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 Post subject: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:51 pm 
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Well, I have started on my FL WHS system. Received the case, a used CSE-933T-760B which when it arrived was in pristine condition. It came with a bonus H8DAE Supermicro motherboard which also looks to be in great condition. The motherboard has no Sata on it, but has room for 2 AMD Opterons. It came with 2 AMD 250 single cores, but I have a pair of AMD 280 Opterons which is 4 cores at 2.4 ghz, so I will give this motherboard a shot. I have 2 MV8-SATA-AOC's which provide 16 Sata II ports and with 15 hot swap drives, I don't need any motherboard sata ports. The board also has 2 PCI-X 133's which is ideal for the MV8's. The case also has triple redundant 760 watt power supply.
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I have begun to strip the case of Fans, wires, heatsinks and all else that is detachable.
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I plan on using the Zalmac PWM coolers on the 2 CPU's, I just have to get some socket 940 retention brackets.
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The motherboard has 8 PWM fan headers, which is exactly what I need except the case wiring has 4 pin conectors(PWM) but three wires, so I need to rewire the cooling system. They are hot swap fans but not PWM, so I will change out the fans for quiet PWM ones.
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It also came with an interesting item, a cf flash card and holder attached to the ide port. Might be able to rig something up for an SSD hard drive holder.
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All in all, a very nice case for a used IT server. Now to work on getting it to run and quieting it down.
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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:49 pm 
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Sweet! Keep us updated on your progress.


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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:10 pm 
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Very cool, that looks like a lot of fun. How much storage will you now have total between the two sites? =P~

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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:06 pm 
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The NY Supermicro has potentially 20 Terabytes 8 hot swap 3.5 drives and 8 hot swap 2.5 drives. I have 10 Terabytes currently in the unit. This unit will have potentially 30 Terabytes in addition to the system drive which will be either an SSD or an IDE drive. Probably IDE to start. What excites me more is the 4 cores in each machine, with the ability to transcode on the fly, etc. Now if I can get both gigabyte nics working, although some people have tried and failed. It also is set up to run 64 bit WHS if and when it comes out. I'm trying the AMD motherboard which I hope will work, but my fallback is a dual 3.6 ghz Xeon motherboard with 10 sata ports. I hate not to use it but I think the AMD board with the 280's has more potential. The board and 280's have direct connect to each other as well as memory and dasd.

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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:14 am 
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Looks awesome erail. There is just something about building your own PC/server that can't be matched by just buying a premade solution. Unfortunately with Shawshank done I am looking for something else to build (another core i5 HTPC)!!!

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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:48 am 
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dbone1026 wrote:
Looks awesome erail. There is just something about building your own PC/server that can't be matched by just buying a premade solution. Unfortunately with Shawshank done I am looking for something else to build (another core i5 HTPC)!!!


Yes, I have too much STUFF. I guess I'll have to start selling parts on ebay, but it is fun!! Especially if they run effectively. I had an ITX WHS server I built running intel dual core with 5 drives but I was never happy with the heat generated in the little case and couldn't get it to where I was satisfied. The larger rackmounts run cool and fast. Both Supermicro cases I have are 3U, so they aren't too large but run very cool.

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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:27 pm 
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Sounds like a fun project. That looks remarkably clean inside for a used machine.

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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:22 pm 
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mgannon wrote:
Sounds like a fun project. That looks remarkably clean inside for a used machine.


You're right, the cases I have bought are just like new. It almost looks like the were never put into service prior to the company going bankrupt or they were test machines which got very little use. Most of us know IT under-utilizes there own machines. Ha Ha!!(The shoemakers Son has no shoes). And at 10-20% of list price, I certainly won't complain.

Right now I'm waiting for parts. One of the downsides to working with large scale servers is many retail parts don't work, so you have to order things like fan connectors (try and find out what metal connectors were used in the connector housing because the standard connector doesn't work). I find searching for hours on digikey will eventially yield results. Also, modifing standard parts to work is required. But, that's part of the fun in the whole project.

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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Well, got the cpu retainers today and installed them. Put the zalmac coolers on and fired it up without any other fans. Had a scare withe the 2 AOC-Sat2-MV8's, it recognized one and not the other in the bios but after loading the drivers both cards werwe recognized and the drives also showed up. So far everything looks very good but still have a lot to do before it's up and running. I will probably run in test mode for a month or so before attempting to go production.


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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:09 pm 
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Are there any fans to cool the drives in that case?


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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:36 pm 
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Not Yet, but I only have 4 drives running and they are running very cool - high 30's to low 40's. I expect when I do get the fans in they will run in the low 30's. I'm not running them that long now. What you see on the screen shot is when I first fired it up in the garage which was about 75F.

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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:18 pm 
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I just got AMD PowerNow working. It's the same as AMD/Intel speed step in the retail market. I think for a WHS system it is almost an essential tool, reducing voltage and cpu speed when not needed for processing workload. There is a bios setting to enable PowerNow but it wouldn't work until I updated the AMD processor driver to the latest level. Reduces the processor speed from 2.4 ghz to 1.0 ghz with 2 steps in between based on system workload.
Edit: Actually, there are more than 2 speeds in between, it almost looks like there is a step every 200 mhz. I've seen 1000, 1200, 1600, 1800, 2200 and of course 2400.


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Last edited by erail on Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:54 pm 
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Well the machine is up and running in a test mode. I rewired all the fans to get hot swap with PWM capability. The fans are very quiet and keep the system cool. I am currently running as the system drive, a 250 gig Western Digital Black Scorpio 7500rpm laptop drive that I will probably change to an SSD drive. The laptop drive is running off a plugin ide to sata converter. The converter plugs into the motherboard and has a sata port which runs to the drive. It runs at SataII speeds and seems to be pretty fast. I just velcroed the laptop drive to the side of the case. 15 of the 16 ports on the 2 AOC-SAT2-MV8s go to the backplane. The 16th port is currently going to an esata port for later testing. I have tested all hot swap drive bays and they all work. I currently have 10 drives in the bays and loading data using synctoy 2.1 from the production MSS. All in all, it is looking pretty solid but we shall see with a long test cycle.


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Last edited by erail on Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:13 pm 
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Here are some console shots with temp, fan speed, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: SuperWHS II
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:16 pm 
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OK, did some testing on the system drive. It looks like the the IDE to Sata conversion unit on the WD 2.5 Scorpio Black drive runs around 60Mb/sec. I found a 3ware 2 drive sata hardware raid card that I got as a throw-in with a used server buy, but that also was about 60Mb/s. I was thinking about using a couple of blacks with the 2 port card using raid 1 for the system disk. I had an extra port on one of the AOC-SAT2-MV8's and that delivered 110 Mb/s which surprised me to no end. I will do some more testing but it looks like an SSD attached to the AOC-SAT2-MV8 card is the best bet.

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