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Last post Author Topic: Please help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).  (Read 34961 times)

wraith808

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2013, 04:25:06 PM »
What specifically did you not like about it?  What features would you have preferred to see as your server box?

Screws for the enclosures.  They're thumb screws, but in a server, I really don't want any screws.  Take off the side to access the inside.  On a server, I like for it to be a door.  Airflow.  It was good for a computer with two drives... but when I really started to use all of the bays as a server, heat became a real problem.  And that cool looking fan was *no* help.  I was also upgrading from a metal case... and I really wish I had a metal case back for my server.  That's just a personal preference.  Getting to the other side.  Not very easy at all.  The one door... like I said, thumbscrews.  But the other door was a pain.  And no motherboard tray.

It's just not a server box, IMO.

superboyac

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #51 on: August 03, 2013, 04:28:00 PM »
What specifically did you not like about it?  What features would you have preferred to see as your server box?

Screws for the enclosures.  They're thumb screws, but in a server, I really don't want any screws.  Take off the side to access the inside.  On a server, I like for it to be a door.  Airflow.  It was good for a computer with two drives... but when I really started to use all of the bays as a server, heat became a real problem.  And that cool looking fan was *no* help.  I was also upgrading from a metal case... and I really wish I had a metal case back for my server.  That's just a personal preference.  Getting to the other side.  Not very easy at all.  The one door... like I said, thumbscrews.  But the other door was a pain.  And no motherboard tray.

It's just not a server box, IMO.
Nice, thanks.

Stoic Joker

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2013, 08:44:02 AM »
Worst case scenario, i was thinking of modifying the ac system so that one room gets 24/7 ac. i have my license for that, so i should be able to figure that out!

Let me save you some time (since I just tried that with our new server room) it won't work. A central A/C unit doesn't cycle fast enough to deal with the localized heating produced by that much equipment. This however will do it quite nicely for about $278.

Portable AC.jpg

superboyac

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #53 on: August 04, 2013, 03:38:51 PM »
Worst case scenario, i was thinking of modifying the ac system so that one room gets 24/7 ac. i have my license for that, so i should be able to figure that out!

Let me save you some time (since I just tried that with our new server room) it won't work. A central A/C unit doesn't cycle fast enough to deal with the localized heating produced by that much equipment. This however will do it quite nicely for about $278.
 (see attachment in previous post)
Nice, thanks man!  That saves me a ton of research.  I'm guessing it has a tube going outside somehow (yes it does, saw the pics).  That's pretty damn convenient for my purposes, brilliant.

Stoic Joker

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #54 on: August 04, 2013, 04:04:39 PM »
It has a drain valve yes, but it hasn't produced a single drop in 3 months.

skwire

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #55 on: August 04, 2013, 04:40:55 PM »
With all this potential gear, you have considered the electricity bill increase, eh?

40hz

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #56 on: August 04, 2013, 05:00:49 PM »
Worst case scenario, i was thinking of modifying the ac system so that one room gets 24/7 ac. i have my license for that, so i should be able to figure that out!

Let me save you some time (since I just tried that with our new server room) it won't work. A central A/C unit doesn't cycle fast enough to deal with the localized heating produced by that much equipment. This however will do it quite nicely for about $278.
 (see attachment in previous post)
Nice, thanks man!  That saves me a ton of research.  I'm guessing it has a tube going outside somehow (yes it does, saw the pics).  That's pretty damn convenient for my purposes, brilliant.

Yes thanks! I was looking at those a while ago and wondering how well they worked. Just saved me some time too! :Thmbsup:

superboyac

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #57 on: August 04, 2013, 05:04:24 PM »
With all this potential gear, you have considered the electricity bill increase, eh?
Sure, I know it's inevitable.  PS (i work for the utility).

wraith808

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #58 on: August 04, 2013, 05:29:25 PM »
It has a drain valve yes, but it hasn't produced a single drop in 3 months.

Thanks for that... I've been looking at this for my man cave, but it has no windows, and I was worried about that so didn't get it.  So what do you do with the hose?  Do you just have it going out of the window?

superboyac

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #59 on: August 05, 2013, 05:51:40 PM »
I just installed Windows Server 2012 R2 in a VM so I can explore the drive pooling options.  If anyone has any experience with it, please discuss it here.  It looks pretty nice, though without the actual drives, i can't explore it too much.  I'm curious how it handles a pool made of multiple physical drives.  What happens if one of the drives in the pool dies?  how do you replace?  It's not RAID, so it doesn't necessarily rebuild things.  Also, do files reside on multiple drives?  If I pool one drive out independently and stick it in another computer, is it readable?  How does this thing actually work?

Also, regarding that Cooler Master Stryker tower, it's pretty nice.  I don't need any screws or tools to slip the drives in and out.  it also can be configured to slip the drives in front-back, or even from the side.  So I don't even really need the istarusa drive bays unless I plan to do a lot of hot-swapping (which I don't).  I might get one just to try it, and maybe even to use as an emergency transferring bay, like backing up someone else's stuff (even though I have external enclosures for that).

So looks like I'm almost good to go.  I guess the remaining items are the moetherboard, cpu, ram, and expander card choices.  The expander card is what i need help with most, I think.  what card is good for attaching all these drives?  i have one in my notes, i'll post eventually.

superboyac

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #60 on: August 05, 2013, 05:58:19 PM »
Here's a nice article discussing Storage Spaces (not for 2012 R2 though):
http://mcpmag.com/ar...s-storage-pools.aspx

Stoic Joker

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #61 on: August 05, 2013, 06:00:56 PM »
It has a drain valve yes, but it hasn't produced a single drop in 3 months.

Thanks for that... I've been looking at this for my man cave, but it has no windows, and I was worried about that so didn't get it.  So what do you do with the hose?  Do you just have it going out of the window?

I believe there is an option to attach a hose, but I'm just running it on the internal reservoir...which hasn't collect a single drop in three months. Which really isn't that surprising if you consider that the building's a/c has already dried the air (there is a (main system) vent in the server room), so this is just keeping the (already dry) air cool while the main system cycles on it's usual schedule.

Our server room is (6x6) just large enough to comfortably enclose the rack with some working room around it. So the server's air inlet temp was spiking within minutes of the main a/c cycling off. But while I have the above mentioned unit set to only 88 degrees it continuously circulates such a high volume of air - eliminating localized hotspots - in the small space that it's keeping the server's inlet temp down to 72 degrees even though its compressor cycles off for ~10 out of 15 minutes.

skwire

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #62 on: August 05, 2013, 06:37:25 PM »
@Stoic Joker: Any idea of the kilowatt per hour usage of that unit?

40hz

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #63 on: August 05, 2013, 06:41:30 PM »
Before you commit to W2k12 server, be sure to check out the latest version of FreeNAS just out.

Quote
2013-08-03   NEW • BSD Release: FreeNAS 9.1.0
   Josh Paetzel has announced the release of FreeNAS 9.1.0, an open-source and BSD-based NAS solution that enables the users to build networked storage devices on a multitude of hardware platforms: "The FreeNAS development team is delighted to announce the general release of FreeNAS 9.1.0. This release offers massive improvements to the usability, extensibility, stability, and performance of FreeNAS. Everything from the web user interface, plugin management system, base operating system, ZFS file system, and even the source control used to manage the project has been substantially improved. With FreeNAS 9.1.0, iXsystems sets a new level of excellence and power in open source storage solutions... The volume creation interface has been completely replaced with a new wizard that assists the user in creating the most ideal storage pool and optimal setup for the number of disks available, also helping those unfamiliar with ZFS to make correct early configuration decisions and avoid painful rebuilds later." Check the full release announcement for more information. The ISO images as well as the PDF documentation are available from the download page (SHA256): FreeNAS-9.1.0-RELEASE-x64.iso (306MB).


This one ain't your granddad's FreeNAS.

40hz

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #64 on: August 05, 2013, 06:48:18 PM »
oh yeah...never used the pool feature in Windows server.

But that's only because the servers I spec are purpose built and configured for specific tasks, so the storage configuration in them remains static for their service life. And to date, none of my clients were looking for anything quite as big as what you're planning.

I also tend to veer towards multiple smaller rather than one large server purely to avoid a single point of failure scenario and also to provide some flexibility down the road.

YMMV.  8)

Stoic Joker

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #65 on: August 05, 2013, 06:54:42 PM »
@Stoic Joker: Any idea of the kilowatt per hour usage of that unit?

An exact number no...But the accountant hasn't screamed yet, and I asked him to keep an eye on the light bill when the rack came online to see if there was a discernible jump from the old cluster of towers.

I was originally told about these by a client that had been using one for a few years to keep their bedroom cooler at night instead of using the main house a/c unit. They say their light bill is actually lower for it.

wraith808

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #66 on: August 05, 2013, 07:48:21 PM »
oh yeah...never used the pool feature in Windows server.

I did... and I lived to regret it.  I wouldn't trust it after that incident if they paid me to.

superboyac

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #67 on: August 05, 2013, 08:27:53 PM »
oh yeah...never used the pool feature in Windows server.

But that's only because the servers I spec are purpose built and configured for specific tasks, so the storage configuration in them remains static for their service life. And to date, none of my clients were looking for anything quite as big as what you're planning.

I also tend to veer towards multiple smaller rather than one large server purely to avoid a single point of failure scenario and also to provide some flexibility down the road.

YMMV.  8)
I'll check out FreeNAS.  The primary purpose of this particular server is just plain old file storage.  So I don't need all the Windows Server stuff, it's just that it's the only one I've seen that could do drive pooling the way i'm imagining.  All the other ones were either RAID related, or using software to do the drive pooling.  So FreeNAS will be my next experiment.  I'd actually prefer if a Linux system could do it nicely.

I guess for multiple servers, i don't understand what methodolgy I'd use to split the servers up.  Are you saying multiple boxes each running FreeNAS on it?  Or one FreeNAS install, with multiple storage boxes connected to it?  Or maybe even one FreeNAS install, with VM's of other FreeNAS's?

What I've been trying to do all these years is to avoid even drive pooling.  So music on one drive, videos on another, etc.  but the videos quickly take over the space.  So then it's like, do i have one drive for tv shows, another for feature films, another for family videos (uncompressed, quickly take up all the space, gah!)?

Good progress so far, I'm getting excited.  Looks like I've figured out my enclosure, so that's done.  Now which OS do I need?  It's all about drive pooling now.

superboyac

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #68 on: August 05, 2013, 08:33:36 PM »
Interesting, regarding FreeNAS and replacing drives:
Quote
The recommended method for expanding the size of a ZFS pool is to pre-plan the number of disks in a vdev and to stripe additional vdevs using the ZFS Volume Manager as additional capacity is needed.

However, this is not an option if you do not have open drive ports or the ability to add a SAS/SATA HBA card. In this case, you can replace one disk at a time with a larger disk, wait for the resilvering process to incorporate the new disk into the pool completes, then repeat with another disk until all of the disks have been replaced. This process is slow and places the system in a degraded state. Since a failure at this point could be disastrous, do not attempt this method unless the system has a reliable backup.
Don't like the sound of that last bit.  I guess it is saying, when you run out of space, it's best NOT to try to replace the existing drives with bigger ones, but rather, just add storage.  That is certainly possible with my setup.
But I still have questions about how to deal with drives dying that need to be replaced.  And also, exactly how do i incorporate an additional (new) disk into an existing volume?  Or is it better to add a separate volume?  Maybe I need to understand better what people mean by disk vs. volume vs. server.

Here's the goal...let's say all my shows are in a pool spanning 3 drives, that pool is called "TVshows".  Now, I run out of space.  I want to add a new 4TB drive to the "TVshows" volume.  I don't want a new volume because now all my tv shows are in two different places.  So how do I do that?

Stoic Joker

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #69 on: August 05, 2013, 10:31:23 PM »
oh yeah...never used the pool feature in Windows server.

I did... and I lived to regret it.  I wouldn't trust it after that incident if they paid me to.

Is that for the WHS version, the new version, or both? I've never had occasion to play with it ... But I've got all my VMs on an 8 disk hardware RAID5 array.


@SB disks are physical, volumes (think partition) are virtual. Only catch is that RAID arrays also get called volumes by the controller software even though you can create multiple (partition) volumes within them.

how storage gets added to an array depends on the RAID controller used. Mainstream commercial is better as they have more features and will be easier to find replacements 5 or so years from now if one blows.

I liked 40's 2 server idea so you can Linux the storage and use Win12 for the Hyper-V virtualization stuff. That config strikes me as the most fun to play with.

wraith808

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #70 on: August 05, 2013, 11:29:31 PM »
Is that for the WHS version, the new version, or both? I've never had occasion to play with it ... But I've got all my VMs on an 8 disk hardware RAID5 array.

It was for the WHS version.

40hz

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #71 on: August 06, 2013, 06:38:05 AM »

Don't like the sound of that last bit.  I guess it is saying, when you run out of space, it's best NOT to try to replace the existing drives with bigger ones, but rather, just add storage.  That is certainly possible with my setup.

That's going to be  the case with pretty much anything you choose. Since the drives are pooled (in whatever fashion) pulling out any existing element in the pool which is already holding data will result in similar degradation until the data either gets reconstructed and redistributed to the remaining elements or a new drive gets incorporated into the pool. That's because your system is aware of what drives it has in its pool. If anything happens to them (or you decide to pull and replace one) certain niceties need to be preserved while housekeeping gets performed. So until the system finishes cleaning up, the system will be 'degraded.' And any additional 'surprises' it encounters while doing so could result in data loss. But the same is true of RAID or pooling or any other storage virtualization scheme. The important thing is how many simultaneous surprises the scheme can deal with at a time - and how quickly it can recover and resume full normal operations following them.

If you're really feeling ambitious about all this, take a look at Gluster-FS when you get a chance. There's also a bunch of videos on it up on Youtube.
 8)

Stoic Joker

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #72 on: August 06, 2013, 06:43:15 AM »
Is that for the WHS version, the new version, or both? I've never had occasion to play with it ... But I've got all my VMs on an 8 disk hardware RAID5 array.

It was for the WHS version.

Ah! Okay. I remember that debacle. But supposedly they got that all fixed...supposedly... They were pitching it as the best thing since sliced bread at the last MS show I went to. Guess we'll have to wait for 40 to chime in on the clarification then. Thanks.



@Stoic Joker: Any idea of the kilowatt per hour usage of that unit?

I checked the paperwork on the a/c unit when I got to the office this morning, but still no mention of its KWh rating.

(not necessarily useful information) It does come with a handy remote control.

40hz

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #73 on: August 06, 2013, 08:26:02 AM »
Is that for the WHS version, the new version, or both? I've never had occasion to play with it ... But I've got all my VMs on an 8 disk hardware RAID5 array.



It was for the WHS version.

Ah! Okay. I remember that debacle. But supposedly they got that all fixed...supposedly... They were pitching it as the best thing since sliced bread at the last MS show I went to. Guess we'll have to wait for 40 to chime in on the clarification then. Thanks.

The first iterations worked ok as long as you didn't push it too much. Then something went terribly wrong a few updates later. Microsoft 'fixed' it by the simple expedient of removing the drive pooling feature from WHS.


But it's kinda moot now. Unless I missed something WHS has been officially discontinued. Microsoft is suggesting its very stripped down "Windows Server Essentials" server as the replacement.

However, with the advent of its cloud services iniative, I don't expect Microsoft to do anything to bring back WHS. Their attitude seems to be that most file and streaming media servers really belong up in the cloud. Ideally the Microsoft cloud, where Ballmer will be be happy to rent you as much storage space as you'll ever need. All major credit cards accepted!

« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 08:34:16 AM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: PLease help superboyac build a server (2013 edition).
« Reply #74 on: August 06, 2013, 09:06:35 AM »
But it's kinda moot now. Unless I missed something WHS has been officially discontinued. Microsoft is suggesting its very stripped down "Windows Server Essentials" server as the replacement.

It's not moot to those people (i.e. me) hit by it.  If they paid me, I wouldn't use it in any iteration.  It's one thing to be hit by something like this in beta software- but that was supposedly production-ready.  Nope.  Nuh uh.  Not even if they swore on their children's lives would I use it again.