Low Power Storage Solution

takeawaydave

Member
Aug 20, 2013
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I have a number of LP Dell R630 machines with 2.5" disk slots.

I would like to have some shared storage based on the lowest power possible using high capacity spinning drives.

My idea was to start with 4 x 2 TB or 4 x 3TB drives since I can't see initial requirement being over this (home lab and home server use) and probably slowly go to between 8-10 drives over time.

I was looking at building around the Supermicro A2SDi-8C-HLN4F platform since this seems pretty low power.

Essentially I want to provide out storage to VM's - I have some unused SFP ports on both switch and servers but not sure what is the best approach here to getting something spec'd and built.

Primary importance is as low power as possible since my electric rates here are crazy high.
 

Navy_BOFH

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Aug 2, 2013
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I have been looking into the same. I have a EqualLogic PS6000 and PS6100 I could acquire and run - but for price/noise/capability the DS1819+ seems to be too hard to pass up and let the boat anchors go to a non-profit or such.
 
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takeawaydave

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Aug 20, 2013
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yep that looks pretty cool. same gen. of atom processor by the looks of it. thanks for the pointer.
any idea if its rackmountable - not a big deal but would be nice otherwise I'll just need a shelf
 

acquacow

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Feb 15, 2017
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I built a freenas box on a Xeon-D board. 8 HDD 4SSD 1 Optane SLOG, 10gige, and it still fits under a 100W power target.

Runs all my background 24x7 VMs/plex/nextcloud/etc.
 
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kapone

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May 23, 2015
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The problem with a "low power" storage solution isn't the motherboard/cpu/ram etc as much as the rest of the components.

A single Ivy Bridge based system (or Xeon D or any of the newer ones) with a typical quad core CPU/32-64GB RAM will easily idle in the 20-30w range. The problem comes in when you actually put in the rest of the components.

RAID card/HBA - easily 10-15w
High powered NIC (10g/40g) - easily 6-12w
Backplane(s) - easily ~20w (and if you have more than one, multiply that number)
Fans for the HDDs - easily ~10w or more.
HDDs/SDDs - Depends on what you pick.

All this stuff is needed regardless of which motherboard/CPU/RAM combo you choose. And this adds way more power consumption than the base system.
 
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Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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A2SDi-8C-HLN4F According to @Patrick review is insane if not unbelievable low power.
As pointed out by others it’s also what what is added to the system, skip the 3/4tb drives and go for a mirror pair of 8-14tb (sata) and the whole lot could idle less than 30w
 
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acquacow

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Feb 15, 2017
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Yeah, but with a mirrored pair, I couldn't max out 10GigE =)

Ideally you need 12 drives to max out 10gige, I settled on 8 HDD, as it was good enough, esp with an optane SLOG. I have 4 SSDs in a raidz1 as my faster scratch pool of storage.
 

acquacow

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Does anyone know what the Synology storage software is based on ? Is it some ind of Freenas or ZFS ?
It's their own customized OS. Basic storage is mdadm with ext filesystems, but they have their own hybrid raid as well that can be used.
 

Navy_BOFH

Active Member
Aug 2, 2013
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I built a freenas box on a Xeon-D board. 8 HDD 4SSD 1 Optane SLOG, 10gige, and it still fits under a 100W power target.

Runs all my background 24x7 VMs/plex/nextcloud/etc.
How much did all that run though compared to any off-the-shelf NAS? That is my issue with running Xeon-D at this point.
 

takeawaydave

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Aug 20, 2013
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Thanks @acquacow for the parts list !

Any reason you chose the SM board over this one: ASRock Rack D1541D4U-2O8R

Looking at this one and it really seems to be the complete package for a lot less $
 

modder man

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Jan 19, 2015
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Yeah, but with a mirrored pair, I couldn't max out 10GigE =)

Ideally you need 12 drives to max out 10gige, I settled on 8 HDD, as it was good enough, esp with an optane SLOG. I have 4 SSDs in a raidz1 as my faster scratch pool of storage.
How are you saturating a 10gige link with 12 spinning disks? In testing I was unable to get there even with mirrored vdevs. I dont know of a faster config with ZFS.
 

acquacow

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How are you saturating a 10gige link with 12 spinning disks? In testing I was unable to get there even with mirrored vdevs. I dont know of a faster config with ZFS.
I only have 8 spinning disks, and that gets me up to about 750MB/etc.

The four SSDs in a raid z1 max at a full 1GB/sec just fine read/write.

Writing 4 ISOs to the SSD share:
upload_2019-12-30_14-47-28.png

Reading 4 ISOs From the SSD share to my local m.2:
upload_2019-12-30_14-48-39.png

This is a bit slower now that I have a few VMs running on the SSDs, but still quite good.

Writing 4 ISOs to the HDD tier with optane SLOG:
upload_2019-12-30_14-50-42.png

Reading 4 ISOs off the HDD tier:
upload_2019-12-30_14-51-30.png

-- Dave
 

modder man

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I only have 8 spinning disks, and that gets me up to about 750MB/etc.


-- Dave
hmm, I have to wonder what is slowing me down now. what config are the 8 disks in? I put together a test machine just to mess with different configs, I felt like it was a bit low. But honestly wasnt sure what to expect.
 

takeawaydave

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Aug 20, 2013
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The Synology DS1819+ still looks a bit of a winner for what I want however noticed that its only possible to have 1 expansion card either the 10GBE E10G15-F1 card or the M2D18 - Dual M.2 SATA/NVMe SSD adapter card for SSD caching. Too bad you can't have both but then again these extras seem to be premium price anyway.

As mentioned I essentially I want to provide storage to ESXi for VM's and then also backup general content (approx. 10 TB Video Media and 5 TB photos).

For this use would I want to go with the 10GBE or SSD Caching add-on card ?

Alternatively I was looking at the Supermicro C3000 SOC boards (thanks @Evan ) some of which do have 10GBE onboard - compare here

Supermicro A2SDi-H-TF comes in around 500 bucks - any thoughts on this or a recommended C3000 board for NAS ?

Also can the M.2 Interface: PCI-E 3.0 x2 and SATA be used for SSD Caching when running FreeNAS ? Alternatives ?

EDIT: A2SDi-TP8F also looks interesting....
 
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