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Old September 15, 2009, 07:29 PM
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Default Rackmount NAS Build UPDATE PICS

As some of you may know. I am currently working on building a Rack mountable NAS. What i want to achieve with this project is to build a decent sized array 5TB+ of RAID 5 Storage that is capable of streaming content over my network to both my PC and PS3. I also want to do this as cheap as possible while retaining decent speed and data security. Seeing as my first batch of parts are due to arrive tomorrow i thought it fitting to start this build log. So i thought i would go over my choices for this project.

The hardware i choose for this project are as follows.

ASUS M2N68-AM SE2 mATX
Compucase RA455A00 Rackmount Case (6x5.25)
Kingwin KF-4000-BK Hot Swap Mobile Rack x2
Corsair VX550W
AMD Athlon X2 7550
Addonics Internal Sata to CF Adapter
Kingston 4GB CF Type I
Dell Perc 5/i Raid Card w/ BBU (made by LSI)
Intel Pro1000/MT Dual Port Nic PCI-X
8x 1TB WD green (if they work, black if they dont)
2x SAS to SATA Breakout Cables
2GB G.Skill DDR2 PC-6400

Now onto the rational. I choose the Asus board since it was cheap (around 52 bucks after PM). I also choose this board because it has an nvidia chipset (more compatible with the raid card) and has a PCie X16 and 2 PCI slots. The Compucase rackmount is a cheap affordable 4u case since i PM'd it down to 123.20. The kingwing racks just look super nice and give me 2 extra HDD mount points for a total of 8 drives. The CPU just incase i need that extra power since it maybe doing some transcoding. And finally the CF to hold the OS. The raid card was going to originally be an areca card but i was convinced to try the dell card since there was about a $300 price difference. If you don't trust dell (and why should you) 3ware has some end of life 9690 8IF cards for around $200 USD which is an AMAZING DEAL but it is a full height card but still that's a savings of over $400 bucks over the low profile version.

Now while i have been waiting i have been playing with the 2 more popular linux nas releases. All of the testing listed below has been done in vmware server. Freenas and Openfiler. Both have the pluses and minuses. The WUI (Web User Interface) on openfiler is much superior to freenas. however openfiler is much more complicated to configure (i could never get openfiler shares to been seen on windows.) Partially i think this is because openfiler seems to be more at home in an enterprise environment which would include some sort of ldap/domain controller. While freenas was up and running in less than 45 minutes. Both options offer basically the same features. Both have iSCSI, SMB, NFS, One thing i did like about freenas is the inclusion of a Itune/DAAP server and a Upnp Server with profiles for a ps3. These were very easy to setup once the raid array was configured. I have tested it both with my ps3 running firmware 3.0 and itunes 9.0 and both work perfectly. I am very pleased and will be using freenas.

One thing however. Freenas is much more geeky then openfiler due to it being based on BSD. as such the installer is not pretty but still pretty much idiot proof. The other quirky thing was configuring the raid as i had to import the disks, then format them into a software, then create the array then format the array in UFS.

Expect more pictures as i get my stuff in. I will also post pictures of my software setup. If there's interest i could even make some basic vmware boxes if people wanted to try them out. I think i can export the vmmachine and put it somewhere like filefront.

Anyway that's all i have for now. Until tomorrow. (and yes there will be pictures soon. so DON'T BUG ME ABOUT IT)
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Last edited by lcdguy; September 21, 2009 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Pictures updated
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Old September 15, 2009, 08:09 PM
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Nice looking build. I'm interested to see what you nas release you use, as this will influence what i do for my home server.
On a side note, where are the pictures?!
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Old September 15, 2009, 08:13 PM
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well since the man from ups still has them it will have to wait until tomorrow. I am going to be using the latest 64bit build (non-rc) of freenas. check it out at FreeNAS: The Free NAS Server - Home. If you want to play around with it and openfiler. I suggest getting the free vmware server software and install it in a virtualized environment. I used the following configuration for my testing and it seemed to work fine.

Vmware Hardware

1x 6GB Boot IDE drive
3x 24GB SCSI Drives
2x NIC, Bridged.
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Old September 16, 2009, 06:25 AM
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I really like FreeNAS. I've used it on a couple projects and loved it. Configuring everything can be a bit tedious and annoying but once everythings working I think its one of the best NAS solutions out there (kicks WHS ass IMO)...

I've never used openfiler but I'm going to have to give it a try later tonight.

What rack do you have?
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EVGA 680i SLI Motherboard $80 + Qualitas 73GB 10k SCSI $30
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Old September 16, 2009, 10:40 AM
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the rack i currently have is a homebuilt one i found in the garbage. Eventually i hope to get something like a 30U rack.
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Old September 16, 2009, 07:00 PM
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Default PICTURES :)

Ok so i got some of my stuff and i have pictures of it. but since it's late and some didn't come out (had the wrong lens on the camera) some are blurry. But i think most are ok. So here they are.

The UPS Man Commeth with a Brown Box, He he he Brown


My Loot. Well not really loot since i paid for it.


And the rest of the bits that will make up the fun that will be the next couple of weeks.

















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Old September 16, 2009, 07:49 PM
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Looking good so far but I don't understand one thing that I may have missed. You're buying NCIX.com - Buy Intel PRO/1000 Mt Dual Port RJ45 Gigabit LAN Server Adapter PCI-X - PWLA8492MT In Canada. which is a great card and stuff I'm sure but what slot are you plugging it into? PCI-X is a different monster then PCI Express. It's a older standard mostly used in server / high end workstation boards.

Just want to make sure you're not wasting your money. Good luck and I can't wait to see the final result.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:08 PM
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your right it is a PCI-X board. but unlike the quad port version the dual port version is compatable with 32bit pci slots. Also i bought mine from ebay for $40 for a new unit instead of the $200+ NCIX wants :D. Which in that case if it doesn't work then meh it's not a huge loss of cash. I was looking at the pro 1000/pt which is a pci-express x4 dual port nic. But the problem there is that i wanted to keep costs down so the mobo i choose didn't have a spare slot after the raid card.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:12 PM
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hmmm interesting.

your going to use one of those compact flash adapters that I've been looking at.

lemme know how it works out.
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Old September 16, 2009, 08:13 PM
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Show me more! I know there's two different types of PCI-X (33Mhz/66Mhz) but yet have seen anything that fits in a normal PCI slot. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd love to know as well.
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