My home server is now 9 years old, so I’m thinking it probably about time that I build a new one. I’ve been very lucky so far, probably best not to chance my luck any more, as consumer hard drives usually only have a 3-5 year guarantee.
After a bit of thought and research, I’ve decided to change from Linux to FreeNAS, this blog post will track my progress and choices as I build my Server over the next couple of months.
I’m going to start with 16Gb and upgrade if needed (Type dependent on motherboard)
Needs to support 4 SATA drives without an additional PCI card, with the possibility of expansion to 6 drives if needed. I intend to run a few VM’s and a few jails, so I need to buy a motherboard that, if needed, I can put a more powerful CPU in.
The server is going to be in my loft, so I don’t feel the need to keep it small or unobtrusive, that and the airflow should be reasonably good in a larger case. If I decide later to move the server somewhere else in the house, I may repurpose the case.
microATX form factor
MicroATX motherboards are the most popular size for FreeNAS servers, mostly because entry- level server motherboards based on LGA 115x platforms tend to use this form factor.
After a bit of thought about the specifications, I’ve decided to go with the Skyline motherboard and processor, socket LGA 1151, this should be a good starting point, as the motherboard supports 6 SATA port and a whopping 64Gb of memory it should be good for all my needs in the future.
There’s a really good article here about calculation the required power supply wattage. I’m initially going to use 4 drive but might over time upgrade to 6.
- Each drive will need approximately 35 Watts each. 6 X 35 = 210W
- Approximately 25W for the motherboard. 25W
- The motherboard supports a maximum CPU wattage of 80W
- 4 slots available on the motherboard for memory 4 X 6 = 24W
- 2 built in fans on the Fractal Design Case + CPU Fan 3 X 30 = 90W
By my calculations that approximately 429W. Multiply the wattage by 1.25 to give a reasonable margin of error gives us about 536.25W
So, I’m looking for a 550 Watt power supply and since it seems to be recommended on the Freenas Forum, I’m going to buy the Seasonic G550 550W 80+ Gold Certified PSU after reading some good reviews about it here and here.
Cost so far
- Fractal Design – Define Mini £78
- Supermicro X11SSL-F-O £176
- Intel Core i3-6300 £105
- Memory Mr Memory £172
- Seasonic G550 550W 80+ Gold Certified PSU £87
- 4 x Western Digital Red 3TB £400
- 2 x SanDisk Ultra Fit 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive £22
The Finished Product
- Hardware Recommendations Guide Rev 1e) 2017-05-06
- Supermicro X10 and X11 motherboard FAQ
So, you’ve decided to buy a Supermicro X10 board…
- A guide to popular Supermicro X11 motherboards
- Silent Freenas Xeon SuperMicro Build DIY NAS: 2017 Edition
- DRAM Errors in the Wild: A Large-Scale Field Study
- Wikipedia Article on ZFS File-system
- FreeNAS: Download
- FreeNAS: Users Guide
- FreeNAS Official: Hardware Recommendations
- FreeNAS Community: Hardware Recommendations
- FreeNAS Complete Guide: FreeNAS Hardware Design
- ZFS and ECC RAM: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- Stress Testing Hard Drives: Burn-In Testing
- How to Install FreeNAS Video: Installing FreeNAS to USB Drive
- Distrowatch Article: Myths of ZFS
- Setting up Scrubs: Scheduling Scrubs
- Setting up SMART Alerts: SMART Alerts
- FreeBSD Website