Need help picking out SuperMicro or others for ZFS NAS

push3r

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Feb 19, 2015
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I'm having such a hard time picking out a barebone box for ZFS NAS or Windoze Storage Space datastore for vSphere/Hyper-V lab or backup restore testing, etc...; basically a production secondary storage NAS.

I spent 3 days and still can't get it together. Maybe it wold be easier to spend on a barebone and not pick out components. Pulling my hair out right now. :)

Already have these hardware:
6 x 5TB SATA
1 x Intel DC S3700 100 GB SSD for ZIL
2 x M1015 IT MODE HBA
Networking (ConnectX-2, transceiver, OM3 cable, 10GbE SFP+ switch)

Planning to use either OmniOS & Napp-It or Windows 2016 Storage Space.

Budget ~ $2000 for Chassis, Motherboard, 2 x Xeon, and 64GB ECC RAM.

Requirement:
- Chassis with SAS2 (6Gbps backplane), at least 12 x 3.5" hot swap. Nice to have optional 2 x 2.5" or 3.5" hot-swap in the back.
- Redundant Power Supplies.
- 2 x Xeon. Don't care about speed, number of core (4 core per proc minimal), or power saving.
- 64GB ECC RAM. DDR4 or DDR3 (cheaper right now).

Used server is fine. Prefer Supermicro for more flexibility in terms of hardware compatibility unless someone can convince me to get an HP or Dell where I can put generic components (i.e. HDD, SDD) in without issues or stress.

I have looked at SuperMicro website and looked at all the 12 x 3.5" boxes. If I go DIY route by getting a Supermicro MB and want to use the 2 x M1015 I already have, what's the most cost effective options? What about the SAS expander? Don't I need SAS2 for 6Gbps support? Do I need two/dual connections on the SAS expander in order to make use of the bandwidth on the M1015? Or maybe I don't need the expander and just hook the hard drive up directly to the M1015 via fan-out cable?

I've looked at some older HP server like the DL180 G6, but the backplane is 3Gbps. Any other models with 12 x 3.5" hot-swap that is 6Gbps? Compatibility with generic components?

Thank you guys!
 

T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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SM 846 ($350-450 depending on month/shipping/options)
2P SM Motherboard ($200-300 depending on how picky you are and what features you want)
2x E5-2670 v1s or E5-2660 v1s if you want lower power/all around ($300 on the high side for both)
DDR3 = cheap get 128GB of the fast stuff ($600)

400 + 250 + 300 + 600 = $1550

You have enough leftover to get upgrades like maybe a SQ PSU if you want it to be quieter... or a 200GB S3700 for a bump in SLOG performance.
 

push3r

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Thanks T_Minus.

Any chance of recommending the model number for the SM846 chassis and motherboard? Picking those out are the hardest part!
 

T_Minus

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Supermicro 846 and then make sure it specifically states "SAS2 Backplane" which should be what you want, unless you're ready to drop big $ on a SAS3 one which seem to be very rare still.

As far as motherboard goes that would depend on what features you want. Do you want 10GigE onboard? Do you want LSI RAID/HBA onboard? Do you want Quad NICs? And of course double-check that it has IPMI workstation boards don't.
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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Just wondering, you have 7 drives and 2x LSI controllers + 6 onboard ports = 22 drive connections.

I might be inclined, at that size, to go E3-1200. Just for reference, I am building a ZFS backup server and using an E3-1220 V3 with 16GB RAM.
 

T_Minus

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Doh! I read it as a ZFS NAS + VM Box, not just data store for them... my bad! Yeah, what I suggested is beefy and likely way overkill for just a nAS :)
 

Patrick

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Doh! I read it as a ZFS NAS + VM Box, not just data store for them... my bad! Yeah, what I suggested is beefy and likely way overkill for just a nAS :)
I did a double-take too. But the reason I am downsizing from a dual E5 (aside from component availability) is that power savings are significant if you are sub-14 drives and not running VMs on the box.
 

push3r

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Feb 19, 2015
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Just wondering, you have 7 drives and 2x LSI controllers + 6 onboard ports = 22 drive connections.

I might be inclined, at that size, to go E3-1200. Just for reference, I am building a ZFS backup server and using an E3-1220 V3 with 16GB RAM.
Can you recommend the chassis and Mb?
 

push3r

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Feb 19, 2015
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Supermicro 846 and then make sure it specifically states "SAS2 Backplane" which should be what you want, unless you're ready to drop big $ on a SAS3 one which seem to be very rare still.

As far as motherboard goes that would depend on what features you want. Do you want 10GigE onboard? Do you want LSI RAID/HBA onboard? Do you want Quad NICs? And of course double-check that it has IPMI workstation boards don't.
For the SAS2 Backplane, do I need two SFF-8087 connections to use with the two M1015 HBA I have in order to use max bandwidth?
 

whitey

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Jun 30, 2014
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Can you recommend the chassis and Mb?
I think a couple mentions/nods for the SM 846 chassis have been recommended. I do not know those chassis like the back of my hand just be sure to get one that is SAS2 and ideally a direct connect backplane and not expander version although either will work.
 

push3r

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Feb 19, 2015
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Thanks guys. I'm in Canada (Vancouver) and was wondering if any other Canadian knows where is a good source for buying Supermicro stuff in Canada. There is Newegg.ca, NCIX (which I hate), TigerDirect, etc....

What about the USA? Where do you guys get your Supermicro stuff?
 

push3r

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Feb 19, 2015
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I just had a chance to look at the SC846 and realized that it's 4U / 24 x 3.5". I don't need that many and will stick to the SM 2U / 12 x 3.5" instead.
 

uOpt

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Dec 12, 2014
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I strongly feel smug about dual 1366 for ZFS. You will really appreciate large amounts of RAM. A platform with 12 or 18 RAM slots that all take registered RAM is cheap for 1366, as are CPUs, and you don't have to bother with extra special CPUs to get them cheap. The unusual amount of RAM slots (triple channel) makes you able to snipe RAM on ebay a bit cheaper since there are more people going for sets of 4 modules than for sets of 3 or 6 modules.

Plus my 2011 board still doesn't work so 2011 sucks :mad: :)