. I'd really only use it for a file server, so I don't have to store everything locally on my PC. I have my laptop, plus two other PC's that I use, so having the files available on each system would be nice. I've contemplated building a HTPC, so the home server system would be nice, for storing movies that I could stream over the network.

The board itself, has some limitations, mainly, the PCI slot. If it were PCI-e slot, at that price, it's tough to go wrong, but don't expect much out of Foxconn boards PCI is quickly becoming a relic, and it seems counter productive to put something like that in a new NAS.

Guess it's all about what you're looking for though.

Linux3
08-30-2011, 20:51
JimmyN. I bow before you!
I did not realize FreeNas comes with ZFS support. I am a huge fan.
My company buys some pretty expensive Sun /Oracle Sun boxes and Solaris 10.X to run ZFS.
I have to try this.

Learn something new every day.

IndyGunFreak
08-30-2011, 21:25
ZFS is pretty awesome, I admit.

JimmyN
08-31-2011, 08:06
Linux3, please don't bow... my head will swell up and bust wide open.:supergrin:


I didn't have much time yesterday, it was a busy day but I got back to working on it again this morning. It killed me not getting to play with my new stuff, but that pesky job gets in the way.

I've adjusted window sizes, send/receive buffers, etc, and I still can't get above my original setup and ~680mbps on file transfers. I'm thinking I've hit a Samba/CIFS limit. I can probably do better with some FTP or NFS from my FreeBSD box thrown in, but that's gravy anyway. Since it's on my home network 95% of my file transfers will be to/from a Windows system so CIFS speed was my biggest concern and the reason I was using Windows boxes to test file transfer speed.

I did load the network to see what it's cap is. The graph shows two file transfers to the NAS and while they were copying I also ran iperf to max it out.
I'm getting 968~975mbps now which is probably the best I can hope for. Only in IT heaven can you get 1000mbps through a 1gig pipe.

Jitter is only .34 to .43ms at ~970mbps so I'm happy with that, everything seems to be in harmony. I tried using up to 128K window sizes but speed didn't increase and jitter did. I get the best overall performance with 64K windows.

So today I'll get back to stress testing the hardware. I started running memtest yesterday while I was out and got 8000% coverage with no errors, RAM looks good. Right now it's calculating Mersenne primes which really gives the CPU a workout.

Normally I would do hardware burn-in and stress testing first, but being 62 years old going on 16 I got impulsive and had to play some first.

218715

Linux3
08-31-2011, 12:49
I've adjusted window sizes, send/receive buffers, etc, and I still can't get above my original setup and ~680mbps on file transfers. I'm thinking I've hit a Samba/CIFS limit. I can probably do better with some FTP or NFS from my FreeBSD box thrown in, but that's gravy anyway. Since it's on my home network 95% of my file transfers will be to/from a Windows system so CIFS speed was my biggest concern and the reason I was using Windows boxes to test file transfer speed.
~680mbps sounds pretty good to me. That's ~85mB/sec. How many systems are you backing up at one time?
Don't forget the real speed limit is the read speed of the client drives. You can write to the best RAID in the world but it will run no faster than the speed of the client drive.
Samba has HUGE overhead but then any kind of GUI based file transfer app will too. I believe you can get NFS for Windows and I think that would be faster.


I did load the network to see what it's cap is. The graph shows two file transfers to the NAS and while they were copying I also ran iperf to max it out.
I'm getting 968~975mbps now which is probably the best I can hope for. Only in IT heaven can you get 1000mbps through a 1gig pipe.
Every kind of file transfer has overhead so that 1 gig pipe thing is really just a marketing ploy......



Normally I would do hardware burn-in and stress testing first, but being 62 years old going on 16 I got impulsive and had to play some first.
218715

I can sign up for Social Security at any time.
Told the boss, Don't piss me off or I might!

JimmyN
09-02-2011, 13:37
It's scheduled and only backs up one system or remote NAS at a time. But my old FreeNAS has been taking care of that chore for over 3 years now, it's set up and has always worked perfectly, so it will still do all the backups. This box is primarily for media streaming on my network and HDTV recording/playback.

As the collection of Music, DVD, and Bluray has grown I was running out of space since it had a limited number of drive bays and controllers in that box. An old Gateway Pentium 4. At 23~48gigs each Blurays eat a lot of space. And it wasn't fast enough either. I could stream a DVD and a Bluray, but now I'll be able stream Bluray upstairs in the bedroom and on the HTPC downstairs at the same time. That need arises when the kids and grandkids are around on the weekends, and I can also record HDTV now while I'm streaming a movie out.

Before anyone says anything I don't condone piracy. Every movie on my NAS I have the original disk in the rack. But 8 year olds, even if they are actually 30, and optical disks are an accident waiting to happen, so nobody touches anything in my disk racks.

I know everybody loves pictures, so here are some photos. I really like Lian Li cases, good cable management and the punched holes have rolled edges so there's nothing sharp. All the drives are mounted with rubber grommets and thumbscrews to cut vibration. Really nice cases.

You can click on an image to see a larger version

http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/7299/1000547s.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/706/1000547s.jpg/)


http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/1235/1000548s.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/64/1000548s.jpg/)


http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/1627/1000549s.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/685/1000549s.jpg/)


The back side. I took this before the front views, so it's still missing a drive.

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/1/1000551sl.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/716/1000551sl.jpg/)


http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/4335/1000553s.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/204/1000553s.jpg/)


You may notice in the pictures that is has two Intel NIC's in the PCI-e slots. A local computer store that I have built about a dozen custom gaming rigs for had asked me about NAS's. They wanted me to OEM them so they could brand them under their own name, like they have done with the gaming rigs. I tend to be a perfectionist so not only do they look good internally but they've never had any problems with systems I've built. So now they're interested in NAS's. And NAS's are much easier since I won't have to do UV sleeving and connectors, lighting, LED temp/fan displays, or background music.

But they've wanted a prototype to test with two NIC's included for failover and load sharing, and at least a 6 drive capacity. So I set it up with dual NIC's and took the box over to them this morning so they can play with it this weekend. They already called me back and want to keep it, "What's it gonna cost us?" NO, NO, that's mine. "Well can we keep it here as a demo?" NO, NO, NO, that's mine. Give me some specs on what you want and I'll give you a quote, but Tuesday morning I WILL pick that one up. :rofl:

gemeinschaft
09-02-2011, 14:25
Very nice.

I like it.

I would also like to comment that your work is very nice and tidy, that says a lot.

Linux3
09-02-2011, 19:24
JimmyN, a new career is always fun and exciting.

Nice workmanship. It's something that is hard to find.

pal2511
09-06-2011, 13:55
You have a link to the exact lian li case that is on newegg or another site?

I am looking for a case that will let me grow and add multiple drives to in the future. I am going to use it for my htpc and just put it behind my tv stand.

JimmyN
09-06-2011, 15:53
This is the one I got for the FreeNAS, it's $79.95, free shipping. It is steel with 6 - 3.5" internal bays. Or you can put 2 -2.5" drives and 4 -3.5" in the six bays. I got mine on an e-blast special when it was on sale for $59.95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112322

This one appears to be identical except for the smaller window in the side panel, but it's $10.00 more + $9.99 shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112319

If you'd prefer aluminum this one has 5 - 3.5" internal and 1 - 3.5" external, which you can use as an internal. But it's a top mount PSU and it's $89.90 but shipping is free.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112154

They don't have any special sale on cases at the moment.

pal2511
09-06-2011, 16:14
Case looks very good. Im debating between that or a cooler master storm

Any ideas on what I should get for my main drive? I am using it for HPTC/file backup. I have a 1.5tb along with a 160 gig ide right now. I want to dump the iDe that is my system drive for a 1 tb or 2tb drive. Just trying to find one under $100

JimmyN
09-06-2011, 17:20
A 1TB under $100 won't be hard to find. Newegg has a 1.5TB Seagate Barricuda on sale, it's a SATA 6.0 5800rpm green drive. $64.95 plus another $10 off with promo code EMCKAKD22, and free shipping.

And they have a HITACHI Deskstar 3TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb that is normally $179.99 for $149.99 with promo code EMCKAKD23 and free shipping.

Note that these are OEM drives. No cables, no screws, no CD. Just the bare drive in a brown cardboard box. They just had a bunch of sales over Labor Day Weekend and back to school specials, so today there aren't many hard drive deals as they ended yesterday. But if you wait a week or so some more will show up.

epoxy252
09-09-2011, 21:00
I've adjusted window sizes, send/receive buffers, etc, and I still can't get above my original setup and ~680mbps on file transfers. I'm thinking I've hit a Samba/CIFS limit. I can probably do better with some FTP or NFS from my FreeBSD box thrown in, but that's gravy anyway. Since it's on my home network 95% of my file transfers will be to/from a Windows system so CIFS speed was my biggest concern and the reason I was using Windows boxes to test file transfer speed.

I did load the network to see what it's cap is. The graph shows two file transfers to the NAS and while they were copying I also ran iperf to max it out.
I'm getting 968~975mbps now which is probably the best I can hope for. Only in IT heaven can you get 1000mbps through a 1gig pipe.

218715

You likely hit the limit for the client PC's and the network stack on freenas. ioZone will give you a good idea of the theoretical limit for your box.

Smallnetbuilder did some experiments a few years back to find out what it would take to break the 100MB(megabytes not bits) barrier(the theoretical limit for 1gbs ethernet is 125MBS). They ended up after testing xp/whs/ubuntu having to use vista sp1 (new at the time) with a hardware raid and a good size of system ram <2gb to fully saturate the 1gbs. http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-howto/30553-how-to-build-a-really-fast-nas-part-1-introduction

If anyone is interested they also have awesome guides for building and testing nas/networks etc... Most comerical nas boxes are atoms, but you can get better performance out of something with a little bit of horsepower.

I run a e5300 2.6ghz dualcore on a Intel DG45ID mobo with onboard intel nic 4gb ram 8tb storage(hurray for hitachi and samsung drives = cheap and fast) on winXP pro. It's not the greatest shiniest OS for a nas but it gets the job done, I get roughly the same performance you are getting from freenas(usually around 500-600mbs for large files). Power at load (which is rare) is about 85watts and at idle around 35-45.

Most of my client PC's use the "crappy" realtek81xxx chips because I am cheap and they work just fine for my purpose. I used freenas and clarkconnect (now called something else) for years and was satisfied with them. I didn't really have a reason to go with XP except I had the license already, and I segregate it from the internets so security isn't a big deal.

Linux3
09-10-2011, 23:27
Smallnetbuilder did some experiments a few years back to find out what it would take to break the 100MB(megabytes not bits) barrier(the theoretical limit for 1gbs ethernet is 125MBS). They ended up after testing xp/whs/ubuntu having to use vista sp1 (new at the time) with a hardware raid and a good size of system ram <2gb to fully saturate the 1gbs. http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-howto/30553-how-to-build-a-really-fast-nas-part-1-introduction

Interesting but rather dated and maybe misinformed when using Linux.
The data is from 2008 and Ubuntu. Linux is a fast moving kernel especially in the storage arena.
Ubuntu would never be my choice for a NAS and especially not in 2008.
A great home OS but lacking many of the network and file system tools needed for serious storage. The file system they used was ext3, I assume as that was the default and nothing was said about installing something different. Ext3 is a file system known for it's stability but not at all for speed. XFS, sure, ReiserFS maybe but not ext3. It's a pretty major dog when talking speed.

The NAS talked about (writtern about) here is using FreeNAS which is built on BSD Unix not Linux. It's also using ZFS and there is no file system on the planet as fast and flexible.

epoxy252
09-11-2011, 06:42
Interesting but rather dated and maybe misinformed when using Linux.
The data is from 2008 and Ubuntu. Linux is a fast moving kernel especially in the storage arena.
Ubuntu would never be my choice for a NAS and especially not in 2008.
A great home OS but lacking many of the network and file system tools needed for serious storage. The file system they used was ext3, I assume as that was the default and nothing was said about installing something different. Ext3 is a file system known for it's stability but not at all for speed. XFS, sure, ReiserFS maybe but not ext3. It's a pretty major dog when talking speed.

The NAS talked about (writtern about) here is using FreeNAS which is built on BSD Unix not Linux. It's also using ZFS and there is no file system on the planet as fast and flexible.

So I guess you didn't see the part in my post about me having used Freenas in the past ? I've used it since 04 or so, mostly in a vm to play with right now. I am well aware its based on freebsd just like os-X. I am also aware that zfs is the fastest most flexible file system at the moment, and as long as you are running it on a 64bit O/S will probably work flawlessly.
I suspect that the reason SNB didn't attemt to use FreeNas and it's zfs port in 08 was because it was exremely buggy, the freenas folks considered it to be experimental at the time. Further revisions of freenas since 08 have ironed out the bugs for the most part.

The point I was trying to make was he probably hit the limit for the network stack/caching on the Clients and the Server, file systems will have little if no effect on a physical/software limitation. The only reason Vista was able to overcome the 100MB barrier was due to some fancy caching on both sides. There will always be some sort of overhead losses for ethernet using tcp/ip, it was designed that way.

pal2511
09-18-2011, 06:46
JimmyN how is that machine running so far?

JimmyN
09-18-2011, 10:18
It's doing great, no issues at all. I did a substantial overclock on it and ran stress tests for two days with no problems, just some elevated temps as expected. Having passed that I set everything back to default values and deemed it to be ready for service.

Right now I only have one virtual device in the ZFS pool.
vDev1 is a 4TB RAIDZ, 3 disks, single parity. I will add a 4th 2TB drive for double parity later....waiting on a Newegg eBlast special. This is a drive set that I won't be backing up, as it is for DVD and Bluray only, and I have all the original disks. If it were to fail I still have backups (the originals), but ripping all those to hard drive again would take a long time. So by adding one more 2TB drive and use double parity RAIDZ-2 I can survive even 2 drives failing and in this case just not worry about backups. The other option would be another 4TB of storage, to back up the RAIDZ, which is a copy of the disks in the racks. You reach a point of diminishing returns.

I'm going to add vDev2 as a 1.5TB RAID 1, maybe do it today. (I have two matching 1.5TB drives for that) It will be backed up by my old FreeNAS box, which will no longer do any media streaming, just backups.

With a total of 6 drives that will max out the 6 port onboard SATA.
I've been running a ZFS scrub command every couple of days and so far no errors found. It emails me SMART test results every morning and they look good as well. All three of those drives are brand new, and amazingly appear to be in good shape. But anything can happen, chance will decide.

I installed Mediatomb on it for a UPnP server (I don't care for Fuppes, the one that comes with FreeNAS), and it is now streaming video and music to the PS3 as well as the PC's on the LAN.

pal2511
09-19-2011, 17:10
glad to hear it is running good. I Bought one of the samsung 1.5 tb drives that were on sale for $49 as a backup drive. I am copying my stuff over from my seagate internal 1.5 sata drive and it is slowwww. Only copying at 60mb a second.

Found out when I bought my power supply I got one with only 2 sata power ports. It was about 2 years ago I built it. Now I'm out of sata power ports and out of 3.5 bays in my case.

Looks like I need a new case, another boot drive and I wouldn't mind having another large hard drive to try out raid. Thinking of getting another samsung for $50 to try out raid 0 possibly. Looks like your lian-li case has went up in price.

pal2511
09-19-2011, 18:34
Have you guys seen the cases by Fractal Design? Any experience? I have never heard of them until now. Looks like they get awesome reviews on newegg and are reasonably priced. Love the fact they concentrate on 3.5 bays instead of the 5.25

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352001

JimmyN
09-20-2011, 09:28
The Lian Li was a special sale price at the time, it'll be back again, they've had it on sale before.

I do like that Fractal Design case, I hadn't seen those, and from the reviews it looks like Newegg has been carrying them for about 6 months. I don't know how I missed seeing it. That case is actually 3" shorter than my Lian Li Lancool, width and length are the same.

Nice clean and simple utilitarian look to it, soundproofing, and 8 -3.5" bays. I have a job to build two NAS's and that would be a good choice. I may order two of those in either black or gray from Neweggg today.

Newegg only has two drives on eblast special right now. A Samsung Ecogreen F4 2TB for $69, and WD Caviar Blacks 500GB for $49. But I think the Samsung F4 is the one that needs the firmware upgrade if you want to use SMART monitoring, and the WD 500GB is too small. Funny how things change, five years ago I never would have imagined I would ever say that a 500GB drive is too small, now it's a reality.

pal2511
09-20-2011, 09:54
I was thinking the Ecogreen drives had problems with RAID.

I got the Samsung F4 drive that is on special now. I tried buying another today but it wont let me use the promo code. WTF.

Says my promo code is active but i'm not meeting the requirements.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152287

JimmyN
09-20-2011, 11:01
It depends on the RAID from what I've heard. They don't seem to do well on hardware RAID's, but I know some guys are using them on UNIX software RAID.

The one you picked is a better deal anyway. I tried adding it to my shopping cart and the promo worked for me. The total was only $49 with free shipping. I did have to 'log in' first to get the promo discount.

pal2511
09-20-2011, 11:08
Maybe it only works one time?

I was logged in at the time.

pal2511
09-20-2011, 11:10
On a side note I was surprised the drive came with screws. No cables of course but it came with screws. I was scrambling around trying to find screws and I found a small pack of them in the box. Havnt bought a drive for a couple years so I forgot if they came with screws or not :)

pal2511
09-20-2011, 11:48
You can only use the newegg promo codes once I found out after talking to newegg. They did send me a 10 dollar gift card though to make up for it if I ordered another one.

JimmyN
09-20-2011, 13:55
You can only use the newegg promo codes once I found out after talking to newegg. They did send me a 10 dollar gift card though to make up for it if I ordered another one.

Excellent, just so you got the 10 bucks one way or the other.

I ordered two of the Fractal Design cases, nice find you made there, thanks for pointing it out. I was shopping for cases anyway and those fit the bill. Though they wouldn't be my pick for a gaming rig they will make excellent NAS boxes. And I also bought two more of the Corsair CX500 power supplies. I like the Corsair builders series as they have extra length cables making the wire routing and management easier. Since these won't be powering any video cards 500W is plenty.

gemeinschaft
09-20-2011, 15:00
JimmyN, while I can appreciate your posts, I am tired of reading how good your NAS is when I am using a Samba server with an External Drive...

I sure can't wait until Christmas... :crying::crying:

JimmyN
09-21-2011, 08:30
JimmyN, while I can appreciate your posts, I am tired of reading how good your NAS is when I am using a Samba server with an External Drive...

I sure can't wait until Christmas... :crying::crying:

Sorry, I'll try to hold it down to a dull roar until at least Thanksgiving. Newegg's Black Friday sales should cheer you up some.:supergrin:

But be careful what you wish for, there are often unintended consequences. I got Mediatomb set up so it will now stream Bluray .m2ts and HDTV .ts files to the Playstation3. But the PS3 is only "G" wireless and while that works OK for DVD not so much for HighDef at 1080p. It pauses and stutters too much.

So I'm spending most of the day today running Cat6 cable in the attic so I'll have a hardwire connection for the PS3 on my 1gig LAN. The HTPC has "N" wireless and I could bridge from that, but then I'd have to have the HTPC on just to use the Playstation and that would defeat the purpose. On the plus side the TV, HTPC, and the PlayStation in the den will all be hardwired when I'm done.

gemeinschaft
09-21-2011, 09:44
Sorry, I'll try to hold it down to a dull roar until at least Thanksgiving. Newegg's Black Friday sales should cheer you up some.:supergrin:

But be careful what you wish for, there are often unintended consequences. I got Mediatomb set up so it will now stream Bluray .m2ts and HDTV .ts files to the Playstation3. But the PS3 is only "G" wireless and while that works OK for DVD not so much for HighDef at 1080p. It pauses and stutters too much.

So I'm spending most of the day today running Cat6 cable in the attic so I'll have a hardwire connection for the PS3 on my 1gig LAN. The HTPC has "N" wireless and I could bridge from that, but then I'd have to have the HTPC on just to use the Playstation and that would defeat the purpose. On the plus side the TV, HTPC, and the PlayStation in the den will all be hardwired when I'm done.

You just gave me a great idea, I have not looked at MediaTomb before, but it sounds like it would cost nothing to implement and may provide greater utility for me.

When we moved into this house, my Girlfriend spent 6 hours in the attic running network cable for me and I terminated the connections in the Living Room, Bedroom, Den and the Kitchen so I could hardwire most of my toys.

One of my buddies gave me a 16 port Gigabit Switch, so I would think that I have the architecture in place to do the same.

Of course, my limitation is going to be the server that I am using and whether or not it can keep up with the demand for streaming media such as Blu-ray - It does have a gigabit NIC.

Thanks for your input, it brought me out of the funk of feeling left out. :rofl::rofl:

JimmyN
09-21-2011, 13:02
It doesn't take that much to serve it, it will vary up and down between 25 and 55 mbits as the bit rate changes for different scenes. The issue is getting it over the LAN in a timely fashion, or streaming more than one movie at a time.

My old FreeNAS only has a Pentium4 chip, 256megs of ram and both the SATA controller and 1g NIC are plugged into the PCI bus so they're competing with each other. It was able to serve Bluray just fine. But it would only serve one Bluray, or barely two DVD's at the same time and it was maxed. The new box will serve two Blurays at the same time and still have plenty of capacity left over. So now the grandkids will be able to lay in the bed and watch their movies upstairs, while the grownups are watching something else downstairs.

Mediatomb will serve just about anything to a UPnP player; folders of jpg images, music, and video. And it's free for NIX users, Windows users are SOL they'll need TVersity or something since there is no Windows port of Mediatomb. That makes me very sad.... but I'll get over it.

pal2511
09-22-2011, 17:50
Jimmy I'm glad you bought the fractal design cases. I need a real world user opinion of it when they come in :)


I really would like a new case considering I just ran out of room in my oldddddd Antec case.

I am seriously thinking of that fractal design silent case since this NAS will also be used as my HTPC

IndyGunFreak
09-22-2011, 18:10
Jimmy I'm glad you bought the fractal design cases. I need a real world user opinion of it when they come in :)


I really would like a new case considering I just ran out of room in my oldddddd Antec case.

I am seriously thinking of that fractal design silent case since this NAS will also be used as my HTPC

I've read some good things about this case... Very similar to the Fractal case, but a tad cheaper.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146072

JimmyN
09-23-2011, 07:15
I'll certainly let you know what I think of it, I've heard good things and am anxious to get my hands on a case and have a look. I think it was scheduled for delivery today.

Indy,
That case even looks a lot like the Fractal design, and it has a hard drive dock on top. I see it already has the USB 3 cable hanging out the back to make things easier. I wonder why motherboard manufacturers haven't started putting a USB 3 header on the motherboard rather than having to route the cable outside to plug it in. There must be a technical reason why they only provide a rear USB 3 port. Shielding perhaps, I've noticed the USB 3 rear connectors have a metal RFI shield over them?

pal2511
09-24-2011, 07:21
I'm torn between the following cases ;

The white R3 Fractal Design Silent PC, High Performance Fractal Design, Arc MIDI high performance fractal design or the fractal design XL.

I would like the XL model because its bigger and I would like the extra room to move my stuff around but I'm worried its going to be TOO big to fit behind my tv stand. Right now my tv is in the corner of the living room with a NIGHT STAND holding the tower up. I know night stand sounds pretty cool for a computer tower holding device but it was the perfect size for it and it was serving no other purpose besides being on its way to the trash at my house. Plus its the perfect size height of the tv stand...but onto the other debate. I don't think the XL will fit , I will have to measure my dimensions when I get off work.

I love the look of the R3 but no one will see it because its behind my tv. I think I also like the R3 line because its the "silent" one. I do NOT like the fact it has the door on the front though and I wouldn't think the fans would work that well with the door closed all the time to make it quieter. I am watching reviews though and they pointed out the vents going vertically on the side that will funnell air in when the door is closed even.

The other one is the high performance once that looks like it fixed some of the problems of the R3 like not including a door. It also has USB 3.0 (I dont have usb 3.0 on my mobo yet and probably wont upgrade the motherboard in this case anytime soon). I am worried about noise from all the fans in the high performance one also. I think it does come with a 3 fan controller though which would be nice.

Choices Choices.

My other hard drive did come in from newegg but the box was all smashed up. Have not tried it yet though because my case ran out of room :(

boomhower
09-25-2011, 03:39
Looks good. I'm getting ready to build another server myself shortly. I'm thinking about this set-up:

Case: Fractal Array R2 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352019)
Mobo: Asus E350 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131732) (six SATA and ITX formfactor, pretty much only one out there)
Toss in 4GB's of RAM and I'll use 2TB WD green's. For OS I'm going to try out WHS 2011. I loved the original so I'll try the new one. I'm getting old and prefer simplicity so I'm not that interested in the Linux based offerings. My old WHS box bit the dust and being a commercially built one I really can't do anything with it. I tried a QNAP and it was just horrible. Slow, difficult to use and just plain annoying. I hate not having a good server. Since giving up desktops and going to notebooks only I haven't built anything in years and am really looking forward to it.

pal2511
09-25-2011, 12:05
Boomhower, why are you going with ITX? For size?

boomhower
09-26-2011, 00:36
Boomhower, why are you going with ITX? For size?

Yeah. To say my current living arrangements are tight would be a colossal understatement. My last one was an Acer WHS and I loved the capacity with the size. Really the only downside to it is the cost. I don't need much power as I use universal players(currently a WD TV Live but looking at upgrading) so I don't need to transcode anything, just stream the files and that doesn't take hardly any CPU power even for 1080P. Plus the case just plain looks cool. :cool:

JimmyN
09-26-2011, 06:41
That ASUS ITX board does look pretty nice, passive cooling on the MB, along with some slow turning case fans for air flow and it should be really quiet. I think I saw it only draws 18 watts or something?

pal2511
09-27-2011, 22:32
Bought the fractal design MIDI arc case today. It should arrive Friday. I think the cooling might be a bit better than the r3 is why I went with it


Now I would like a new power supply ....prefer to have modular

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JimmyN
09-28-2011, 14:54
I didn't get my Fractal cases yet, they are lost somewhere. UPS delivered them to the wrong address and somebody there signed for them.

Newegg shipped my order from the California center. I also got some other stuff, a switch, some cables, etc. I thought it was curious at the time that Newegg sent me two tracking numbers for the one order, normally it would have been one number with multiple packages.

The small box arrived on time, but no cases. I checked the tracking numbers and both show as delivered. The package I got said "Left on porch", and was the first tracking number, the second tracking number showed "Left at office, signed for by Skaggs."

I called UPS and they said the second tracking number, for the cases, was sent to a different address by Newegg. It was a business address and someone named Skaggs signed for it. UPS then contacted Newegg and verified my order number and that both tracking numbers should have been delivered to my address. They have also tried to contact the location where it was delivered but haven't been able to reach anyone yet.

So UPS is going to have their driver try again tomorrow to get the packages back, and they have already initiated a trace/claim with Newegg so they are aware of it. As of now I don't know when, if ever, I'll get them.

JimmyN
09-30-2011, 05:56
I got my Fractal cases !!!!!

Last night about 9:00 pm the doorbell rang. I went to the door and there was nobody there, but there were two computer cases sitting by the door. The boxes were in pretty good shape, some mashed corners, otherwise looked good. I opened them up and no dents, dings, or broken parts inside.

I looked at both boxes and the only UPS label on each has my address on it. So I don't know how or why UPS delivered them somewhere else, as it looks like Newegg sent them to the right address.

pal2511
09-30-2011, 11:28
Glad to hear you received them! Mine should be coming today.

pal2511
10-01-2011, 13:23
My Arc Midi case arrived yesterday afternoon. I took it out of the box and did not see any damage done to it. That was my main concern :) Box was crazy dusty though I assume from UPS.

On Monday night I will probably put the system together. Going to get another fan or two for it though for the front and top. Not too concerned about the side fan right now since I am not running any high end graphics.

Should I get the 120mm or 140mm? I was thinking 140mm since I might be able to squeeze a bit more air speed vs noise.

JimmyN
10-02-2011, 06:29
That is always an anxious moment, as you open the box to see how well it survived the trip.

It's been a busy few days for me, I haven't even had time to check out my new cases. I did pick up the 10 drives to go in the two NAS boxes. I always have them choose and furnish the drives as failed drives turn out to be 99% of the warranty problems and that gets me out of the loop, plus I'm not out of pocket for the drives until I get paid. 10 of the Western Digital 2TB RE4 enterprise grade drives is well over $2,000.

I still have to decide on motherboards and processors and purchase those. I have the powers supplies and the 4 - Intel Pro NIC's needed to put parallel adapters in each.

I'd go with the 140mm, bigger fan turning slower is quieter than a smaller fan turning fast.

pal2511
10-02-2011, 09:05
You know anything about gaming? IS there a video card that will run starcraft 2 and other light games for about $150?

Any reccomendation on what power supply to get?

I am leaning towards a modular rosewill but I have not heard anything about them. Would like a Seasonic or PC power and cooling.

Looking at the 550 to 600 watt range for under $100

JimmyN
10-04-2011, 04:22
For that price range I'd go with a graphics adapter that uses the GeForce 9800GTX+ chipset, I think that's about the best bang for the buck with a $150 limit. 512 megs of video ram minimum. That would play it well, though you may not be able to use the highest graphic settings in the game. Or you may be able to run higher graphic settings if you decrease resolution in the game to 1600x900 or 1280x720 rather than 1920x1080.

A 500 watt power supply is marginal though, a 9800GTX alone will need about 25~30 amps from the 12V rail. So you're looking at ~350 watts peak just for the graphics card. Add another 100 watts for the CPU/motherboard just to cover it and you're approaching max for the PSU, and you still need to power drives and fans. If you step up to a more powerful card later, or go SLI or Crossfire you won't have enough power supply.

pal2511
10-04-2011, 08:14
Of course I would need a bigger power supply. Any idea on what brand to go for?

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pal2511
10-04-2011, 22:58
Well got the guts moved over from one case to another today.

Cable management system for this case was very slick. Never used a modern case before that had it. Case was very tidy even with a power supply that was not modular and had a ton of extra molex plugs around.

Motherboard went in without a hitch and everything lined up like a champ.

I think the case is probably quieter than my old case even with 3 bigger fans and they are all running at top speed with the fan controller. My old case had the typical 2 80mm fans.

Did take me a minute or 20 minutes to figure out how to mount the hard drives...

Didn't realize the hard drives had screw holes on the bottom. Never looked :(


I HIGHLY reccomend the case and I thought there was plenty of room. I bet the XL case is sweet though.

Very soon I am going to have to get a new hard drive to replace the boot drive. Turns out the boot drive is ONLY 4 years old and I think thats half the noise in the system. Also need a new power supply plus a sata dvd writer would be nice