Daniel's Home Computing: depot
Last Modified Feb 22, 2017

In early November of 2012, I started piecing together a rackmount computer to act as my backup and media server. The intent here was to have a machine with at least 8 hot-swap bays in a rackmount chassis that would accomodate at least an ATX motherboard. It will run the latest version of FreeBSD-stable, configured with one or more ZFS pools.

I wound up with a MicroATX motherboard, and am using an i5 2405S CPU to help keep the power and heat down. This is still mostly overkill CPU-wise, but I didn't want to run into scenarios where I didn't have the CPU to do things on the machine. I also wanted to be able to use 32 gigabytes of RAM, since ZFS is somewhat RAM-hungry. The desire to use at least 32 gigabytes of RAM ruled out low-power CPUs like the Intel Atom processors I use in ria and www.

Below is a list of hardware I've received, with prices.

depot hardware

I still need to purchase more hard drives.

I currently have a Samsung 840 Pro 512G as my boot drive. A pair of HGST Deskstar 4TB drives are configured as a mirror and acting as backup for other hosts on my LAN. In terms of disk location, it looks like this in the chassis:

The ZFS pool:

% zpool status
  pool: zfs1
 state: ONLINE
  scan: none requested

zfs1              ONLINE       0     0     0
  mirror          ONLINE       0     0     0
    gpt/gpzfs1_0  ONLINE       0     0     0
    gpt/gpzfs1_1  ONLINE       0     0     0

errors: No known data errors

Given my current intended usage, it's unlikely that I'll need an SSD for L2ARC nor a SLOG (dedicated ZIL). Right now, my usage is just backups. That's writes only; reads will only occur when I need to do a restore, and cache is of no benefit in that case.

The current disk geometry:

IBM M1015 as an 8-port SATA 6.0Gb/s Host Bus Adapter

I have an IBM M1015 installed so I can utilize all of the hot-swap drive bays. I have it in the PCI xPress x16 slot of the ASRock H77 Pro4-M motherboard, since I have no need for discrete graphics in a rackmounted server that lives in my basement. The card is x8 electrically, and the ASRock H77 Pro4-M has no x8 slots. I could have placed it in an x4 slot, but with the x16 slot unoccupied, it made sense to use it.

More information on using the IBM M1015 in IT (Initiator Target) mode can be found here. Most of the information was gleaned from various sources on the web, but I wrote up my own version so I don't have to hunt it down or encounter dead links if/when I need the information again.

depot wishlist