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The Hobbit 05-15-2006 10:12 AM

Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
Hi All,
I'm wanting to setup a NAS on my home network and am looking for
recommendations for a motherboard with a buttload of SATA/IDE
connectors which I can hang a ton of drives off - that also takes a low
power CPU.

I'm planning to leave the machine running (debian) 24/7 as it will host
all my home media and will need to handle upward of 3 TB of data if I
was to format shift my CDs/DVDs (once it becomes legal of course ;) )
Any suggestions as to brand/supplier of such a MB would be greatly
appreciated.


thingy 05-15-2006 07:12 PM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
The Hobbit wrote:
> Hi All,
> I'm wanting to setup a NAS on my home network and am looking for
> recommendations for a motherboard with a buttload of SATA/IDE
> connectors which I can hang a ton of drives off - that also takes a low
> power CPU.
>
> I'm planning to leave the machine running (debian) 24/7 as it will host
> all my home media and will need to handle upward of 3 TB of data if I
> was to format shift my CDs/DVDs (once it becomes legal of course ;) )
> Any suggestions as to brand/supplier of such a MB would be greatly
> appreciated.
>


Another thing to consider is getting a good gigabyte NIC on board (even
two and bonding them in load balance mode) ie a e1000 NIC, anything
based on the 8139 is best avoided for heavy loads if possible. I would
suggest a gigabyte motherboard with firewire as my choice (later
external drives are then easy, if not cheap.... and with plenty of pci
slots so you can add cheap ata/sata controllers.

Also consider the case, I am looking for a small server case with heaps
of 5.25inch ext bays for a similar function. Firstin have them
occasionally very cheap ($130), buy a good PSU for them and you are away....

Packing in 10 x 300 gig drives is a bi of an issue, there are a few
5.25inch units that will pack 4 drives into 3 bays (lan-li) and the
promise ones do 5 drives in 3 bays, they will need a fan on them or at
that density they will cook...

Should be good solution to stop my kids scratching the dvds to hell...

Once its legal of course

;]

regards

Thing

~misfit~ 05-16-2006 01:24 AM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
thingy wrote:
> The Hobbit wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I'm wanting to setup a NAS on my home network and am looking for
>> recommendations for a motherboard with a buttload of SATA/IDE
>> connectors which I can hang a ton of drives off - that also takes a
>> low power CPU.
>>
>> I'm planning to leave the machine running (debian) 24/7 as it will
>> host all my home media and will need to handle upward of 3 TB of
>> data if I was to format shift my CDs/DVDs (once it becomes legal of
>> course ;) ) Any suggestions as to brand/supplier of such a MB would
>> be greatly appreciated.
>>

>
> Another thing to consider is getting a good gigabyte NIC on board
> (even two and bonding them in load balance mode) ie a e1000 NIC, anything
> based on the 8139 is best avoided for heavy loads if possible. I would
> suggest a gigabyte motherboard with firewire as my choice (later
> external drives are then easy, if not cheap.... and with plenty of pci
> slots so you can add cheap ata/sata controllers.


PCI to SATA/PATA controllers was also going to be my suggestion. DSE have
some for less than $50 each that support two SATA ports and one (dual fifo)
PATA/133 connector. I've ben using one for a while now with no problems.

> Also consider the case, I am looking for a small server case with
> heaps of 5.25inch ext bays for a similar function. Firstin have them
> occasionally very cheap ($130), buy a good PSU for them and you are
> away....
> Packing in 10 x 300 gig drives is a bi of an issue, there are a few
> 5.25inch units that will pack 4 drives into 3 bays (lan-li) and the
> promise ones do 5 drives in 3 bays, they will need a fan on them or at
> that density they will cook...


Indeed. That was also my main concern on reading the OP. HDDs output a hell
of a lot of heat and it's something a lot of people don't consider. Good
cooling will be very important.

> Should be good solution to stop my kids scratching the dvds to hell...
>
> Once its legal of course


Of course. I would suggest the use of Auto Gordian Knot/Virtual Dub to
change the format to XviD. As long as you don't go silly with compression
ratios and you do double-pass encoding I doubt you'll notice the quality
difference at, say, around 700MB per hour compression. Less compression
maybe for fast action movies. (Although I find that approximate ratio to be
absolutely fine). That cuts down on the storage space needed considerably.
--
Shaun.



thingy 05-16-2006 04:54 AM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
~misfit~ wrote:
> thingy wrote:
>
>>The Hobbit wrote:
>>
>>>Hi All,
>>>I'm wanting to setup a NAS on my home network and am looking for
>>>recommendations for a motherboard with a buttload of SATA/IDE
>>>connectors which I can hang a ton of drives off - that also takes a
>>>low power CPU.
>>>
>>>I'm planning to leave the machine running (debian) 24/7 as it will
>>>host all my home media and will need to handle upward of 3 TB of
>>>data if I was to format shift my CDs/DVDs (once it becomes legal of
>>>course ;) ) Any suggestions as to brand/supplier of such a MB would
>>>be greatly appreciated.
>>>

>>
>>Another thing to consider is getting a good gigabyte NIC on board
>>(even two and bonding them in load balance mode) ie a e1000 NIC, anything
>>based on the 8139 is best avoided for heavy loads if possible. I would
>>suggest a gigabyte motherboard with firewire as my choice (later
>>external drives are then easy, if not cheap.... and with plenty of pci
>>slots so you can add cheap ata/sata controllers.

>
>
> PCI to SATA/PATA controllers was also going to be my suggestion. DSE have
> some for less than $50 each that support two SATA ports and one (dual fifo)
> PATA/133 connector. I've ben using one for a while now with no problems.


Sounds like a plan...

>>Also consider the case, I am looking for a small server case with
>>heaps of 5.25inch ext bays for a similar function. Firstin have them
>>occasionally very cheap ($130), buy a good PSU for them and you are
>>away....
>>Packing in 10 x 300 gig drives is a bi of an issue, there are a few
>>5.25inch units that will pack 4 drives into 3 bays (lan-li) and the
>>promise ones do 5 drives in 3 bays, they will need a fan on them or at
>>that density they will cook...

>
>
> Indeed. That was also my main concern on reading the OP. HDDs output a hell
> of a lot of heat and it's something a lot of people don't consider. Good
> cooling will be very important.


Noise of 10 drives as well...

>>Should be good solution to stop my kids scratching the dvds to hell...
>>
>>Once its legal of course

>
>
> Of course. I would suggest the use of Auto Gordian Knot/Virtual Dub to
> change the format to XviD. As long as you don't go silly with compression
> ratios and you do double-pass encoding I doubt you'll notice the quality
> difference at, say, around 700MB per hour compression.


K, I dont have any disks yet....saving for 3 x 300 gig disks....then
raid 5 them....reading needs to be fast.....have you come across a fast
but cheap raid 5 capable pci card? the ones I have seen cost too
much.....might software raid....but I dont like it....

Less compression
> maybe for fast action movies. (Although I find that approximate ratio to be
> absolutely fine). That cuts down on the storage space needed considerably.


yep....kinda hacked off thet there is no legal changing of format here
in NZ...I dont appreciate it when young children regulary munt DVDs to
go and buy new ones, legal copying once or to a different format should
be perfectly acceptable IMHO.

regards

Thing






Craig Shore 05-16-2006 07:28 AM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
On 15 May 2006 03:12:33 -0700, "The Hobbit" <h0bbit@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Hi All,
>I'm wanting to setup a NAS on my home network and am looking for
>recommendations for a motherboard with a buttload of SATA/IDE
>connectors which I can hang a ton of drives off - that also takes a low
>power CPU.


You will need a fast CPU if you're planning on using gigabit networking. It
takes a lot of power to receive data, and a reasonable amount to send it. You
also need a good PCI bus on the mainboard.

Quoting from the document
http://datatag.web.cern.ch/datatag/p...et2003-rhj.doc


The inspection of the signals on the PCI buses and the Gigabit Ethernet media
has shown that a PC with a 800 MHz CPU can generate Gigabit Ethernet frames
back-to-back at line speed provided that the frames are > 1000 bytes. However,
much more processing power is required for the receiving system to prevent
packet loss. Network studies at SLAC [7] also indicate that a processor of at
least 1 GHz/ Gbit is required. The loss of frames in the IP stack was found to
be caused by lack of available buffers between the IP layer and the UDP layer of
the IP stack. It is clear that there must be sufficient compute power to allow
the UDP and application to complete and ensure free buffers remain in the pool.

Timing information derived from the PCI signals and the round trip latency,
allowed the processing time required for the IP stack and test application to be
estimated as 10 s per node for send and receive of a packet.

The time required for the DMA transfer over the PCI scales with PCI bus width
and speed as expected, but the time required to setup the CSRs of the NIC is
almost independent of these parameters. It is dependent on how quickly the NIC
can deal with the CSR accesses internally. Another issue is the number of CSR
accesses that a NIC requires to transmit data, receive data, determine the error
status, and update the CSRs when a packet has been sent or received. Clearly for
high throughput the number of CSR accesses should be minimised.

A 33bit 32 MHz PCI bus has almost 100% occupancy and the tests indicate a
maximum throughput of ~ 670 Mbit/s. A 64bit 32 MHz PCI bus shows 82% usage on
sending when operating with interrupt coalescence and delivering 930 Mbit/s. In
both these cases, involving a disk sub-system operating on the same PCI bus
would seriously impact performance the data has to traverse the bus twice and
there will be extra control information for the disk controller.

To enable and operate data transfers at Gigabit speeds, the results indicate
that a 64bit 66 MHz PCI or PCI-X bus be used. Preferably the design of the
motherboard should allow storage and network devices to be on separate PCI
buses. For example, the SuperMicro P4DP6 / P4DP8 Motherboards have 4 independent
64bit 66 MHz PCI / PCI-X buses, allowing suitable separation of the bus traffic.

Driver and operating system design and interaction are most important to
achieving high performance. For example, the way the driver interacts with the
NIC hardware and the way it manages the internal buffers and data flow can have
dramatic impact on the throughput. The operating system should be configured
with sufficient buffer space to allow a continuous flow of data at Gigabit
rates.

thingy 05-16-2006 08:03 AM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
Craig Shore wrote:
> On 15 May 2006 03:12:33 -0700, "The Hobbit" <h0bbit@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>Hi All,
>>I'm wanting to setup a NAS on my home network and am looking for
>>recommendations for a motherboard with a buttload of SATA/IDE
>>connectors which I can hang a ton of drives off - that also takes a low
>>power CPU.

>
>
> You will need a fast CPU if you're planning on using gigabit networking. It
> takes a lot of power to receive data, and a reasonable amount to send it. You
> also need a good PCI bus on the mainboard.
>
> Quoting from the document
> http://datatag.web.cern.ch/datatag/p...et2003-rhj.doc
>
>
> The inspection of the signals on the PCI buses and the Gigabit Ethernet media
> has shown that a PC with a 800 MHz CPU can generate Gigabit Ethernet frames
> back-to-back at line speed provided that the frames are > 1000 bytes. However,
> much more processing power is required for the receiving system to prevent
> packet loss. Network studies at SLAC [7] also indicate that a processor of at
> least 1 GHz/ Gbit is required. The loss of frames in the IP stack was found to
> be caused by lack of available buffers between the IP layer and the UDP layer of
> the IP stack. It is clear that there must be sufficient compute power to allow
> the UDP and application to complete and ensure free buffers remain in the pool.
>
> Timing information derived from the PCI signals and the round trip latency,
> allowed the processing time required for the IP stack and test application to be
> estimated as 10 s per node for send and receive of a packet.
>
> The time required for the DMA transfer over the PCI scales with PCI bus width
> and speed as expected, but the time required to setup the CSRs of the NIC is
> almost independent of these parameters. It is dependent on how quickly the NIC
> can deal with the CSR accesses internally. Another issue is the number of CSR
> accesses that a NIC requires to transmit data, receive data, determine the error
> status, and update the CSRs when a packet has been sent or received. Clearly for
> high throughput the number of CSR accesses should be minimised.
>
> A 33bit 32 MHz PCI bus has almost 100% occupancy and the tests indicate a
> maximum throughput of ~ 670 Mbit/s. A 64bit 32 MHz PCI bus shows 82% usage on
> sending when operating with interrupt coalescence and delivering 930 Mbit/s. In
> both these cases, involving a disk sub-system operating on the same PCI bus
> would seriously impact performance the data has to traverse the bus twice and
> there will be extra control information for the disk controller.
>
> To enable and operate data transfers at Gigabit speeds, the results indicate
> that a 64bit 66 MHz PCI or PCI-X bus be used. Preferably the design of the
> motherboard should allow storage and network devices to be on separate PCI
> buses. For example, the SuperMicro P4DP6 / P4DP8 Motherboards have 4 independent
> 64bit 66 MHz PCI / PCI-X buses, allowing suitable separation of the bus traffic.
>
> Driver and operating system design and interaction are most important to
> achieving high performance. For example, the way the driver interacts with the
> NIC hardware and the way it manages the internal buffers and data flow can have
> dramatic impact on the throughput. The operating system should be configured
> with sufficient buffer space to allow a continuous flow of data at Gigabit
> rates.


Thanks, interesting piece.........

Identifying the SuperMicro board as a possible candidate is good...cant
say I have seen this sort of detail commonly published.....guess it must
be somewhere on the motherboard makers site.....

I have overheard a few times of how great it is going to be when 10gig
networks arrive...(ie limitless possibilities) at that sort of speed I
dont see how a desktop of even workstation quality unit is going
transfer 10 times the data through the present motherboard internals.....

regards

Thing











Steve 05-16-2006 09:56 AM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
On Tue, 16 May 2006 07:12:57 +1200, thingy wrote:

> The Hobbit wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I'm wanting to setup a NAS on my home network and am looking for
>> recommendations for a motherboard with a buttload of SATA/IDE
>> connectors which I can hang a ton of drives off - that also takes a low
>> power CPU.
>>
>> I'm planning to leave the machine running (debian) 24/7 as it will host
>> all my home media and will need to handle upward of 3 TB of data if I
>> was to format shift my CDs/DVDs (once it becomes legal of course ;) )
>> Any suggestions as to brand/supplier of such a MB would be greatly
>> appreciated.
>>

>
> Another thing to consider is getting a good gigabyte NIC on board (even
> two and bonding them in load balance mode) ie a e1000 NIC, anything
> based on the 8139 is best avoided for heavy loads if possible. I would
> suggest a gigabyte motherboard with firewire as my choice (later
> external drives are then easy, if not cheap.... and with plenty of pci
> slots so you can add cheap ata/sata controllers.
>
> Also consider the case, I am looking for a small server case with heaps
> of 5.25inch ext bays for a similar function. Firstin have them
> occasionally very cheap ($130), buy a good PSU for them and you are away....
>
> Packing in 10 x 300 gig drives is a bi of an issue, there are a few
> 5.25inch units that will pack 4 drives into 3 bays (lan-li) and the
> promise ones do 5 drives in 3 bays, they will need a fan on them or at
> that density they will cook...
>
> Should be good solution to stop my kids scratching the dvds to hell...
>
> Once its legal of course
>
> ;]
>
> regards
>
> Thing


Can anything in the Microsoft world handle jumbo packets? That's always a
good way of lessening the load.




Peter Nield 05-16-2006 10:53 AM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
----- Original Message -----
From: "thingy" <thingy@nocommy.commy>
Newsgroups: nz.comp
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 7:12 AM
Subject: Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)


> The Hobbit wrote:
> > Hi All,
> > I'm wanting to setup a NAS on my home network and am looking for
> > recommendations for a motherboard with a buttload of SATA/IDE
> > connectors which I can hang a ton of drives off - that also takes a low
> > power CPU.
> >
> > I'm planning to leave the machine running (debian) 24/7 as it will host
> > all my home media and will need to handle upward of 3 TB of data if I
> > was to format shift my CDs/DVDs (once it becomes legal of course ;) )
> > Any suggestions as to brand/supplier of such a MB would be greatly
> > appreciated.
> >

>
> Another thing to consider is getting a good gigabyte NIC on board (even
> two and bonding them in load balance mode) ie a e1000 NIC, anything
> based on the 8139 is best avoided for heavy loads if possible. I would
> suggest a gigabyte motherboard with firewire as my choice (later
> external drives are then easy, if not cheap.... and with plenty of pci
> slots so you can add cheap ata/sata controllers.
>
> Also consider the case, I am looking for a small server case with heaps
> of 5.25inch ext bays for a similar function. Firstin have them
> occasionally very cheap ($130), buy a good PSU for them and you are

away....
>
> Packing in 10 x 300 gig drives is a bi of an issue, there are a few
> 5.25inch units that will pack 4 drives into 3 bays (lan-li) and the
> promise ones do 5 drives in 3 bays, they will need a fan on them or at
> that density they will cook...
>
> Should be good solution to stop my kids scratching the dvds to hell...


A couple of things to consider:

What bandwidth do you actually *need* to and from the machine?

How much storage do actually *need*?

For instance, I've got in my home server:
- Gigabyte K8NS Pro
- Socket 754
- 4 x SATA
- 4 x PATA
- onboard Gbe
- yadda yadda
- Athlon 64 2800+
- 512MB RAM
- 2 x 120GB HDD (2 x PATA), OS partitions software mirrored
- 5 x 200GB HDD (4 x SATA, 1 x PATA), RAID-5 (software)
- 500W RAIDMAX PSU
- iCute Case (6 x 3.5" internal, 4 x 5.25" external)

On sequential reads, the RAID-5 set pulls around 100MBps. _Plenty_ for
streaming a DVD or three.

How ever, writes to the RAID-5 set top out at about 10MBps... If I had a
write-back cache array controller for the disks, it would be much higher,
I'm sure...

Nice thing about the software RAID is that you can had the HDD spin down -
the RAID 5 set spends most of its time spun down, saving about 80W of idle
power - which can add up over the year (0.08 kwh x 24 x 365 = 700 kwh per
year, or $100 to $130 per year, depending on your tarrif). And the machine
stays cooler to.

I've got Cool'n'quite enabled on the CPU, saving a few more watts.

I've yet to by a GBe Switch as well.

The Server runs Squid, DNS, DHCP, and I've been have a play with PXE boots
recently (saves having a floppy drive in the machines at home...)

I use the 800GB available for relatively safe storage ISO images of CDs (so
they don't get scratched), and any medium-shifted media.

When medium-shifting, I use my workstation to do the work, and then transfer
the result to the server. It takes a little while to shift 1GB of Data -
about three minutes (whoop-de-do) over Fast Ethernet.

Oh, and I haven't bothered with an optical drive in the Server. Just
another piece of equipment to draw power and have dust sucked through it.



Enkidu 05-16-2006 09:00 PM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
Steve wrote:
> On Tue, 16 May 2006 07:12:57 +1200, thingy wrote:
>>
>> Another thing to consider is getting a good gigabyte NIC on board
>> (even two and bonding them in load balance mode) ie a e1000 NIC,
>> anything based on the 8139 is best avoided for heavy loads if
>> possible. I would suggest a gigabyte motherboard with firewire as
>> my choice (later external drives are then easy, if not cheap....
>> and with plenty of pci slots so you can add cheap ata/sata
>> controllers.
>>

Thingy, re the GB NICs. If you are bonding NICs, it is not much use
unless you either have a switch with trunking or two switches. Many
small switches aren't capable (as I've found out). Also the other end of
the connection, presumably a workstation, would also have to have two
NICs to take advantage of the extra bandwidth. I'm guessing from the
brief description of the setup that there is unlikely to be more than
one machine at a time accessing the NAS machine at any one time, but
that's a guess.

Cheers,

Cliff

thingy 05-16-2006 09:34 PM

Re: Advice Please: NAS (Loads of storage on home LAN)
 
Enkidu wrote:
> Steve wrote:
>
>> On Tue, 16 May 2006 07:12:57 +1200, thingy wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Another thing to consider is getting a good gigabyte NIC on board
>>> (even two and bonding them in load balance mode) ie a e1000 NIC,
>>> anything based on the 8139 is best avoided for heavy loads if
>>> possible. I would suggest a gigabyte motherboard with firewire as
>>> my choice (later external drives are then easy, if not cheap....
>>> and with plenty of pci slots so you can add cheap ata/sata
>>> controllers.
>>>

> Thingy, re the GB NICs. If you are bonding NICs, it is not much use
> unless you either have a switch with trunking or two switches. Many
> small switches aren't capable (as I've found out). Also the other end of
> the connection, presumably a workstation, would also have to have two
> NICs to take advantage of the extra bandwidth. I'm guessing from the
> brief description of the setup that there is unlikely to be more than
> one machine at a time accessing the NAS machine at any one time, but
> that's a guess.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Cliff


Wouldnt surprise me.

regards

Thing







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