All in One Build

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by Nimesh Bhundia, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Nimesh Bhundia

    Nimesh Bhundia New Member

    Feb 11, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Build’s Name: Unnamed as of yet.
    Operating System/ Storage Platform: ESXi / Undecided on Storage build
    CPU: E5-26xx of some flavour, cheaper the better (not bought yet)
    Motherboard: X9Sri-F (Bought)
    Chassis: Generic OEM (Rackmountable Tower Server/Pedestal (inc VAT) | eBay (ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649) (Bought)
    Drives: 8 X 6TB WD REDS for NAS (Bought), Datastore Storage undecided
    RAM: 64GB DDR3L ECC Reg (hopefully buying from fellow forum member)
    Add-in Cards: HBA SAS9205-8i flashed to IT mode (bought)
    Power Supply: Corsair RM/AX 650 (Bought)
    Other Bits: Generic 5.25 to 3.5 drive bays (Bought)

    Usage Profile: Home Lab VM duties, NAS

    Hey Guys,

    Just looking to get some ideas and thoughts from you guys. So I currently have a Synology DS1815+ and a generic whitebox ESXi setup. The issues I face are:

    1) I run a fair few dockers on the NAS and the CPU doesnt have the grunt that I would want.
    2) My generic ESXi build was limited to 32GB and I was having some weird Linux guest issues with SMB.
    3) The NAS and VM Lab are in a spare room, but are loud also I am loosing this room and need to move stuff to the attic.

    I started to think about my next steps and came up with this idea to consolidate into one build, not only am I a proud nerd I am a hoarder so I have loads and loads of gear lying around the house. I will be frank, I am cheap, so I like to save money where I can, so 2nd hand ebay bargains are always welcome. My work has an office in the US and I have a willing team member who will ship smaller stuff across the pond.

    So here is where I could do with some of your collective wisdom.

    Base Hardware.

    1) CPU Cooling: I have a corsair H80i kicking around that I am planning to use. Given that the base OS is ESXi and there isnt the corsair link app running, will it just run the fans at full speed?
    2) 5 of the 8 bays will be used for the 5.25 to 3.5 adapter bays, these have their own cooling, I was planning to either buy an adapter or do some modding to add a 120mm fan to the remaining bays to pull air into the chassis. Sound reasonable?
    3) I am trying to decide on the CPU, I would like to keep things cheap. Looking on the bay I can pick up a E5-2620 pretty cheap, is it worth moving up to one of the 6c or 8c models?

    ESXi Installation / Datastore.

    1) How would you guys install ESXi? Good quality USB? if so any recommendations? I also have plenty of SSD's sitting around here from 60-256GB.
    2) Any thoughts on Datastore storage? My usage here isnt anything huge, when tinkering I tend to throw up a few Linux VM's. Eventually want to start planing with Windows based servers again too. I was thinking
    of grabbing one of those PCI-E based storage devices from ebay. Alternatively I have 3 x 2TB WD Greens already here or a 500GB Samsung 840 Pro.

    NAS VM

    I have tried various different NAS software solutions over the years (OMV, rockstor, WHS, Freenas and Synology /Xpenology). I always come back to synology / xpenology, its so simple to use and the interface is one of the best out there. My storage is split into three categories:

    1) My media library (non critical, I can rerip if required)
    2) My random storage (Non criticial, drivers, ISO's applications installers etc which can all be redownloaded)
    3) Personal documents and photos (Critical, currently being synced to cloud storage)

    The plan is to Pass through the HBA to a NAS VM and have the eight 6TB drives connected to that and to use Xpenology. I would setup a SHR-2 array that would allow for 2 disk failures. I prefer the SHR offering as expanding is pretty easy and can be done a single drive at a time. Plus I am pretty familiar with it.

    1) Am I really missing something by not using FreeNAS? From my limited knowledge I know that it supports BTRFS but doesnt guard against bitrot.

    Thanks for putting up with my wall of text post. Would really appreciate any insight you guys can offer.
  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Dec 21, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Sorry I am on the plane and we are about to take off.

    On the CPU if you can get a E5 V2 chip you may be happier. Better PCIe 3.0 support with Ivy Bridge and the 22nm process shrink offers significant savings. There are a lot of eBay deals for V2s.

    I believe the Corsair cooler is PWM based so the motherboard firmware controls it like a fan. The app is there to customize not as a mandatory addition.
  3. Nimesh Bhundia

    Nimesh Bhundia New Member

    Feb 11, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Cool thanks for that Patrick.

    Been doing some further reading and looks like I am going to opt for xpenology. The freenas / zfs stuff is really going over my head...
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