WHS, Low power AM1 build.

HellDiverUK

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Jul 16, 2014
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Build’s Name: WHS
Operating System/ Storage Platform: Synology DSM5 booting via Nanoboot
CPU: Semptron 3850 AM1 (Quad core 1.3GHz)
Motherboard: Asus AM1I-A
Chassis: Fractal Design Node 304 Norco ITX-S4
Drives: Dell/Micron C400 256GB SSD (/volume1), 2xHGST Deskstar NAS 4TB (/volume2)
RAM: NoName 4GB DDR3-1333
Add-in Cards: LSI 9240-8i (a real LSI card, not a reflash)
Power Supply: Silverstone 300W SFX 80Plus Norco OE 250W 80Plus Bronze 1U PSU, may replace with FSP 80Plus Gold if I can source
Other Bits: Noctua 140mm PWM fan Scythe Kamaflow 80mm fan


Usage Profile: Storage server, mostly movies and TV shows for consumption via XBMC. Also hosts MySQL for XBMC library sync, thumbnail syncs, and of course it spends it's time doing downloads via NZBDrone, SABnzbd+, Transmission. It also runs Synology's Media Server for streaming MP3 files and internet radio stations to the mobile devices in the house.

Other information: I was until recently running a Synology DS213j which was a pretty good little machine, originally running a pair of 3TB WD Reds. The 213j was fine, but a little under-powered. Then I heard about Nanoboot which when run off a USB stick will allow DSM to boot on normal PC hardware. I tried it on an old Asus B75 board with a Celeron G1620, and it ran fine. This machine used about 50W, which was more than double the power consumption of the 213j. The 213j replaced an old homebrew PC running WHS2011, which itself replaced a NL36 Microserver also running WHS2011.

So, having read STH's review of the AM1 boards, I splashed out £60 and got the 3850 and AM1I-A board. Added to a new case, using the most efficient PSU I had, a 300W Silverstone SFX unit. Replaced the Fractal case with a Norco ITX-S4 case which gives 4 hotswap bays in a much smaller package that fits better in the Ikea shelf unit the server is housed in. I used a SSD as the boot/working drive, as it's the one that'll be running 24/7. The two HGST Deskstar NAS drives spin down keeping power consumption low.

Performance is fine, giving a solid 95-100MB/s reading and writing across gigabit on big files. The HGST 7200rpm drives are fast. Running off the LSI 9240-8i they run very, very well.

Power consumption peaks at 41W at boot, and settles at 34W once booted and all drives spinning. It's below 30W when the HGST drives spin down.

 
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HellDiverUK

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The CPU fan is basically just idling, the machine can run OK without the CPU fan at all (about 65C CPU temp), so I have the 140mm fan hooked up to the CPU fan header, and the CPU fan is connected to the case's fan controller which I moved to the front of the case. The front 92mm fans and the CPU fan are running at 5V off that controller, just enough breeze to keep the temps on the CPU and the HDDs down in the 40C area. The big 140mm is controlled by the motherboard, but tends to run about 400rpm. When the 4TB drives are spun down the machine is basically silent.

I save 3W at the wall by running the 3 fans at 5V rather than 12V...
 

MiniKnight

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Mar 30, 2012
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So you still call this WHS running DSM :D

I'm curious about this Nanoboot thing. I've always liked the Synology interface but Going beyond 8 drives gets expensive.
 

HellDiverUK

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Yes, its still called WHS so the UNC path is the same for my XBMC library. No other reason other than legacy paths. :)

Nanoboot is simple, just download the image, use winimage to write it to a USB stick, boot off it, run the Synology Assistant on another PC, and you're basically installing DSM on a DS3612xs as far as DSM is concerned. Everything works exactly as you expect. Nanoboot just boots up a linux boot loader which then boots DSM off the drives. There's a lot of extra drivers added to nanoboot, so most HBAs and the likes work fine. It's possible to swap hardware with no issues, too. I had no problems moving my setup off a B75 chipset and the inbuilt SATA to the AM1 system running off the LSI card. Shut it down, moved the hardware, booted back up no problems.
You can even swap the HDDs between the nanoboot machine and a real Synology and everything still works after migration - I just moved my drives out of my DS213j and ran the migration, job done.
 

Patrick

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Reading this makes me want to give it a try also. Thanks for posting. That Sempron certainly has more power than the average Synology.
 

HellDiverUK

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Jul 16, 2014
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Reading this makes me want to give it a try also. Thanks for posting. That Sempron certainly has more power than the average Synology.
Yes, and if I knew of a HBA that used less power, it'd be using similar power to a 'real' Synology, too. I suspect the LSI is using as much power as the Sempron.

Also the machine doesn't seem to hibernate the drives, though I think that may be more to do with NZBDrone which seems to scan the drives far too often, so keeping them spinning. I may go back to Sickbeard which doesn't scan the drives once it's up and running.
 

rubylaser

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Jan 4, 2013
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Yes, and if I knew of a HBA that used less power, it'd be using similar power to a 'real' Synology, too. I suspect the LSI is using as much power as the Sempron.

Also the machine doesn't seem to hibernate the drives, though I think that may be more to do with NZBDrone which seems to scan the drives far too often, so keeping them spinning. I may go back to Sickbeard which doesn't scan the drives once it's up and running.
I don't see this behavior from NZBDrone in Ubuntu. Are you sure that it's not SMART hitting your disks periodically? I'm not a Synology expert by any means, but you typically need to tell SMART not to scan idle disks, or it will spin them up all the time (in Linux).

Another thing to consider; do you run Plex as well? That can cause the disks to spin up when it scans for changes.
 

HellDiverUK

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SMART is set to do a full scan once a week, nothing else as far as I can tell. I'm only running Synology's Media Server, which doesn't exhibit this issue on a 'real' Synology. I'm wondering is Synology DSM unable to hibernate the drives that are hooked up via the LSI?
 

rubylaser

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Jan 4, 2013
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SMART is set to do a full scan once a week, nothing else as far as I can tell. I'm only running Synology's Media Server, which doesn't exhibit this issue on a 'real' Synology. I'm wondering is Synology DSM unable to hibernate the drives that are hooked up via the LSI?
That could be a possibility, but I'm not sure as I've never worked on a Synology device before. Can you access hdparm and try to spin the disks down by hand?

Code:
hdparm -y /dev/sdx
 

HellDiverUK

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Just tried this: Edit: see below

WHS> mount
/dev/root on / type ext4 (defaults)
none on /dev/pts type devpts (gid=4,mode=620)
/sys on /sys type sysfs (0)
/tmp on /tmp type tmpfs (0)
/proc/bus/usb on /proc/bus/usb type usbfs (0)
/dev/vg1000/lv on /volume1 type ext4 (usrjquota=aquota.user,grpjquota=aquota.group,jqfmt=vfsv0,synoacl)
/dev/vg1001/lv on /volume2 type ext4 (usrjquota=aquota.user,grpjquota=aquota.group,jqfmt=vfsv0,synoacl)
/dev/sdu on /volumeUSB1/usbshare type vfat (utf8,umask=000,shortname=mixed,uid=1024,gid=100)
WHS> hdparm -y /dev/vg1001

/dev/vg1001:
issuing standby command
HDIO_DRIVE_CMD(standby) failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device


Edit: Derp. I should have just done /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc - they spin down OK. So there is something running in the background that's keeping the drives up. :( It's not NZBDrone, as I disabled that. Only thing i can think is Media Server. I might move the /Music share on to the SSD and see if that allows the /volume2 drives to spin down.
 
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DBayPlaya2k3

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Nov 9, 2012
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Very nice build I currently have a Synology DS1812+ and its great but I would like to move to 10GBe. I currently use mine to backup a few VM's including a large home fileserver (10TB).

After seeing your post I am interested in building a test box to see if:

1. will nanoboot work with Intel 10G Nics (I assume yes since Synology list those as supported)

2. Will nanoboot work with 10G Broadcomm nics (as these are cheap on ebay)

3. Will nanoboot work with 10G Infiniband (not sure about this one)



My question is where did you get your Nanoboot from?

I found 2 links so far:

Synology DSM 4482 (Gnoboot to NanoBoot)

XPEnology NAS • View topic - Trial of Nanoboot (4493) - 5.0.3.1


Thanks
 

HellDiverUK

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I used the mirror listed in the first post of the second thread you linked.

The guys in that thread are pretty receptive to adding drivers - DSM is Debian based, so if Debian supports a piece of hardware, then DSM should be able to.
 

Patrick

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Yes, and if I knew of a HBA that used less power, it'd be using similar power to a 'real' Synology, too. I suspect the LSI is using as much power as the Sempron.

Also the machine doesn't seem to hibernate the drives, though I think that may be more to do with NZBDrone which seems to scan the drives far too often, so keeping them spinning. I may go back to Sickbeard which doesn't scan the drives once it's up and running.
Supermicro has a Marvell SAS 2 8-port one that I wanted to try. It should be under 7w from what I can guess.
 

HellDiverUK

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Jul 16, 2014
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I have an old Highlypointless 2860SGL. I think it's a Marvell controller. Would it be worth trying that?
 

HellDiverUK

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Highpoint. The chip is a Marvell on the card, but I guess they do something that makes it require their own drivers. :rolleyes: