Planning DIY NAS for 2-node vsphere cluster - advice needed

Jannis Jacobsen

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Mar 19, 2016
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Hey!

I am in the process of getting a proper 10gbit vaai supported storage solution for my home lab.
I am considering the QNAP TS-831X, as it has 2x sfp+ built-in, and vaai support + vsphere plugin.
Not sure if the performance will be good enough though.

So, I found some hardware I might purchase:

Asus P10S-M C232 server motherboard
Xeon E3-1220 V6
2x 8GB 2400Mhz ECC DDR4
Fractal Design Node 804
10x 7200 rpm 1/2 TB hdd's (not decided on drives yet)
2x 960GB Crucial M500 ssd (for cache)
Intel X520-DA2
This setup gives space for 10 3.5" hdd's + 2x 2.5" SSD's

I want to direct connect the 10gig to the 2 vsphere hosts, so I dont need a 10gig switch.

I have used Freenas before, but I'm unsure if I will get good enough performance

Does anyone have any bright and shiny ideas?
Thanks!

-Jannis
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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So what do you need speedwise?
Looking for sync or async performance?
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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I’m looking to have a safe storage solution with vaai support.
Going to run several system center servers.
(Service manager, opsmgr, config mgr)

Async would probably give better performance, but as I understand it, can result in dataloss due to powerloss

-J
 

Rand__

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why the 10 drives - a few vms fit on a few larger ssd's - also be faster most likely

If you need size then get an optane 280 or 2 as slog in front of the drives
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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I have 10+ drives available.
I also have the 2x960GB ssd`s.
unfortunately, I dont think I can fit more big ssd`s in my budget
(I`d love 4x 3.4TB drives, but...) :)

-J
 

Rand__

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I see. Any chance to grab a cheap optane 280 from ebay? That will increase your sync speed significantly vs the M500s.
O/c you might need a free x4 slot but the board looks to have enough...

So what else do you have? You can buy used to save on board - no real need to do v5/6 unless you need the memory for starters

Else if you have no budget left at all then go to async and make sure you backup and behave accordingly. Usually sync is not really critical for soho...
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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I’ll probably try to work in more memory and an intel dc s3700 100gb ssd for slog.
will try to keep from needing l2arc.
will probably go for async too, lab is not that critical :)

guess I’ll get best performance going with 5 mirrored vdevs in 1 pool
(freenas zfs)

-J
 

Rand__

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Get the 200gb if you can, has better performance. And yes mirror would be best for vms
 

Rand__

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True, but how much are you willing to pay for safe? Safe and fast is expensive or used to be pre Optane..
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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the 32gb optane costs just a bit less than the s3700 200gb.
seems the s3700 has better write performance, so would be the better choice.

Will probably set everything up without slog on ssd, and see how it performs.
can always add it later(or earlier) anyway :)

Probably changing the e3 to g4560, as I dont think it needs multi core performance
2 core 4 threads should be enough

-j
 

Rand__

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maybe an i3 instead to retain ecc capability;)
Or are the G's ecc capable by now?
 

Rand__

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:)
The 804 will fit 8 3.5" drives easily and the last two need to be secured with hook and belt. You will need to plan for proper cabling also.
SATA ssds can go in front but with same HBA cables this might be difficult...

What HBA will you be using for 10+2 drives? The box only has 6 SATA if you go native...
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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I got a a it flashed m1015, and a dell h310 I can flash.
planning to put 8 drives on lsi, and the rest (including 1x s3700), on the sata ports on the mb.
should make cabling easier too

-j