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I Accidentally bought a Data center server

So I was looking for a good NAS/SAS/Home server for general storage and the regular, I looked at guides and eBay and found a whole system with 36 bays and only needing Ram so I jumped on it, got the ram and everything and when I fired it up I nearly went deaf from the sound of the fans and that's when I found out I bought a full blown server.

 

My question is can I build a room or container in my basement to deaden the sound without causing it to overheat? My basement never get's hot even in the summer but I would prefer to not go deaf by just going into my basement to do other things.

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12 minutes ago, Traiklin said:

My question is can I build a room or container in my basement to deaden the sound without causing it to overheat? My basement never get's hot even in the summer but I would prefer to not go deaf by just going into my basement to do other things.

Yes. My proliant which does not get used as a server enjoys nice cool temps since it's not being hit 24/7 with a strong load, so as long as you don't just toss a blanket over it and suffocate it you should be totally fine.

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What is the model of the server? There are likely scripts/mods out there for the fans.

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may you watch out for some replacement fans from noctua. Used them for my ProCurve and man they are more than quiet compared to the stock fans ?

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There are usually options to quiet them down. Sometimes in the BIOS. You might also be able to replace the coolers for better ones which will reduce the fan speed further.

 

Finally there are mods you can make to the fans that can make them run slower.

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3 hours ago, Remolus said:

may you watch out for some replacement fans from noctua. Used them for my ProCurve and man they are more than quiet compared to the stock fans ?

Switches use standard 20x20x20 fans for the most part so thats easy enough to swap out, but a large number of servers use hotswap fans with proprietary slots so you cant just add a random aftermarket fan, and often the BIOS/IPMI management will go crazy if those fans arent detected if you go unplugging them all and replacing with DC fans. 

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Not gonna lie, I actually chuckled when I read.

 

Dude I keep my servers in my outside storage closet. They can make all the noise they want out there.

 

Strangely enough, my servers don't make that much noise. My Cisco router on the other hand, can be heard if the house is totally quiet and I'm in the living room...with the door closed.

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It would be cheaper and easier to just buy a newer server that isn't so loud. However, have you let it fully boot? Most servers run their fans at max for a set amount of time (a few minutes at most) and then go to normal levels. I was really disappointed with a Dell I bought that turned out way louder than people online said it would be, but I had only let it run for 20-30 seconds, put it in storage for a year or two, and finally set up a rack in my detached garage to run it when I found out if you let it boot to the OS its actually really quiet... so it went back into the basement rack.

 

Power consumption is another thing to factor, old servers can possibly cost $25-$50/MONTH to run in electricity alone. Its also pouring that heat into your house so another ~$10/month in the summer on your AC bill to cool the house back down. When a newer efficient server can run for $5-$10/month and put out way less heat you have to get rid of, a server that cost $2-300 more pays for itself inside of a year.

 

I'm just spit-balling dollar amounts here, there are a lot of variables to get real numbers, but it really is significant. Power is really cheap here, I usually hit the threshold for 7 cents per kwh, but even then I've justified several upgrades that pay for themselves within a few years. If you want to really get into it power is less of a worry if live in a cold climate and run your heater a lot, as a computer pulling 300 watts is the same as a 300 watt heater. Then you are then saving money on your heating bill, but then its really just area heating that doesn't fully disperse, so it doesn't really help dollar for dollar.

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It's worth noting that larger rack housings usually hold larger fans => lower rpm for the same air displacement => less noise. A 3U rack can comfortably hold 3 internal 120mm fans inside (and have space for cable management) which are notably quieter then the 9 40mm fans that occupy the same space as a singe 120mm fan.

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On 2/18/2020 at 5:40 PM, 2FA said:

What is the model of the server? There are likely scripts/mods out there for the fans.

Sorry I forgot I had posted here.

 

It's an isilion server I got from eBay https://www.ebay.com/itm/Supermicro-36-bay-4U-Server-Storage-x8dt6-a-is018-2x-E5603-Ethernet-Freenas/323912277622?pageci=c6e6fca3-8b7a-4efc-9c0d-948f0bddb636 I did change the internal fans but now I am having a problem with the HDD getting too hot.

 

The fans that came with it look like regular molex fans with a square plug instead of a rectangle.

 

I went with this one for future-proofing, 36 bays meant I wouldn't have to get another server just for storage as I don't need another one just increase the had capacity but I don't know how to get just a rack for HDD and to get the main one to recognize them.

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aaah, the good old passive 2U coolers.. Those are a nightmare to keep cold.. If anything i'd change the CPU coolers, Supermicro stuff really don't like temperatures..

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Yeah I got those replaced and it definitely worked, I figures out how to keep the drives cool on the front but not to sure how to do it for the back

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Usually, servers are cooled front-to-back*, with cool air intake at the front and the hot air coming out at the back. This is in contrast to desktop/workstation machines who have different cooling options due to their construction. Effectively, a server is a square metal tube with openings only at the front and back so any airflow sucked in from the front will automagically be expelled from the back, meaning you don't have to do anything at the rear end of the server, just ensure airflow over various components is not hindered.

 

*there are servers which have an opposite flow but it's not overly common.

"You don't need eyes to see, you need vision"

 

(Faithless, 'Reverence' from the 1996 Reverence album)

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It's a really weird set up, it has a big board right in front for the drives to connect to, there is a small opening at the bottom of that but not very big, the cover has 0 fans, the back end gets overheated easily for some reason, something on the bottom putting out heat.

 

Cooling on this thing seems to be an afterthought and the designer just decided to throw in 3 15,000 rpm 80mm fans in it and let it go full blast

 

I can't seem to find ANY proper information on these fans for some reason, they are

Quote

San Ace 80

Model 9GV0812p1H04

DC 12V 3A

EP 091418P

Sanyo Denki

It has 4 wires but connects into the secondary board on the bottom not the main motherboard so the BIOs doesn't see it and I don't know if there is a way to change the fan speed so it's not full blast at 60-80dB

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2 hours ago, Traiklin said:

It's a really weird set up, it has a big board right in front for the drives to connect to, there is a small opening at the bottom of that but not very big, the cover has 0 fans, the back end gets overheated easily for some reason, something on the bottom putting out heat.

 

Cooling on this thing seems to be an afterthought and the designer just decided to throw in 3 15,000 rpm 80mm fans in it and let it go full blast

 

I can't seem to find ANY proper information on these fans for some reason, they are

It has 4 wires but connects into the secondary board on the bottom not the main motherboard so the BIOs doesn't see it and I don't know if there is a way to change the fan speed so it's not full blast at 60-80dB

At least Dell, HPE and Lenovo servers have means to lower the fan speed on servers in the BIOS or in the OS. Might want to check that

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Everything is working now!

 

I kept looking for server fans and eventually found These Fans and got 3 of them and now everything is running even cooler than before and it is no louder than a refrigerator.

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