Budget 31-40k FreeNAS build: Suggestions needed

vakarthik

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May 29, 2011
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I want to build a homeserver using freenas. Any help will be much appreciated.
  1. What is your budget?
    • 30-40K. Will be happy if i can build it for less than 35k :)
  2. What is your existing hardware configuration (component name - component brand and model)
    • None
  3. Which hardware will you be keeping (component name - component brand and model)
    • None
  4. Which hardware component are you looking to buy (component name). If you have already decided on a configuration then please mention the (component brand and model) as well, this will help us in fine tuning your requirement.
    • CPU - Intel G2020
    • Motherboard - Asrock B75-M (Has 8 SATA ports)
    • RAM- 8GB
    • PSU - Thinking of going for picoPSU 80/120W. Need suggestions. (CoolerMaster thunder 450W is in mind for alternative)
    • Cabinet - Cooler Master N300
    • HDD - Thinking of going for WD RED 2TB * 3 with RAIDZ setup. Not sure where to buy RED drives. Help please ?
    • USB / adapters / cables - suggestions needed (USB for freenas and any other adapters/cables required for the build)
  5. Is this going to be your final configuration or you would be adding/upgrading a component in near future. If yes then please mention when and which component
    • Will be adding extra HDDs once existing ones are filled up.
  6. Where will you buy this hardware? (Online/City/TE Dealer)
    • Chennai / online purchase
  7. Would you consider buying a second hand hardware from the TE market
    • No
  8. What is your intended use for this PC/hardware
    • Download rig, 24x7 operation
    • Homeserver for storage and streaming purposes
  9. Do you have any brand preference or dislike? Please name them and the reason for your preference/dislike.
    • None
  10. Which operating system do you intend to use with this configuration?
    • freeNAS.
 

vivek.krishnan

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Looks like you are planning a ZFS based FS. In that case, I think it would be wiser to get 16GB if possible. ZFS is extremely RAM hungry.

As for the rest of the config, seems good, but I dont think the picoPSU will be enough. You would be running it at almost full capacity. Better go for a high efficiency PSU of about 400W with the requisite connectors.

And if you can wrangle a small SSD for the OS, it would be better. But leave that as an optional.
 
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vaibhavyagnik

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Although the board has 8 SATA ports, 3 SATA ports are from ASMedia ASM1061 controller. This controller currently, does not have support from FreeNAS. So this is a point to look out for. Also as vivek has pointed out, more RAM is better for ZFS, so definitely go for 16 GB RAM. It would have been better if you go a motherboard having 4 RAM slots for future expansion. As a rule of thumb, ZFS requires 1 GB of RAM/TB of data. Also the board has realtek 8111E as the ethernet controller. Realteks are generally sucky at transfer speeds. It does not matter if you only have 2-3 clients simultaneously accessing data, but intels are preferred.
A point to consider will be your home network. Is it gigabit enabled?

I recommend that you get Intel DH67BL motherboard. Has 5 SATA ports, 4 RAM slots and an Intel NIC. I am using that one now. Go for Green 3TBs instead of 2TB reds. REDs are not proven to be beneficial with soft raid and so the extra money you put may not be worth it.

EDIT: My bad, the controller is now supported so all ports will work with the exception that the ASM1061 should always be configured to work in AHCI mode.
 

vakarthik

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May 29, 2011
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Looks like you are planning a ZFS based FS. In that case, I think it would be wiser to get 16GB if possible. ZFS is extremely RAM hungry.
As for the rest of the config, seems good, but I dont think the picoPSU will be enough. You would be running it at almost full capacity. Better go for a high efficiency PSU of about 400W with the requisite connectors.
And if you can wrangle a small SSD for the OS, it would be better. But leave that. as an optional.

Thanks. Yeah, ZFS :) since its just around 3.6 TB of usable space i thought 8 GB is enough.

Regarding PSU, can you suggest one ? these seems to be good Corsair CX430, Seasonic SS400BT, Cooler Master Thunder 450W. Only cooler master has 6 sata power cables. (not sure whether its a big deal or not.)

Hmm... SSD. not now. I am on tight budget. If possible i will add one sandisk 32GB ssd for ZIL and L2ARC cache. Is it possible in freenas to setup zpool without a cache and add later ? (sorry if its dumb question :). Never used zfs before)

Can you link to the motherboard? I find only 6 port versions.

this one. ASRock B75M

Although the board has 8 SATA ports, 3 SATA ports are from ASMedia ASM1061 controller. This controller currently, does not have support from FreeNAS. So this is a point to look out for. Also as vivek has pointed out, more RAM is better for ZFS, so definitely go for 16 GB RAM. It would have been better if you go a motherboard having 4 RAM slots for future expansion. As a rule of thumb, ZFS requires 1 GB of RAM/TB of data. Also the board has realtek 8111E as the ethernet controller. Realteks are generally sucky at transfer speeds. It does not matter if you only have 2-3 clients simultaneously accessing data, but intels are preferred.
A point to consider will be your home network. Is it gigabit enabled?

I recommend that you get Intel DH67BL motherboard. Has 5 SATA ports, 4 RAM slots and an Intel NIC. I am using that one now. Go for Green 3TBs instead of 2TB reds. REDs are not proven to be beneficial with soft raid and so the extra money you put may not be worth it.

EDIT: My bad, the controller is now supported so all ports will work with the exception that the ASM1061 should always be configured to work in AHCI mode.

Oh! didn't check whether asmedia controller is supported or not :banghead: are you sure is it supported ? i couldn't find it in freeBSD disk section. (the one linked in freenas docs)

Will check DH67BL. Are you sure WD green drives will work well with NAS ? i have read lot of green drive failures in NAS due to spin down..
 

terence_fdes

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vaibhavyagnik

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Oh! didn't check whether asmedia controller is supported or not :banghead: are you sure is it supported ? i couldn't find it in freeBSD disk section. (the one linked in freenas docs)

Will check DH67BL. Are you sure WD green drives will work well with NAS ? i have read lot of green drive failures in NAS due to spin down..
Well this guy has gotten it to work with Freenas 8.3.1 beta 3. Also if you are getting this board really cheap you might as well go for this board. The worst that could happen is that you would have to live with 5 SATA ports.
 
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chetansha

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Red is the way to go. You can think of getting them from ebay.com too, as WD offers worldwide warranty. Calculate 1200.00 as shipping and customs per drive.
 
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stormblast

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I would suggest to avoid wd reds. Although I have not used it myself or have any personal experience, I have heard lot of complaints from dealers here in mumbai about a bad batch and lot of rma.
Rma also is taking too long for wd. So just think about this.

I just got an upgrade for my freenas server yesterday. I opted for WD AV-gp drives (3tb 30EURS) after hearing so many complaints about the wd red and also the price hike of the hdds.
http://www.techenclave.com/community/threads/the-everyday-show-off-thread.57621/page-370#post-1839048

My suggestions for the freenas.
Please dont spend money on ssd as freenas is loaded from the usb stick. I am using old freenas, but it doesnt make any difference as the freenas os will always be on once booted.
Dont spend insane money on ram. 2gb-4gb is more than enough. I am using 2gb and with 30-40 users my ram usage has never crossed 20-25%
choose the mobo/psu/hdds properly depending on budget / requirement as you dont want these to fail.
 
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amitkher

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Far from wasting an SSD for the OS, simple cheap USB stick should suffice. It's not windows we are talking about.

For soft- RAID, variety of hard disks is a better bet. Since the problem with RAID (soft or hard) is the high probability of array failure when rebuilding, a bad batch in case of homogeneous hard disks might be disastrous for your data. With heterogeneous hard disks, that risk is mitigated. Try getting a Seagate, a wd green, and a wd red. If low warranty period of Seagate bothers (valid concern) , 2 wd greens and a red should do the trick. Slight performance hit of running at the slower hard Fisk's rate is an issue, but data safety should trump that.

I see 3 TB as better TB/rupee ratio rather than 2 TB. Better usage of sata ports too - many NAS builders run out of sata ports eventually before the hardware is otherwise obsolete.

Reds are available at Theitdepot (I like them) ,though they've crossed 11 k at most places.

8 gb RAM (single stick ) seems right to me. RAM speed is unlikely to bottleneck your nas, 8 is enough for around 10 TB nas. If 5 years later you add 3 15tb hard disks, adding 3 more 8 gb RAM sticks will suffice. Good thing about soft- RAID - keep using a variety of disk sizes together.[DOUBLEPOST=1372275214][/DOUBLEPOST]
Dont spend insane money on ram. 2gb-4gb is more than enough. I am using 2gb and with 30-40 users my ram usage has never crossed 20-25%
.
Have you checked file system buffers too? In my experience, FREENAS would use all available RAM once data more than RAM capacity is read. Not as process memory, but file system buffers.
 
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vakarthik

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May 29, 2011
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thanks a lot everyone for suggestions. build is completed :) . you check it in my blog. (hope its alright to put blog links here)

Have you checked file system buffers too? In my experience, FREENAS would use all available RAM once data more than RAM capacity is read. Not as process memory, but file system buffers.
yup! uses all 8GB in my system.