Jan 092013

This is the third in a series of posts about building a new server.

What’s happened since?

My main development server is acting up again. One of the two HDD in the gmirror has gone off line. Also, I recently read an article about an interesting scam which introduced me to the phrase ruthlessly eradicate legacy. That phrase and strategy lodged firmly in my brain. Those two triggers, along with the urge to build a new server, has pushed this issue into the foreground.

NOTE: Both boxes listed below are running FreeBSD 8.2 and, when replaced, will run FreeBSD 9.1.

While on the topic of ruthlessly eradicate legacy, my gateway box is easily 10 years old. I will write about that separately.
Similarly, the development box is a:

  1. CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3000+ (1802.32-MHz 686-class CPU)
  2. real memory = 1073741824 (1024 MB)

That development box runs:

  1. development copies of all my websites (about 20) and databases (about 16 in PostgreSQL and 7 in MySQL), including FreshPorts
  2. Nagios
  3. My Bacula server
  4. Samba
  5. smokeping
  6. munin

There are a few bits of information which came to me since a new server was last considered:

  1. I found an old email from Ivan Voras telling me that better ZFS performance is likely if you I a drive (doesn’t have to be big or fast) and add it as a log (ZIL) device. That was the purpose of the two SSD listed below. However, in that same email, Ivan warned me that if ZIL dies on ZFS < v19, your data also dies. That's when I realized I need only one SSD. If it dies, I'll get another.
  2. Wyze (on IRC) recommended the SAMSUNG 840 Pro series of SSD. I found the SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5″ 128GB for $140. By getting only one, I reduce cost, despite going with a more expensive SSD.
  3. The original case I wanted has been discontinued at NewEgg. Time to locate another source, or another case

Here is what I’m thinking of getting:

  1. Case – LIAN LI PC-A70F USB3.0 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case : $240.40 (includes tax and shipping)
  2. motherboard – SUPERMICRO MBD-H8SGL-O ATX Server Motherboard : $224.99
  3. CPU – AMD Opteron 6128 Magny-Cours 2.0GHz 8 x 512KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache Socket G34 115W 8-Core Server : $284.99 (up $25 from last time I checked)
  4. CPU Cooler – Noctua NH-U9DO A3 AMD Opteron, 4 Dual Heat-pipe SSO Bearing Quiet CPU Cooler : $76.99
  5. RAM – Kingston 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1600 Server Memory : 4 x $64.99 = $259.96 (up $20 since last time)
  6. PSU – PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W power supply : $99.99
  7. SATA card – HighPoint Rocket 640L PCI-Express 2.0 x4 Low Profile SATA III (6.0Gb/s) RAID Controller Card : 2 x $69.99= $149.98
  8. HDD for ZFS – Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB : 8 x $109.99 = $879.92 (down $40)
  9. SSD for ZFS ZIL cache – SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5″ 128GB: $139.99
  10. HDD for base OS gmirror – Western Digital WD Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive : $49.99
  11. HDD for base OS gmirror – Seagate Barracuda ST250DM000 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive : $59.99
  12. DVD burner – ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner – Bulk – OEM – $19.99

Thing is, NewEgg won’t let me order more than 3 of those HDD at a time. That’s OK. Amazon also sells those HDD, and slightly cheaper. They’ll only sell me 5 at a time.

Seriously considering this LSI Internal SATA/SAS 9211-8i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 RAID Controller Card, Kit for $320. That’ll bump up the price by $170. The benefit: better throughput. And LSI are well supported on FreeBSD.

Compare that LSI card to this one: LSI SATA/SAS 9212-4i4e 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0. Instead of two micro-SAS, it has one, and four SATA ports. Interesting.

jbeez suggested: you may want to put half the ZFS drives, one OS HDD, and DVD on the motherboard. Then put the other ZFS drives, the SSD, and the one remaining OS drive on the card.

Total cost: $2398 plus tax & shipping.

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