Server Component Config Questions (Supermicro)

Discussion in 'DIY Server and Workstation Builds' started by toniok, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. toniok

    toniok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi all. I’m yet another old IT guy building his first server. I’m planning on running Proxmox with the following VMs:

    1) Mint, SnapRAID, Plex Media Server and the usual add-ons, to transcode video (from BD rips to youtube) to 5 devices simultaneously, plus act as a Samba share for 5 Windows machines

    2) Ubuntu, a Video Management Server (VMS), which will be managing 16-20 2MP (1080p) security camera video streams and requires something like Atom-i3+ 4GB RAM by itself

    3) Windows, with a couple light applications (PlayOn, PlayLater) and hopefully nothing more

    4) A UTM, probably Sophos

    5) Maybe OSSIM, just for good measures

    I’m going with a 3U chassis, most likely a Supermicro 836B, as I like the 16+2 drive capacity. I think the X10SRH-CLN4F motherboard is a perfect match, and I’m leaning toward using a E5-2630L v3 with it, possibly with 32GB of RAM, at least to start.

    I’ll be using the new HGST 6TB drives (got a deal I couldn’t pass up), and though they are probably unnecessarily fast (7200rpm) with SnapRAID they will mostly be offline so I’m hoping I won’t spin the electric meter similarly.

    My goal is to have a system that I won’t have to significantly modify for at least 5 years, so I want to go with capable core components now, but I also want to keep power use down as much as reasonable.

    So, Q1: Do my selections look about right for what I’m trying to do? Feel free to suggest changes if needed.

    If so, Q2: How do I get the right chassis and backplane? As many hours as I’ve spent on SM’s site, their methodology remains Greek to me. Not that I want to order a new chassis directly from them, I’d much rather grab something off eBay given how much I already have to spend. But I still haven’t found a magic decoder ring that tells me what a T, E, Q or whatever variant is, nor what the numeric portion of the chassis model denotes, and without that I’m not sure what to shop for on eBay.

    Then there’s the cryptic note on the MB page that says “To support the new generation Intel® Xeon® processor-based motherboards, Revision K chassis is recommended.” I couldn’t find anything that explains that either.

    Q3: As far as heat sinks go, would I be better off with an active one (SNK-P0048AP4), or should I stick with a passive one (SNK-P0048PS)? The MB has 6 fan connectors so it’s easy to go active but it’s 20mm shorter than the passive one and means one more power eater. I also can’t tell definitively if either or both will fit inside the air shroud, guessing the answer is a ‘yes’.

    Q4: Ok this is probably a dumb question, but are all SM power supplies interchangeable? I have my eyes on the 740W 80 Plus Platinum 1U (PWS-741P-1R) as appropriate for this build, but again I couldn’t find anything to confirm it would work.

    Thanks in advance for your input!

    Tony
     
    #1
  2. MikeC

    MikeC Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    11
    SC836TQ chassis have individual SATA connectors for each drive (Direct attached Backplane)

    SC836XXX-YYYY where XXX indicates the type of backplane used SAS1, SAS2 or SAS3. SAS1 will only go up to 3GB on SATA drives, SAS2 will go to 6GB and SAS3 to 12GB. SAS1 will be a limitation with your Hitachi 6GB drives, SAS2 will be OK while 12GB backplanes are expensive and hard to find on eBay. Also the XXX chassis have LSI expander chips on the backplane which means that the connection to them is by one or more SFF8087 connectors rather than individual SATA cables.

    If you look at the parts list for a particular chassis, it lists the backplane used, SAS1, SAS2 or SAS3.

    The YYYY part of the number indicates the PSU rating. Be aware the higher rated PSUs use a larger connector that the lower rated ones and they are not interchangeable. I think the split is about the 14kw. See my post in this thread https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/supermicro-sc-846e1-build-log.4074/#post-34769

    However, Supermicro cases come complete with PSUs so compatibility shouldn’t be an issue if you pick the right one.

    Most chassis I have found are Revision K compatible. Supermicro defines it like this

    Diverse Mounting Hole Options

    Revision K version chassis have additional mounting holes to flexibly accommodate all generations of motherboards.



    Power Distribution Expandability

    Revision K version chassis are designed with two 8-pin power connectors to accommodate all motherboard generations and allow for future expansion.



    Air Shroud Flexibility

    The Revision K version chassis air shrouds are designed to accommodate any generation of Intel or AMD motherboard to match your customer's requirements.


    As regards heatsinks, you should be good to go with passive ones as that is what all 3u chassis are designed to work with as far as I’m aware.
     
    #2
    toniok likes this.
  3. toniok

    toniok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    "SC836XXX-YYYY where XXX indicates the type of backplane used" - Which XXX corresponds to SAS2?

    Given the X10SRH-CLN4F motherboard has 10x SATA3 ports and 2x SFF-8643 connectors, and I'm going to use all 18 possible drives, does it then make sense to go with the SC836TQ chassis and use SFF-8643 to 4x SATA cables instead of the SC836XXX-YYYY chassis?

    However, I definitely want the 836B variant with the two extra rear drive slots, and that doesn't seem to be an option with the SC836TQ chassis. Is adding the two rear drives possible in the TQ chassis?

    Alternatively, if I go with the SC836BXXX-YYYY chassis (as SAS2) then would I cable two SFF8087 backplane connectors to the two SFF-8643 MB connectors, and the remaining SFF8087 backplane connectors to the 10x SATA MB connectors?

    This may be two ways to do the same thing, and given the mix of SAS and SATA on the board is there any preference to either approach, keeping in mind I want the two extra rear drives on the chassis?
     
    #3
  4. MikeC

    MikeC Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    11
    I can’t find any TQ series chassis that have the two rear drives. I think that you will have to sort through the option part lists at the bottom of each case listing to find ones that can take the rear drives. Here’s a list of what I could find with regards to types of backplane used in each case where SC836AAA-R920B. The AAA relates to BE1C, BE2C etc. below.





    BE1C

    BPN-SAS3-836EL1 (SAS3 12Gb/s Single Expander backplane with 16 SAS3 3.5" drive slots connected through 4 mini-SAS3 HD cable connectors)



    BE2C

    BPN-SAS3-836EL2 (SAS3 12Gb/s dual Expander backplane with 16 SAS3 3.5" drive slots connected through 8 mini-SAS3 HD cable connectors)



    BHA

    3U Direct Attached Backplane, features:
    • 3Gb/6Gb support
    • SES-2 Enclosure Management Support
    • SAS/SATA support
    • Four SFF 8087 connectors



    BHE16

    SAS2 Expander Backplane, features:
    • Scalability through cascading
    • 6Gb SAS2/SATA3 HDD support
    • Inband SES-2 Enclosure Management
    • Single input/output SFF 8087 connectors



    BHE26

    SAS2 dual Expander Backplane, features:
    • Scalability through cascading
    • 6Gb SAS2/SATA3 HDD support
    • Inband SES-2 Enclosure Management
    • Redundancy support through SAS drive only
    • Single input/output SFF 8087 connectors



    BE16

    SAS2 Expander Backplane, features:
    • Scalability through cascading
    • 6Gb SAS2/SATA3 HDD support
    • Inband SES-2 Enclosure Management
    • Single input/output SFF 8087 connectors



    BE26

    SAS2 dual Expander Backplane, features:
    • Scalability through cascading
    • 6Gb SAS2/SATA3 HDD support
    • Inband SES-2 Enclosure Management
    • Redundancy support through SAS drive only
    • Single input/output SFF 8087 connectors





    BA

    3U Direct Attached Backplane, features:
    • 3Gb/6Gb support
    • SES-2 Enclosure Management Support
    • SAS/SATA support
    • Four SFF 8087 connectors







    BE16

    SAS2 Expander Backplane, features:
    • Scalability through cascading
    • 6Gb SAS2/SATA3 HDD support
    • Inband SES-2 Enclosure Management
    • Single input/output SFF 8087 connectors



    BE26

    SAS2 dual Expander Backplane, features:
    • Scalability through cascading
    • 6Gb SAS2/SATA3 HDD support
    • Inband SES-2 Enclosure Management
    • Redundancy support through SAS drive only
    • Single input/output SFF 8087 connectors







    Direct attached means that each drive connects to one lane of a SFF8087 cable. Expander Backplane means that all drives connect through one SFF8087 cable and dual Expander Backplane means that there are two expander chips and sets of SFF8087 for redundancy (redundancy not required if using SATA drives as they can’t use the redundancy)



    I think that you would be able to use one of your SFF-8643 ports to connect to an expander backplane and two of your SATA ports for the rear drives.
     
    #4
    toniok likes this.
  5. toniok

    toniok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Your input has been hugely helpful, thank you.

    "I think that you would be able to use one of your SFF-8643 ports to connect to an expander backplane and two of your SATA ports for the rear drives."

    And this one sentence, if I understand it correctly, makes me realize I've been misinterpreting what SFF-8087 brings to the table. I thought one 8087 (or 8643) effectively combined four (and only four) SATA. If one SFF-8643 can feed an expander backplane with 16 drives then these connectors function a lot differently than I was thinking.

    Even the STH review of the X10SRH-CLN4F motherboard said "one can use up to 18x drives with the ports provided directly on the motherboard." I now see that this meant in a direct attached mode, with the standard four port splitter cable. So if I can feed one 8087 port on an expander backplane with 16 drives attached from a single 8643 port, I am truly golden and this all got a whole lot simpler.

    Since I haven't received any feedback suggesting my CPU, RAM, or VM choices were off, I'll assume I got those reasonably correct on the first pass.

    Again, many thanks for education!
     
    #5
  6. MikeC

    MikeC Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    11
    You're welcome! I'm running a couple of my boxes that have expander backplanes with LSI 9240-8i expander cards which are basically the discrete versions of what you have on your motherboard (albeit SAS2 not SAS3) and I've got a single SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cable from one port to the expander backplane and I can see all 16 drives. It might be worth reaching out to @Patrick to see if he can confirm our thoughts with regards to the SFF-8643 connector as he has done the review although I can't see that it wouldn't work. If you want any further info, it might be quicker to talk rather than use the forum If so, I'm on Skype, so feel free to PM me with your Skype address and I'll contact you.

    I've found this on the Supermicro site Supermicro | Products | SuperServers | 2U | 5028R-E1CR12L with Part List Have a look at the parts list which says
    "Backplane BPN-SAS3-826EL1 1 SAS 12G single expander backplane, with LSISAS3x28 expander, support 12x 3.5" Seems to answer the question!
    and pictures which show the SAS connections
    SUPERMICRO SSG-5028R-E1CR12L 2U Rackmount Server Barebone LGA 2011 Intel C612 DDR4 2133/1866/1600/1333 - Newegg.com
     
    #6
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  7. toniok

    toniok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    I see in the picture (and page) what you're talking about. And, after I had a chance to think about it, your conclusion makes sense to me. In fact I can't imagine it working any other way. So I thought I'd be smart and have SM confirm it...

    Q: "I would like to confirm the way your motherboard X10SRH-CLN4F would work with chassis CSE-836BE16-R920B, specifically with backplane BPN-SAS2-836EL1.

    In particular, if one cable is run between one SFF-8643 on the above motherboard to the SFF-8087 on above backplane, will that one connection enable all 16 of the hard drives on the chassis without further cabling?"

    A: "For onboard, SW RAID which just supports up to 8 x HDD."

    Umm, that's not what I wanted to hear. Of course he specified 'SW RAID', but still that just didn't help me. I've followed up with a clarification question, but I think you had the better idea when you suggested reaching out to @Patrick, so that's what I'm going to do.

    Dang, and I was just about to pull my itchy cc out and scratch it...
     
    #7
  8. MikeC

    MikeC Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    11
    Hm, I suspect a SM tech who hasn't got a complete idea of what you mean. The picture definately shows a pair of cables going from the motherboard to the backplane and then another pair from the backplane to the rear expansion slot - i.e two cables for redundancy motherboard to backplane and two more for redundancy to an external drive bay. I still think my idea is the correct one! Let's see what Patrick thinks.
     
    #8
  9. toniok

    toniok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Patrick's response: "I have never tried this, but the E16 in the chassis usually means it is an expander chassis. So one cable should do the trick."

    Well, I'd bet on you both being right. But I'll try to call them directly tomorrow to confirm. I much prefer written responses to questions, but I'll give it a go and see what happens.
     
    #9
  10. MikeC

    MikeC Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    11
    Lets hope that Patrick gets confirmation, then!
     
    #10
  11. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,524
    Likes Received:
    4,450
    The one part of this which makes me slightly nervous is that there have been restrictions before on the number of drives that one can connect to onboard RAID controllers. E.g. the LSI chips can normal handle 256+ drives but are limited to lower numbers (say 64) if they are onboard.

    Personally, what I would do is get a non-expander backplane. Use the Intel onboard SATA ports (10) + the LSI ports (8). That would give you the 18 drives you need, have lower power consumption (no powered expander chip), and higher performance than using the expander backplane.

    Several years ago I used many expanders. Now I make it a goal to use as few as possible.
     
    #11
    pgh5278 and PigLover like this.
  12. MikeC

    MikeC Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    11
    #12
  13. toniok

    toniok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well, far be it from me to reach any solid conclusion given the points raised above (though I will have to make a purchase decision in the near future), however I received another reply from SM tech staff (a different person this time) who stated:

    "We are recommend customer using SC836BE1C-R1K03B chassis which using BPN-SAS3-836EL1 backplane. Our LAB did not run all fully test on SAS3 raid controller with SAS2 backplane with SAS2 expander chip.

    However, with single connection cable from onboard LSI 3008 raid controller to BPN-SAS2-836EL1, all 16 hard drives will be detected."

    So now I have to decide whether to take the more 'elegant' (less cables) approach of an SC836BE1C, or the more 'conservative' approach of an SC836BA.

    Given the above, Patrick, if you have the time I'd like to hear whether you'd still go non-expander, and why. I will never need 256 much less 64 of the 6TB drives (well not in any foreseeable future); if SM will commit to all 16 drives been recognized would you still avoid the expander? I do see the power difference (though I'm not sure if it's significant), but I'm not sure why direct connect would be 'higher performance', I'm not going to get more than 6Gb/s either way am I?

    Thanks all for the input.
     
    #13
  14. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,524
    Likes Received:
    4,450
    If it did recognize 16 then that is easy to use the expander chassis and be done.

    On the performance side:
    A single port expander has 4 lanes as backhaul so 4x6gbps = 24gbps / 16 drives.
    Direct connect is 16x6gbps = 96gbps / 16 drives

    So you have more potential bandwidth with the direct connect path. May not matter.
     
    #14
    toniok likes this.
  15. toniok

    toniok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ok, I'm laughing now because it finally all makes sense. I had assumed the limitation was 4 drives, but then learned that wasn't the case. The limitation being 4 lanes ties it up, that was the other part I was missing.

    So lower power and greater bandwidth at the expense of 15 more cables. I'm going to guess an expander backplane is more expensive than direct attached too. I'm going to look further into this, but a little more cable management seems like a minor tradeoff for the advantages.

    Thanks all for the education!
     
    #15
    MiniKnight likes this.
  16. toniok

    toniok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    So the decision was effectively made for me. The 836BA-R920B direct connect backplane chassis was listed on Newegg for $200 less than the best price I could find for an 836BE16-R920B single expander chassis. So less expensive, higher (potential) throughput, and lower power consumption. Card charged, parts enroute; just a little excited!
     
    #16
  17. blue

    blue New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    the chassis you selected is good but why do you go for atom i3 processor while you have advanced versions try building with 16 gb ram ,500 gb sata / sas with network controller cards
     
    #17
  18. MikeC

    MikeC Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    11
    I haven't seen atom i3 mentioned in this thread, the motherboard Toniok specified is an X10SRH-CLN4F which supports E5 processors!
     
    #18
    MiniKnight likes this.
  19. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2015
    Messages:
    6,770
    Likes Received:
    1,454
    Thought I'd check in here and see how things were going with your build, and how you ended up?
     
    #19
Similar Threads: Server Component
Forum Title Date
DIY Server and Workstation Builds ZFS server - hard/software components Dec 25, 2017
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Help choosing components for 2U Xeon-D-1540 Linux server Jul 20, 2015
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Want to render video on my server Oct 15, 2019
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Cache plans for ZFS server Sep 30, 2019
DIY Server and Workstation Builds Convert dell r415 server very noisy into a silent workstation Sep 20, 2019

Share This Page