NASLite Network Attached Storage

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:44 am
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Hi everyone!
I am a proud user of NL since 2008 and I really appreciate all the hard work the devs put into the product!
I've been a frequent reader of the forums ever since, although this is my first post :)

So here we go...

Until now I've used a few different NL-builds, all full size ATX and non-raid with 4~6 TB of storage and now finally the time has come to upgrade to a mini-ITX, Raid 5 build w 8 hhd (2TB or 3TB each). I'am turning to you guys for some H/W advice.

Q1.
This is my thought set-up:
Case: NSC-800 (http://nbtaifa.en.alibaba.com/product/484820141-212566619/NAS_Server_Chassis_w_8_Hot_Swappable_SATA_SAS_Drive_Bays_Mini_ITX_.html)
PSU: SeaSonic SS-350TGM Retail 350W 80 PLUS GOLD (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151115&name=Power-Supplies)
MOBO: ASRock H61M-ITX (http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?model=h61m-itx)
NIC (On-board): RTL8111E
CPU: Intel Core i3 3220T 2,8Ghz (http://ark.intel.com/products/65694/Intel-Core-i3-3220T-Processor-3M-Cache-2_80-GHz)
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz CL9 XMP, 2x4GB (http://www.kingston.com/us/memory/hyperx/blu)
I haven't decided on HDDs yet.

So what do you think, is it overkill? Have I overlooked any compatibility issues? General thoughts and feedback are much appreciated :)

Q2.
As I said I'm going for RAID 5 w 8 HDDs in this build. Since I've never done RAID before I'm quite clueless. From the research I've done I understand that I need a true hardware RAID card. The card should support >=8 HDDS, be compatible w NL (duh :)) and cost < 700$

I found the following cards that fits the criteria:
Image

Which card should I go for? The Promise EX8650 looks really promising(!), but again I really don't know. Have I missed any good cards in this performance/price range?

Sorry for the long post! Im am grateful for any help I can get.
//P


Last edited by paolobrolin on Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:05 pm
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
It all looks good on the basic machine side. Not sure about the on board NIC and if it will be seen by the appliance OS.

Also the memory seems a bit expensive for the job, you could get away with cheaper/ slower memory but 8GB is good.

NAS is not really processor intensive so just about any bottom of the line processor should work out just fine.

As for the drives, you need to look out for the manufacturers little BS about not running consumer drives in a RAID configuration, they void the warranty on you.

Also it is wise to get drives from different batches so that if there are an abnormally large number of failures in any one batch you are not left with more than one dead drive.

The RAID card looks fine but again does NASLite have the drivers for it? Also look at LSI/3Ware RAID cards. Remember that NASLite only supports one Gigabit link and so you will hit a wall at around 100MB/sec. IE all the fast hardware makes no difference when the pipe will not carry any more.

Mike


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:44 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the quick reply Mike!

Regarding the onboard NIC; It seems that you are right. RTL8111 is listed in the hardware reference guide, however the latest revision of the card (rev. E) has been reported as not working with NL. (http://www.serverelements.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=3598&p=20264&hilit=RTL8111#p20264) So unless it will be supported soon I'll have to choose another mobo or get an additional NIC, which brings me to another question...

...I have been doing some research on 10Gb Ethernet and it seems that Intel AT2 10GbE (82598EB) is supported by NL. Has anyone tried a 10GbE NIC, is NL even capable to throughput full 10Gb speed? The theoretical limit would be somewhere between 200-500 MB/s read for a 4+ disk array in RAID 5. Which of course would be awesome! :o

According to the hardware reference guide Promise SuperTrak EX8650 is supported, and its relatively cheap compared to the LSI/3ware cards..


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:03 pm 
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
The card 10Gb card likely will work being based on an Intel chip set. The switch can be had for around $300.00 for a 48 port 1Gb and 4 port 10Gb. The total cost would likely set you back in the area of $600.00 to $800.00 for both. Oh did we forget the SFP and the fibre, easily another $125.00 assuming that we are talking about SFPs at each end. If we are talking passive copper link cables then...

You need to ask your self if you really need the speed? It is likely going to be far steeper than what I put up there. Unless you are really hammering at the unit hard with the likes of non linear video editing or say 50+ HD audio editing and mixing then it is likely a waste. I also suspect that the RAID card will not be able to keep up, they are always rather optimistic about their performance. This is especially true of a RAID5 array or the like.

Should you go down that road I would like to see the test run with disk wriggler. I suspect that you would be lucky to get up above 200MB/sec. This brings up that fact that you would likely need to look to an actual proper server with one of the server processors and chip sets to get a stable and fast server. Consumer hardware just doesn't seem to cut it at the bleeding edge. Something to think about before jumping in.

Mike


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:44 am
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Yeah ur prolly right, it would be overkill. But still an interesting thought. I wonder if anyone got it to work with 10gbE and NL..?
How far can you push NL and what kind of HW would you need to get it to work with 10GB ethernet and transfer speeds above 500. Ralph, Tony, anyone?

Anyways, Im gonna do some shopping and post back the results :)

Thanks for the help!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 9:05 pm
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Location: Up State NY in the USA!!!!
Generally to get to those kinds of speeds you are talking about layered arrays. IE you will have many chassis of drives with hardware RAID in them and then those will export via say 2Gb or 4Gb/sec FC-AL or 3Gb or 6Gb/sec SAS to a RAID appliance with many array channels and more than one output for the clients. I have a DataDirect appliance that I have to get up and running. It has ten 2Gb/sec array interfaces arranged in eight data ports, one parity, and one hot spare channel. It has 12GB of cache and four 2Gb/sec FC-AL ports that interface to the clients. From what I gather it is used for the likes of video on demand services and can handle thousands of connections at once. If the array is up to it then it will saturate all four ports or to put it another way, sustain about 750MB/sec of transfer.

I have a friend that is a cluster admin and he tells me that the Panasis storage array attached to the Cray will give a sustained read rate of over 250GB/sec and about 125GB/sec write. You do read that right as is GigaBytes. Each tray uses a pair of bonded 10G Ethernet links. I hate to think of the heat and noise the thing makes with all those drives getting hammered on.

Mike


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