FreeNAS Guide Build

Patrick

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I am setting up a FreeNAS system that I want to use in a few guides. The goal is something storage oriented with low power/ costs being prioritized.
  • Motherboard: Supermicro X10SDV-2C-TP4F
  • CPU: Intel Pentium D1508
  • Case: Supermicro SC113 (8x 2.5" bay 1U)
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4 RDIMMs (4x 8GB)
  • Controller: LSI SAS3008 based
  • NVMe SSD: Toshiba THNSN5512GPU7GR 512GB PCIe NVMe
  • Boot SSD: BP4 128GB mSATA
  • Extra OS SSDs (for future guides): 2x Intel DC S3500 80GB
  • Guide SSDs: Toshiba 400GB PX02 and 400GB Toshiba HK3E2 THNSNJ400PCSZ
  • Hard Drives: 4x 2.5" Seagate 4TB
I am working on doing a few guides/ how tos and benchmarks of different configurations. Some parts may get swapped but this should provide a solid baseline.

The machine is now labeled, racked and in the data center:FreeNAS Demo Racked.jpg
 
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manxam

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Patrick, are you specifically looking to write guides on FreeNAS or just to use the server as storage for guides? If the later, is there any reason why you're not considering OmniOS and our own Gea's excellent napp-it front end?
OmniOS has much better AD integration, multi-threaded smb, and iSCSI. It's also less resource hungry and....just works...
 

Patrick

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Patrick, are you specifically looking to write guides on FreeNAS or just to use the server as storage for guides? If the later, is there any reason why you're not considering OmniOS and our own Gea's excellent napp-it front end?
OmniOS has much better AD integration, multi-threaded smb, and iSCSI. It's also less resource hungry and....just works...
Great question. The primary reason is to write FreeNAS specific guides.
 

whitey

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Jun 30, 2014
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Patrick, are you specifically looking to write guides on FreeNAS or just to use the server as storage for guides? If the later, is there any reason why you're not considering OmniOS and our own Gea's excellent napp-it front end?
OmniOS has much better AD integration, multi-threaded smb, and iSCSI. It's also less resource hungry and....just works...
FreeNAS also has drop dead simple AD integration and kick-arse iSCSI volumes to boot just as a FYI.
 

whitey

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Patrick, are you specifically looking to write guides on FreeNAS or just to use the server as storage for guides? If the later, is there any reason why you're not considering OmniOS and our own Gea's excellent napp-it front end?
OmniOS has much better AD integration, multi-threaded smb, and iSCSI. It's also less resource hungry and....just works...
FreeNAS also has drop dead simple AD integration and kick-arse iSCSI volumes to boot just as a FYI.

I can say I've been there...done that w/ Omni/napp-it for a few years, moved onto FreeNAS and have no reason to look back. To each their own though for sure :-D
 

DMO

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Related to this topic, what non-rackmount cases could you recommend for a flex-atx motherboard and a fairly high 2.5 inch drive count? Since this will go into an entertainment center, home theater style cases are my primary focus.

Thanks
 

Patrick

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Related to this topic, what non-rackmount cases could you recommend for a flex-atx motherboard and a fairly high 2.5 inch drive count? Since this will go into an entertainment center, home theater style cases are my primary focus.

Thanks
I am probably not the person to ask on home theater style cases. I have my home FreeNAS and virtualization servers tucked away.

Non-rackmount options are still a bit tough. One option is to use 4-in-1 2.5" to 5.25" bay adapters. If you are using the Seagate 4TB hard drives popular on these forums then you can only use 4-in-1. If you are using SSDs you can use 6-in-1 or 8-in-1 designs easily.
 

ttabbal

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My first storage server build was a full ATX tower using hot swap bay adapters. Holds 12x3.5 drives and 2x2.5 for a boot mirror. With a little more careful fan selection, it could live in an entertainment room. You would need to be careful about getting drives with low seek noise though. When the array was busy, that was louder than the fans.

Media Center specific cases rarely have much for drive bays. They are intended to to be quiet and look nicer than the average PC case. These days, most people put the storage in a server hiding somewhere out of the way. The most I've seen is an older Antec case I have here. 2x5.25 and 2x3.5(internal).

I like the idea of getting more info available and a build guide for a NAS setup. The hardware would work with most any OS, so it's well chosen. If the goal is low cost, would a motherboard with on board SAS do better there? I'm not up to date on X10 board pricing, so perhaps not. Perhaps add some cross OS info later? Some examples of why you might choose FreeNAS/OmniOS/napp-it/etc..
 

whitey

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Only thing I worry about w/ this setup is the 2-core Xeon-D as I have seen FreeNAS AIO setups CHEW through my 2 vCPU 2.6GHZ 2670v1 cores thrown at it when doing HEAVY sVMotions/NAS I/O.

The Xeon-D is 'the lil' proc that could' though so hopefully you'll be fine.
 
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Patrick

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@ttabbal Great suggestion. I think we are going to do more OS specific/ build type specific content in the future. I just have FreeNAS on my list of things I want to write to and from Peru later this week.

Only thing I worry about w/ this setup is the 2-core Xeon-D as I have seen FreeNAS AIO setups CHEW through my 2 vCPU 2.6GHZ 2670v1 cores thrown at it when doing HEAVY sVMotions/NAS I/O.
Well, the Pentium D1508 does have HT and is Broadwell. Going bare metal also helps a lot with performance overhead. We shall see how it works.
 

manxam

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Jul 25, 2015
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FreeNAS also has drop dead simple AD integration and kick-arse iSCSI volumes to boot just as a FYI.

I can say I've been there...done that w/ Omni/napp-it for a few years, moved onto FreeNAS and have no reason to look back. To each their own though for sure :-D
Hi Whitey, I was under the impression (from Google searches) that FreeNAS' SMB, NFS, and iSCSI were much slower than Solarish due to user level vs kernel level. Also, the documents that I could find for AD were a whole bunch of manual "hacking" to get it to work. In my eyes, AD integration should be as simple as filling out a couple of input boxes and clicking "connect".

Am I missing some changes to FreeNAS over the past while?

Thanks,
M
 

whitey

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Hi Whitey, I was under the impression (from Google searches) that FreeNAS' SMB, NFS, and iSCSI were much slower than Solarish due to user level vs kernel level. Also, the documents that I could find for AD were a whole bunch of manual "hacking" to get it to work. In my eyes, AD integration should be as simple as filling out a couple of input boxes and clicking "connect".

Am I missing some changes to FreeNAS over the past while?

Thanks,
M
Beginning with FreeNAS 9.3, iSCSI is built into the kernel. Pretty sure NFS has been kernel space v.s. user space a LONG time ago as well but I cannot readily dig up details on that at the moment.

As far as AD integration it's as easy as this:

FreeNAS-AD-integration-1.png FreeNAS-AD-integration-2.png
 

Patrick

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Uploaded photo of the system racked in the data center.
 

manxam

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Jul 25, 2015
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@whitey, thanks for the screenshot. FreeNAS has come a long way since last I used it! Just paid ~$150 CDN last month for NappIT so I suppose I'll stick with it for the time being but will likely spin up another FreeNAS box in the upcoming weeks.
 

mattr

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What always killed these non-xeon builds for me was the lack of RAM options. Being limited to 4 slots is really a kicker to the budget as software RAID systems loooooooove RAM.
 

Patrick

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What always killed these non-xeon builds for me was the lack of RAM options. Being limited to 4 slots is really a kicker to the budget as software RAID systems loooooooove RAM.
I agree. This has 4 RAM slots with a maximum of 128GB RAM. Well beyond what such a lightweight system will need.
 

PigLover

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Uploaded photo of the system racked in the data center.
Nice.

Obligatory nit-picky comment:

- On the SC113s you really ought to pop out the DVD drive (one screw) and spend the ~$3 to buy a blank panel. Makes it look a lot less "old".
- Leaving the plastic on the rail handles reminds me of going to the dentist :)
 

Patrick

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Nice.

Obligatory nit-picky comment:

- On the SC113s you really ought to pop out the DVD drive (one screw) and spend the ~$3 to buy a blank panel. Makes it look a lot less "old".
- Leaving the plastic on the rail handles reminds me of going to the dentist :)
Ha! Well the DVD drives are disconnected. I see them as a free blanking panel to affix slanted labels to.

Yea I need to pull them out!
 

whitey

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Nice.

Obligatory nit-picky comment:

- On the SC113s you really ought to pop out the DVD drive (one screw) and spend the ~$3 to buy a blank panel. Makes it look a lot less "old".
- Leaving the plastic on the rail handles reminds me of going to the dentist :)
I did the same thing on mine, ripped off plastic on handles and gutted DVD drive and plopped in blanking panel, looks a bit sleeker/sexier...but that's probably just the OCD-ness in us @PigLover heh
 

Joel

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I'm kinda surprised that no one mentioned Ed this before but FreeNAS gets zero benefit from an OS SSD drive. Mine runs quite happily on a mirrored pair of Cruzer Fit 16gb USB sticks. The only time it writes at all is when changing stuff in the GUI, and the Kernel lives in memory.