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 Post subject: Andromeda
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:44 pm 
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About a month ago, I increased the capacity of my MSS to about 27 TB by adding an additional Sans Digital TR4U 4-bay USB external enclosure with 4-1.5 TB Seagate drives. That's 20 drives in the MSS (1- 500 GB system drive and 19-1.5 TB drives as well as 2-500 GB drives for BDBB backups). As I've been increasing the storage capacity of my MSS, I've been thinking about building a WHS that is considerably more robust and could contain all of my storage capacity in one box. I started the process with quite a lot of research about the various components that would satisfy my criteria for a robust WHS. After much back and forth, I finally settled on as set of components, purchased everything I needed and began assembling the computer. I'm not completely finished as I still have several power cables to build and I'm working an a modification to the fan wall so it can accommodate 3 - 120 mm fans instead of 4-80 mm fans. Anyway, I'd like to introduce Andromeda.

Case: Norco RPC-4220 (20 - 3.5" hot swap sata drive bays + 1 - 2.5" drive bay)
PSU - Corsair HX750W
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H
CPU - AMD 5050e
RAM - 4 GB (2 x 2 GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800) (only 3.5 GB is recognized)
SATA controller cards: (2) - Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8
ODD - Sony AD7590S slim DVD RW drive
System Drive: Kingston SSDNow V series 128 GB SSD
Storage Pool: No drives yet, however, there will be 20 - 2 TB Seagate LP or WD GP drives or a mix of the two.
OS - WHS

I'd like to especially thank erail for his generous help with the installation of the WHS software and integrating it into my network with the MSS. I've had the software installed and running stable for several days now. According to CPUID HWMonitor, the cpu is running at 20 deg C. I've not installed any hard drives into the storage pool yet as I want to get the box finished before I start building the storage pool in case I have to reinstall the OS. I have added the Advanced Admin Console addin as well as Toolkit v. 1.0, but that's all I've done so far.

Below are a few pictures. More will follow as I finish the power cables and replace one of the SATA backplanes that had a defective SAS connector, (should be here on Monday) and finish all of the cabling.


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:39 pm 
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I've been looking at doing a similar upgrade - same case, similar motherboard, but intel process, although not with 20 2TB drives... I wasn't sure how to connect multiple PCIe x4 cards. Do the PCIe X4 cards simply plug into the x16 slots?

Where did you find the Supermicro cards, I only found them on one e-tailer - in the quick search tonight.

Just clarifying:
are you connecting 4 SAS connectors to the Supermicro cards and then using a SAS to SATA cable to connect the other four drives directly to the motherboard?

Was setting up WHS O/S onto this configuration simple or a mess?

Following this thread - thanks for spending your money first :)


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:03 am 
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Very nice cavediver! That is crazy big for something running in someones home. I've thought of doing something similar though probably not with the same capacity. Would you mind posting the price of each of the components?

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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:53 am 
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walkabt wrote:
I've been looking at doing a similar upgrade - same case, similar motherboard, but intel process, although not with 20 2TB drives... I wasn't sure how to connect multiple PCIe x4 cards. Do the PCIe X4 cards simply plug into the x16 slots?


My mobo doesn't have any PCIe X4 slots, so I plugged the MV8's into the X16 and X8 slots. I specifically chose that mobo because it had the latest amd chipsets and onboard graphics.

Quote:
Where did you find the Supermicro cards, I only found them on one e-tailer - in the quick search tonight.


I got them at Wiredzone.com

Quote:
Just clarifying: are you connecting 4 SAS connectors to the Supermicro cards and then using a SAS to SATA cable to connect the other four drives directly to the motherboard?


I'm using 4 of the onboard sata ports via a 3ware CBL-SFF8087OCR-06M SFF-8087 - 4 SATA reverse breakout cable to the top backplane SAS port, and I'm using 4- .5m sff-8087 to sff-8087 Startech cables ($$ expensive) from the MV8's to the bottom 4 backplane SAS ports.

Quote:
Was setting up WHS O/S onto this configuration simple or a mess?


Actually, it was quite simple to install since I have a dvd drive, monitor, keyboard, and rodent hooked up directly to the 4220. I set it all up directly on the computer itself rather than remotely. Even the mobo I used has the latest and greatest AMD chipsets, I still had to update several of the drivers from the stock drivers on the mobo CD. One thing of note was that I started out using a usb keyboard and I couldn't get into the mobo's bios, so I just went ahead and installed WHS. After I installed WHS, I still couldn't get into the mobo bios, so a friend suggested I try a PS/2 keyboard. I went to Microcenter and purchased a $4.99 PS/2 keyboard. That was the trick. I discovered that the mobo had USB keyboard support disabled by default. Very strange since usb keyboards are for the most part, the standard now. Once I enabled USB keyboard support, the PS/2 keyboard stopped working. I also discovered that this had caused me a problem because the System drive was enabled under the native IDE channel rather than via AHCI. After about 5 or 6 hours of research and many failed attempts to activate AHCI, which I needed for hotswap support, (WHS would go into a "boot loop" and never start up), I was finally able to get AHCI enabled and WHS booted up in AHCI mode

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Following this thread - thanks for spending your money first :)


Actually, I'm not nearly the first. Many have gone before me. There is a large community of system builders/data storage gurus over at Hardforum - Data Storage Systems. Many WHS systems have been built around the Norco 4020 case, (the predesessor to the 4220). Several are using large RAID arrays inside of WHS. One guy has 2 - 9TB RAID arrays as his storage pool.


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:29 am 
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TxDot wrote:
Very nice cavediver! That is crazy big for something running in someones home. I've thought of doing something similar though probably not with the same capacity. Would you mind posting the price of each of the components?


Sure, but I'm not completely finished yet and I still have to purchase 20 2 TB drives, but I'm going to buy them slowly and hope the price comes down to below $0.10/GB

Case: Norco RPC-4220 $349.99 (Newegg)
PSU - Corsair HX750W $169.99 (Newegg)
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H $119.99 (Newegg)
CPU - AMD 5050e $59.99 (Newegg)
RAM - 2 x 2 GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 $45.99 (Newegg)
SATA controller cards: (2) - Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 $111.69 ea (WiredZone.com)
Cables - 4 - Startec 50 cm MiniSAS sff-8087 to sff-8087 $27.81 ea (Provantage.com)
- 1 3ware CBL-SFF8087OCR-06M SFF-8087 - 4 SATA breakout cable, reverse $12.99 (Newegg)

I have also purchased a bunch of male and female 4-pin molex style and pcie connectors, wire and 1/4" braided sheathing to custom build several power cables. About $100.00 (connectors from Frozencpu.com, 18ga wire from Fry’s, 1/4" braided sheathing from Grainger, although its available at Frozencpu.com and other places online), and heat shrink tubing (given to me by a friend who sells the stuff, but also available at Frozencpu.com and many other places online and locally).

ODD - Sony AD 7590S DVD RW drive $49.99 + tax (on sale at Microcenter)
System Drive: Kingston SSDNow Vseries 128 GB SSD $249.99 (Newegg)
OS - WHS $99.99 (Amazon.com)

I have also replaced the 4-stock Delta 80mm X 80mm X 38mm fans (too loud) with Scythe SFF80D fans (4 X $12.99 at Frozencpu.com). I think the system is still too loud, so I’m having a friend design a fan board that will accommodate 3-120mm fans and pull more air than the Scythe fans.


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:54 pm 
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That is awesome, cavediver. I've read that [H] thread on the controller card, seems like a pretty good solution for most people. Do keep the pictures and details coming!

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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:38 pm 
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A few more pictures. I finished the power cables this past weekend. It's nice having the modular power supply so I don't have a mess of wires clogging up the box. The replacement stata backplane will be here tomorrow, (one of the sata backplanes had a defective sas connector, so Norco sent me a replacement), so I can finish hooking up the sff-8087 cables to the second controller. I spent the evening with an engineer friend designing a new fan board that will hold 3 - 120mm fans so I can pull 240 cfm of air at 24 dba rather than 320 cfm at 55 dba with the stock 80mm fans. WHS has been running stable for about a week now and I've been able to run the console to my MSS at same time as an RDP session to Andromeda at the same time and copy files between the two. I just hope the price for the LP or green 2 tb drives starts coming down soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:42 pm 
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I also wanted to mention that according to CPUID HWMonitor, the CPU temp is running consistantly at 21C with nothing but the stock AMD heatsink and fan.


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:19 am 
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I'd like to see what kill-a-watt saya after you've got it loaded with drives. Should be impressive! :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:29 am 
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FYI - AMD 5050e on sale for $49.99 at Newegg, use promo code EMCLVMR28

I was planning on getting this CPU in a few weeks to start my DIY build, but looks like I will be buying today :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:41 am 
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What I find amusing about this project is that I work in IT for a major university and our central data processing center's main disk array's are less than 10TB of storage.... that's for the whole student population, historical records, data, everything. What could an individual person do with 40TB??? One shudders to think! LOL!


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:32 am 
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Strangiato wrote:
What I find amusing about this project is that I work in IT for a major university and our central data processing center's main disk array's are less than 10TB of storage.... that's for the whole student population, historical records, data, everything. What could an individual person do with 40TB??? One shudders to think! LOL!


I agree that documents, personal financial records, .pdf files, and regular jpg photos, etc., don't take up a lot of space. For example, I have over 7 years of my law firm files contained in less than 100 GB of space and my music collection which is about 15,000 wave files is less than 400 GB. However, blu-ray movies take up a lot of space, especially with duplication turned on. The video share on my MSS is currently at 9.2 TB and with duplication turned on total space used for the video share is 18.4 TB.


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:07 am 
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I have to start figuring my options out here... Your setup makes me DROOL!!! I have embarqued on a mission to rip all my dvd's to my home server. Currently at 4tb. I am going to get another ICYDOC backplain and a couple of sata cards soon. The problem for me will be hdd pricing. 1.5's are at a sweet spot right now of 119 locally... no shipping costs!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:13 am 
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Cavediver - have you looked at the Seagate LP drives? They are pricey compared to the WD GPs since they just came out, wondering what kind of benefit we would see since the Seagates are 5900RPM vs. 5400RPM for the WD GPs?

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 Post subject: Re: Andromeda
PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:30 am 
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dbone1026 wrote:
Cavediver - have you looked at the Seagate LP drives? They are pricey compared to the WD GPs since they just came out, wondering what kind of benefit we would see since the Seagates are 5900RPM vs. 5400RPM for the WD GPs?


I am considering the new Seagate LP drives They look promising, and the price on Newegg today was $10.00 less than the WD GP drives. In my opinion, they're both still too high. They need to come down to $179 to $189 to be comparable in price/GB to the Seagate 1.5 TB drives. I don't think there will be much difference between 5400 vs 5900. I've seen one review where the Seagate beat the WD GP drive in performance tests, but it wasn't by much, but for our purpose (media file serving), I don't think it makes much difference.


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