24 bay 2.5" vs 12 bay 3.5"

ViciousXUSMC

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Nov 27, 2016
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I have been researching building my own NAS for a while, and I think the most bang for your buck is the used servers on ebay.
One gotcha is a lot of them are old SAS1 backplanes that wont support 8TB drives, it seems many more of the 24 bay 2.5" servers have SAS2 hardware and better specs for a lower price.

That said, I am looking for guidance if I should proceed in getting one of those 2U 24 bay servers and filling it with these: https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Port...80378608&sr=8-1&keywords=seagate+4tb+external

Or go with 3.5" and use 8TB WD RED or equivalent with a 12 bay 3.5" build.

I know the prior is not NAS grade stuff, but I am going to run mirror on everything and it will be not super heavily used.
I feel the 2.5" drives will use less power and create less heat as well as allow me to expand cheaper and more gradually (buy 2x $109 4TB drives as needed instead of 2x $250+ 8TB drives)

Am I crazy for thinking 2.5" is OK? or is this a valid idea?

Also if I want NAS only no jails, no transcoding etc, would this system be a good buy?
2U Supermicro H8DME-2 24 Bay Server SAS2-216EL1 AMD QC 2x 2.1GHz 64GB 8x 8GB

I think it has platinum power supplies, it has the low voltage CPU's, but its old tech DDR2 stuff and just wont cut it if say I want to run Plex.
But for how cheap it is, id be willing to use my desktop as the Plex server.

I'll have to spend almost 2x to 3x for a decent 3.5" rig as far as I can tell but I will go and spring for the 6 core Xeons so I can run Plex on it should I dive in that deep.

Last question if I get a SM 3.5" chassis that only has the old SAS1 backplane (BPN-SAS-846EL1), can I use the 8TB drives as long as I get a controller card that supports 8TB on all bays? M1015 or LSI 9211-8i ??
I am not familiar with if the computer itself is limited or its the backplane causing the limitation.

Thanks for the help/guidance.
 

T_Minus

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The 24 bay with SAS2 (SuperMicro 846 for example) should only be $100-125 more than what you've linked.

Those DDR2 / very old systems are throw away you can probably find a member here who has them free to give you if that's what you want to run, but I'd urge DDR3 L5630/9 for slightly more $$.

You're talking about thousands of $$ in HDD so ~$200 more for the chassis+mobo+cpu+ram is a very small amount to run cooler, and suck less power but provide more power for your system.
 

PigLover

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If it were me I'd definitely go with the 24x 2.5" config. In fact, I've just finished clearing out the last 3.5" drives from my main rack and everything is 2.5" now. I love the SuperMicro 216 case for this, just make sure its a SAS2 or better backplane - but you appear to already know this.

Yes, the case-cracked Seagate external 2.5" 4TB drives work well. They are slow - don't misunderstand - but many people here are using them for light-duty NAS without issue (save poster who seems to be having some as-yet not understood speed issues under FreeNAS). I have about 30ish of them running just fine.

Get yourself a few used 960gb SSDs too and build a performance pool on your NAS for anything that actually benefits from some speed.

I'm not real sure about that specific server you linked. Of course - at worst - you could buy it, try it, and if the performance isn't what you need just swap out the MB for something more appropriate. The price isn't aweful for the case alone - so the MB you get with it can almost be considered "free".

Not sure what about the listing makes you think it has Platinum PSUs. Maybe I missed something, but most likely that one has older, noisy 900w PSU - not the "P" or "SQ" model. If they are the ones you want then great. If not, replacing them costs about $50/each with quiet platinum PSUs.
 

ViciousXUSMC

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Right now I have it down to these two:
12x HD SAS2 SATA3 ZFS FREENAS 9.3 JBOD Storage Server Network UNRAID 8TB OK! | eBay
Already has 64GB RAM, has good CPU, and I'll toss 8TB Red in it.

Or

2U 26 bay 2.5 Supermicro SAS2 FreeNas JBOD Server 2x Xeon Six core 2.4Ghz 2x PS | eBay

I'll toss the 4TB Seagates in it, and up the RAM when I hit capacity, but the RAM alone probably puts these two at the same cost, and the first one was already flashed to IT mode.

Any real need to get the LSI 9211-8i over the LSI 9211-4i?
I can get the 4i for cheaper and I assume flash any of these to IT mode rather than paying the premium to have it already done.

Edit: also just should mention I was once looking at these two Tyan servers, but with no RAM I do not think its of benefit to not go for a supermicro that seems to have a better name.

Tyan 2U - 24-Drive Bay Base Server - SAS/SATA 6GB - 2.5" w/2 x 8-core(No RAM) | eBay

Tyan 2U Free NAS 12-Bay Server- SAS/SATA 6GB -3.5' w/ 2 x 6-cores (no RAM) | eBay
 
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PigLover

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Both are reasonable choices. 2x X5645 CPUs is massive overkill for FreeNAS - but the price is fair.

For me, given the current state and direction of technology, I'd go with the 24x 2.5" chassis. But the 3.5" choice isn't bad either.
 

ViciousXUSMC

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If I get 2x 5645 I will for sure turn off my desktop and use the FreeNas box as my Plex server (and share w/ friends)
It's good to see so many votes for 2.5" drives. But what would you all recommend outside of those 4TB Seagates?

I have 6 drives on my desktop right now totaling about 11TB of data, I want to get all of this on the NAS so its backed up so I am going for a high capacity NAS not a fast speed one.

I'll use local storage for scratch drives (video editing and such) and the NAS will be the home for all my files.
 

cheezehead

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I love the SC-216 chassis but am a bit different from most here, like many other supermicro chassis there are multiple backplanes that can work with it. I'm using the A-style backplane with the 216 chassis which doesn't do dual-porting but also isn't a traditional expander. It allows 1 channel per drive, so there are 6xSAS connectors on the backplane but I can run 12GB SAS/SATA on it down the road (not officially supported but works) without needing to pay for an expensive SAS3 backplane. It also allows me the flexibility to run directpath and pass-through certain HBA's to pools of drives on the backplane without carving out the whole backplane....just more flexibility.

I'm also running an SC-836 chassis (16 x 3.5" drives), more physical space but can mix and match between the chassis for the given workload.

Beyond the SAS1 backplanes to watch out for, unless you already have sleds make sure it comes with them (they are expensive sold separately). Also the most common PSU i've been seeing has been either the 801W or 902W, while both work they are loud (as in can be heard across the house in some cases). Any of the 80Plus PSU's beyond more efficient will ramp down on the fan noise keeping it in check. I'm running some 1.2KW psu's (80+ Gold and fairly quiet) which is another option often found when your looking at either chassis or systems. If noise control is keep (ie sleeping near it) then you'll be looking for PSU's ending with -SQ in their part number.....these still do cost a fair amount but they do fit the need.

Supermicro PSU Matrix: https://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/pws/pws.aspx


2x X5645 CPUs is massive overkill for FreeNAS
I'm running a pair of them in my FreeNAS box (CSE-836 chassis), multiple plex streams gives it a good workout but it still has enough to handle vm storage over an NFS mount just fine;)

Compellent re-branded Supermicro box (CSE-836, CPU is a E5540, ram is either 6 or 12GB DDR3, motherboard is a Supermicro x8dth-i, backplane should be a an 836-TQ, and the psu's are likely 1.2kw's) based system: www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Compellent-Series-C40-CT-040-SAN-Storage-System-Controller-Enclosure-2G11K-/262730612792


For the 2U chassis, you may want to look at (www.ebay.com/itm/2U-Supermicro-CSE-216-H8DME-2-24-Bay-Server-AMD-QC-2-2GHz-16GB-4x-4GB-/201715101756) < $190 for chassis with 1.2kw psu's and a SAS2 backplane(single-ported)....with waiting around and watching ebay you might find something better.
 

Deslok

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the higher drive count in the 2.5 inch option will offer better options for redundancy than the 3.5, and soon we're going to have 5TB drives as a 2.5 option as well. using 2.5 also leaves less wasted space if you want to use an SSD cache since you only loose 8TB worth of drives not 16TB