recommendations for silent nas chassis - 10+ drives?

Jannis Jacobsen

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Mar 19, 2016
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Does anyone have a recommendation for a silent chassis with space for minimum 10 drives, but preferably 15+. (3.5 inch)
m-atx would be perfect.

-j
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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Does anyone have a recommendation for a silent chassis with space for minimum 10 drives, but preferably 15+. (3.5 inch)
m-atx would be perfect.

-j
Are you looking for a fully pre-built NAS with OS software included or just a chassis that you can build/install your own OS in?
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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Are you looking for a fully pre-built NAS with OS software included or just a chassis that you can build/install your own OS in?
@IamSpartacus
just the chassis, preferably.
I have a fractal design node 804, with motherboard, hba and network adapter running freenas, but I dont like the case much, plus I’d like space for more drives.

-j
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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@IamSpartacus desktop/tower would be best, but rackmount works, as long as it’s silent.
got a 45bay supermicro jbod I cannot use, due to the insane noise levels.. :)

-j
Silence is going to depend mainly on the workload of the server and thus what CPU/Motherboard you're using. Almost no chassis you can buy will be silent. Your best best will be to install your own aftermarket low speed fans if they will adequately cool your CPU/motherboard.
 

BLinux

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Jul 7, 2016
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@IamSpartacus desktop/tower would be best, but rackmount works, as long as it’s silent.
got a 45bay supermicro jbod I cannot use, due to the insane noise levels.. :)

-j
if you don't plan to use components that generate a lot of heat, or conversely choose to use components that don't generate a lot of heat, you can quiet down that Supermicro chassis by changing or removing fans, and managing the fan speed control better for near silent operation.
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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if you don't plan to use components that generate a lot of heat, or conversely choose to use components that don't generate a lot of heat, you can quiet down that Supermicro chassis by changing or removing fans, and managing the fan speed control better for near silent operation.
I started looking into that, but the cost of new fans, 2 new psus ++ made it a bit too expensive

-j
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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Well, I had a bit of luck :)
Remembered I had an older full tower case with 3x 4in3 chieftec hotswap cages, so room for 12 hotswap drives.
They just support Sata.II so 3Gbps pr.drive, but for 7200rpm sata drives, I'm pretty sure I wont see above 100MB/s anyway.
(Oh, and the 1TB ultrastar drives I have turned out to be SATA-II drives from 2007/2008, so no loss there either).

Turns out the case supports mATX boards.
Now I just need to buy 40 or so hdd screws.. :)

Will be interesting to see how this performs for freenas iscsi use for vmware.
I got Vmug EVALAdvantage, so I should be able to make use of VAAI support etc

-j
 

Ixian

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Oct 26, 2018
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I don't know that is going to meet the "quiet" requirement you have, or at least it won't be any quieter than the Node 804. The fans on the Chieftec cages - 3 of them - aren't exactly going to be unnoticeable, not if you want to keep your drives at a reasonable temperature.

I personally believe hot-swap is a waste for most home servers. Not to say it isn't useful but what most home NAS builders really need is a well-planned setup that can handle more than one simultaneous drive failure and a case that is easy to swap drives in and out of. Unless you absolutely cannot schedule 15 minutes of downtime to replace a failed drive - in which case I hope you are also addressing redundancy for components besides the drives - hot swap doesn't buy you anything.

I bring this up only because it's easy to get tunnel vision and focus on a hot-swap solution which can really narrow your choices. For example a decent tower case like the Fractal Define R5 - I have one - can fit a lot of drives, does a good job cooling them, and is relatively quiet. But it only has room for one 3x4/3x5 hot swap cage, the others are internal.

Ironically I think the Node 804 you have now is pretty decent, other than the drive limit (10 3.5 and 2 2.5)...which is still pretty decent for a case its size. It also has a lot of flexibility for cooling and the 8 drive cages are really easy to work with. It can get a little noisy without good fan control is all. The Define series are quieter. I have 2 FreeNAS systems, one in the R5 and one in the 804. 10 drives each.

You might also consider upping your drive density. Fewer larger drives will widen your case choices and also be easier to cool/keep quiet.
 

kapone

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May 23, 2015
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A Supermicro 846 chassis with a bit of surgery..i.e. Norco 120mm fan wall, and PSU swap to an ATX style PSU makes it damn near silent. It's not silent if it's 1ft from you or "living room" silent, but it's silent enough that if you tuck it ina closet/garage/basement etc, you won't hear it.
 
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Ixian

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A Supermicro 846 chassis with a bit of surgery..i.e. Norco 120mm fan wall, and PSU swap to an ATX style PSU makes it damn near silent. It's not silent if it's 1ft from you or "living room" silent, but it's silent enough that if you tuck it ina closet/garage/basement etc, you won't hear it.
He indicated he doesn't have nearly the budget for that, though I agree for others looking to solve a similar problem it's not a bad solution, assuming you have the room for a rack mount enclosure like that, of course. The depth of those things is what throws most home users off.

I've also run in to many a home user who ended up with heat problems after sticking them in a closet because people forget that you need some ventilation in there and a lot of closets, with the doors closed, are not well ventilated at all :)
 

i386

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Mar 18, 2016
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Remembered I had an older full tower case with 3x 4in3 chieftec hotswap cages, so room for 12 hotswap drives.
They just support Sata.II so 3Gbps pr.drive, but for 7200rpm sata drives, I'm pretty sure I wont see above 100MB/s anyway.
I had different chieftec howswap cages, and two of them died in similar ways. Small burning marks on the backplane:


I personally would not use or even recommend them anymore.

About the backplane: these are passive backplanes, you can use 6gbit/s sata or 12gbit/s sas devices.
 

RageBone

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Jul 11, 2017
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@i386 holy moly.
You could theoretically, easily, replace those burned caps. Could!

I really like the fractal define r 4,5,6es but those seem to have to few drive slots.
I could swear those had 10 but i can only count about 8 on each.
fffffffff***
 

Ixian

Member
Oct 26, 2018
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@i386 holy moly.
You could theoretically, easily, replace those burned caps. Could!

I really like the fractal define r 4,5,6es but those seem to have to few drive slots.
I could swear those had 10 but i can only count about 8 on each.
fffffffff***
Don't forget the 2 (or 3 or 4, depending on model) 5.25 bays which can easily be converted to hold 3 or more additional drives.

The R2 has 8 internal bays and 4 external slots for example. Overall the Define series is pretty easy to stuff full of drives while remaining cool and quiet.
 
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T_Minus

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Feb 15, 2015
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Seems like the simple solution is to sell the 10x 1TB drives and buy 1 single drive, and get by with a 4 or 6 bay NAS :D
 

EffrafaxOfWug

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Feb 12, 2015
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Following on from my purchase of the rather lovely MS08 (8 hot-swap bays, mATX) I noticed that InWin had expanded their tower chassis lineup with some bigger and beefier models supporting up to 12x3.5" HDDs (plus room for 2.5" SSDs)

InWin IW-PLV Tower

If it's anything like the MS08 I'm using, the stock fans aren't the quietest but can be easily replaced with better ones; it won't ever be "silent" but should be very quiet. It's available for about £330 ex-VAT here in rightpondia so probably around the same amount in USD, just a question of whether or not it's too big or too expensive for you. If you're after more than 12 bays I'd start looking at a cheap 3U/4U rackmount with 12/16 hot-swap trays and finding ways to silence it (I use a cheap rebadged Norco with replacement Noctua fans).

Personally I'd never go back to a non-hot-swap chassis ever again, mostly due to Fun had with identifying and/or replacing hard drives. Managed to trash a RAID5 array aeons ago by pulling the wrong drive since the only way to identify it was to power down the server, remove all the drives and compare all the serial numbers so I could remove the one that I wasn't able to access (I thought I knew which was the failed drive so I didn't bother to do this and paid the price with the WAF); on a hot-swap chassis you either have SGPIO or you can do a poor-man's SGPIO by lighting up the activity lights. It's a feature well worth saving up the money for IMHO.

But I'd echo T_Minus' comments that if you're still using 1TB drives you're better off consolidating your spindles into fewer drives in a smaller chassis. That also has the bonus of using less power, less heat output and thus less noise and power needed to cool it, making any chassis you decide on easier to keep quiet.
 
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