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  1. Table of Contents 01. 2013-NOV-13: First Hardware Testing & The Noctua NH-U9DX 1366 02. 2013-NOV-16: Temporary Ghetto Setup, OS Installed 03. 2014-APR-01: Mounting the PSU & Ghetto-testing the LSI Controller 04. 2014-APR-02: The Disk Racks 05. 2014-APR-08: Chipset Cooling & Adventures in Instability 06. 2014-APR-09: Disk Ventilation 07. 2014-APR-11: Fan Unit for Main Compartment Ventilation 08. 2014-APR-12: Storage Topology & Cabling 09. 2014-APR-26: Storage and Networking Performance 10. 2014-MAY-10: Sound Dampening & Final Pics Wait, What, and Why? So, yeah, another build. Another server, to be precise. Why? Well, as nice of a system ZEUS is, it does have two major shortcomings for its use as a server. When I originally conceived ZEUS, I did not plan on using ZFS (since it was not yet production-ready on Linux at that point). The plan was to use ZEUS' HDDs as single disks, backing up the important stuff. In case of a disk failure, the loss of non-backed up data would have been acceptable, since it's mostly media files. As long as there's an index of what was on the disk, that data could easily be reaquired. But right before ZEUS was done, I found out that ZFS was production-ready on Linux, having kept a bit of an eye on it since fall 2012 when I dabbled in FreeBSD and ZFS for the first time. Using FreeBSD on the server was not an option though since I was nowhere near proficient enough with it to use it for something that important, so it had to be Linux (that's why I didn't originally plan on ZFS). So, I deployed ZFS on ZEUS, and it's been working very nicely so far. However, that brought with it two major drawbacks: Firstly, I was now missing 5 TB of space, since I had been tempted by ZFS to use those for redundancy, even for our media files. Secondly, and more importantly, ZEUS is not an ECC-memory-capable system. The reason this might be a problem is that when ZFS verifies the data on the disks, a corrupted bit in your RAM could cause a discrepancy between the data in memory and the data on disk, in which case ZFS would "correct" the data on your disk, therefore corrupting it. This is not exactly optimal IMO. How severe the consequences of this would be in practice is an ongoing debate in various ZFS threads I've read. Optimists estimate that it would merely corrupt the file(s) with the concerned corrupt bit(s), pessimists are afraid it might corrupt your entire pool. The main focus of this machine will be: room to install more disks over timeECC-RAM capablenot ridiculously expensivelow-maintenance, high reliability and availability (within reason, it's still a home and small business server)Hardware The component choices as they stand now: M/B: Supermicro X8DT3-LN4FRAM: 12 GB ECC DDR3-1333 (Hynix)CPUs: 2 x Intel L5630 Quad Cores, 40 W TDP eachCooling: 2 x Noctua NH-UD9X 1366 (yes, air cooling! :o )Cooling: A few nice server double ball bearing San Ace fans will also be making an appearance.Case: InWin PP689 (will be modded to fit more HDDs than in stock config)Other: TBDModding Instead of some uber-expensive W/C setup, the main part of actually building this rig will be in modifying the PP689 for fitting as many HDDs as halfway reasonable as neatly as possible. I have not yet decided if there will be painting and/or sleeving and/or a window. A window is unlikely, the rest depends mostly on how much time I'll have in the next few weeks (this is not a long-term project, aim is to have it done way before HELIOS). Also, since costs for this build should not spiral out of control, I will be trying to reuse as many scrap and spare parts I have laying around as possible. Teaser More pics will follow as parts arrive and the build progresses, for now a shot of the case: (click image for full res) That's all for now, thanks for stopping by, and so long. :)
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