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#1 ubern00b

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 09:34 PM

Hi all

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully lend me your expertise. I recently discovered this great application that does exactly what I have been looking for and since then have been putting together a plan to migrate from my ageing HP N54L Microserver running unRAID to something else.

 

I have a gaming rig/HTPC that sits under the stairs and is more than powerful enough to handle anything I throw at it. It sits idle 95% of the time and is always on so I was wanting to consolidate the Microserver and this rig into one. The motherboard in the HTPC is an MSI Z97i Gaming AC which has 2 x eSata ports. I am trying to find out if these support port multipliers or not. I have read on a forum that NO Intel Sata supports PM but I have not seen anything concrete on this so I am hoping you guys can clarify.

 

Takes me to my next point. If it doesn't I will need an add-in card. Seen one or two but they seem to support a max of 5 drives per port? The specification seems to support up to 15 disks, I only need 8!

 

The reason I need 8 is because I plan on using an IcyBox IB-3680SU3. This supports 8 disks via either USB3.0 or eSata. It only has a single eSata port so if I want to address all 8 disks I need a port capable of doing so. I have read on these forums that USB3.0 is not the way to go for long term storage and which is why I am looking at eSata instead. Does anyone have experience with this unit, good or bad?

 

Anyway, that's my chain of thought pretty much written down. Look forward to hearing your thoughts :)



#2 ubern00b

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 10:06 PM

And then during my research I discover a post like this. Not a good endorsement of eSata lol. Kind of answers one of my questions at least, 5 seems to be the magic number when it comes to eSata and port multipliers. So, my quest for 8 drives ends there? The Icybox definitely only has 1 eSata port so I fail to see how it actually is able to present those drives as JBOD using eSata.

 

So that drops me down to USB3.0. Should I be looking at another solution entirely if I want an easy life, rather than go USB3.0? The array will consist of 6 x 4TB Seagate drives and I will more than likely combine this with SnapRAID for some parity. None of the data is important and I could stand to lose any of it so I may not bother but its an option I may pursue.



#3 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 11:46 PM

From the looks of it, the eSATA ports are controlled by the Intel chipset.  
Sorry, that means no PM functionality. :(

 

That said, if you're not using the PCI-e slot, you could install a card that does. 

That would require you to use the HDMI or DisplayPort connectors on the system for video. 

 

As for USB, yea, we don't really recommend it for long term storage.  it isn't 100% stable/reliable for doing so.

That said, you absolutely can use it. And many have, without any issues.

 

As for the IcyBox enclosure, I couldn't really comment, but it looks decent. Not really overwhelming good reviews for it, so YMMV.


Christopher Courtney

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#4 Spider99

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 02:02 AM

i think you may be missing the obvious that IcyBox must have a port mulitpier in their box to present the disks to the host machine - or you have to raid them to present one "disk" to the host - doubt its that though

 

But there is another basic way you could set this up

 

get a sas hba like the LSI 9211-8i - run the cables to the existing box you have the disks in and power them from the old psu or get power extension cables as well - so your old pc box is just an enclosure

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...Controller-Card- i got 2 of these and they are new cards

 

plus a couple of long forward breakout cables and you are sorted with the benefit of more bandwidth etc


  • Christopher (Drashna) likes this

Tim

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DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#5 ubern00b

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 09:20 AM

From the looks of it, the eSATA ports are controlled by the Intel chipset.  
Sorry, that means no PM functionality. :(

 

That said, if you're not using the PCI-e slot, you could install a card that does. 

That would require you to use the HDMI or DisplayPort connectors on the system for video. 

 

As for USB, yea, we don't really recommend it for long term storage.  it isn't 100% stable/reliable for doing so.

That said, you absolutely can use it. And many have, without any issues.

 

As for the IcyBox enclosure, I couldn't really comment, but it looks decent. Not really overwhelming good reviews for it, so YMMV.

 

For some reason I had it in my head (even though I quoted the manufacturers site/specs for my board) that I Have 1 x PCI-E x16 and 1 x PCI-E x4 slot on my mobo, which I don't! I have a GTX970 in the slot so that ends that. I really should pay more attention.

 

i think you may be missing the obvious that IcyBox must have a port mulitpier in their box to present the disks to the host machine - or you have to raid them to present one "disk" to the host - doubt its that though

 

But there is another basic way you could set this up

 

get a sas hba like the LSI 9211-8i - run the cables to the existing box you have the disks in and power them from the old psu or get power extension cables as well - so your old pc box is just an enclosure

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...Controller-Card- i got 2 of these and they are new cards

 

plus a couple of long forward breakout cables and you are sorted with the benefit of more bandwidth etc

 

I may be missing the obvious for sure! I was not aware the PM could exist in the enclosure, I thought the port/chipset had to be aware. The box I quoted definitely doesn't present one "disk" to the host as there is another "RAID" model that does this and this is not what I was looking at doing. I have relied on hardware RAID in various forms before and I don't like being "tied-in". I like the methodology of unRAID/Drivepool where by if you lose data on 1 (or 2 etc) disk(s) you don't lose the entire array. I plan to just dump a dir listing to a text file of each drive and in the event I lose any I can simply find the data I lost again.

 

So, I can either get the Icybox and give it a whirl and hope for the best, or I can still go down the original route I had planned which was to build a new NAS. Something I put together months ago so the prices will have changed but you'll get the general idea:

 

Case: Silverstone DS380B 8 Bay NAS Chassis (116.51)
PSU: Silverstone Strider SST-ST30SF SFX Series - 300 Watt '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply (41.99)
Motherboard: ASRock AM1B-ITX (31.51)
Processor: AMD APU Athlon 5350 Quad Core Processor (31.89)
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Alpine M1 (5.35)
RAM: Team Group Elite Black 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C11 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit (29.99)
 
SATA Card: Syba SATA III 4 Port PCI-e 2.0 x2 Card with Low Profile Bracket (33.79)
 
Total: 265
 
So, not really far off the cost of the Icybox anyway and probably a better all round solution?


#6 Spider99

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 02:25 PM

I would stay well clear of the SYBA card they are awful cards - tried a couple 8 port and 4 port - windows/linux etc could not see them

 

i would add a little more and get the LSI card from china for 55 (take a couple of weeks to arrive) and buy two good quality SAS cables and run all your 8 bays of the the LSI

 

As its an HBA it will present all 8 drives to the os - out of the box


  • Christopher (Drashna) likes this

Tim

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DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#7 ubern00b

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 04:41 PM

I would stay well clear of the SYBA card they are awful cards - tried a couple 8 port and 4 port - windows/linux etc could not see them

 

i would add a little more and get the LSI card from china for 55 (take a couple of weeks to arrive) and buy two good quality SAS cables and run all your 8 bays of the the LSI

 

As its an HBA it will present all 8 drives to the os - out of the box

 

Do you have a model number for that card by chance?



#8 Spider99

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 06:54 PM

see post 4 - several to choose from - 6th one down is where i got mine using the link


Tim

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DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#9 ubern00b

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 09:07 AM

see post 4 - several to choose from - 6th one down is where i got mine using the link

 

Was in a rush yesterday, wasn't thinking. Thank you very much. I think this is the route I shall go down. Thank you both for your help, I very much look forward to getting this all up and running :)



#10 ubern00b

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 12:00 PM

Soooo, everywhere I turn I get more obstacles in my path. Do you have any experience of running the LSI 9211-8i in a 4 lane PCI-E slot? The motherboards I am looking at have 16x physical slots but only support 4 lanes. The LSI card is an 8 lane card. In the GPU world it just means you have less bandwidth but I don't want to go down the route of buying all the gear just to find the card doesn't detect or is unstable.



#11 Spider99

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 12:49 PM

sorry dont no the answer to that - a guess would be lower performance and no other issues - as you say like a gpu card

 

diff m/b perhaps with better pci-e support - they tend to be more expensive the newer the features though

 

Just looking around and most boards only have a 4x pcie slot which the lsi is not going to fit in as its too short


Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#12 ubern00b

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 02:00 PM

Yea I have been looking at some other solutions, trying to keet the m-ITX and low power CPU thing going and of course, the cheaper the better. It really doesn't need anything fancy at all but it seems to get an 8 lane or 16 lane PCI-E slot you have to go up quite a few models. I really liked the idea of an AMD AM1 solution, under 100 for RAM/CPU/Mobo, quad core 2.2GHZ, 8GB RAM and all under 25W. The chipset just doesn't support more than 4 PCI-E lanes though, so I need to look at another platform, or take the chance. Decisions decisions :)



#13 Spider99

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:09 PM

cheapest solution is your old pc stripped down to a minimal setup and add the LSI card

 

if low power is you thing then maybe not - as for 25w - you are forgetting the HDD and LSI power draw - at least double that i would estimate

 

the silverstone case is your limiting factor here as its pushing you to a itx m/b which is never going to have much in the way of "power" features

 

dont go too low on the cpu power front or you will cripple the disk i/o as the cpu will not keep up


Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#14 ubern00b

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 11:46 AM

*wave* me again :)

 

Just wanted to check if you think this is a safe buy or not? Seems quite cheap considering it is the same card as the LSI branded one. I assume you would just crossflash this with the LSI firmware and you would have an LSI card for half the price?



#15 Spider99

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 01:08 PM

Looks similar to the LSI card - there are a lot of manufacturer branded cards around that use the main controller of the lsi but may or may not take the bios from the LSI if thats what you were thinking

 

Check the hardware forums to see if anybody has already done it.

 

For 20 quid extra i went with a true LSI as i wanted it to just work initially as had trouble with other cards - not lsi based


  • Christopher (Drashna) and asdaHP like this

Tim

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DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#16 asdaHP

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 06:35 PM

*wave* me again :)

 

Just wanted to check if you think this is a safe buy or not? Seems quite cheap considering it is the same card as the LSI branded one. I assume you would just crossflash this with the LSI firmware and you would have an LSI card for half the price?

Take a look here https://forums.serve...oem-models.599/

It looks like it is listed in the same category as the Dell H310 which i flashed to LSI, so should be fine. I do not however have personal experience with the fujitsu.

 

Also as @spider99 said, may be post in that forum as there a bunch of very experienced guys in servethehome.

best



#17 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 08:48 PM

For that price, I'd be willing to test that out, personally, but I already have an M1015. :)

 

The difference for the OEM cards like this, is that they tend to use custom firmwares that block you from passing the disks through to the OS directly.  Hence the need to cross-flash the firmware. 

 

ServeTheHome is a good resource, as well. 

 

 

However, from the specs, it looks like this is the HBA firmware, meaning that it doesn't support RAID at all. So it should be perfect. 


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.





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