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Old 02-10-2015, 04:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Setting up a home server

Hello all,

I have purchased a server for my home, and I know what I would like to do, I am just not sure how to go about getting it accomplished.

The SIMPLE plan is to have this server set up as a NAS (running ZFS), and also running Plex Media Server. Hardware allowing, perhaps other functions in the future as well.

What comes with the server:
  • Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB Chassis (12 hot swap 3.5" drives) with rails
  • Supermicro X8DTN+ Motherboard
  • 2x Intel Xeon E5620 2.4ghz 12m Cache CPU's
  • SIMLP-3+ IPMI Remote Access Card
  • 6x 4Gig PC3-10600R Memory (24 Gig) (no info on brand or model)
  • 2x Supermicro PWS-801-1R 800W Power Supplies

What I already have:
  • 5x WD WD40EFRX 4TB SATA HDD's
  • 2x OCZ Agility 3 60 Gig SATA SSD's
  • 4-8 Seagate 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500 Gig SATA HDD's (Gave some away for builds, not sure how many left and still good)
  • Simple telco 2 post rack cut to about 3.5 feet tall from a previous home network install (will likely be used in attic or garage for small equipment there, not for the server)

What I need:
  • 4 post server rack - eventually I will want something with locking doors, but that isn't a priority now, as it will likely sit on a table in the basement until I get a proper rack.


The BASE OS I am leaning towards FreeBSD, as both ZFS and Plex Media Server will run on it. Now, I have LOTS of reading and research to do, because my experience with OS's other than Windows is praciclly non-existant. We do have linux (I think) where we run CLI searches, make copies, of router configs and IOS files. Sometimes have to create configs with vi and change permissions, but all pretty basic stuff. So, ZFS won't be virtualized, but Plex Media Server (PMS) will be running on a virtual machine.

Can anyone suggest good reading material on FreeBSD and virtual machines?? Any input would be most appreciated.

My plan is to first make sure it is all clean and not choked with dust. I will then remove the CPU's and put some fresh thermal compound on them. Once that is all done, I plan to test the memory, but I am not sure with what. I have Memtest86, but is that good for server ECC memory too?? Any suggestions?

From here it will be installing the main OS, FreeBSD, and seeing where I can go from there.
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The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 02-10-2015, 06:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

Your on the right track, I'll just make a few recommendations.

You say your starting out with little to no experience in the Linux world, I would definitely suggestion Debian or Ubuntu rather than FreeBSD for beginners. This is all personal preference but personally I believe that Ubuntu or Debian would be easier to pick up on. Debian/Ubuntu can also run ZFS Shares and run virtual machines, like you wanted. Just beware, don't be afraid of the command line, since that's what you'll be using 99% of the time. Its a strange transition from Windows I'll tell you that, but a couple days of it and you'll know the basic commands in no time.

Now for the virtual machines. Again, whichever OS you choose (Debian or FreeBSD), you can still run the same program here. For the virtual machine software, I'm going to suggest VirtualBox with the phpVirtualBox addition. Virtualbox is great if you just want to run a few VMs on the side (Like you want to do with plex and such). And the phpVirtualBox addon makes remote management a breeze. I use it all the time on my production server and I love it.

Heres a link to set that up on debian:
VirtualBox 4.3 and phpVirtualBox on Debian wheezy - VION Technology Blog

The tutorial is pretty straight forward, if you just follow it line by line you'll have VirtualBox running in no time. And since VirtualBox is pretty common in the windows world, you may have already seen the interface. I'll post a screenshot of what my current control panel looks like for my server:



Again, there's TONS of virtualization programs out there, but in my opinion VirtualBox is the quickest and easiest setup, especially for your situation.

Once you got virtualbox up and running, theres a world of opportunity. You can play around with different operating systems, setup a webserver, trust me you'll find more uses for your home server in no time

Back to the ZFS shares now, what you can do is run those on the actual base operating system, and you should have no problems with that.

Also, the joy of learning Linux would probably be just to get your hands dirty and dive in. That's what I did, and soon enough you'll understand it quite well. And remember always come back and post again if you ever need linux help!
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

Thank you for the reply. I have heard from a few people to try Ubuntu, so I am going to be looking into that as a base OS.

Command line isn't new to me, have been investigating and troubleshooting issues in Cisco and Juniper routers via Command Line for about 7 years now. I have also been tinkering with a D-Link DNS-323 NAS box for about just as long. It isn't that I am scared of it, just more lack of knowledge of what the commands are.

Thank you again for the reply. The server is SCHEDULED to arrive tomorrow, and I will be home all day watching out the front window for the FedEx guy. I can't wait to dive in!
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Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 02-10-2015, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

Ah, alright. Good choice on Ubuntu, you'll find TONS of tutorials and forum posts on google if you ever get stuck on something.

And congratz on getting the server tomorrow that will be fun!
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

YAY!! Santa (a.k.a the FedEx guy) just dropped off the server. Ran a quick test to make sure both PSU's and the fans work, and they are all good, powers up from either PSU without issue. I am actually surprised, it IS noisy, but not QUITE as noisy as I was expecting. This is going to basically be installed in the basement in a long utility closet which also holds the furnace. The volume from the server is basically more or less the same, MAYBE a bit quieter than the furnace. Time will tell. Maybe I will just turn it on, then tell my wife it is the furnace running 24x7. Lol.

I also just bought a bag of screws for the drive sleds for a couple bucks, and a front locking bezel for $22 shipped. I don't care if it locks now, but more concerned about dust and pet hair. The bezel LOOKS to have a fine mesh grill that I would imagine would catch much of it, if not, I can fashion a filter to fit in there and keep it out of the server.

I opened it up, and WOW... I was expecting DUST CITY, but this this is IMMACULATE. Not even the FANS have a SPEC of dust on them. It was either in a really nice filtered environment, or someone took MUCH care to clean thsis like crazy. There are only a few scratches on the top and bottom where other rack components would have been slid in/out right above/below it. I am very happy with the purchase so far, and it isn't doing anything but sitting on a table behind me.

I will down the road get rails for it too, but that is a cost I don't need to dive into until I get a proper 4 post rack for it.
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Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 02-11-2015, 10:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

Quote:
Maybe I will just turn it on, then tell my wife it is the furnace running 24x7.
Haha! Yeah They can be really noisy, your lucky you got a basement to put it in, I have to keep mine running right next to my bed
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

Wow, yeah, that I couldn't imagine. My wife wouldn't go for that, and would likley try to throw me out the window while I am sleeping, or both the server and me. Lol. I also just ordered an Intel M1015 HBA card to make use of more than just the 6 SATA ports on the motherboard. Now I just have to do some measuring to see if I need right angle SFF-8087 cables or not...
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Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 02-11-2015, 03:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

I love Debian, and command is only difficult because you don't know them. Once you use them a few times you will start to remember and after a great amount of time you will wiz through.
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

I picked up an extra 4TB drive, because I plan to be running a single VDEV with RaidZ2, so ~16TB usable. I got 2 sets of SFF-8087 to SATA breakout cables, but will need to get another one. The first one I got I didn't notice was 0.5 meter, and just too short. I MEANT to get the 1.0 meter cable, but wasn't paying attention. After getting it, I didn't like the bend radius, so I ordered a pair of right angle SFF8087 connectors, but naturally, they WON'T work with the card. Oh well, the price I pay for being lazy and not checking into that. Will be selling 2x 1.0 meter right angle cables, and 2x 0.5 meter breakout cables. PM me if anyone is interested in them.


I have been reading a few things about ZIL and a drive for L2ARC. I have a pair of 60 gig OCZ Agility 3 SSD's that I was planning on using for this, but I am not sure if I should or not. I read a few places that it really isn't going to make any difference at all. These were NOT purchased for the projects, but old drives from a laptop and a desktop which just aren't in use. Will setting these up have any DECREASE in performance? The things I read said basically that investing in RAM results in better performance than SSD's for ZIL & L2ARC if the RAM isn't maxed. As I already have these on hand, I would like to use them for something so they aren't just sitting unused.

The plan is to then steal the 250 Gig SSD out of my PS3 and swap in a 2.5" 1TB drive I have to the PS3, and use the SSD for the base OS on the server. That is, if 250 Gig will be enough, or if I should use the 1 TB drive as the OS drive, I can do that too...

Thoughts?
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Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 03-16-2015, 08:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting up a home server

So, I am starting to get time to actually work on this server. The current install of Ubuntu Server will be redone, because it was set up on one of the 60 gig SSD's that will be used for L2ARC and ZIL. Once I get my 250 (or 240 or whatever it is SSD) that is in my PS3, THAT will be the OS drive. Off the bat, I will have 6 drives, all 4TB drives in the chassis. That will leave me with 6 more empty slots that I will likely fill up in the near future. The only problem I have, is ZERO place to put the other drives with the hotswap bays being strictly for the storage drives.

That said, the Motherboard has several PCI-X slots which I will not be using. They are the perfect length and width to hold some drives. My INITIAL plan was to build a drive tower for 3 drives.

I chose styrene for this, as it is plastic, won't conduct, is cheap, and SHOULDN'T MELT. The melting point is pretty high, and I BELIEVE it won't soften under 95*C. I am not quite sure what temps to expect out of the server, so I will be keeping a close eye on this to monitor.

I STARTED to measure everything out, and found that the styrene sheet was JUST wide enough for 3 equal sized pieces, and would PERFECTLY fit 2 drives back to back on it. So this gave me a tower for 6 drives total. I ended up short 8 nylon spacers, as I expected to do a shelf for 3 drives, not 6. I picked the extra 8 up today at the hardware store, all good to go now.

The thing I am not sure about is OS drive. Would it be a good idea to go with a MIRRORED setup with 2x SSD's in case one fails here?? Just thinking, I will HAVE the room, and I happen to have identical 240 gig drives, just need to be stolen out of an old laptop and my PS3....


Initial Plan:





Pre Glue mock up:





Ready for glue:




Server Drivebay Location:




Glued base sitting in place:





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Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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