noir

Your thoughts on my new fileserver project

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I'm thinking of replacing my first fileserver, which was more a multipurpose machine, with a new, dedicated one. So i wanted to ask for your comments about my selection of parts:

- Chenbro 414 case with 16x s-ataII backplane

- SeaSonic 600W PS/2 Power Supply

- Asus K8N-LR motherboard

- a cheap athlon64 (3000+ or so)

- 1gig of ECC DDR400 ram

- Areca 16port S-ataII pci-express 8x card

This server will be for my home usage. I plan on using this as primary fileserver, while using my old one as backup for my most beloved data (it fits 2.6tera right now after all). The new one should be running in raid6.

The motherboard has 2 pcix 64bit/133mhz slots that'd be free for extensions (i plan on adding dual u320scsi cards for external subraid extensions later... lots later). It also has 2x1gbit LAN over pcie1x, so that'd allow me to get to my data quickly. I read lots of posts on this board about Areca issues with normal pc configurations, so i tried to stay as close as possible with server motherboards.

The server will run Gentoo with Samba, booting from a small 40/80gigs hd, dedicated to the OS

This were the general ideas i had about the server. Wanted to know if this configuration is alright in your mind, if i missed something or planned it wrong.

One last question: i thought of using seagate 750gigs barracudas as drives for the array. Is it alright to let those run 24/7?

Thank you in advance :)

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I'm thinking of replacing my first fileserver, which was more a multipurpose machine, with a new, dedicated one. So i wanted to ask for your comments about my selection of parts:

- Chenbro 414 case with 16x s-ataII backplane

- SeaSonic 600W PS/2 Power Supply

- Asus K8N-LR motherboard

- a cheap athlon64 (3000+ or so)

- 1gig of ECC DDR400 ram

- Areca 16port S-ataII pci-express 8x card

This server will be for my home usage. I plan on using this as primary fileserver, while using my old one as backup for my most beloved data (it fits 2.6tera right now after all). The new one should be running in raid6.

The motherboard has 2 pcix 64bit/133mhz slots that'd be free for extensions (i plan on adding dual u320scsi cards for external subraid extensions later... lots later). It also has 2x1gbit LAN over pcie1x, so that'd allow me to get to my data quickly. I read lots of posts on this board about Areca issues with normal pc configurations, so i tried to stay as close as possible with server motherboards.

The server will run Gentoo with Samba, booting from a small 40/80gigs hd, dedicated to the OS

This were the general ideas i had about the server. Wanted to know if this configuration is alright in your mind, if i missed something or planned it wrong.

One last question: i thought of using seagate 750gigs barracudas as drives for the array. Is it alright to let those run 24/7?

Thank you in advance :)

Seems expensive, I've built a 2.6TB array on a P4 box, 120MB/s reads, 38-40MB/s writes, mix of SATA+PATA with SW raid for almost nothing except the cost of the $120 drives (400GB/seagate) when they go on sale and a case, (ASPIRE) that holds 13-14 drives for $150.

If you have the $$ go for it I guess, the most important thing though is how you decide to hook everything up. If I was going to do what you've planned, I would get 2 port SATA cards (PCI-1e) and put 2 drives on each of the ports and use the mobo ports, at least that way you will not have a bandwidth bottleneck.

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i've tried the software way, and i wasn't happy enough with its reliabilty. i prefer a nice card that tells me when something doesn't work and other nice functionalities. For my first fileserver i also thought about going SW Raid with the integrated S-ata ports, or even controller cards.

This fileserver is meant to scale nicely till 10tera in raid6, and above that with external subraids over dualscsi320. i know its expensive, but i want something that works without hassles now.

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Guest 888
i thought of using seagate 750gigs barracudas as drives for the array. Is it alright to let those run 24/7?

Use the new Barracuda ES series drives for it! They are just reached on market now, at least 750GB and 250GB versions are. They must be in principle similar to Barracuda 7200.10 drives but intended for professional 24/7 use. They are follow-up to the current NL35.1 and NL35.2 series, even their model codes are marked the same, with "NS" at the end!'

ST3750640NS - Barracuda ES, 750GB, 16MB, SATA300

http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/discsa...081,775,00.html

http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/discsa...086,775,00.html

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888, thanks, that's perfect news!

i am scared on letting normal hds run on 24/7. with these i might sleep well :D

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bought the necessary parts, except for storage drives and raid controller. i'll play around with it a bit first... i'll tell you the outcome (eventually when funds allow to buy more stuff)

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bought the necessary parts, except for storage drives and raid controller. i'll play around with it a bit first... i'll tell you the outcome (eventually when funds allow to buy more stuff)

I would try the WD RE2 500GB disk instead. In my experience you get far more IOPS from these disks than from Seagate 7200.9. I think the WD copes better with being in a rack full of disks (something the Seagate Cheetah series also does well).

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i thought of using 7200.10 drives. iops wouldn't be so important, as we'll only be 2-3 users max accessing the raid.

why do the cheetahs and the WD cope better in a rack full of disks? please elaborate, i don't know what you mean by this :)

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do take note that 10krpm and 15krpm have some kind of RV correction, (Rotational vibraton ). i am not sure about 7200rpm yet. it will be a concern if too many hdds in a a rack.

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WD RE2 is much quieter than Seagate...

it won't matter if they're quiet or not, the server will be in a seperate room.

do take note that 10krpm and 15krpm have some kind of RV correction, (Rotational vibraton ). i am not sure about 7200rpm yet. it will be a concern if too many hdds in a a rack.

Unfortunately i don't have the funds nor the needs for high-cost SCSI drives. It will just be a storage solution for me and my family. SCSI disks are way too expensive and dont have enough storage capacity for me to do this.

if you'd say that the 7200.10 gets hotter than than the WDs, i'd understand. right now i dont see a disadvantage of using the 750gigs barracuda ES?

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Guest 888
do take note that 10krpm and 15krpm have some kind of RV correction, (Rotational vibraton ). i am not sure about 7200rpm yet. it will be a concern if too many hdds in a a rack.

if you'd say that the 7200.10 gets hotter than than the WDs, i'd understand. right now i dont see a disadvantage of using the 750gigs barracuda ES?

All RE2 drives have also this rotational vibration correction (called RAFF). And as far as I know, also the Seagate ES has it.

Yes, RE2 is really more cool-running than 7200.10 and ES but the differences aren't so big. Anyway, for any bigger storage solutions some active cooling system is necessary.

About reliability of course it is too early to say surely now but still... even 7200.10 desktop (mainstream) drives have been in fact more reliable than RE2 enterprise drives so far! So I think also ES series is very reliable because of it is based just on 7200.10 in everything.

Personally I like equally both of them, RE2 and ES.

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thank you for pointing that out, 888.

so this will be a little fight between the 500gigs wd, seagates, and the 750gig seagate one. luckily i still have 1-2 months to wait to decide, as i have to raise the funds for the areca card first :D

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About reliability of course it is too early to say surely now but still... even 7200.10 desktop (mainstream) drives have been in fact more reliable than RE2 enterprise drives so far!

How did you come to this conclusion?

Edited by snomunke

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Guest 888

About reliability of course it is too early to say surely now but still... even 7200.10 desktop (mainstream) drives have been in fact more reliable than RE2 enterprise drives so far!

How did you come to this conclusion?

Distributors inside information, thousands of drives (I wrote more about this in some other topic here).

And honestly saying, the difference is huge, so far. I just say "so far" because of 7200.10 has been only 3...4 months on market now and this is usual for new models to be more reliable than their final score will be. Of course, total number of WD5000YS drives sold so far is smaller than for 7200.10 series (320/500/750) yet.

But more interesting is that my distributors statistics do not show any more reliability for WD RE/RE2 than for their desktop companions! For WD4000YR there's even (relatively)more returns than for WD4000KD (but this may just happened so). Still, Seagate 7200.8 (and some larger capacity 7200.9) models have been even more worse in their reliability, so all is relative and we can count all these drives to be good. Still, the new 7200.10/ES may break all earlier records in reliability... May-be, because of we don't know yet how good would they staying in time.

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Guest 888
888 do you have any statistics as far as the reliability of wd raptors (74gb)?

WD740ADFD - Don't know (because of insufficient numbers of drives sold yet... still new item)

WD740GD - Good reliability (over average)

WD1500ADFD/AHFD - Good or very good reliability (significantly over average... but this may change as time goes by, because of also this model is relatively new yet)

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888, thanks, that's perfect news!

i am scared on letting normal hds run on 24/7. with these i might sleep well :D

**Knocks on wood** I have normal 250gb Western Digital HDs running in my storage server with no glitches. I suspect that good cooling is worth more than a "RAID-ready" designation.

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About reliability of course it is too early to say surely now but still... even 7200.10 desktop (mainstream) drives have been in fact more reliable than RE2 enterprise drives so far!

How did you come to this conclusion?

Distributors inside information, thousands of drives (I wrote more about this in some other topic here).

And honestly saying, the difference is huge, so far. I just say "so far" because of 7200.10 has been only 3...4 months on market now and this is usual for new models to be more reliable than their final score will be. Of course, total number of WD5000YS drives sold so far is smaller than for 7200.10 series (320/500/750) yet.

But more interesting is that my distributors statistics do not show any more reliability for WD RE/RE2 than for their desktop companions! For WD4000YR there's even (relatively)more returns than for WD4000KD (but this may just happened so). Still, Seagate 7200.8 (and some larger capacity 7200.9) models have been even more worse in their reliability, so all is relative and we can count all these drives to be good. Still, the new 7200.10/ES may break all earlier records in reliability... May-be, because of we don't know yet how good would they staying in time.

I won't dispute your claims, but I will reserve the right to take them with a grain of salt...

P.S. Your grammar could use a little (ALOT) of work...couldn't really understand what you were trying to say...

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Couple of questions:

1. Did you go with the PCI-Express or PCI-X Areca card? I thought I read somewhere that ASUS mobos can't use anything other that video cards in their PCI-Express slots. You may want to switch to the PCI-X ver of the raid card since your mobo also has 2 slots.

2. Doesn't that case support Multi-Lane cards? If so I'd suggest you use that as it will be a lot easier once you install all 16 drives!

~Sy

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Couple of questions:

1. Did you go with the PCI-Express or PCI-X Areca card? I thought I read somewhere that ASUS mobos can't use anything other that video cards in their PCI-Express slots. You may want to switch to the PCI-X ver of the raid card since your mobo also has 2 slots.

2. Doesn't that case support Multi-Lane cards? If so I'd suggest you use that as it will be a lot easier once you install all 16 drives!

~Sy

Here is where I saw it: http://forums.2cpu.com/showthread.php?t=77049

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Sy, thank you for bringing up this issue.

I haven't bought an Areca card just yet, but i will inquire on compatibility once i have the funds for the card.

The p5ld2 strikes me as a normal consumer motherboard though, whereas the K8N-LR i chose seems to be specifically directed to server use, as it already has a graphics card built in. I will definately look into this though, as i planned on using the pcie16x (which works actually as pcie8x on this motherboard) for the areca controller.

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