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Old 26th May 2013, 01:49   #1
coolamasta
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Coolamasta's Home NAS & VM host build

Hey All,

Thought I would put another thread together with the progress of my home NAS and VMware host builds, I have both currently built and running but am about to upgrade them both again.

The first batch of pics in post #2 are from the previous build of the NAS and the post #3 pics are from where I built the 16U MDF rack to hold the kit

Spec of the NAS currently is:
  • 4U Rack mount case
  • MSI H77MA-G43 s1155 Motherboard
  • Intel i3 2120 CPU @ stock 3.3ghz
  • 16GB Kingston Hyper DDR3 RAM (4 x 4gb) @ stock 1600mhz
  • Seasonic G series 360w '80 Plus Gold' PSU
  • LSi 8-port 9260i RAID Controller with 256mb Cache (Need a BBU!)
  • 4 x Western Digital 3TB "Red" (Raid Edition) Harddrives
  • Icy Box IB-545SSK Tray less 5 Bay HDD enclosure
  • Crucial M4 60GB SSD for OS & Plex server
  • WD Green 2TB HDD for general dumping group/PC backups/DL's etc
  • Intel Pro Dual 1000 PT PCIe Server NIC in 2GB Teamed Config

Spec of the VMware host currently is:
  • 4U Rack mount case
  • MSI H77MA-G43 s1155 Motherboard
  • Intel i5 3570k Ivy CPU under-volted @ stock 3.4ghz
  • 16GB GeIL Black Dragon DDR3 RAM (2 x 8gb) @ stock 1600mhz
  • 8GB Kingston Hyper-X DDR3 RAM (2 x 4gb) @ stock 1600mhz
  • Antec Greenpower 350w '80 Plus Bronze' PSU
  • 2 x 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD's
  • 2 x Western Digital 500GB "Black Edition" Harddrives in Raid 1 (On-board Raid)
  • Intel Quad Pro 1000 PCIe Server NIC

Currently the NAS is running a Raid-5 configuration and have 8.18TB of usable space from the 4 x 3TB Red's. I stuck with the default 64KB stripe size and had a play with the read-ahead, read through, write through and write back settings to see what I/O I can get

There is a 120mm inlet fan at low speed, the top panel expansion card arm holder I've modded to hold an 80mm fan to breeze air over the RAID controller heatsink as it gets pretty damned hot!

Below are the results of the array in a RAID 5 using the following config:

Stripe Size:- 64KB
Read Policy:- No Read Ahead
IO Policy:- Direct IO
Write Policy:- Write Through (was using 'Always Write Back' but need BBU)
Access Policy:- Read Write


I have 1 problem though and that is I don't have a BBU (Battery Backup Unit) installed which means that having the Write Policy set to 'Always Write Back' is dangerous because if there is a power failure then it will most likely cause data corruption and mess up the Raid array and make me a very unhappy chappy!

I currently have set the Write Policy set to 'Write Through' which will get rid of the risk but it has dropped my write speeds to less than a quarter of what they are above, crazy how much difference it makes! * Update - I now have a BBU which will be added on the upcoming upgrade

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Last edited by coolamasta; 18th Jun 2013 at 15:32.
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Old 26th May 2013, 01:50   #2
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The current NAS build:
































The current VMware build:

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Old 26th May 2013, 01:51   #3
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The Rack Build:



















































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Old 26th May 2013, 01:56   #4
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Some pics of how it currently stands before the servers get stripped down and rebuilt with the upgrades etc











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Old 26th May 2013, 02:33   #5
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Wow, that looks epic mate! Nice job.
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Old 26th May 2013, 07:30   #6
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Nice job very clean !
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Old 26th May 2013, 12:08   #7
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That looks really neat! good job.
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Old 27th May 2013, 03:21   #8
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That's a pretty bitchin setup you got there and it's new home looks great. Those louvres looked pretty cool. Where'd you get them?
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Old 27th May 2013, 15:50   #9
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Thanks all, just getting all my new hardware up-together read for the upgrade at the moment

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Originally Posted by The_Crapman View Post
That's a pretty bitchin setup you got there and it's new home looks great. Those louvres looked pretty cool. Where'd you get them?
Cheers bud, the louvres were just from B&Q in the ventilation section, don't think they were very expensive to be honest
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Old 27th May 2013, 16:11   #10
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Few pics of some of the new hardware for me new VMware host:

* HP P800 16-channel Raid-Controller, (8 Internal, 8 External) its a bit overkill for what im going to be using it for but as it didn't cost me anything I can live with it

* Icybox Trayless 3-bay Dual channel SAS harddrive enclosure

* 3 x Seagate Cheetah 15,000 RPM 300GB SAS Harddrives

* Intel i5 3570k Ivybride CPU







The current i3 CPU running as my VMhost has done very very well handling my 7 VM's but its not got quite enough puff which is why I'm going for the i5 Ivy, should run faster, cooler and still use little power, but then im sure the 15k SAS drives will help use the power haha.

Just waiting on the new motherboard for the NAS, then the current NAS motherboard will be used with the i5 to become the VMhost as it has a H77 chipset so better for the Ivy.
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Old 15th Jun 2013, 13:14   #11
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Change of plan with the 15k drives and HP P800 RAID controller, my entire goal with the NAS and VMware host was to keep the power consumption as low as possible, the P800 RAID card doesn't make a massive difference in power consumption but those 15k SAS drives eat far more power than I expected and the heat they produce outweighs how well the IcyBox can cool them, IE they cant haha so I had to ditch that idea in favour of some SSD's

I've added a BBU to the LSI Raid controller in my NAS and now getting the awesome I/O again without having to worry about corrupt data in event of a power outage, not a lot else change to it besides now its running a Dual Intel Pro1000 Server NIC which is Teamed to produce a single aggregated 2GB link to the switch







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Old 15th Jun 2013, 13:50   #12
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Woh, setup is awesome dude
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Old 15th Jun 2013, 21:52   #13
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Some very sweet hardware you got there.
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Old 15th Jun 2013, 22:14   #14
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Great set up. How insane is your electric bill !
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Old 15th Jun 2013, 22:29   #15
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Looks like an awesome build. I'd love to do something very similar myself so I could hide everything out of the way a little but unfortunately don't have the money to replace everything with rackable gear
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 19:28   #16
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Heres the new VMware host, its now been moved out the massive 4U rack mount case into a 2U instead, now that I have ditched the 15k drives I am running a pair of 120GB SSD's and also a pair of 500GB drives in a Raid-1 for now...

Some new hardware now being used to keep power consumption low namely an IvyBridge i5 undervolted, full spec is below:
  • 2U custom rack mount case from servercase.co.uk
  • MSI H77MA-G43 s1155 Motherboard
  • Intel i5 3570k Ivybride CPU
  • 16GB GeIL Black Dragon DDR3 RAM (2 x 8gb) @ stock 1600mhz
  • 8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 RAM (2 x 4gb) @ stock 1600mhz
  • Icybox Trayless 3-bay Dual channel SAS harddrive enclosure
  • 2 x OCZ 120GB SSD's
  • 2 x 500GB WD Black HDD's
  • Intel 4 port Pro1000 NIC card
  • Antec Greenpower 350w '80 Plus Bronze' PSU






















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Old 17th Jun 2013, 19:29   #17
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Thanks for the comments all

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryP View Post
Great set up. How insane is your electric bill !
Its not toooo bad to be honest, everything you see in my rack is only pulling 180w at the wall!
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 19:51   #18
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amazing i want that setup in my cellar but alas i dont know what i would use it for lol.

what do you do with all this hardware and this setup??
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Old 17th Jun 2013, 19:56   #19
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Amazingly clean job on the cabling, it's hard to do in a case like this
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Old 18th Jun 2013, 04:20   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolamasta View Post

I've added a BBU to the LSI Raid controller in my NAS and now getting the awesome I/O again without having to worry about corrupt data in event of a power outage, not a lot else change to it besides now its running a Dual Intel Pro1000 Server NIC which is Teamed to produce a single aggregated 2GB link to the switch
Very nice job with that build. I have a question for you, can you only get the Intel Pro NICs to work in Aggregate? Or is it possible with dual onboard NICs like the one on my EVGA board? I have searched for a way to use them in aggregate but I have not found a solution yet. My google FU may be off.
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