rollieindc

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About rollieindc

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  1. rollieindc

    My first hobby “TOWER”

    And I just realized that I have an Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X3440 @ 2.53GHz Processor... with four cores and 8 threads. No wonder why the X3340 wasn't found in various searches. Whew!!! Update: Tonight I got the internal SATA connections running (They were disabled in bios), and added a 120GB SDD Toshiba drive for cache. It looks like the internal SATA ports are limited to 2TB and running at 1.5Gbs each (likely need to adjust that in the BIOS as well), but that also means that the H700 driver is going to be a fairly assured thing that I will need to get. For me, something seems a bit unusual (probably the bios for the internal sata), as the system now seems to be transferring files a little slower than before - even with the SDD Cache included. I hope to get a VM of Win 10 Pro up and running too, tonight.
  2. 8GB (4x2Gb) DDR3 1067 ECC 1.5V (in a Dell T310)
  3. rollieindc

    My first hobby “TOWER”

    That was a nice primer for me to understand the importance of the different RAID configurations. Thanks! What does get me, is that any one of those configurations leaves me with 1TB of drive space - compared to 1.4TB I have now with unRAID. And to be honest, I don't think the system is going to be taxed that hard - compared with the amount of data I need to protect. On top of that, I plan (and will get) offsite backups for really important data. And I do like that two drives need to fail in order for bad things to happen, but I think the parity option in unRAID should be fairly robust and cover that instance... or do you think otherwise? I get that if I lose the two 600GB drives, I am pretty well "hosed"... but how often do two drives fail... nearly simultaneously?
  4. rollieindc

    My first hobby “TOWER”

    "So, another day, another array." So the T310 is up, and I have all the HDD running without any raid entered into the PERC 6ir controller, and currently building the parity disk on one of the two 600GB drives. Total time until the drives are ready in the array, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Here is what it currently looks like... and yes, I blurred out the drive SNs and the tower IP address. Call me "once bitten, twice shy" on computer security issues. This now gives me about 1.4TB of usable storage space to play with, and validates most of my thoughts regarding the way the drives would work. I'll let this "putter" for a couple of days, while I move on to trying my hand at building some VMs (already have installed a nVidia GT 610 card) and got a Windows 10 Pro lisc to load up. Also I want to try my hand at a Docker App. After that, I will reflash the motherboard bios and see if the SATA interface can pick up any of the SATA drives I have. I did remove the RD1000 drive, and put in a Toshiba 128GB SDD on that SATA cable and used the power cable for it, but the system didn't recognize the SDD. I'll need to investigate that later. That might become a first cache drive, if I get so motivated. The other interesting thing is that the system fan at first ran very high (with the case side panel off, but now appears to be operating much more quietly. Again, not sure why, but imagine it's a Dell T310 setting that I will need to investigate further (and read the manual!) More later, but at this point... I just need to move on and get some other things done around the house.
  5. rollieindc

    Upgrading Storage Question & Intro

    Got it... thanks for sharing that perspective. I appreciate it better now... a lot!
  6. rollieindc

    My first hobby “TOWER”

    Ok, time for an update. Lots of lessons learned. Some new hardware, and getting up to speed. For many this will probably seem elementary, but for me, this is a log of discovery. First... crud... I bought 8GB (2 x 4GB) of DIMM off eBay that won’t work with the Dell T310. Seems the T310 is very particular about the type and density of the RAM chips used. Lesson learned, get and read the server manual. Will resell or use the memory elsewhere. But it also means I have to replace the current 8GB in order to go above 12GB on the T310. Moving to 12GB might be a good option, because I have a hard time coming up with reasons to need a VM with more than 8GB of memory. (4GB for unRAID is still huge from what I can read, and Windows 10 should play well with 8GB). And hey, I’m not Linus Media Group... (thank goodness! Sorry Linus!) Hardware wise, I got two additional drives on rails (450MB SAS, 10K) that I installed in the T310 and started to play with. The PERC 6iR SAS controller needs an update flash, and I was befuddled by the RAID configuration, as RAID 0 & 1 needed drive pairs to enable the virtual drives. So I set up two RAID 0 drives (600+450) ending up with 2 x ~990MB drives. Performance on my network still seemed very snappy and quick. Soooo... Well “Duh.” I didn’t realize that you could also eliminate the virtual (RAID) drives on the 6ir and just address each drive from within unRAID individually. So that will be my next logical step. (watch for next update) But I was able to run drive checks on everything and got zero errors. (Yea!) The SAS 6ir is limited to 3Gb/sec SAS and a individual HD max size of about 2.2TB (I think, I still need to confirm that). The 3Gb/sec speed alone is probably why most would move to a Dell H200 or H700 controller, as they run SAS or SATA at 6Gb/sec, and also allows for drives greater than 2.2TB. Also it looks like they have an option for a battery onboard to maintain their on-card cache memory in case of power failures. So (academically speaking) having 2 drives in RAID 1 could provide the equivalent of 6GB throughputs (on reads) and redundancy. That “might” be a nearterm “good enough” for a cache drive for a home server system, and just keeping the 6ir. Plus potential replacements on eBay are cheap ($20-30) and plentiful. But the max on the 4 drive rails would be limited to 4TB of storage in RAID 1 (4x 2TB, @50% for RAID1 @ 6Gb/sec) Great for reliability and speed, but cruddy in capacity. Yeah, I think I will need more than that. And while newer SSDs would be faster, especially with a faster controller... that will have to be a down the road “learn and burn” exercise, much like the RAM memory experience. (Maybe when 4TB SDDs become super cheap in 10 years... or quantum computing for Windows arrives!) Even so, with just the 6ir, I should still be able to replace all the current drives with 2TB drives on unRAID and reach 6TB, (with one 2TB acting as parity) without needing to buy anything more. That 6ir limits me to 2TB at the “top end” on the 6ir controller, and moving to the H200 or H700 (I think) would allow me to use the 2x 4TB Seagate Ironwolf drives that I have in my current NAS - on the Dell’s T310 rail hot swap system. (And yes, I have to migrate that data! ) For me, as this is a home server, I wanted to dig a little further into the T310, as it also as 6x SATA connectors on the motherboard. These are also rated at 3Gb/sec throughput (I think this is a hardware limit on the motherboard, but I need to flash upgrade the BIOS here too, including the integrated motherboard SATA drive controller). Currently, I have one into the DVD/RW drive, and one into the RD1000 drive. So, I “could” also put up to 5x SATA drives (keeping the DVD/RW), and just sell the RD1000 drive. The catridges on the RD1000, even on eBay are not cheap, at $250 each (None came with the system) - and I am thinking a hot swappable “generic” drive tray with a SATA drive will be a better use of money for offsite (safe deposit box) storage of critical home & photo library files. (A good 8TB drive is less than $170!) Plus if it takes a couple of days to make a backup... I am ok with that. (Reminder: I need to get a UPS.) So I am going to *think* about my options, and look at the H700 ($40 on ebay) as a near term option to let me use the current Dell HDD rails and ultimately go to a 4x4TB hot swappable 12TB NAS “on rails” configuration at 6GB/sec -with offsite disk storage... without having to make up weird power cables. I might need a cache SSD ultimately... but there again... with unRAID, even if I start editing and creating home video (probably only HD 1080p) on the server... I might have enough throughput for most tasks, including VMs. (Have I mentioned I have an 8 or 2x4 core xeon Mac Pro 5.1, that will likely have that dedicated task as well as any audio work I need!) And if I did need SSDs for cache, I have PCIe slots to hang the newer m.2 SSDs off a single PCIe card. And I think... with no need for another power cable. (win-win!) Now, I’ve typed enough for tonight... questions and comments welcomed!
  7. rollieindc

    Upgrading Storage Question & Intro

    Hi, Am a newbie on unRAID, just building my first system, so am a bit confused by the path you suggest - and hoping you can help me understand. The parity drive(s) in unraid must be the largest or equal to the other drives in the system. You can't set up a parity protected system with your 2 4TB drives and add the 6TB drives later without rebuilding parity. I guess what confused me is, given the existing data is 3.5TB, my path would be... 1) back the data up on a 4TB drive (archived offsite copy), then 2) copy it (a working copy of all the data) to the second 4TB drive, then 3) take the SSD to make unRAID cache, 4) use the 4x6TB drives to make 4a)unRAID 1x parity (6TB) and 4b) three data drives (3x 6TB) to make the build. 5) Then, migrate the data from the “working copy” (4TB) drive. Then once everything is conformed as “working” - 6) reformat the 4TB “working copy” drive and add it to the unRAID array ... making for a 22TB unRAID (3x6TB+4TB), 128 GB SSD as cache, and a 4TB drive as offsite backup... Or do I have a flawed concept of how to do it best/safely? (appreciate any direction/guidance... I’m still learning!) -Rollie in Washington DC USA (age 57)
  8. rollieindc

    My first hobby “TOWER”

    Yea... I am an old timer (does that make me a crummugeon?) ... (Am currently 57) I started with a 110 baud teletype and FORTRAN IV on a pdp-8 (even did punchtape, then punchcards)... then worked on a trash 80, a sinclair at home, then a color computer trs-80, and ordered one of the first IBM/XT’s (pre 8087 add on) for my office. We went nuts with it in the engineering department. So, I got the call to build the next big system (DEC VMS based for finite element codes)... and then had to run it. 24/7 was a pain in the butt. But... yeah. Used to program matrix inversion subroutines in pascal in college. It was an esoteric program the prof wanted, but it never worked quite right. Never understood why... but aced the exams, so he had to pass me (with an A-) The T310 is probably overkill for what I am doing... but... heck... unRAID just looks cool (and better than any RAID options on a NAS).
  9. rollieindc

    My first hobby “TOWER”

    So, been a techie for a long time, sometimes a sysop (ran VAX/VMS 11/785 & 8800) - and so I was really interested in unRAID to replace my NAS for my home networking (mainly for semi-pro photography) and run some VMs and apps. I found a good “excessed” Dell Poweredge T310, single Xeon X3340 (4 cores) @ 2.53GHz with 8GB RAM (DDR3/1066) and 2x 600GB seagate cheetah SAS 10K drives, and dual 400 watt power supplies (for less than $100). Adjusted the boot to do a BIOS boot from the internal USB 4GB sadisk micro cruiser drive I had sitting in my pocket - and downloaded unRAID v6.5 trial. The disk controller (PERC 6i) set to was raid 1, but I booted the system the way it was. Adjusted the network ip4 address, prepped the USB drive... booted... Bang... up and running! Nice. Things I want to do: Hardware: Add 2x 4TB Ironwolf SATA drives - (have these already in a current NAS) Add 4TB or larger ironwolf parity SATA drive Add +8GB RAM for VMs. Add SSD cache SATA drives (2x 32 or 64GB) Add a GPU video card (nVidia?) Stuff/automation Gotta have: Fileserver/NAS/Personal Cloud (primary use) Secure Document archive (PDFs, etc) Mediaserver (music, home videos & movies, plex?) Like to have: Photo website (DruPal, maybe) Run VMs for Win 98, XP, 7, 10 and ubuntu studio Remote Desktop into vm. Maybe minecraft server for the daughter... Amazing if I could do it: Run apps in Docker to aggrigate research (work) articles (IFTTT?) Scientific code runner (eg Blender 3D, Finite Element Codes, etc) Already pleased with the speed of the system. Flexibility. Updating for it looks super simple. Questions: [pointers to other best forum threads appreciated] The six SATAs on the motherboard... will they support 4TB or larger drives? Any way to check the life use of existing SAS drives? Replace the perc 6i to H700? Wondering if I just add some 2TB SAS 7.2K enterprise drives from eBay instead of upgrading it. They look really cheap right now. (have 4 slots, 2 occupied) Have a DVD RW drive (one sata port)... best movie transcoder pathway? System has one dell RD1000 drive slot. No drive in it. Seen many on eBay. Any real value, or sell it? Am thinking it might be a good backup at offsite location (safe deposit box)... dunno. Oh, and I have Verizon DSL, (it beats Comcrap available here.) Thanks for reading... thoughts? Rollie

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