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alpenwasser

APOLLO (2CPU LGA1366 Server | InWin PP689 | 24 Disks Capacity) - by alpenwasser [COMPL - 2014-MAY-10]

45 posts in this topic

Triple Fan Unit



As hinted at earlier, the airflow in this build will go from
the front compartment  through the middle wall  into the M/B
compartment and out the back.

This  is  pretty much  how  the  stock configuration  works,
except in that the air gets  in through the front panel, not
through the side panel.

Unfortunately I forgot to take pics of the stock config, but
luckily tweaktown.com did a review on this case and took them
for me. :D


Source article where I got the image  from can be found here.

In  the stock  config, the  92  mm fans  are mounted  inside
some plastic  fan cages  that allow  quick and  toolless fan
replacement in case of failure.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--00a--stock-confi


And without the fan cages:

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--00b--stock-confi


Originally  I  just screwed  the  fans  to two  aluminium  L
profile bars.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--01--triple-fan-u

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--02--triple-fan-u

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--03--triple-fan-u


It was fixed  to the middle wall  with double-sided adhesive
tape. It's very  strong stuff, so  the fan unit  falling off
was not a concern. Additionally, the tape has some thickness
to it, which  should provide some dampening  between the fan
unit and the middle wall.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--04--triple-fan-u


Unfortunately, due to some bumps on the middle wall getting in
the way, the tape on the rear angle didn't make proper contact
with the wall. It held, but not very well.

Additinoally,  I  noticed  that  there  were  rather  strong
vibtrations on the middle wall. It  turned out that the tape
did  indeed  offer some  decoupling,  but  it also  did  not
offer any  additional strength to  the middle wall  (i.e. no
additional  stiffness), which  meant the  wall could  easily
vibrate.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--05--triple-fan-u


So, I took the unit out, and while I was at it, I also cut
out some recesses for the fans which I didn't bother doing
before. I also put some dampening foam between the fans and
the alu angles.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--06--triple-fan-u


Aaand  of   course  I  mounted   the  fans  the   wrong  way
round. Sigh.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--07--triple-fan-u


Disassemble again, reassemble.

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--08--triple-fan-u


Also: Foam between the alu angles and the wall itself:
(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--09--triple-fan-u


This time  I bolted  it to the  wall with  some screws. Much
more solid now, no more vibrations. :)

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--10--triple-fan-u


How it looks from the other side:

(click image for full res)
aw--apollo--2014-04-12--11--triple-fan-u


Cheers,
-aw

 

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yummi  :wub:

Thanks! :)

 

Storage Topology & Cabling

Storage Topology

In case you can't read the text, the full res version should

be more easily readable.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--storage-topology

The idea behind the storage topology is based on the concept

Any one  of the three LSI  controllers can fail and  I still

have all my data available.

You'll  see  below  that  I haven't  yet  gotten  around  to

installing the Velociraptor.

I use coloured zip ties to mark the cables that go to the

different controllers.

BLUE   = controller 0

YELLOW = controller 1

GREEN  = controller 2

Tidiness

There isn't really any space to hide the cables, so this was

rather  tricky  and  required  three attempts  until  I  was

satisfied with the result. In the  end I hid the extra cable

behind the triple  fan unit, good thing they're  38 mm fans,

which makes the space behind them just about large enough to

fit the extra cable bits.

The power cables for the disks are two cables that came with

the PSU  and onto  which I  just put  a lot  more connectors

while  taking off  the stock  connectors because  those were

neither placed  in the correct  locations nor facing  in the

right direction.

Looks harmless, right? Yeah...

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--01--cables-harml

And the disks:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--02--disks.jpeg

OK then, first try:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--03--all-cables.j

I soon realized that this  wasn't going to work. The problem

was that  I had the  disks arranged in  the same way  as the

will be  set up  in the  storage pool  layout, so  the disks

which go into the same  storage pool were also mounted below

each  other.  Sounds  nice in  theory,  but if  you want  to

have  disk from  each pool  distributed among  the different

controllers, you'll get quite the cable mess.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--04--cabling-roun

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--05--cabling-roun

Second Try

Next try, this time I arranged  the disks to that the cables

to the controllers could be  better laid out. Since I wanted

to set up  all the cables for all the  disk slots, even ones

that will  stay empty for  now, I  had to shuffle  the disks

around when laying out the cables.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--06--cabling-roun

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--08--cable-hydra.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--09--cable-crossr

Better. But I still wasn't quite happy, mainly because...

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--10--cables-done.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--11--disks-distri

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--12--cables-detai

... of this:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--13--cables-nest.

Third Try

This time  I made sure the  cables stayed tidy on  both ends

while hiding  the mess  (which cannot  be avoided  since all

cables are the same length but lead to different end points,

obviously) behind the triple fan unit.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--15--hiding-space

The loop of extra cable length for the top cable loom:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--16--hiding-space

And the cable loom for controller 0, from the disk side...

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--17--cable-loom-c

and the M/B side. Much better IMHO. :)

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--18--cable-loom-c

The bottom controller had a bit more extra cable length to hide, so

that part is a bit messier.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--19--cable-loom-c

And the middle one:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--20--cable-loom-c

Tada! While not perfect (I'd need  longer cables for that to

make cleaner runs,  but I'm not buying more  cables just for

the sake of that for a  build that has a closed side panel),

with this iteration of my cabling I'm now rather happy:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--21--disk-rack-ca

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--22--disk-rack-ca

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--23--disk-rack-ca

And the other side. Much better than before methinks. :)

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--24--mb-cmpt-over

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--25--mb-cmpt-clos

The SATA cable for the system SSD:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--26--system-drive

And the controller LEDs when there's some activity:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-13--27--controller-l

Now  if you'll  excuse me,  there's a  dinner waiting  to be

cooked. :)

Cheers,

-aw

 

 

 

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If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again.  Great work on the cables.  Turned out really nice for all the work you put in.

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Nice to see I'm not the only one with internal cable OCD  :P

 

Great job AW, HUGELY impressive  B)

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If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again.  Great work on the cables.  Turned out really nice for all the work you put in.

Haha, yes pretty much that. I had almost given up after the second attempt

but it just kept bugging the ever-loving poopadilly out of me, so I sat down,

ripped it all apart again (which was actually quite a bit of work, need to

take out the right CPU cooler as well as the chipset fan to be able to take

off the 92 mm fans on the middle wall, a downside of things getting a bit

cramped), stared the problem in the face for a while and got cracking.

I am rather happy with the result myself, so thanks for the compliment! :)

 

 

Nice to see I'm not the only one with internal cable OCD  :P

 

Great job AW, HUGELY impressive  B)

Haha, no you are not, and thank you very much. :)

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Storage and Networking Performance

Beware: This  post  will  be  of little  interest  to  those

who  are   primarily  in  it   for  the  physical   side  of

building. Instead, this update will be about the performance

and  software  side  of   things. So, lots of text, lots of

numbers. :D

These results  are still somewhat preliminary  since I'm not

yet 100% sure  if the hardware config will  remain like this

for an extended period of time (I really want to put another

12  GB of  RAM in  there,  for example,  and am  considering

adding  some  SSD  goodness  to  my ZFS  pools),  nor  am  I

necessarily  done with  tuning software  parameters, but  it

should  give some  idea  of what  performance I'm  currently

getting.

As you may recall from my previous update, I'm running three

VMs on this machine, two of  which are pretty much always on

(the media VM and my personal VM), and the third of which is

only  active when  I'm pulling  a  backup of  my dad's  work

machine (apollo-business).

NOTE: I  know  there's   lots  of  text  and   stuff  in  my

screenshots and  it may  be a  bit difficult  to read. Click

on  any  image to  get  the  full-res version  for  improved

legibility. :)

The storage setup  has been revised somewhat  since the last

update. I now have  a mirrored ZFS pool in  ZEUS for backing

up my dad's  business data (so, in total his  data is on six

HDDs, including  the one in  his work machine). His  data is

pulled onto  the apollo-business  VM from his  work machine,

and  then  pulled  onto  ZEUS. The  fact  that  neither  the

business VM  nor ZEUS  are online 24/7  (ZEUS is  turned off

physically  most of  the  time) should  provide some  decent

protection  against most  malheurs, the  only thing  I still

need to  implement is a  proper off-site backup  plan (which

I  will  definitely do,  in  case  of unforeseen  disasters,

break-ins/theft and so on).

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-26--01--apollo-zeus-

The Plan

For  convenience's sake,  I was  planning on  using NFS  for

sharing  data between  the  server and  its various  clients

on  our network. Unfortunately,  I was  getting some  rather

disappointing benchmarking results  initially, with only ~60

MB/s to ~70 MB/s transfer speeds between machines.

Tools

I'm not  really a  storage benchmarking  expert, and  at the

moment I  definitely don't have  the time to become  one, so

for  benchmarking  my storage  I've  used  dd for  the  time

being. It's  easy to  use and  is pretty  much standard  for

every  Linux install. I  thought about  using other  storage

benchmarks like Bonnie++ and FIO,  and at some point I might

still do that, but for the time being dd will suffice for my

purposes.

For  those  not  familiar  with  this:  /dev/zero  basically

serves  as a data source for  lots of zeroes, /dev/null is a

sink into which you can  write data without it being written

to disk.  So,  if you want to do writing  benchmarks to your

storage, you can grab data from /dev/zero without needing to

worry  about a  bottleneck  on your  data  source side,  and

/dev/null  is the  equivalent when  you wish  to do  reading

benchmarks. To demonstrate  this, I  did a quick  test below

directly from /dev/zero into /dev/null.

Basically. It's a bit  of a simplification, but  I hope it's

somewhat understandable. ;)

Baseline

Before  doing  storage  benchmarks across  the  network,  we

should of course  get a baseline for both  the storage setup

itself as well as the network.

The base pipe from /dev/zero  into /dev/null transfers has a

transfer speed  of ~9  GB/s. Nothing unexpected, but  it's a

quick test to do and I was curious about this:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-26--02--baseline--de

For measuring this I used iperf, here's a screencap from one

of my test runs. The machine it's running on was my personal

VM.

Top to bottom:

- my dad's Windows 7 machine

- APOLLO host (Arch Linux)

- HELIOS (also Windows 7 for the time being, sadly)

- ZEUS (Arch Linux)

- My Laptop via WiFi (Arch Linux)

- APOLLO business VM (Arch Linux)

- APOLLO media VM

The  bottom  two  results aren't  really  representative  of

typical  performance,  usually  it's  ~920  Mbit/s  to  ~940

Mbit/s, But as with any setup, outliers happen.

(click image for full res)

2014-04-21--17-33-30--iperf.png

The networking performance  is where I hit  my first hickup.

I failed to specify to the VM which networking driver it was

supposed to use,  and the default one does  not exactly have

stellar performance. It was an easy fix though, and with the

new  settings I  now  get pretty  much  the same  networking

performance across all my machines (except the Windows ones,

those are  stuck at ~500 Mbit/s  for some reason as  you can

see  above, but  that's not  hugely important  to me  at the

moment TBH).

This is representative of what I can get most of the time:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-26--03--baseline--ne

I had a  similar issue with the storage  subsystem at first,

the default  parameters for caching were  not very conducive

to high performance and resulted in some pretty bad results:

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-26--04--baseline--ca

Once I  fixed that  though, much  better, and  sufficient to

saturate a gigabit networking connection.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-26--05--baseline--ca

Networking Benchmark Results

Initially, I got only around 60 MB/s for NFS, after that the

next plateau was somewhere between  75 MB/s and 80 MB/s, and

lastly, this is the current situation. I must say I find the

results to  be slightly... peculiar. Pretty  much everything

I've ever read says that NFS should offer better performance

than CIFS, and yet, for some  reason, in many cases that was

not the result I got.

I'm not yet  sure if I'll be  going with NFS or  CIFS in the

end  to be  honest. On one  hand, CIFS  does give  my better

performance for  the most  part, but I  have found  NFS more

convenient  to configure  and use,  and NFS'  performance at

this point is decent enough for most of my purposes.

In  general,  I  find  the NFS  results  just  rather  weird

TBH. But they have been  reproducible over different runs on

several days, so for the time being I'll accept them as what

I can get.

Anyway, behold the mother of all graphics! :D

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-04-26--06--network-benc

FTP

As an  alternative, I've also  tried FTP , but  results were

not really  very satisfying. This is just  a screenshot from

one test run, but it  is representative of the various other

test runs I did:

(click image for full res)

2014-04-19--19-59-00--ftp.png

ZFS Compression

Also, for  those curious  about ZFS' compression  (which was

usually disabled in the above  tests because zeroes are very

compressible and would therefore skew the benchmarks), I did

a quick  test to compare writing  zeroes to a ZFS  pool with

and without compression.

This is  CPU utilization without compression  (the grey bars

are CPU time spent waiting for  I/O, not actual work the CPU

is doing):

(click image for full res)

2014-04-21--19-41-25--zfs-nocompression-

And this was the write speed for that specific test run:

(click image for full res)

2014-04-21--19-45-01--zfs-nocompression-

With lz4 compression enabled, the  CPU does quite a bit more

work,  as expected  (though it  still seems  that you  don't

really need a very powerful CPU to make use of this):

(click image for full res)

2014-04-21--19-39-59--zfs-lz4-zeroes.png

And the write speed goes up almost to a gigabyte per second,

pretty neat if you ask me. :D

(click image for full res)

2014-04-21--19-40-47--zfs-lz4-zeroes-tra

Side note: ZFS'  lz4 compression  is allegedly  smart enough

not to  try to compress  incompressible data, such  as media

files  which are  already compressed,  which should  prevent

such writes from being slowed down. Very nice IMHO.

That's it for  today. What's still left to do  at this point

is installing  some sound-dampening materials (the  rig is a

bit on the  loud side, even despite being in  its own room),

and possibly upgrading  to more RAM, the  rest will probably

stay like this  for a while. If I really do  upgrade to more

RAM,  I'll adjust  the  VMs accordingly  and  run the  tests

again, just to see if that really makes a difference. So far

I have  been unable  to get better  performance from  my ZFS

pools  by  allocating  more  RAM, or  even  running  benches

directly on  the host machine  with the  full 12 GB  RAM and

eight cores/sixteen threads.

Cheers,

-aw

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Epic Storage and Execution Aw!

Thanks Bill, much appreciated! :)

I'd been wondering where the sudden spike in traffic on my server's

images came from, then I noticed I'm on the TMZ facebook feed (again),

so thanks for that as well (drougnor does taht usually IIRC?)!

I'm almost done with the physical side of things. I've ordered some

sound dampening materials because the rig is still a bit on the noisy

side. It's in its own room, but you can just about hear it through the

door, and since this is in our apartment, it would be preferrable to

prevent that. I've also ordered another 12 GB of RAM, 12 GB isn't

really very generous when running multiple VMs concurrently (although

it's not as insufficient as one might think at first, been running

pretty well as can be seen in my wall of text above, but I want to

have some more headroom to play around with).

Once I have everything together, I intend to make a final photoshoot

(yeah, it might not be the sexiest rig ever, but I like taking nice

pictures :)). Before that, I'll might also make a post about our new

network we installed along with the server, some people have asked me

about that. Nothing super spectacular, but I might as well. ;)

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Okay, I'm a computer dude by trade and I looked at those diagrams and got lost in my own house.  Awesome job.  Great work.

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Okay, I'm a computer dude by trade and I looked at those diagrams and got lost in my own house.  Awesome job.  Great work.

Haha, thanks! :)

I'm one of those people who also rather enjoy the software side of things,

but as is evident, that can become quite complicated. But I must say I have

been enjoying playing around with the virtualization stuff on this rig and

all the various storage stuff. I'd never done virtualization before, and now

that I have, I am eager to play around a lot more with it.

But yes, it takes a lot of time, reading documentation, fiddling with configs,

optimizing settings, testing, optimizing some more, retesting and so on.

That complicated main overview of the network transfer speeds took me about

two weeks to compile, from first proper tests until it was optimized to its

current state (and as can be seen, some stuff still behaves a bit strange).

Aside from that, I have found IPMI to be really awesome; wish all boards had

it, not just pro-grade server ones. I don't even need a power or reset switch

on this machine, can all be done remotely (including going into the BIOS).

Also, no VGA or keyboard cables, all I have plugged into it are five network

cables and the power cable.

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Thanks Bill, much appreciated! :)

I'd been wondering where the sudden spike in traffic on my server's

images came from, then I noticed I'm on the TMZ facebook feed (again),

so thanks for that as well (drougnor does taht usually IIRC?)!

We try to highlight everyone's build on our fanpage, and we're very lucky to,

A. Have a massive collection of active projects to watch

B. have Drougnor in charge of our Social Media

Keep up the amazingly well detailed work dude!

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We try to highlight everyone's build on our fanpage, and we're very lucky to,

A. Have a massive collection of active projects to watch

B. have Drougnor in charge of our Social Media

Keep up the amazingly well detailed work dude!

Indeed, there are some very awesome projects around here, and

the atmosphere on these forums is fantastic as well, very happy

to be here.

 

And thanks! I shall do my very best. :)

 

On that note:

 

 

Sound Dampening, Final Pics

As mentioned  previously, the 92  mm fans are  rather noisy,

but  I didn't  want to  replace  them. For one  thing, I  do

actually need  some powerful fans  to move air from  the HDD

compartment into  the M/B compartment,  on the other  hand I

didn't feel like spending more money on expensive fans.

For this purpose, I ordered some AcoustiPack foam in various

thicknesses  (12 mm,  7  mm and  4 mm)  and  lined parts  of

the  case  with them. I  wasn't  quite  sure how  well  they

would work,  as my past experiences  with acoustic dampening

materials weren't  all that impressive, but  to my surprise,

they're actually pretty daayumn effective.

I have also put in another  12 GB or RAM. I was lucky enough

to get six 2  GB sticks of the exact same  RAM I already had

for 70 USD (plus shipping and  fees, but still a pretty good

price IMHO)  from eBay. 24 GB  should easily suffice  for my

purposes.

Lastly, I've repurposed the 2.5" drive cage from my Caselabs

SMH10; cleaner than the rather improvised mount from before.

For the time being, the build is now pretty much complete.

Cost Analysis

One  of the  original  goals  was to  not  have this  become

ridiculously expensive. Uhm, yeah, you know how these things

usually go. :rolleyes:

Total system cost:  ~5,000 USD

of which were HDDs: ~2,500 USD

My share of the total cost  is ~42%, the remainder was on my

dad, which is pretty fair I think. In the long run, my share

will probably rise as I'll most likely be the one paying for

most future storage expansions (at  the moment I've paid for

~54%  of  the  storage  cost,  and  ~31%  of  the  remaining

components).

One thing to keep in mind though is that some of these costs

go back a while as not  all HDDs were bought for this server

but have been  migrated into it from  other machines. So the

actual project costs were less by about 1,300 USD.

Overall I'm  still pretty  happy with  the price/performance

ratio. There  aren't really  that many  areas where  I could

have saved  a lot  of money  without also  taking noticeably

hits in performance or features.

I could  have gone  with a  single-socket motherboard,  or a

dual  socket one  with  fewer features  (say, fewer  onboard

SAS/SATA ports as I'm not using  nearly all of the ones this

one  has due  to  the 2  TB  disk limit),  but  most of  the

features this one has I wouldn't  want to miss TBH (the four

LAN  ports  are  very  handy,  and  IPMI  is  just  freaking

awesome). And  let's  be  honest: A dual-socket  board  just

looks freaking awesome (OK, I'll concede that that's not the

best argument, bit still, it does!). :D

Other than  that, I  could have gone  with some  cheaper CPU

coolers as the  40 W CPUs (btw., core voltage  is ~0.9 V :D)

don't  really require  much in  that area,  but the  rest is

pretty much what I want need for an acceptable price.

Anyway, enough blabbering:

Final Pics

So, some final  pics (I finally managed to  acquire our DSLR

for these):

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--01--acoustifoam-

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--02--acoustifoam-

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--03--outside.jpeg

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--04--open.jpeg

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--05--open.jpeg

That Caselabs drive  cage I mentioned. The top  drive is the

WDC VelociRaptor.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--06--2.5-inch-cag

And some more cable shots, because why not.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--07--cables.jpeg

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--08--cables.jpeg

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--09--cables.jpeg

Looks much better with all RAM slots filled IMHO. :D

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--10--cables-and-r

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--11--cables.jpeg

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--12--chipset-fan.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--13--cpu-coolers.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--14--ram.jpeg

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--15--back-side.jp

It's kinda funny: Considering how  large the M/B compartment

actually is,  it's pretty packed now  with everything that's

in there. The impression is even  stronger in person than on

the pics.

(click image for full res)

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--16--front-side.j

Thanks for tagging along everyone, and until next time! :)

 

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That is crazy awesome.  Great work!

 

 

Freaking awesome. One of the best server builds I have seen.

 

 

Thanks guys, much appreciated! :)

 

 

Also a thank you to the gods of facebook for getting this on the Zoo's feed today. ;)

 

 

EDIT:

Oh, I forgot to add: I actually weighed it and its current weight is ~33 kg (~73 lbs).

Loading it fully would add another 11 HDDs, depending on model that could be

about another 8 kg (~17.5 lbs).

Edited by alpenwasser

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Indeed, there are some very awesome projects around here, and

the atmosphere on these forums is fantastic as well, very happy

to be here.

 

And thanks! I shall do my very best. :)

 

On that note:

 

 

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--09--cables.jpeg

aw--apollo--2014-05-10--15--back-side.jp

 

 

What is your HDD spacing? I might be able to provide a SATA cable that looks slightly better.

 

This is how I punch SATA so all the wires are straight.

 

6WErGFol.jpg

c7s7ZwVl.jpg

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What is your HDD spacing? I might be able to provide a SATA cable that looks slightly better.

 

This is how I punch SATA so all the wires are straight.

Oh, now that is really neat!

I'm assuming you're referring to the power connectors which look

slightly crooked? That's just because they're not connected to

a drive yet and are floating in the air (I know it's not very well

visible in the pic), they actually sit on the wires correctly.

I pressed the wires into the connectors whith the connectors plugged

into the drives. Once I mount more drives they'll line up all nice and

straight though, I've already tested that. :)

(side note: I used some defective drives for this to make sure I

don't accidentally break a drive's PCB and/or connector because

pushing the wires in required quite a bit of force)

The drives are distributed in the bays like they are now because

of the storage topology, so that each controller has the correct

amount of drives for the whole setup to still be able to function

correctly even if one controller fails. At first I just wanted to

fill up one tower and then add drives to the other one as needed,

but that would mean that the data cabling would get really messy

(you can see some pics of that in the main update about the cabling).

Thanks for the offer though, much appreciated!

EDIT:

Is that stencil (or whatever the correct term would be) a 3d print

part?

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Oh, now that is really neat!

I'm assuming you're referring to the power connectors which look

slightly crooked? That's just because they're not connected to

a drive yet and are floating in the air (I know it's not very well

visible in the pic), they actually sit on the wires correctly.

I pressed the wires into the connectors whith the connectors plugged

into the drives. Once I mount more drives they'll line up all nice and

straight though, I've already tested that. :)

(side note: I used some defective drives for this to make sure I

don't accidentally break a drive's PCB and/or connector because

pushing the wires in required quite a bit of force)

The drives are distributed in the bays like they are now because

of the storage topology, so that each controller has the correct

amount of drives for the whole setup to still be able to function

correctly even if one controller fails. At first I just wanted to

fill up one tower and then add drives to the other one as needed,

but that would mean that the data cabling would get really messy

(you can see some pics of that in the main update about the cabling).

Thanks for the offer though, much appreciated!

EDIT:

Is that stencil (or whatever the correct term would be) a 3d print

part?

 

Laser cut acrylic template. Pretty much any spacing you can imagine can be done on this template.

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Laser cut acrylic template. Pretty much any spacing you can imagine can be done on this template.

Haha, now that you mention it, I can just about make out that it's

acrylic. Very awesome indeed. :)

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