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Old December 8, 2009, 08:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3
Default ZFS RAIDz2 build

Hey everyone,

Lately I've been thinking of putting together a NAS to consolidate my random external hard drives and to provide for some redundancy in case some of the hard drives go kaput. I'm planning on running Solaris + ZFS in RAIDz2, which eliminates the need for an expensive RAID card. I don't have any experience with Solaris, so it should be an interesting learning experience. :)

Purely a file server. Won't be playing any games or doing anything other than serving files to my other computers.

Tough one, considering six 1.5TB hard drives will run me about $600 already (after pricematching). Let's say approximately $1,500 CAD.

Brand Preference
None whatsoever, as long the quality's good, has low power usage, and it's not going to break the bank.

No real rush for this. At the very earliest I'll buy the parts on Boxing Day if prices are good.

Old Parts
None. I'll be buying all brand new parts for this build.

Zalman MS1000-HS2 Black Aluminum ATX Tower Case - $207
I'm interested in this case mainly because of the six 3.5" hot swappable bays. At $207, it's on the pricier side, but I think the added convenience makes up for it. Any other suggestions?

Case Fans
4 x Noctua NF-P12-1300 120MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan - $17 each
2 x Noctua NF-B9-1600 92MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan - $19 each
The case comes with two 120 mm fans, but I thought I would replace them with the above. Noctua is pricey, but I've had good experiences with them in the past. I'm certainly open to any other recommendations.

AMD Athlon II X2 235E Dual Core Energy Efficient Processor - $80
Since it's a file server, I don't need the latest and greatest processor. I believe dual core is enough for my needs, and the fact that it's an energy efficient processor is a bonus! :D

Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 ATX AM2+/AM3 - $84
One of the motherboards on Solaris' hardware compatibility list, has 6 SATA connectors + 1 IDE connector. Anyone else have any recommendations on a motherboard that works with Solaris?

Kingston 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-667 PC2-5300 CL5 ECC - $125
More expensive than other 4GB kits, but this is ECC memory which, from what I understand, is always useful in a file server.

Video Card
ASUS GeForce 9400GT 550MHZ 512MB 800MHZ DDR2 - $55
Cheap video card that's on Solaris' hardware compatibility list. I'm certainly open to suggestions for a cheaper video card too.

Power Supply
Seasonic M12 II 500W EPS12V 20/24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply - $125
I've heard good things about Seasonic. Will 500W be enough for my needs?

Hard Drives
6 x Western Digital WD15EADS Caviar Green 1.5TB - $149.75
1 x Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB - $62
Six 1.5TB hard drives in RAIDz6 should give me about 6TB of space with two hard drives used for parity. Should be enough to last me a while! The other 160GB hard drive will be used to store the operating system.

DVD Drive
ASUS 16X DVD-ROM Drive Internal SATA - $26
Cheap DVD drive. Won't be burning DVDs or watching BluRay, so the cheaper the better.

From NCIX, the price of the above build is about $1,860 including GST. After pricematching everything, the total after GST is about $1,460. Again, I'm interested in all thoughts about my proposed build. See any incompatibilities? Areas for improvement? Please let me know! :)
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Old December 8, 2009, 08:37 PM
Sushi Warrior's Avatar
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My System Specs


From what I have read, the WD Green drives are mediocre. I would consider some Seagate LP drives or simply 7200RPM drives, you don't save much energy (maybe 1-3w per drive, which is nothing).
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Old December 8, 2009, 08:57 PM
CroSsFiRe2009's Avatar
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Location: Toronto, ON
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My System Specs


Just a heads up but i dont think WD green drives play well with RAID. The energy saving head parks interfere with the array. Instead of noctua grab scythe slipstreams 1200rpm or sflex 12-16k rpm fans. Cheaper. Not sure about the thing with solaris though

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Old December 11, 2009, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3

Thanks for the heads up about the WD Green hard drives. Hmm, any recommendations on a consumer level hard drive that will work with RAID? I don't want to have to shell out double the cash for enterprise level drives.

Oh, and thanks for letting me know about the Scythe Slip Stream Kaze Jyuni fans. The specs look incredible! :D
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file server , nas , raid , raidz2 , zfs

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