Author Topic: New build Recommendations  (Read 3841 times)

Offline goolong

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New build Recommendations
« on: June 19, 2009, 06:28:49 PM »
Good evening all,
I'm am ready to order parts for my 1st Unraid server after reading about the product for so long and need some recommendations at good price points.  I currently have 8tb of data on a 2003 server with 4 terabytes in hardware raid and all the other data as JBOD and am looking to consolidate. I will be using a norco 4020 case  for the 20 plus drives.  I would like the system to be somewhat power friendly ie low wattage CPU / board / and Powersupply.   I will most likely be using all 1tb WD green drives for this build and 1 WD black drive for cache  Most of the usage for this server will be as a Streaming media server for ripped Blue ray disc converted to X.264.  I am looking to fill all 20 drives in this case.  So i need some recommendations for the folowing.  Clients are 3 Vista HTPC

1.  Cpu  - efficient/low wattage enough but powerfull enough to run streaming to multiple clients, torrent serving/downloading, mysql, apache, php, and unraid
2.  Board -  cost effective with many sata port motherboard (onboard video preferred but not necessary) gig nic definitly a must
3.  Sata controller(s) to handle the 20 drives - looking for best cost/ per port/performance (less controllers the better)
4.  Powersupply to handle the load - cost/performance/ and reliability is a must   ( im not looking to be el cheapo, and i understand the value of a good powersupply)
5.  Ram  2 to 4gb of memory, as it shouldnt matter much.


Thanks ahead of time for the recommendations.

Offline bubbaQ

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Re: New build Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2009, 06:36:18 AM »
Good, fast, cheap... pick any 2 of the 3.

If you want 20 drives, you are pretty much forced to go with 8-port SATA controller cards such as AOC SAT2-MV8 (or AOC-SASLP-MV8 if unRAID ever supports them). These will not give you the highest performance for parity checks, but will do fine for streaming playback you want. This gives you some flexibility on the mobo, since you will only need 4 SATA ports on the mobo, but make sure you have enough slots for the 2 SATA cards, plus whatever else you need.

Do NOT get the Norco 4020... get the newer 4220... the backplanes are turned 90 degrees and give you MUCH better airflow.

Lets look at pratical minimums.  Without getting crazy and limiting your mobo choices significantly, the lowest idle wattage (measured at the wall socket) you can go is going to be about 35 Watts for the whole mobo, and using an 80+ certified PSU.  Fans and the idle wattage for 20 drives, will add about 20 more Watts. Parity check will be about 250 Watts for the whole system.  Boot surge will be about 350 to 400 Watts.

After the CPU, the Northbridge is the place that sucks Watts.  Avoid mobos with fans on the NB, or reviews that warn of excessively hot NB.  Trying to get the 35 Watt mobo will limit your choices to things like the TA690G that have the low-power Northbridge and you will need to get CPU frequency scaling working under Linux... or undervolt the CPU.  If you go with more general mobos, add about 20 to 40 Watts to the idle power requirements.  Now an extra 20 to 40 Watts ain't much, until you consider it is 7x20 -- which is an extra 175kWh to 350kWh a year.

If building a new system from scratch, I personally would use all 2-TB WD Green drives... their price point is almost to that of the 1TB, and you can delay that second controller card, and you have much more expansion time before you run out of slots.

Also remember, that you will need to replace drives ... 3 to 5 years is the expected lifetime, so in 4 years, you will be tossing out all the drives you buy today (1 or 2 TB drives) and replacing them with what is cost effective in 4 years, which will likely be 8TB drives or larger.  So even if you will have 20 slots, you will have tremendous upgrade room when you replace older drives at the end of their lifespan.

Many people neglect to do this:  Calculate your annual consumption of storage space, and project it forward.  Then take into account that hard drive sizes double every 2 years.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 06:52:37 AM by bubbaQ »

Offline goolong

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Re: New build Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2009, 12:01:19 PM »
thanks bubbaQ for the detailed and great reply, do we have any eta on support for the AOC-SASLP-MV8 and wait further.  At the moment , my storage needs are growing by about 500 gb a month, and i can add a 2tb as a JBOD drive but i dont feel comfortable with all the data i have unprotected.  If i go for the now option, and get AOC SAT2-MV8 how much of a performance difference will there be compared to a  PCI-X motherboard  regular motherboard with PCI slots.

btw i am really impressed with the amount of support from the community.

Offline bubbaQ

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Re: New build Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2009, 01:54:08 PM »
Protecting your data is number one priority.... so I'd go ahead and build the system with one AOC SAT2-MV8 and the rest on the drives on the mobo.  Perhaps by the time you need a second SATA controller, the AOC-SASLP-MV8 will be supported.  Just make sure you get a mobo that supports 2 slots for the AOC-SASLP-MV8.

Offline smino

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Re: New build Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2009, 06:19:11 AM »
No luck yet on it.
I have a free system I can test on now though, but I will have to do a full install of slackware first!
Issh. If only I could run unraid on ubuntu 64(Linux Mint)

BTW, I finally dropped XP/windows completely this week in my house!
Linux Mint rules for the Non linux windows to linux converts like me! Now if it were unix (AIX) I would be running circles around it.
Plays all movies and formats right out of the box. I only had to install Picasa, google earth, VLC, F-Prot Antivirus (free for home use),
a few games for fun (Emulators), openssh server. The rest comes all loaded. AWESOME, Fast, and responsive.

Offline WeeboTech

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Re: New build Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2009, 09:27:59 AM »
If building a new system from scratch, I personally would use all 2-TB WD Green drives... their price point is almost to that of the 1TB, and you can delay that second controller card, and you have much more expansion time before you run out of slots.

Also remember, that you will need to replace drives ... 3 to 5 years is the expected lifetime, so in 4 years, you will be tossing out all the drives you buy today (1 or 2 TB drives) and replacing them with what is cost effective in 4 years, which will likely be 8TB drives or larger.  So even if you will have 20 slots, you will have tremendous upgrade room when you replace older drives at the end of their lifespan.

Many people neglect to do this:  Calculate your annual consumption of storage space, and project it forward.  Then take into account that hard drive sizes double every 2 years.

I would also recommend purchasing hard drives as needed.
Buying large batches of hard drives at the same time leads to a higher degree of multiple drive failure.
When we used to buy batches of drives for webservers, we would notice drives failing within a week of one another.

Just keep one spare drive on hand in the machine and not in the array.
This gives you the ability to either rebuild onto the new drive, or do an rsync from the simulated drive onto the new drive and recalculating parity.

>>RAM
go with 4GB if you plan to run all the suggested services.
Not only will the application use ram for data storage, the root filesystem is in ram and requires storage of it's own.

>> Sata controller(s) to handle the 20 drives - looking for best cost/ per port/performance (less controllers the better)
At the current time AOC SAT2-MV8 is the most cost effective.
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Offline lionelhutz

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Re: New build Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2009, 10:03:12 AM »
This motherboard would give you much faster disk access speeds because of the dual PCI-X  busses so add 2 of the AOC SAT2-MV8 (one in each buss) and you are at 20 ports total.

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=2697.0

Or find a motherboard that has 4 PCIe x4 slots to hold 4 of these and also has 6 onboard.

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=2820.0

Peter