My 15 TB Norco 4020 server /w pics - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 88 Old 04-12-2009, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Farris View Post

- I am Leaning towards Vista 64 as I have always used Windows. Is this an ok option?

Vista 64 is fine, however if you plan on buying it (meaning you don't already have a copy of Vista 64) then I'd recommend using the Windows 7 beta, and then when Windows 7 comes out you can just pay and get a copy of it...

Seeing as you want to go with Vista/Windows 7 environment, and want support for that many hard drives, (and I'm assuming you want some fault tolerance) your going to have to go with a hardware raid card. I haven't kept on top of that lately for media servers, you might want to pop over to the media server thread and read the last 20 to 30 pages of it. Once you do that, and if you still have questions, feel free to post.

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- I mentioned CAT 6 because I am remodelling my apatment and thought it was faster than CAT 5e. I even considering running Fiber optics throughout my apartment to futureproof. I am considering all this because I only want to chase walls once.

Personally, I feel fiber optics is way too expensive for personal use now, I'd run a few lengths of cat 6 if your doing a new install. This should give you plenty of bandwidth for the foreseeable future. Especially if you use a non blocking switch/router as a central transfer point. For home use I'm a big fan of go with what you have or can do easily, and only upgrade if that no longer meets your needs.
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post #62 of 88 Old 04-13-2009, 09:51 AM
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Does anyone have a link for windows 7 download?
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post #63 of 88 Old 04-14-2009, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have a link for windows 7 download?

The public beta has closed as far as I can tell. If you have a Technet subscription however, you still can download the beta and get a key (I just checked and was able to generate another key).
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post #64 of 88 Old 05-23-2009, 12:56 PM
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Tim;

your build inspired me; and now i have a norco 4020 on order

also your choice of mb and pcix cards are interesting. are you pretty happy with them? (im thinking of ordering the same)

the new 8port supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 pcie cards are intersting too , but the currect lack of support in unraid right now makes them a no go. (although support might come in one of the future betas)

as of right now if you could change something on your build, what would it be?
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post #65 of 88 Old 05-28-2009, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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WolfDV,

Sorry it took me a few days to get back with you, I was on vacation.

Yes, hopefully driver support for AOC-SASLP-MV8 will be put in the unRaid kernel soon.

The only changes I would make are those I've already discussed and documented. If your feeling ambitious, do the 120mm fan mod. However, if your going to put this somewhere out of the way (and out of earshot) I wouldn't worry about it.

One problem I just had was make sure you put the HDD screw bag someplace safe, I generally put all paperwork and driver CD's, etc. in the computers motherboard box. I'd put those in there so you can easily find them down the road when you expand. I didn't at first and could not remember where I put them. I looked for awhile to see about getting replacement screws and it would be a real PIA.
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post #66 of 88 Old 06-02-2009, 08:45 PM
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Tim,

This set-up looks awesome!!!! Quick question though. If unraid only supports 16 drives, what are you using the other 4 bays for? Also, I am probably gonna order part for part what you have assembled here, any recommendations or things I may need to know before I start? Also, how easy is unraid to use?
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post #67 of 88 Old 06-03-2009, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mexicanmike03 View Post

Tim,

This set-up looks awesome!!!! Quick question though. If unraid only supports 16 drives, what are you using the other 4 bays for? Also, I am probably gonna order part for part what you have assembled here, any recommendations or things I may need to know before I start? Also, how easy is unraid to use?

the latest unraid beta has upped support to 20 drives (although I'm only at 9 atm).

also, very easy to use and setup (try out the free version to get a feel for it). Also if one likes to tinker, there are neat adons like unmenu and such that just enhance the experience.

admittedly its not as nice to look at as the WHS remote terminal gui, but the web interface that unraid uses is fine and gets the job done.

I modelled my build very similar to tim's; happy with results so far. If I get the time I will take some pics, and post info about my build.

I will also be building a new fan assemby; cant decide if i should go for 3 Scythe Kaze Maru 140MM Cooling Fan 1200RPM's 61CFM 29DBA; or get 3 high static pressure fans like the Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM High Static Pressure Silent Fan 38MM 2000RPM 87.6CFM 33DBA.

A figure around 30DBA would be about the limit of how loud I would want the new fans; leaning towards the high static pressure fans, I think they would do well in the resticted space behind the connection backpanel.

what are your takes on the fan situation; would i gain much from getting high static pressure versions?
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post #68 of 88 Old 06-03-2009, 04:05 PM
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what kind of transfer rate do you get? From my experience software RAID solutions like unraid are far slower than a hardware RAID solution like an Areca 1220 card (this is what i have. 6x1TB RAID 6). I like the idea of unraid, but I don't know if I could use it if it is as slow as other software RAID solutions.


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post #69 of 88 Old 06-03-2009, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes487 View Post

what kind of transfer rate do you get? From my experience software RAID solutions like unraid are far slower than a hardware RAID solution like an Areca 1220 card (this is what i have. 6x1TB RAID 6). I like the idea of unraid, but I don't know if I could use it if it is as slow as other software RAID solutions.

Linux software raid is as fast as hardware raid. Others have issues, but it's not because it's software raid per se, but how well it's implemented. I used to see 500+ MB/s transfer rates from an 8x1TB RAID5 array in linux raid.
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post #70 of 88 Old 06-03-2009, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeSM View Post

I used to see 500+ MB/s transfer rates from an 8x1TB RAID5 array in linux raid.

500 MB/s!! SATA2 doesn't even have the bandwidth for that. Do you mean 500 Megabits/sec = ~62 MB/s


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post #71 of 88 Old 06-04-2009, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by hobbes487 View Post

500 MB/s!! SATA2 doesn't even have the bandwidth for that. Do you mean 500 Megabits/sec = ~62 MB/s

no, he means 500 megabytes per second = 500 MB/s. the transfers are spread across multiple drives...
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post #72 of 88 Old 06-04-2009, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by dj9 View Post

no, he means 500 megabytes per second = 500 MB/s. the transfers are spread across multiple drives...

Correct. With 8 1 TB drives that can do almost 100 MB/s sustained individually, I think 500 MB/s for the array isn't bad, though with tweaking you might be able to push it up to 600 MB/s or so.

Now, this is not going through lousy SATA controllers or things that add a bunch of bottle necks (like a SI3132 with a PMP), but suffice it to say, software raid doesn't have to be lame from a performance perspective.

In fact, my adaptec 31605 on the same disks in windows runs about 300 MB/s, though it's in RAID6 mode. But the reason I switched had nothing to do with performance. Software raid (with the right SATA ports and good code) should be able to outpace the puny onboard controllers on a hardware RAID set up without much hassle.

That said, don't expect that kind of performance from windows software raid or highpoint or promise software raid. They are an order of magnitude off in optimization.
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post #73 of 88 Old 06-04-2009, 10:00 AM
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Nice write-up and a very nice server.

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Originally Posted by timinohio View Post

Motherboard:
SUPERMICRO MBD-X7SBE LGA 775 Intel 3210 ATX Server Motherboard
Thoughts – First, it’s been used and works with unRaid. Second it has two PCI-X 133 MHz slots for my two 8 port PCI-X cards. Third, it takes DDR2800 memory and regular Intel processors. A few other nice features are the internal USB plug to make it easy to have unRaid and it has Intel Ethernet which is implemented very well. CAUTION: This mobo DOES NOT have any PATA connectors despite what the Newegg description states. This wasn't a problem for me and I knew it going it, but just be aware.

This board also has a seperate PCI-X 100MHz buss. I'd think it would be faster putting one card in the 133MHz buss and the other on the 100MHz buss. Thoughts?


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Originally Posted by hobbes487 View Post

what kind of transfer rate do you get? From my experience software RAID solutions like unraid are far slower than a hardware RAID solution like an Areca 1220 card (this is what i have. 6x1TB RAID 6). I like the idea of unraid, but I don't know if I could use it if it is as slow as other software RAID solutions.

The answer here is that transfer rate is fast enough for the the intended use. As an unRAID user I'm more interested with idle drive spin-down, easy and fast expandability, USB memory stick OS and the fact each drive is stand-alone than with absolute speed. I still haven't bothered upgrading my 100Mbps network just because I write when time isn't a problem and reading media for a HTPC is just fine. I don't have another computer or a network that could support reading or writing at 500MBps to a server so there is no point in building a server that can achieve those speeds. I wouldn't spend the money to buy the parts to get to those speeds either.

Peter
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post #74 of 88 Old 06-10-2009, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JoshDorhyke View Post

This board also has a seperate PCI-X 100MHz buss. I'd think it would be faster putting one card in the 133MHz buss and the other on the 100MHz buss. Thoughts?

good point; mine are both on the pci-x 133mhz bus at the moment; maybe moving one to the unused pci-x 100mhz bus would have some gains?

anyone else have any thoughts?
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post #75 of 88 Old 06-20-2009, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WolfDV View Post

good point; mine are both on the pci-x 133mhz bus at the moment; maybe moving one to the unused pci-x 100mhz bus would have some gains?

anyone else have any thoughts?

Because it's Saturday and I'm feeling lazy I'll quote this from my initial post: "Although I am using unRaid and only have to worry about the PCI-bus bottleneck when doing parity, I didn't want that to be a bottleneck. While I could still theoretically reach it on the PCI-X bus with this build, it's gives me a much higher ceiling and in real-world use PCI-X should be plenty of bandwidth. (Two 8 port cards = 16 drives. Both cards share the PCI-X bus which is 1064 MB/s. So: 1064 MB/s / 16 drives = 66.5 MB/s per drive). This should be plenty given unRaid's tested, real world throughput. Plus unRaid right now only uses 16 drives. So: 16 drives - 6 sata ports on mobo = 10 drives on the PCI-X bus. 1064 MB/s / 10 drives = 106 MB/s per drive."

So, even if your using newer versions of unRaid that support 20 drives and you have all 16 ports of the two PCI-X cards filled, you still should see 66.5 MB/s throughput if ALL the hard drives are being accessed. As we are using unRaid this only happens during parity checks.

So, personally I wouldn't worry about it. As long as the server is able to serve your media or files at acceptable speeds, then... For media reads you should be able to easily maximize the read throughput of the hard drive(s) the file(s) are stored on (depending on how many concurrent streams you have of course).

Theoretically, though, if the buses are separate, you should get faster available bandwidth available for your hard drives. Remember, I'm a guy who knowingly bought a processor for my unRaid server that I knew was way overkill. So if you feel the "Need for Speed" then who am I to tell you not to. If I was building new, I'd definitely look into this and probably separate the PCI-X cards on the different buses just on principle.

It would be interesting if someone tried it both ways and did some testing and posted back with the results.
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post #76 of 88 Old 06-20-2009, 08:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timinohio View Post

Vista 64 is fine, however if you plan on buying it (meaning you don't already have a copy of Vista 64) then I'd recommend using the Windows 7 beta, and then when Windows 7 comes out you can just pay and get a copy of it...

Seeing as you want to go with Vista/Windows 7 environment, and want support for that many hard drives, (and I'm assuming you want some fault tolerance) your going to have to go with a hardware raid card. I haven't kept on top of that lately for media servers, you might want to pop over to the media server thread and read the last 20 to 30 pages of it. Once you do that, and if you still have questions, feel free to post.



Personally, I feel fiber optics is way too expensive for personal use now, I'd run a few lengths of cat 6 if your doing a new install. This should give you plenty of bandwidth for the foreseeable future. Especially if you use a non blocking switch/router as a central transfer point. For home use I'm a big fan of go with what you have or can do easily, and only upgrade if that no longer meets your needs.[IMG]http://***************/9/P/i.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://***************/9/z/i.jpg[/IMG]

Agree with using windows 7 & then buying it. I have had some problems with vista x64, wish I had of waited..
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post #77 of 88 Old 06-20-2009, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfDV View Post

I will also be building a new fan assemby; cant decide if i should go for 3 Scythe Kaze Maru 140MM Cooling Fan 1200RPM's 61CFM 29DBA; or get 3 high static pressure fans like the Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM High Static Pressure Silent Fan 38MM 2000RPM 87.6CFM 33DBA.

A figure around 30DBA would be about the limit of how loud I would want the new fans; leaning towards the high static pressure fans, I think they would do well in the resticted space behind the connection backpanel.

what are your takes on the fan situation; would i gain much from getting high static pressure versions?

I just finished putting together my UnRAID server this morning. I used the 4220 but replaced its monster 80mm fans with 3 140mm Xigmatek XLF-F1453 fans. They push 63.5 cfm each and are whisper quiet (the stock AMD CPU cooler is louder). Once I'm done copying over my data I'll take a few pics of the 140mm fan plate. Right now I don't have the drive density to really test the effectiveness of the plate but the current drives are all staying at or under 34C. I will say the 140mm will fill the entire width of the case, but your options for high flow 140's are rather limited at this time. I will also be testing a 120mm plate but that won't be for a week or two.
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post #78 of 88 Old 06-20-2009, 05:07 PM
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I just finished putting together my UnRAID server this morning. I used the 4220 but replaced its monster 80mm fans with 3 140mm Xigmatek XLF-F1453 fans. They push 63.5 cfm each and are whisper quiet (the stock AMD CPU cooler is louder). Once I'm done copying over my data I'll take a few pics of the 140mm fan plate.

I can't wait to see the pics of the 140mm fans. Trying to see in my head how to mount them into the center bracket.
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post #79 of 88 Old 06-20-2009, 05:42 PM
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I can't wait to see the pics of the 140mm fans. Trying to see in my head how to mount them into the center bracket.

I'll give you a hint... I made a fiberglass replica of the original mounting bracket crossbar. The stock fan plate is hanging out in the back of the room somewhere.
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post #80 of 88 Old 06-20-2009, 11:39 PM
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Here are some pics from my build. I did a quick write-up on it on the UnRAID forums and will probably be discussing it further over there.

http://lime-technology.com/forum/ind...?topic=2935.45

I'll try to answer any questions from this thread as well.





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post #81 of 88 Old 07-22-2009, 11:20 PM
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As an FYI, I just bought this case from NewEgg and they must have updated it recently as my fans are on the opposite side as the OPs were (mind the cable mess, haven't cleaned it up yet):



Also, as far as noise level, I think they must be using different fans as well as I would call this a loud desktop or a quiet server. I measured the decibels on my meter and at the back it was 64DB. Compare that to an HP DL380 that is around 78DB it's significanly quieter. No I wouldn't want it in my bed room or TV room, but down in the basement it won't be an issue.

I posted up a video of it on without the cover on and snapped my fingers so you had a point of reference:

http://www.chipsphotos.com/video/Nor...Level-242.aspx

That's with 6 hard drives in it and all fans on.

Chip-
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post #82 of 88 Old 08-22-2009, 09:59 AM
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Timinohio,

I was wondering if you have had any issues with adding drives to your array. I am using the same set-up as you, but am using the 4220 instead. When adding drives unraid will not see them till i reboot the system. The board supports AHCI and I turned it on in the BIOS so hot swap shouldn't be an issue. Also, everytime I add a drive to the MOBO directly, the unraid server fails to boot. I dont own a VGA monitor so I cant tell if the system is lockin up, or simply booting to something other than unraid and needs a keyboard prompt. I am trying to add a cache drive and it seems as though anything not connected to the pci cards is failing to be recognized or is locking up my system. Ideas?
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post #83 of 88 Old 08-23-2009, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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mexicanmike03,

I'm almost positive unRaid doesn't support Hot swap, at least last time I researched it, it didn't. That could be much of your problem.

Getting back to your question, no, I haven't had any trouble. I've added 5 drives in total, 2 drives, then 3 drives. I just followed the steps posted on the unRaid site.

Is there any way you can add a monitor to it? As you yourself said, it can definitely help you narrow down the problem. I have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse on a KVM that I use in case I ever need to have direct access to a server (currently I'm running a unRaid, WHS, and utility computers (not all at once, only when I need them).
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post #84 of 88 Old 08-25-2009, 11:55 AM
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Tim,

Yea, I took the plunge at purchased a VGA monitor. Crazy that I dont own anything VGA, lol. I booted to the BIOS and disabled all boot devices with the exception of the Un-Raid USB device. For some reason, even though unraid was the default boot option, and the first to be looked for, it kept trying to boot from the drives directly wired to the sata ports.

Yea, I didnt really check to see if hot-swapp was supported by unraid. Wish it was, then again, I guess for unraid it really doesnt make much sense.

Last question for you Tim. Are you using wake on LAN? I could have sworn that I read unraid supports it, and I know the Board does. You have to use a second ethernet cable to use it though, right? Sorry I have never really done any of this stuff and any help is greatly appreciated.
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post #85 of 88 Old 08-26-2009, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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mexicanmike03,

First, glad you got your unRaid box working. Most of the time you need to use a monitor initially to set it up and then once that is done you can run it headless.

I do not know if unRaid supports it, it's not a feature I need so I never checked. I'm sure you could find out by looking on the unRaid site though. Wake on Lan (WoL) doesn't require 2 ethernet cables. Really old mobos that supported might have required another internal cable, but that was quite a few years ago.
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post #86 of 88 Old 10-05-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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Great thread. Is there a narrower rack chasis that fits a standard AV Rack? Typical equipment width 17" or so?

Google is not much help in this case (no pun intended!)
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post #87 of 88 Old 03-25-2010, 09:31 AM
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can anyone tell me where i get this case in england

or would anyone be willing to ship one over for me

great thread btw

cheers Allan
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post #88 of 88 Old 03-25-2010, 07:29 PM
 
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just put a drive somewhere on the network. Sorry, i know its not the answer you were looking for.

use unRAID. its great. no optical drive needed.
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