Designing a new server, part IV

This server describe herein is now known as knew.

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

What’s happened since the last post?

I’ve upgraded to an LSI SAS card. Why? Better throughput. And LSI is well supported on FreeBSD. This card is not used for RAID. It is used strictly as a disk controller and the disks will be presented to the OS as JBOD.

Background: the following will be my main development server and will contain a lot of disk space. It will run FreeBSD 9.1. The base OS will be installed on two gmirror’d HDD. The rest of the storage will be based on a ZFS raidz2 array.

Here is what I’m thinking of getting (now):

  1. Case – LIAN LI PC-A70F USB3.0 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case (manufacturer link) : $240.40 (includes tax and shipping)
  2. motherboard – SUPERMICRO MBD-H8SGL-O ATX Server Motherboard (Supermicro link): $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
  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
  6. PSU – PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W power supply : $99.99
  7. SATA card – LSI Internal SATA/SAS 9211-8i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 RAID Controller Card, Kit (LSI page): $319.99
  8. HDD for ZFS – Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB : 8 x $109.99 = $879.92
  9. SSD for ZFS ZIL cache – SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD128BW 2.5″ 128GB: $139.99
  10. SSD holder – ICY DOCK MB882SP-1S-2B 2.5″ to 3.5″ SATA 6Gb SSD & Hard Drive Converter / Adapter / Bracket – $17.99
  11. 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
  12. HDD for base OS gmirror – Seagate Barracuda ST250DM000 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive : $59.99
  13. DVD burner – ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner – Bulk – OEM – $19.99

New to this list is item 10, the SSD & Hard Drive Converter. This will allow the smaller SSD to fit into a 5¼" space.

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.

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: $2,064.79 from NewEgg plus tax & shipping. Plus the case from Amazon at $240.40 gives a total of $2305.10.

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8 thoughts on “Designing a new server, part IV”

  1. I’m a big fan of the LSI JBOD cards, great bang for the buck and no issues with 4K drives as long as you align them properly. I’ve been using both the intel branded ones and the LSI ones and they work great in FreeBSD with the IT firmware flashed on them. I am using them in SuperMicro raid chassis with 16 3.5 inch 3TB drives and I have a single zpool spread over 4 raidz volumes.

    I have a couple of 128GB SSD’s mounted inside the case with velcro for the boot volume and ZIL. With compression turned on I’m getting a pretty solid 400MB/sec on writes which is plenty since I’m just writing out D2D backups. (replaced a problematic LTO3 tape library with some Disk 2 Disk backup servers)

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