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williamcll

At what point is building your own desktop as a server has a better price compared to NAS?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

some of the lower end models are really cheap but on the other hand even some of the 7 bays NAS cost as much as a gaming laptop, what's the catch?


Specs: Motherboard: Asus X470-PLUS TUF gaming (Yes I know it's poor but I wasn't informed) RAM: Corsair VENGEANCE® LPX DDR4 3200Mhz CL16-18-18-36 2x8GB

            CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X @ 4.2Ghz          Case: Antec P8     PSU: G.Storm GS850                        Cooler: Antec K240 with two Noctura Industrial PPC 3000 PWM

            Drives: Samsung 970 EVO plus 250GB, Micron 1100 2TB, Seagate ST4000DM000/1F2168 GPU: EVGA RTX 2080 ti Black edition @ 2Ghz

                                                                                                                             

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The NAS that costs that much will typically have a slightly higher end processor to run better plugins like Plex. You're paying for the small form factor, turnkey solution, and software it runs. You can get cheaper multi-bay NAS's that only serve files (buffalo / western digital / etc...). However it will still cost more than buying a desktop with the same CPU.

 

It's like asking why a gaming laptop costs more than a gaming desktop.

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People ask all the time about server equipment up here. Then they complain they are loud.. (well yeah) then they ask "Dude, how do I water cool a server?" .. uh..

 

Don't buy ebay servers for your house.. not unless you have a 19" rack in your basement or something. Workstation class equipment is what you want. Desktops can make fine home servers. Servers are generally built for high reliability and management, they don't really have all that better performance.


"Only proprietary software vendors want proprietary software." - Michael Dexter

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As a person who have 19" rack i can say that it's a horrible idea unless you want alot of work. Like jde says, you should stick to workstation class equiptment and use that as a NAS. 

Alot of people get the enterprise server just because it's cool. But do you know what's not cool? The power bill and the heat created by the servers.

 

 

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The problem with workstation equipment is they can often have not a lot of room for expandability. 

 

The HP Z Series workstations for example only have enough space for something like 5 drives in the 840 series. So whilst they are very powerful and very quiet, you can only add a few more drives. Compared to some of the rackmount equipment where you can fit 24+ drives in a case of a similar size. 

 

 

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19 hours ago, jkirkcaldy said:

The problem with workstation equipment is they can often have not a lot of room for expandability. 

 

The HP Z Series workstations for example only have enough space for something like 5 drives in the 840 series. So whilst they are very powerful and very quiet, you can only add a few more drives. Compared to some of the rackmount equipment where you can fit 24+ drives in a case of a similar size. 

 

 

You can do that with Workstation equiptment aswell. People put 50-60 drives in those. You just need a HBA card.

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On 9/13/2018 at 9:41 PM, AbsoluteFool said:

You can do that with Workstation equiptment aswell. People put 50-60 drives in those. You just need a HBA card.

But where do you physically mount the drives?

This wouldn't be a very good mounting system.

 

5a3b22f19f0f9_2017-12-201834-FDDefineR5needmoreHDDcagestrays.thumb.JPG.a4e750567d6d14e84dd4f391a1722df3.JPG

 

(It was just for the photo, btw.)

 

For example, if I eventually had one of the boards below fully populated with LSI 9211-8i or 9200-16e (~$20 on eBay) cards, with all ports used by HDDs, where would the drives be mounted, if not in a rack?  (I'd prefer to not use rackmount cases, but might consider the Rosewill RSV-L4500.)

 

supermicro-x7dwe-dual-intel-xeon-lga_1_1a1820c5eb44f8b34c602f3d315ef69a.jpg.3bb0742feb0a446b97925fa21b0b7251.jpg

~$61 on eBay

RAM for this is around $1 or less per GB when buying 8GB DIMMs.  Also there's the $40 X7DCL-i, but only 2 x8 slots.

 

5b9c97da81455_X8DTH-6Fs-l1600.thumb.jpg.bb906edb26aad1a17378c913b8104078.jpg

$165 on eBay (the -iF is closer to $110 I think)

 

5b9c97e097421_X9DRH-7F10-0.thumb.jpg.d0f2b347b4bc9f82abf5ffdc6a70ca22.jpg

$225 on eBay

 

This one's too much for my piggie bank, but...

5b9c97df0a8a0_X9DRX-F7dd8-47b9-85e886.thumb.jpeg.93bf21a2c50c640281cfdf5448308dcd.jpeg

Seems this could support 160 drives with 10 9200-16e's installed.  (One slot is an x4, and all but 2 onboard SATA ports I think don't support >2TB drives.)

 

 

Then there's the issue of getting video on a monitor that only supports HDMI & DisplayPort (at least for initial setup), without using any PCIe slots for a GPU.  (I've heard you can't really do VGA out to HDMI in without considerable expense, like, a GT 710 or even 1030 or GTX 1050 might be cheaper.)

 

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Server hardware can be useful and fun to play around with, but it isn't without its issues.

You need to have space, a location to mount it, adequate cooling, etc.

Servers are usually big, heavy and noisy. Not something you would want in a bedroom or even a study. 

 

If you don't want to go with a vendors NAS box, then look at workstation equipment, you'll be much better off. 

 

NAS boxes can be a bit pricey, but they are purpose build, small physically, often quiet, usually power efficient for the task and have an OS designed for their purpose. They are easy to relocate as well. Depending on where you live in the future, you may not always have room for a server rack. 

Additionally, you often get a few nice to have features that you may not get in server or workstation equipment unless you go into the higher price range. For example, by ReadyNAS has two 1gb NIC's that support link bonding and is extremely easy to setup. If you are planning on running Windows, you would need Windows server for this functionality as it is not possible under desktop versions. 

 

Just some food for thought. 

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7 hours ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

But where do you physically mount the drives?

This wouldn't be a very good mounting system.

 

5a3b22f19f0f9_2017-12-201834-FDDefineR5needmoreHDDcagestrays.thumb.JPG.a4e750567d6d14e84dd4f391a1722df3.JPG

 

(It was just for the photo, btw.)

 

For example, if I eventually had one of the boards below fully populated with LSI 9211-8i or 9200-16e (~$20 on eBay) cards, with all ports used by HDDs, where would the drives be mounted, if not in a rack?  (I'd prefer to not use rackmount cases, but might consider the Rosewill RSV-L4500.)

 

supermicro-x7dwe-dual-intel-xeon-lga_1_1a1820c5eb44f8b34c602f3d315ef69a.jpg.3bb0742feb0a446b97925fa21b0b7251.jpg

~$61 on eBay

RAM for this is around $1 or less per GB when buying 8GB DIMMs.  Also there's the $40 X7DCL-i, but only 2 x8 slots.

 

5b9c97da81455_X8DTH-6Fs-l1600.thumb.jpg.bb906edb26aad1a17378c913b8104078.jpg

$165 on eBay (the -iF is closer to $110 I think)

 

5b9c97e097421_X9DRH-7F10-0.thumb.jpg.d0f2b347b4bc9f82abf5ffdc6a70ca22.jpg

$225 on eBay

 

This one's too much for my piggie bank, but...

5b9c97df0a8a0_X9DRX-F7dd8-47b9-85e886.thumb.jpeg.93bf21a2c50c640281cfdf5448308dcd.jpeg

Seems this could support 160 drives with 10 9200-16e's installed.  (One slot is an x4, and all but 2 onboard SATA ports I think don't support >2TB drives.)

 

 

Then there's the issue of getting video on a monitor that only supports HDMI & DisplayPort (at least for initial setup), without using any PCIe slots for a GPU.  (I've heard you can't really do VGA out to HDMI in without considerable expense, like, a GT 710 or even 1030 or GTX 1050 might be cheaper.)

 

I understand what you are saying. But there are alternatives to using rack mounted cases. Althought you can buy rack chassis without any hardware in that can house Workstation hardware the easier option is to get a disk shelf and just bolt it to your computer case for more drive space.

 

Just like they have PCI daugther boards there are also harddrive cases available.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Very interesting, maybe one day I will build my own server.


Specs: Motherboard: Asus X470-PLUS TUF gaming (Yes I know it's poor but I wasn't informed) RAM: Corsair VENGEANCE® LPX DDR4 3200Mhz CL16-18-18-36 2x8GB

            CPU: Ryzen 7 2700X @ 4.2Ghz          Case: Antec P8     PSU: G.Storm GS850                        Cooler: Antec K240 with two Noctura Industrial PPC 3000 PWM

            Drives: Samsung 970 EVO plus 250GB, Micron 1100 2TB, Seagate ST4000DM000/1F2168 GPU: EVGA RTX 2080 ti Black edition @ 2Ghz

                                                                                                                             

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2 hours ago, AbsoluteFool said:

I understand what you are saying. But there are alternatives to using rack mounted cases. Althought you can buy rack chassis without any hardware in that can house Workstation hardware the easier option is to get a disk shelf and just bolt it to your computer case for more drive space.

 

Just like they have PCI daugther boards there are also harddrive cases available.

Could you link some (preferably inexpensive) examples of HDD cases?  I was trying to find some myself a while ago, but all I found were either a few hundred bucks or so (like the Mediasonic H82-SU3S2 or WD MyCloud EX4100), or are either designed to go in a case's 5.25" bays (like a 5-in-3 cage on moddiy.com) or seem to be designed more for shipping/storage and don't have a rigid case (like these  two).  I've also seen a couple more rigid boxes around $80-110 or so (like this 20-bay Orico), but they also look like they're intended for cold storage or shipping, not having the drives powered up while in them.

I did come across a youtube video of someone making a DIY rack for like $3 in Home Depot parts, but it looks like the drives have virtually no protection.

 

Also, looking at normal computer cases for housing HDDs, I've come across ones like the Cougar Solution AF-2 or Apex SK-386, but getting a bunch of those, the size adds up.  The Silverstone DS380B holds more drives in a small space, but it's a lot more expensive, and has terrible reviews on its cooling performance.

 

 

Anyway ... what type of chassis might be used to house HDDs, that are connected via external SAS ports (like on the LSI 9200-16e) and SAS-to-SATA splitters?  (Also they'd need to be powered - I was thinking something like the EVGA 500B, Corsair CX750, EVGA 750 BQ, or FSP HG750 (or maybe Corsair HX750) as needed for the extra drives, plus whatever PSU the main system would have.)

 

 

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5 hours ago, williamcll said:

Very interesting, maybe one day I will build my own server.

You should I did and its been running great most of my money went into the drives since mine is based on an HP pre-built, I have upgraded a lot but not due to performance but for additional features I wanted


My daily driver: The Wrath of Red: OS Windows 10 home edition / CPU Ryzen TR4 1950x 3.85GHz / Cooler Master MasterAir MA621P Twin-Tower RGB CPU Air Cooler / PSU Thermaltake Toughpower 750watt / ASRock x399 Taichi / Gskill Flare X 32GB DDR4 3200Mhz / HP 10GB Single Port Mellanox Connectx-2 PCI-E 10GBe NIC / Samsung 512GB 970 pro M.2 / ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX 8GB / Acer - H236HLbid 23.0" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor x3

 

My technology Rig: The wizard: OS Windows 10 home edition / CPU Ryzen R7 1800x 3.95MHz / Corsair H110i / PSU Thermaltake Toughpower 750watt / ASUS CH 6 / Gskill Flare X 32GB DDR4 3200Mhz / HP 10GB Single Port Mellanox Connectx-2 PCI-E 10GBe NIC / 512GB 960 pro M.2 / ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX 8GB / Acer - H236HLbid 23.0" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor HP Monitor

 

My I don't use RigOS Windows 10 home edition / CPU Ryzen 1600x 3.85GHz / Cooler Master MasterAir MA620P Twin-Tower RGB CPU Air Cooler / PSU Thermaltake Toughpower 750watt / MSI x370 Gaming Pro Carbon / Gskill Flare X 32GB DDR4 3200Mhz / Samsung PM961 256GB M.2 PCIe Internal SSDEVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SSC GAMING / Acer - H236HLbid 23.0" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor

 

My NAS: The storage miser: OS unRAID v. 6.7.0 rc4 / CPU Intel i7 6700 / Cooler Master MasterWatt Lite 500 Watt 80 Plus / ASUS Maximus viii Hero / 32GB Gskill RipJaw DDR4 3200Mhz / HP Mellanox ConnectX-2 10 GbE PCI-e G2 Dual SFP+ Ported Ethernet HCA NIC / 9 Drives total 29TB - 1 4TB seagate parity - 7 4TB WD Red data - 1 1TB laptop drive data - and 2 240GB Sandisk SSD's cache / Headless

 

Why did I buy this server: OS unRAID v. 6.7.0 rc4 / Dell R710 enterprise server with dual xeon E5530 / 48GB ecc ddr3 / Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA w/ LSI 9211-8i P20 IT / 4 450GB sas drives / headless

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11 hours ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

Could you link some (preferably inexpensive) examples of HDD cases?  I was trying to find some myself a while ago, but all I found were either a few hundred bucks or so (like the Mediasonic H82-SU3S2 or WD MyCloud EX4100), or are either designed to go in a case's 5.25" bays (like a 5-in-3 cage on moddiy.com) or seem to be designed more for shipping/storage and don't have a rigid case (like these  two).  I've also seen a couple more rigid boxes around $80-110 or so (like this 20-bay Orico), but they also look like they're intended for cold storage or shipping, not having the drives powered up while in them.

I did come across a youtube video of someone making a DIY rack for like $3 in Home Depot parts, but it looks like the drives have virtually no protection.

 

Also, looking at normal computer cases for housing HDDs, I've come across ones like the Cougar Solution AF-2 or Apex SK-386, but getting a bunch of those, the size adds up.  The Silverstone DS380B holds more drives in a small space, but it's a lot more expensive, and has terrible reviews on its cooling performance.

 

 

Anyway ... what type of chassis might be used to house HDDs, that are connected via external SAS ports (like on the LSI 9200-16e) and SAS-to-SATA splitters?  (Also they'd need to be powered - I was thinking something like the EVGA 500B, Corsair CX750, EVGA 750 BQ, or FSP HG750 (or maybe Corsair HX750) as needed for the extra drives, plus whatever PSU the main system would have.)

 

 

The harddrive enclosures are very hard to find. I came accross them when i was looking at DC DC power supplies. However i was unable to find them again. 

My approach was also DIY. But i would leave it unprotected like in the video you showed. I used an old Big tower case that i ripped out everything except the space for PSU. Figures the case was big enough to put the drives sideways in. The next trick will be a way to start the PSU, i simple jumped the green black wire with a regulare 12V switch and pulled out the SATA and Molex connectors around so that i could insert drives. 

 

However. As the SATA drives normally comes from another chassis or ESATA connections. I'd find a way to route them from one chassis to another. Another way is to use PCI raiser and mount in back of the external chassis and then run the SATA/ SAS cables internally in the drive enclosure only.

 

Of course with the DIY route there are things that can go wrong and you need to plan ahead so things doesen't break. But it's fully possible to acheive if you just put a little bit of effort into it.

 

 

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Depending on how much of an issue aesthetics are for you, you could always buy a rack-mount case full of hot-swap bays, take the rack ears off and store it on its side. They are roughly the same sort of size of a desktop case, they are usually a little longer though. 

 

Most rack-mount cases look alright from the front but are usually bare metal on the sides as you usually wouldn't see this in a rack. But I got a rack-mount case for my white-box server long before I ever got a rack to mount it in. 

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