Zeus V2 : U-NAS NSC-810A | X10SL7-F | E3-1265 V3

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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@EluRex @K D Hey guys. Coming to this thread after a while, what booting solution did you put into your UNAS 810A boxes? My board is the Supermicro X11SSH-LNF4-O, just as @EluRex, and I'd been using a thumb drive connected to the onboard USB 10 port for awhile, but it recently died so I'm looking for something a little more robust.

Compatible options from people with other boards, but that still fit into this box, are more than welcome too.

Thanks!
X11SSH-TF in my UNAS 810A. I boot from NVMe (on a 1U carrier plugged into one of the PCIe slots because finding a decent NVMe drive in 2260 is darn near impossible - or at least it was earlier this year).

Keep the MB, its perfect for this chassis. Get a small NVMe drive to replace the slow/unreliable thumb drive.
 
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Mine is currently running FreeNAS, booting off mirrored Samsung FIT drives,
Thanks for the quick reply! I'm also running FreeNAS on a Samsung FIT thumb drive, but the first one died on me a couple of nights ago, and now I'm running on a replacement one that I want to leave behind for good for something a little more robust.

X11SSH-TF in my UNAS 810A. I boot from NVMe (on a 1U carrier plugged into one of the PCIe slots because finding a decent NVMe drive in 2260 is darn near impossible - or at least it was earlier this year).

Keep the MB, its perfect for this chassis. Get a small NVMe drive to replace the slow/unreliable thumb drive.
I'm not the most experienced out there on hardware assembly, to say the least, so please excuse the dumb questions. I'm definitely interested in an M.2 (2280) solution, something like the Samsung 970 EVO NVMe, but I just don't see how I would connect a card like that in the constrained space of the U-NAS 810A. Does it need something else that I'm missing, e.g. a tray of some sort, to hold it parallel to the motherboard after attaching it to the X11SSH-LN4F's J23 connector? And if so, would such an assembly obstruct other expansion options like the PCI slots? (in the future I might want to add an SLOG device)

On the other hand, I see options like the Crucial MX300 are also popular (@K D shows it in his initial post), but, if I'm not mistaken, that seems to be plugged into a regular SATA connector, and I've already reserved those for my data drives. Am I mistaken about this alternative?

Thanks for the help!
 

EffrafaxOfWug

Radioactive Member
Feb 12, 2015
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I just don't see how I would connect a card like that in the constrained space of the U-NAS 810A. Does it need something else that I'm missing, e.g. a tray of some sort, to hold it parallel to the motherboard after attaching it to the X11SSH-LN4F's J23 connector? And if so, would such an assembly obstruct other expansion options like the PCI slots? (in the future I might want to add an SLOG device)

On the other hand, I see options like the Crucial MX300 are also popular (@K D shows it in his initial post), but, if I'm not mistaken, that seems to be plugged into a regular SATA connector, and I've already reserved those for my data drives. Am I mistaken about this alternative?
Not sure what you mean by a J23 connector; the M2 slot on the X11SSH-LN4F lies flat between the CPU and the first PCIe slot so it won't take up any additional space. It "only" supports PCIe 3.0 x2 so you won't be able to saturate the SSD but in the real world this won't matter.

Be warned that it's a PCIe M2 connector only and doesn't support SATA M2 drives like the Crucial MX300/500s.
 
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Not sure what you mean by a J23 connector; the M2 slot on the X11SSH-LN4F lies flat between the CPU and the first PCIe slot so it won't take up any additional space. It "only" supports PCIe 3.0 x2 so you won't be able to saturate the SSD but in the real world this won't matter.

Be warned that it's a PCIe M2 connector only and doesn't support SATA M2 drives like the Crucial MX300/500s.
J23 is the M.2 connector in the Supermicro X11SSH-LN4F board, so I'm wondering if any M.2 2280 card, like the Samsung EVO 970, can just attach there as provided, or if it needs some extra assembly and/or components to hold it in place (and if that then would obstruct something else in the already limited space).

With respect to it only being a PCI X2 slot, that's alright, because I'm only going to use it for FreeNAS' boot drive, so speed is not a prime factor. It would be a prime factor for a potential SLOG device that I might want to add in the future, but then I'm not sure what my options would be if I've already consumed all the SATA ports on the board and the M.2 slot.

Thanks,
 

EffrafaxOfWug

Radioactive Member
Feb 12, 2015
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I'm wondering if any M.2 2280 card, like the Samsung EVO 970, can just attach there as provided, or if it needs some extra assembly and/or components to hold it in place
Nope, the M2 card slots into the connector near the chipset heatsink and is held down by the screw towards the back of the motherboard. It shouldn't interfere with anything else on the board (although it's possible you may have to remove PCI cards or the CPU HSF to fit it depending on your components).

If you're already out of any spare SATA ports then either putting in a SLOG might be tricky. You could think about buying an enterprise M2 (SLOG pretty much requires enterprise-grade SSDs to perform properly, with optane's being the best although they're expensive and limited in capacity) and splitting that into a freenas partition and a SLOG partition but I don't know if freenas supports this. Otherwise you'd need to go down the PCIe card route.
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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On the board I have (X11SSH-CF) the M.w connector is only 60mm long (2260) instead of the standard 80mm (2280). So I use an adapter like this one, which fits quite comfortably in the 810A chassis: M.2 NGFF NVMe SSD TO PCIE X16/X8/X4 adapter for 1U/2U server and low profile PC | eBay. See thread here for a longer discussion of them: https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/cheap-1u-pcie-m-2-riser-why-dont-they-exist.14634/

In your MB (X11SSH-LN4F) the on-board M.2 slot is standard length (2280) so you should be able to use something like the Samsung 970 m.2 EVO NVMe with no problem.
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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One thing to consider is getting a heatsink for any m.2 SSD you plan on using. I have two in my 810a and they got very hot when I first put them in. I use these on all my m.2 SSDs that don't have direct airflow now. They work very well.
 
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@EffrafaxOfWug @PigLover Thanks for your replies, most appreciated! A 2280 M.2 card is definitely looking like a suitable option for me.

But back to my possible future plan for a SLOG device: not having any more SATA ports available, that necessarily means I have to go with a PCI-based solution if I want to provide non-USB storage for a boot drive and a SLOG? (other than the option of manually partitioning a single device to split its duties, which I can probably coerce FreeNAS into accepting should I decide to go that route). I've heard of people doing SLOG, L2ARC, and non-USB boot devices (sometimes even mirrored!) inside the U-NAS 810A, e.g. starting by zip-tying two SSDs by the side of the chassis above the PSU, but I wonder how they do that without consuming SATA ports for their data drives.

There are some nice mSATA options out there (which I'd be more than happy to use for booting, leaving the faster M.2 port for SLOG), but it doesn't seem like the X11SSH-LN4F board has that port.
 
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One thing to consider is getting a heatsink for any m.2 SSD you plan on using. I have two in my 810a and they got very hot when I first put them in. I use these on all my m.2 SSDs that don't have direct airflow now. They work very well.
Thanks for that tip! But, of course, a question (other than how I'd attach that heatsink, on which I'll do my homework to find out myself): how do you connect two M.2 SSDs inside your U-NAS 810A? What motherboard are you using?
 
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An answer to my own question about extra I/O ports, other than the "regular" SATA ports for my data drives, it seems like the Supermicro X11SSH-LN4F supports two SATA DOM ports at connectors JSD 1 & 2. And if I get the Supermicro SuperDOM devices, I wouldn't even have to feed them with external power. That seems like a pretty cool option to have mirrored boot devices and leave the faster M.2 port for a possible future SLOG device.

Anyone see any pitfalls with that that I might be missing? Or have a better option in mind?

Thanks!
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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The jsd1 and jsd2 connectors on that board are just for SATA DOM Power (for SATA DOMs that cannot take power from the Orange colored SATA connectors). They are not additional SATA ports for a DOM.

I’d suggest getting two M.2 NVMe SSDs. One to boot (plug it in to the on-MB M.2 slot since it only provides PCIe x2) and one on a 1U PCIe carrier for the SLOG (you’ll get PCIe x4 for that one, a bit better performance for the SLOG). Or if you want to you could get one M.2 SSD and partition it, leaving one partition for the SLOG. In that case I’d still get the 1U PCIe carrier for it rather than using the MB slot so that you get PCIe x4 connectivity.
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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Thanks for that tip! But, of course, a question (other than how I'd attach that heatsink, on which I'll do my homework to find out myself): how do you connect two M.2 SSDs inside your U-NAS 810A? What motherboard are you using?
The MicroATX board I'm using has two onboard m.2 slots but they are only SATA3 not NVMe. It's just a media server so I have no need for NVMe in it.
 
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The jsd1 and jsd2 connectors on that board are just for SATA DOM Power (for SATA DOMs that cannot take power from the Orange colored SATA connectors). They are not additional SATA ports for a DOM.
Oh, I see, the real DOM ports are I-SATA0 & I-SATA1, which provide data and power, but are also part of the "regular" set of 8 SATA ports that the board provides, and that I've already consumed with my data drives.

The JSD1 & JSD2 ports are only there to power non-Supermicro DOM devices that cannot take power from those I-SATA0 & I-SATA1 ports. Thanks for that clarification, I was almost embarking on a non-functional solution!

I’d suggest getting two M.2 NVMe SSDs. One to boot (plug it in to the on-MB M.2 slot since it only provides PCIe x2) and one on a 1U PCIe carrier for the SLOG (you’ll get PCIe x4 for that one, a bit better performance for the SLOG). Or if you want to you could get one M.2 SSD and partition it, leaving one partition for the SLOG. In that case I’d still get the 1U PCIe carrier for it rather than using the MB slot so that you get PCIe x4 connectivity.
That's an awesome suggestion, and pretty much what I was looking for after realizing I was out of SATA & M.2 options, i.e. what PCI-based solution I could use for storage, thanks!

But, if I may, what device would you recommend? I've found some (e.g. 1U PCI Express Gen 3 Carrier Board for M.2 SSD module - Amfeltec), but I'm not entirely sure which which would be best for speed (4inch x8 Vs. 8inch x16) and which would fit in the constrained space. As for the latter, I guess those that aren't for 1U mounting are a non-starter for the U-NAS 810A case.

Thanks!
 
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@PigLover Looking a little harder, is something like this maybe what you're referring to? https://www.amazon.com/RIITOP-PCIe-...44415001&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=pcie+ssd&psc=1 I.e. a PCIe card (small enough for 1U servers) onto which I'd then attach an M.2 card (matching M.2 key and size, of course) that I'd most probably have to purchase separately?

If so, then I guess it's my choice whether I use the 8inch 16X PCIe slot or any of the two 4inch 8X slots, right? Or am I constrained in any way in that choice, as well?

Thanks!
 

EluRex

Active Member
Apr 28, 2015
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@EluRex @K D Hey guys. Coming to this thread after a while, what booting solution did you put into your UNAS 810A boxes? My board is the Supermicro X11SSH-LNF4-O, just as @EluRex, and I'd been using a thumb drive connected to the onboard USB 10 port for awhile, but it recently died so I'm looking for something a little more robust.

Compatible options from people with other boards, but that still fit into this box, are more than welcome too.

Thanks!

I am using usb disk on USB 2.0 ports....alot of times usb disk die not because the write wear but its USB host voltage over usb disk limit
 

PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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It’s a really simple board. Pretty much just wire traces to extend the PCIe slot to the M.2 socket on the board, plus some caps to smooth the power. Nothing at all active on it. So I’m not picky about who makes it. The ones I use are whatever is cheapest that I can find on eBay (usually from China). Getting these from a front-line manufacturer like Amflec would be a real waste of cash.

Most of them are designed with X16 physical on the board, but they are made so that the “extra” part can be snapped off if plugging into an X8 or X4 slot. They just leave the extra board space for physical stability if you want it.
 
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It’s a really simple board. Pretty much just wire traces to extend the PCIe slot to the M.2 socket on the board, plus some caps to smooth the power. Nothing at all active on it. So I’m not picky about who makes it. The ones I use are whatever is cheapest that I can find on eBay (usually from China). Getting these from a front-line manufacturer like Amflec would be a real waste of cash.

Most of them are designed with X16 physical on the board, but they are made so that the “extra” part can be snapped off if plugging into an X8 or X4 slot. They just leave the extra board space for physical stability if you want it.
Understood. And thanks for the extra details, which I take it to confirm what I think I found after some Googling, i.e.: the PCIe carrier card you're referring to is basically just an adapter for an extra M.2 card, and whether it connects to the 8X or 16X slot is irrelevant to the adapter role it's fulfilling.
 

Croontje

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Dec 24, 2019
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I bought the same Mobo and case. I noticed there is one motherboard standoff that has no corresponding hole.
Second row there are 4, and the second one from the right has no hole ...
Did you remove it? Or insulate it? Or just left it as is?
 

Churchill

Admiral
Jan 6, 2016
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Left it as is, you don't need to have all the standoffs in place, as long as you have 5 (one in each corner one in the middle) you will be fine. That motherboard isn't going anywhere