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    Equipment Crew Tech Thread



    Well, here it is. We've been needing this for a little while. Hopefully this can consolidate both techie discussions & all of these headphone questions that pop up now & again.





    I'll start the thread off with something not as complicated & more universally understood.

    I took a look at my cable bill & realized how absurdly high it was. After a little research, I figured I'd try out Playstation Vue on a Kindle Fire. It seems to have the channels I'd prefer to have over anything else. I also bought an 80 mile antenna to pick up local stations, at least until PS Vue signs a deal w/ local stations.
    I've only had it set up for a few hours, but so far, so good. I'll report back after my trial period. Right now, $30 per month is a lot better than $95. Having money to put towards equipment is always a good thing!

    If anyone has anything to contribute to cable cutting, please weigh in.
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    Youtube
    Netflix
    Shomi (Canadian)
    Kodi

    and of course, torrents.

    I don't have cable. I do have a cheap $20 antenna, but since I'm about 2 miles away from the CN Tower, I get about 6 HD channels. Others around the area get 20+, and there are DIY antennas, the most notorious would be the Gray Hoverman variants.
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    We have dish network because they've got access to Hong Kong television for the wife. otherwise we have the lowest tier we can that gets us ESPN. it's still too much for how little we watch TV.

    i don't have HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or any other streaming services, because again i never watch.

    sometimes i'm tempted to buy Amazon prime, but i know it'd end up costing me even more in purchases from them and the shows i care to watch are on Netflix (the marvel series have been mostly enjoyable).
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    The Gougefather Stasher1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Domicron View Post
    We have dish network because they've got access to Hong Kong television for the wife. otherwise we have the lowest tier we can that gets us ESPN. it's still too much for how little we watch TV.

    i don't have HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or any other streaming services, because again i never watch.

    sometimes i'm tempted to buy Amazon prime, but i know it'd end up costing me even more in purchases from them and the shows i care to watch are on Netflix (the marvel series have been mostly enjoyable).

    I have Amazon Prime, and I use it all the time. I'm sure I spend more money simply because it's so easy and I have free shipping, but I also use it for things that I would normally buy locally...like shoes and clothes. I know what kind of underwear I like, and I know what size I wear, so why deal with Atlanta traffic when I can have it shipped to my house for free? I use it for music, as well...but very rarely for movies.
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    I'm an Amazon Prime subscriber too. I got it for the faster / "free" shipping and only recently started watching streaming content provided with the service.

    That, in turn, got me looking at other streaming services as well as hardware platforms.

    I have three streaming devices now: Chromecast (from Google), Roku, and Fire TV. Of the three, I like Chromecast the best and, if possible, use it instead of the others. If there's content that I can't see on Chromecast, I'll use Roku. (I mentioned this in the EC thread as well.)

    I'm thinking that I'll be able to eliminate at least one of the cable TV packages that we have. OTOH, I might upgrade the Internet package. In terms of cost, it might be a wash.
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    Registered User KBKB's Avatar
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    Continuing the conversation in the EC thread...

    I'm considering this Chassis for a file server:

    Supermicro 846BE1C-R1K28B:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/...E1C-R1K28B.cfm
    http://www.wiredzone.com/supermicro-...1k28b-10024069

    It's even pricier than the other (mostly similar) Supermicro chassis that I had been considering. The main difference is that the backplane has a SAS expander and uses a Mini SAS HD (SFF 8643) connector. It appears to me that a single cable could be used to connect the motherboard to the backplane. This eliminates a lot of cables which could impede airflow through the chassis. It also means that I won't need to add additional SAS cards in order to fully populate it with disk drives. It's not clear to me, however, whether there'll be a performance hit (degradation) with using such a solution.

    Thoughts?

    Edit: I've found a better price... http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?p=CA-846BARB
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  7. #7
    Can't break what's broken Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.
    Yeah, I'm digging the amazon fire (other than the retarded nomenclature).

    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    Continuing the conversation in the EC thread...

    I'm considering this Chassis for a file server:

    Supermicro 846BE1C-R1K28B:
    https://www.supermicro.com/products/...E1C-R1K28B.cfm
    http://www.wiredzone.com/supermicro-...1k28b-10024069

    It's even pricier than the other (mostly similar) Supermicro chassis that I had been considering. The main difference is that the backplane has a SAS expander and uses a Mini SAS HD (SFF 8643) connector. It appears to me that a single cable could be used to connect the motherboard to the backplane. This eliminates a lot of cables which could impede airflow through the chassis. It also means that I won't need to add additional SAS cards in order to fully populate it with disk drives. It's not clear to me, however, whether there'll be a performance hit (degradation) with using such a solution.

    Thoughts?

    Edit: I've found a better price... http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?p=CA-846BARB
    Superbiiz is a solid site. I've ordered from them before. If you've never heard of them, well, there's nothing to worry about.

    Redundant 1280w PSUs is such a nice option. I owned dual 500w versions years ago. I can see why the price is so high for that setup.
    From what I've read about distributing bandwidth over more drives than sata cables, it works well. Linus tech tips did a build where they had something stupid like 20 drives over 1 sata cable & the throughput was high enough. You have to figure, over a network, people are still pushing only 125mb/sec, max. I think for a single user environment, it'll be more than enough. Even with 10gbe, you'll most likely never hit a bottleneck at 1gig/sec. You have to figure, theoretically, two decent SSDs will saturate a 10gbe connection if the receiving end can write at that speed.

    I say it a lot, but I really like supermicro. It's not a cheap case, but you will get what you're looking for, especially if this fixes your sata port issue.
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    Registered User KBKB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Synthetickiller View Post
    Superbiiz is a solid site. I've ordered from them before. If you've never heard of them, well, there's nothing to worry about.
    Excellent. That was a concern - but now that you vouch for them, it no longer is.

    Redundant 1280w PSUs is such a nice option. I owned dual 500w versions years ago. I can see why the price is so high for that setup.
    From what I've read about distributing bandwidth over more drives than sata cables, it works well. Linus tech tips did a build where they had something stupid like 20 drives over 1 sata cable & the throughput was high enough. You have to figure, over a network, people are still pushing only 125mb/sec, max. I think for a single user environment, it'll be more than enough. Even with 10gbe, you'll most likely never hit a bottleneck at 1gig/sec. You have to figure, theoretically, two decent SSDs will saturate a 10gbe connection if the receiving end can write at that speed.

    I say it a lot, but I really like supermicro. It's not a cheap case, but you will get what you're looking for, especially if this fixes your sata port issue.
    It does make the build easier...

    - One cable to run from MB to backplane. (Not counting power.)
    - Tidier cables mean better airflow.
    - No need to purchase extra (expensive) SAS cards. Will probably still need to flash the SAS chipset on the MB though (to be non-hardware RAID).
    - I can build something reasonably complete at the outset. All I'll need to do when I want to expand is add more drives.

    Thanks again for your feedback. I'm strongly leaning to going with this chassis now.
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  9. #9
    Can't break what's broken Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    It does make the build easier...

    - One cable to run from MB to backplane. (Not counting power.)
    - Tidier cables mean better airflow.
    - No need to purchase extra (expensive) SAS cards. Will probably still need to flash the SAS chipset on the MB though (to be non-hardware RAID).
    - I can build something reasonably complete at the outset. All I'll need to do when I want to expand is add more drives.

    Thanks again for your feedback. I'm strongly leaning to going with this chassis now.
    I'm not sure how caught up in the numbers you get. I know I get anal about losing any performance, at all. I think the cost to move from 1gbe to 10gbe would just be too much. I'll be doing it since I'm saving at least as much of the cost of the switch by wiring the house myself & let me tell you, a good switch is $1200 to $1500, then direct copper or fiber to fiber to connect the 1gbe switch to the 10gbe switch, then $250+ for 10gbe nics (at that price, you are looking at buying from China, directly)to upgrade everything. So, let's say it's at least $2000, just in networking....

    Then look at the fact that sata 6.0 can "only" push 600mb/sec & hdds are pushing just over 200mb/sec right now... Until you either run 10gbe or a thunderbolt/USB3.1/USB C solution, all roads lead to a bottleneck at your network connection. I'm not sure how your workload functions, but if you're not moving more than a few gigs of pictures to your computer from the server to actually edit them, it's probably a non-concern. Also consider that small files (I'm thinking less than 100mb) do not transfer as fast, by any means. Even then, you could always buy a small thunderbolt hdd for your desktop, just to have lightning fast access to files while editing (not that it would really be that much of a benefit over a quality SSD in the first place).

    I guess my point is that you basically end up chasing your tail if you try to break the 10gbe barrier.

    I also saw this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro-5...YAAOSwuhhXXIiR
    It might be worth a look, if you're ok with 64gb of max memory (I've seen 128gb kits @ 32gb x4, but you're looking at $1k just for memory). Because it uses avoton, (8 core, 2.4ghz atom, still very, very quick), this guy was seeing 145w to 180w with 12, 6tb drives (all 7200 RPM). That's really good! I'd jump on this, but I have no room for it, can't justify the price right now, yadda yadda yadda. I figured you might want to at least glance at it. It's overkill for your needs... just take that into account, lol.

    Here's the board in that all in one solution:



    You've got me thinking about building my backup server now... & I'm fairly stumped.
    I was thinking doing all 3TB drives (since I already own 3) with 3 spares. The board in the above barebones server is a SuperMicro A1SA7-2750F. It's an 8 core, 2.4ghz SoC w/ an LSI 2116 raid card built in. There's 16 sata 3 / 6.0 ports, dedicated OS sata port (only sata 2), onboard internal USB 3.0 (NICE!) and an option to add 10gbe (it's a proprietary card, but the option is there). My only crutch is the PSU. It's some strange proprietary style... The damn board is $600 new (the LSI 2116 built in, alone, is worth $350)... it might be a good option for you, if you can live with 12 bays. It's strange to pair a 17 port motherboard with a 1u blade that only supports 12 drives.

    I'm still thinking of jumping on that ASRock board. The cost to performance ratio, for the needs of a storage server, are out of this world good. I just need a chassis that'll support 10 to 12 drives.
    For the money, this looks like a winner: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811147157
    It has 10 internal 3.5" bays, another 4 internal/external 3.5s (double as 5.25s) which would let me dump a 5 bay hot swamp, along with 1 more spare slot. As well, the top of the case has a doc for an SSD, letting me easily swap out the OS drive is something really goes wrong. It also has really nice airflow, for the money. I could do w/o all of the red lights, but it'll work, lol.






    Also, not sure if you are following the world of graphics cards... but I'm again stumped on what to do. I have a GTX 690 & the 2gb of memory kills me. I cannot run the new Doom game at Ultra settings b/c I simply run out of memory. The 1000 series nvidia cards look awesome. The 1080s don't seem worth it for the going price (or even if you compare MSRP of the 1070 vs 1080). I've heard that WCing does not help overclocking the cards (I'd still think it would help with stability). I mention that because MSI has a WC'd card that comes with an EK water block (cools both the CPU & VRMs!)...

    Here's the card.. man that block is pretty:
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    Originally Posted by Synthetickiller View Post
    I'm not sure how caught up in the numbers you get. I know I get anal about losing any performance, at all. I think the cost to move from 1gbe to 10gbe would just be too much. I'll be doing it since I'm saving at least as much of the cost of the switch by wiring the house myself & let me tell you, a good switch is $1200 to $1500, then direct copper or fiber to fiber to connect the 1gbe switch to the 10gbe switch, then $250+ for 10gbe nics (at that price, you are looking at buying from China, directly)to upgrade everything. So, let's say it's at least $2000, just in networking....

    Then look at the fact that sata 6.0 can "only" push 600mb/sec & hdds are pushing just over 200mb/sec right now... Until you either run 10gbe or a thunderbolt/USB3.1/USB C solution, all roads lead to a bottleneck at your network connection. I'm not sure how your workload functions, but if you're not moving more than a few gigs of pictures to your computer from the server to actually edit them, it's probably a non-concern. Also consider that small files (I'm thinking less than 100mb) do not transfer as fast, by any means. Even then, you could always buy a small thunderbolt hdd for your desktop, just to have lightning fast access to files while editing (not that it would really be that much of a benefit over a quality SSD in the first place).

    I guess my point is that you basically end up chasing your tail if you try to break the 10gbe barrier.
    I'm not ready to upgrade my network yet. If I need speed, I think local caching is the way to go.

    The primary aim of the file server (that I'll build next) is to have a large amount of reliable storage available for photos and other stuff. I like using ZFS because it's able to correct errors on the disks due to degradation of magnetic fields and the like. I don't think that most hardware RAID solutions can do this.

    Also, not sure if you are following the world of graphics cards... but I'm again stumped on what to do. I have a GTX 690 & the 2gb of memory kills me. I cannot run the new Doom game at Ultra settings b/c I simply run out of memory. The 1000 series nvidia cards look awesome. The 1080s don't seem worth it for the going price (or even if you compare MSRP of the 1070 vs 1080). I've heard that WCing does not help overclocking the cards (I'd still think it would help with stability). I mention that because MSI has a WC'd card that comes with an EK water block (cools both the CPU & VRMs!)...

    Here's the card.. man that block is pretty:
    Well, it is pretty, but...

    I'm not into gaming.

    While I do use Windows for my photo editing, I spend most of my time (including stuff I do for work) on Linux. I used to buy middle of the road graphics cards - not really expensive, but not super cheap either. I'd usually get one with an NVidia chipset because their Linux support was better.

    But, in order to make it run really well, I had to install proprietary drivers from NVidia. This made it somewhat difficult to update the kernel because releases of the proprietary drivers would sometimes lag behind that of the kernel releases. Also, some versions of the driver worked better than others, meaning you had to downgrade at times. I got tired of messing about with that stuff, so...

    I decided to use only Open Source drivers. My recent hardware builds have used integrated Intel graphics. It's mostly worked okay, though there seem to be some X Server problems in Fedora 23. I've worked around these by turning on the compositing window manager, but I'm not entirely happy with that solution.
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    Small/Short Server Racks?

    Any thoughts on a small (i.e. not very tall) rack?

    Searching Amazon, I find several 15U open frame racks...

    https://www.amazon.com/iStarUSA-4-Po...dp/B0065SFHAE/
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F2OEZFY
    https://www.amazon.com/Norco-R4-15U-.../dp/B00SHXVQ9G

    At the moment, I'd only have the one 4U chassis to put in the rack. But, once I have it, it could happen that I'll put other stuff in the rack too.

    I've also been looking for a solution for vertical mounting. I see wall mounts, but nothing free standing. Basically, I'd like some sort of pedestal which would turn a 4U rack mount chassis into a tower.
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    A few years ago I was into crypto currency mining. I used plastic vegetable crates. Stackable, but you had to melt holes either on the bottom or sides to pass through the wires. Would not recommend them higher than 4 or 5 layers. I had the motherboard on the first layer, and 4 or 5 GPUs on the second layer.
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    Originally Posted by CanadaBuilder2 View Post
    A few years ago I was into crypto currency mining. I used plastic vegetable crates. Stackable, but you had to melt holes either on the bottom or sides to pass through the wires. Would not recommend them higher than 4 or 5 layers. I had the motherboard on the first layer, and 4 or 5 GPUs on the second layer.
    At one of the start ups I worked for in the mid-nineties, the sysadmin there bought a sturdy wire shelving unit to use as a server rack. It worked okay - as I recall, we didn't actually have that much true rack mount equipment anyway. I remember seeing it mostly populated with standard tower cases. Anyway, I'm sure there are a number of solutions involving shelving, vegetable crates, etc.

    My requirements are:
    1. That it be reasonably compact. It has to fit into a space that's no larger than 24" wide x 24" high x 36" deep. (I see now that those 15U racks that I mentioned earlier don't satisfy my height requirement.)
    2. That it be able to handle at least 120lbs of weight. The Supermicro chassis that I'm considering is listed as weighing 75lbs. The drives weigh a little under 1.5lbs each; 24 of them would weigh 36lbs, for a total weight (not counting anything else) of 111lbs.
    3. Given the weight, it should have casters so that I can slide it in and out of the space I have in mind. (It's a large cubbyhole in the wall set about 3.5 feet off the floor. There are shelves along the sides for storage. The bottom provides a really large shelf which I use for equipment. There's even a cooling vent for this space.)

    The dimensions of the Supermicro Chassis are 17.2" (W) x 26" (D) x 7" (H). As I think about it some more, I may go for a DIY solution in which it's turned on it's side to make a 17.2" tower. That should make it easier to maneuver (including rotation) in and out of the space I have in mind. This is important for servicing it if necessary and also for attaching cables at the back.
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    KBKB, I know you hate linus tech tips, but you might want to watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDnAf2w2v-Y

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811165655
    There's the case.
    What you will notice is the odd configuration. It's shallow in terms of motherboard mounting area depth. The benefit is the SAS backplane. Apparenlty, you can hook up more than one sas connector, but you can only use a single if you like. I know for a fact that some motherboards have between 2 and 4 of those 8087 sas connectors. My LSI raid card has those. They are a nice option, not just b/c its higher end, but it helps w/ cable management. Oh, it has 32 drive bays.... 32!

    Just wanted to throw a wrench into your decision making, lol.
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    Originally Posted by Synthetickiller View Post
    KBKB, I know you hate linus tech tips, but you might want to watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDnAf2w2v-Y

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811165655
    There's the case.
    What you will notice is the odd configuration. It's shallow in terms of motherboard mounting area depth. The benefit is the SAS backplane. Apparenlty, you can hook up more than one sas connector, but you can only use a single if you like. I know for a fact that some motherboards have between 2 and 4 of those 8087 sas connectors. My LSI raid card has those. They are a nice option, not just b/c its higher end, but it helps w/ cable management. Oh, it has 32 drive bays.... 32!

    Just wanted to throw a wrench into your decision making, lol.
    Thanks again. That video was useful.

    It worries me that there aren't many reviews (at newegg) for iStarUSA stuff.
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    I wonder if there's space for a mini-ITX motherboard in this enclosure...

    http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sas_cables...tower-jbod.asp

    Size is 7"x17"x17". It can hold fifteen 3.5" drives. Better still, it doesn't require drive trays.
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    TiVo over the equipment Verizon provides. I'd really be interested in some recommendations for aerial antennas as a back-up to FiOS.
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    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    I wonder if there's space for a mini-ITX motherboard in this enclosure...

    http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sas_cables...tower-jbod.asp

    Size is 7"x17"x17". It can hold fifteen 3.5" drives. Better still, it doesn't require drive trays.
    That's a really interesting way to add storage, either on the nas/san side or even just connected to your desktop. Those HBA cards are pricy though, being $500 + 700 for this. I guess if the space you save is worth it, go for it. I highly doubt you'd max that out for a while. I'm curious what the throughput is, though. Obviously, it should be enough, but I always error on the side of caution. Prebuilt is always slower unless it's almost unaffordable by comparison, lol.


    On topic, I'm just doing a small build from the ground up. I was originally looking at that silverstone 8 bay & found the NZXT H440. I've worked with NZXT cases in the past & found them to be nothing but a joy to work with.
    The reason This seems to work is that is has dual sided HDD trays (yes, that's a first for me. I had no clue anyone made that). Since there's 5, it holds 10 HDDs (11, but Idk where that 11th one is placed, yet.) The air flow looks good & I can get it in a nice color, refurbed for $110 shipped. The silverstone is $150 + $50 or $75 for the 300w or 450w SFX silverstone PSU respectively. I can get a $90 PSU that's better for the same price or less.

    I'm ok with losing hot swap. I don't expect to have drives die quickly.
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    How slow, or how fast do you guys need it to be? There are used rack and tower servers that accept hot swappable 8~16 drives, stick in your favorite OS, and make the redundancy and parity features part of the software. I wouldn't advice hardware RAID unless you have the money or you are an enterprise.

    I find that if you know your tech, then it's just like all other equipment here, and everyone else non-tech advocates buying used. I only say, the HDD should be brand new (and only because used drives are lower capacity), but the rest of the hardware can be one of those off-leased storage server types.

    I found this store here in Canada that sells used servers, then stuffs it with brand new 8TB Red WD drives. HP or Dell. 96TB total unraided or JBOD. (Just a Bunch of Drives.)

    BTW, @SK, your sig has a typo.
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    Originally Posted by CanadaBuilder2 View Post
    BTW, @SK, your sig has a typo.
    s/reivew/review/

    (I first encountered Unix on a PDP-11 running either V6 or V7 from Bell Labs. The text editor was 'ed' and editing text files involved making (a lot of) substitutions like the one shown above. A few years later, I used BSD 4.2; vi was a huge step up. I still do my editing with a vi-like editor - I never got into using EMACS.)
    Last edited by KBKB; 08-02-2016 at 09:02 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Synthetickiller View Post
    That's a really interesting way to add storage, either on the nas/san side or even just connected to your desktop. Those HBA cards are pricy though, being $500 + 700 for this. I guess if the space you save is worth it, go for it. I highly doubt you'd max that out for a while. I'm curious what the throughput is, though. Obviously, it should be enough, but I always error on the side of caution. Prebuilt is always slower unless it's almost unaffordable by comparison, lol.


    On topic, I'm just doing a small build from the ground up. I was originally looking at that silverstone 8 bay & found the NZXT H440. I've worked with NZXT cases in the past & found them to be nothing but a joy to work with.
    The reason This seems to work is that is has dual sided HDD trays (yes, that's a first for me. I had no clue anyone made that). Since there's 5, it holds 10 HDDs (11, but Idk where that 11th one is placed, yet.) The air flow looks good & I can get it in a nice color, refurbed for $110 shipped. The silverstone is $150 + $50 or $75 for the 300w or 450w SFX silverstone PSU respectively. I can get a $90 PSU that's better for the same price or less.

    I'm ok with losing hot swap. I don't expect to have drives die quickly.
    You have me considering that case now. It's a reasonable size and weight and will hold enough drives for my purposes.

    Does the front panel come off (or swing open) so that the drives can be installed from the front? I'm not sure what I'm looking at in that picture.
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    I found a video showing the drives. They install from the right side.

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    Originally Posted by CanadaBuilder2 View Post
    How slow, or how fast do you guys need it to be? There are used rack and tower servers that accept hot swappable 8~16 drives, stick in your favorite OS, and make the redundancy and parity features part of the software. I wouldn't advice hardware RAID unless you have the money or you are an enterprise.

    I find that if you know your tech, then it's just like all other equipment here, and everyone else non-tech advocates buying used. I only say, the HDD should be brand new (and only because used drives are lower capacity), but the rest of the hardware can be one of those off-leased storage server types.

    I found this store here in Canada that sells used servers, then stuffs it with brand new 8TB Red WD drives. HP or Dell. 96TB total unraided or JBOD. (Just a Bunch of Drives.)
    Any ZFS solution > hardware raid. At least that's the case until hardware raid card manufacturers build a card for higher throughput that doesn't fight with how zfs works. All benchmarks I've seen have shown a ZFS array just a hair slower; we're talking mb/sec differences with arrays that are pushing multiple gb/sec. The added check sum & the rest make going hardware raid as waste of time & money, along with fewer data security checks. Having a self healing array is nice.

    That's why I'm looking at that intel avoton based board. 12 sata ports, 4core 2.4 ghz cpu that supports ECC (really no faster than the j1900, but that's all I need), much smaller footprint & lower on power consumption than older server hardware. On top of that, I can make it almost silent. I'm currently sleeping in the room that the server will be in. In no way am I going to try to sleep with a hair dryer blowing 10 feet from me, constantly. I also don't feel like having to go through the extra steps of flashing a raid card to HBA mode. On top of that, any blade is going to take up significantly more room. I don't have a rack to mount it in, so the cost savings goes out the window.

    Originally Posted by CanadaBuilder2 View Post
    BTW, @SK, your sig has a typo.
    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    s/reivew/review/

    (I first encountered Unix on a PDP-11 running either V6 or V7 from Bell Labs. The text editor was 'ed' and editing text files involved making (a lot of) substitutions like the one shown above. A few years later, I used BSD 4.2; vi was a huge step up. I still do my editing with a vi-like editor - I never got into using EMACS.)
    Did I miss something? lol
    I need more coffee!

    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    You have me considering that case now. It's a reasonable size and weight and will hold enough drives for my purposes.

    Does the front panel come off (or swing open) so that the drives can be installed from the front? I'm not sure what I'm looking at in that picture.
    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    I found a video showing the drives. They install from the right side.
    Here's my thoughts on the situation.
    Hot swap is nice... in a server environment. You shouldn't have the I/Os to kill a drive as fast as you are. Either it's a heat issue caused by lack of airflow or the temps where the server is stored is too high. It's that or awful luck.
    My experience with my hot swap 5 in 3 is that the air flow into it flat out sucks. No, actually the rear fan doesn't suck, lol. A single 92mm fan cannot adequately cool 5 drives. The Lian Li I'm currently using as my primary storage server has triple 140mm fans in the front. That's the only reason my temps are adequate. In order left to right, the temps in celcius are as follows: 39, 42, 44, 37, 41. As it gets hotter in this place the owner calls a "house," that middle drive will get closer to 50C. These are 7200 RPM drives, btw. I'd really look into why you're getting dead drives yearly. I'm running some seagates & they don't do that, lol.

    Anyways, if you're not swapping drives all the time & are ok with 10/11 drives in a single array, this case makes sense.
    You can pick them up refurbished from nzxt on ebay for $110 shipped if you don't want black on black & wouldn't mind a window, lol. The overall cost is so low, it works out in the end. Less money spent on a case is more money that can be thrown at drives.
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    Originally Posted by CanadaBuilder2 View Post
    BTW, @SK, your sig has a typo.
    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    s/reivew/review/

    (I first encountered Unix on a PDP-11 running either V6 or V7 from Bell Labs. The text editor was 'ed' and editing text files involved making (a lot of) substitutions like the one shown above. A few years later, I used BSD 4.2; vi was a huge step up. I still do my editing with a vi-like editor - I never got into using EMACS.)
    Originally Posted by Synthetickiller View Post
    Did I miss something? lol
    I need more coffee!
    In you sig, replace the word "reivew" with "review".

    That's what s/reivew/review/ means. (This substitute command is found in the 'ed' editor, sed, and perl. Among Unix geeks, it's commonly used in correspondence to indicate a misspelling or an alternative word choice.)
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    Originally Posted by Synthetickiller View Post
    Any ZFS solution > hardware raid. ... Having a self healing array is nice.
    I'm sure you already know this, but...

    I recently learned that self healing goes way beyond rebuilding (resilvering) the array when a disk dies. ZFS is also able to correct errors due to "bit rot" - i.e. bits getting inadvertently flipped (due to age, exposure to magnetic fields, whatever) on the magnetic media. AFAIK, this is something that no hardware RAID solution does yet.
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    Originally Posted by Synthetickiller View Post
    Here's my thoughts on the situation.
    Hot swap is nice... in a server environment. You shouldn't have the I/Os to kill a drive as fast as you are. Either it's a heat issue caused by lack of airflow or the temps where the server is stored is too high. It's that or awful luck.
    My experience with my hot swap 5 in 3 is that the air flow into it flat out sucks. No, actually the rear fan doesn't suck, lol. A single 92mm fan cannot adequately cool 5 drives. The Lian Li I'm currently using as my primary storage server has triple 140mm fans in the front. That's the only reason my temps are adequate. In order left to right, the temps in celcius are as follows: 39, 42, 44, 37, 41. As it gets hotter in this place the owner calls a "house," that middle drive will get closer to 50C. These are 7200 RPM drives, btw. I'd really look into why you're getting dead drives yearly. I'm running some seagates & they don't do that, lol.

    Anyways, if you're not swapping drives all the time & are ok with 10/11 drives in a single array, this case makes sense.
    You can pick them up refurbished from nzxt on ebay for $110 shipped if you don't want black on black & wouldn't mind a window, lol. The overall cost is so low, it works out in the end. Less money spent on a case is more money that can be thrown at drives.
    With respect to dead drives, I think I have something like eighteen drives distributed between five machines (not counting laptops). The failure rate isn't quite one per year, but it's close.

    I really like the features and reliability of the 24-bay Supermicro chassis. On the other hand, it's big, heavy, loud, and expensive. I may still go that route anyway, but I'm investigating other solutions too. If I could find a mini-ITX case that holds ten 3.5" drives, hot-swap or not, that'd be ideal. I've also been looking at mid-size ATX towers with three 5.2" external bays (for a 5-in-3 hot swap bay) and six (or more) internal 3.5" bays. If I could find a smallish case with nine 5.2" external bays, that'd be okay too.

    With regard to hot swap 5-in-3 bays, I've been looking at this one:

    https://www.supermicro.com/products/.../CSE-M35TQ.cfm

    The reviews I've seen have been positive.

    Icy Dock also has a product, but I'm staying away from them. I bought one of their two-bay RAID enclosures a while back. It and it's replacement were both DOA. (And now I'm stuck with a dead unit due to not checking out the replacement in a timely manner.)
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    I'm sorry. I'm not from your generation, LOL. I used "edit", nano and "notepad". I do know of vi and emacs, but since most of my time with *nix boxes are through terminals, I just copy and paste.
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    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    In you sig, replace the word "reivew" with "review".

    That's what s/reivew/review/ means. (This substitute command is found in the 'ed' editor, sed, and perl. Among Unix geeks, it's commonly used in correspondence to indicate a misspelling or an alternative word choice.)
    Ah! I make that typo a lot, lol. I'll fix that shortly.
    Thanks.

    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    I'm sure you already know this, but...

    I recently learned that self healing goes way beyond rebuilding (resilvering) the array when a disk dies. ZFS is also able to correct errors due to "bit rot" - i.e. bits getting inadvertently flipped (due to age, exposure to magnetic fields, whatever) on the magnetic media. AFAIK, this is something that no hardware RAID solution does yet.
    Yep. I'm just too lazy to look up everything about ZFS, since I have my hands full w/ this house stuff (I'm closer to going to jail for murder at this point, lol). I believe it also protects against solar irradiance, as well. It's mind blowing how well it works. This is why I'll never use any form of hardware raid or built in raid until those features are included.

    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    With respect to dead drives, I think I have something like eighteen drives distributed between five machines (not counting laptops). The failure rate isn't quite one per year, but it's close.

    I really like the features and reliability of the 24-bay Supermicro chassis. On the other hand, it's big, heavy, loud, and expensive. I may still go that route anyway, but I'm investigating other solutions too. If I could find a mini-ITX case that holds ten 3.5" drives, hot-swap or not, that'd be ideal. I've also been looking at mid-size ATX towers with three 5.2" external bays (for a 5-in-3 hot swap bay) and six (or more) internal 3.5" bays. If I could find a smallish case with nine 5.2" external bays, that'd be okay too.

    With regard to hot swap 5-in-3 bays, I've been looking at this one:

    https://www.supermicro.com/products/.../CSE-M35TQ.cfm

    The reviews I've seen have been positive.

    Icy Dock also has a product, but I'm staying away from them. I bought one of their two-bay RAID enclosures a while back. It and it's replacement were both DOA. (And now I'm stuck with a dead unit due to not checking out the replacement in a timely manner.)
    I own that supermicro 5 in 3, lol. yes, it's solid. Oh, and yes, it's loud as ****. I replaced the 92mm fan with a noctua. It does the job, but only because of the fron 140mm blowing against it.
    You either get a noisy, but good quality fan or something quiet that doesn't move enough air. It's a difficult situation.

    I'm sorry to hear about the Icy Dock enclosures. That's such a let down when things like that happen.


    On the topic of cases:
    The Lian Li PC-Q26 is on ebay. You can have it shipped from Italy for about $350, lol. Imho, it's the best case for the job (you can add hot swappable back planes to the drive cages!), but $350 opens up a ton of options. If I was making 6 figures, I'd order one just because, lol. Actually, I'd buy 2, but I'm a little odd when it comes to case design.

    As for comparisons, check this out:
    Dimensions (H x W x D)
    Lian Li PC-Q26: 15.55" x 8.27" x 16.14"
    NZXT H440: 18.11" x 8.66" x 18.11"
    Lian Li PC-A75: 23.03" x 8.66" x 23.23"

    The Q26 vs the H440 is a very fair comparison, in terms of size & storage options. Keep in mind that the H440 v2 supports 11 3.5" HDDs. The drive sled design radically changed. The original only supported 6 or so. If you go searching for the H440 on ebay, keep this in mind. A lot of the refurbs are v1 & are not what you're looking for!

    The A75 is a monster of a case (it's almost as large as the Lian Li I'm using now), but this one supports 12 drives out of the box. You can buy 3 port sata back planes to make everything hot swappable. It's only $170, so if you have the space, it's a nice option with arguably better airflow (no door obstructing the 3 intake fans) and you have an optical bay, if you have a need for one.


    If you move to cases that require 5 in 3 hot swap bays, I'd urge you to not go above 9 5.25" bays. Cases on the order of 11 or 12 bays are normally for E-ATX, HPTX boards. They'll be monstrous, but i guess they won't be much larger if any larger than the Lian Li PC-A75. I don't think you'll find any ITX option holding that many drives that can be smaller than the Lian Li option on ebay. The H440 is about an average size for a mid sized tower, but none that size hold 11 drives.





    On a positive note, I found that ASrock C2550 avoton based board on ebay for $230 shipped. I've found that DDR3 ECC ram is pretty cheap too. 64gb will "only" set me back $200 for 1333mhz sticks. 1600mhz is only 1 to 3 percent faster & 1866 isn't supported by avoton.

    I'll post a few pics & stuff once I get everything in & start building the rig.
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    I'm considering this case now...

    Zalman MS800: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811235039

    It has 10 5.25" bays. Some of them are configured, via adapters, as 3.5" bays, but the adapters can be removed turning them into 5.25" bays instead. It seems like a good solution to use in conjunction with three 5-in-3 hot swap bays, though from what I've read, there are internal tabs which need to be bent down in order for the 5-in-3 bays to fit.

    I'll probably go with the MB mentioned earlier, though I think it's possible that I'll need to add some additional SATA HBA cards. I still have some research to do on that front.

    I still like the idea of the Supermicro Chassis, but I'm concerned about noise, size, weight, and price.
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    Can't break what's broken Synthetickiller's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KBKB View Post
    I'm considering this case now...

    Zalman MS800: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811235039

    It has 10 5.25" bays. Some of them are configured, via adapters, as 3.5" bays, but the adapters can be removed turning them into 5.25" bays instead. It seems like a good solution to use in conjunction with three 5-in-3 hot swap bays, though from what I've read, there are internal tabs which need to be bent down in order for the 5-in-3 bays to fit.

    I'll probably go with the MB mentioned earlier, though I think it's possible that I'll need to add some additional SATA HBA cards. I still have some research to do on that front.

    I still like the idea of the Supermicro Chassis, but I'm concerned about noise, size, weight, and price.
    For the money, you can't beat that case. It's almost free, lol! Having 15 drives shoved in there would be really nice option. I hope that there's enough airflow without having a front door with built in fans. I've seen enough people do builds like the one you're mentioning, so you'll probably be fine. Keep in mind that the included fans with the hot swap bays are loud. I'd look for a quality fan with excellent static pressure to maintain aiflow through the drive bays.
    Also consider adding in extra fans for the case. I prefer positive pressure as it keeps dust out of the case better. Either that or equal air flow. I'd stay away from negative pressure.

    I'd have to do some research, but the LSI00244 (9201-16i) would give you 16 ports for $350.
    Another option would be to drop 2 raid cards, like the LSI SAS9201-16e for cheaper than the single card. Unless you need lot of expansion cards, that might work out better, cost wise.
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