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My personal NAS

I built a personal NAS[1] solution back in November of 2015 and it is a “budget solution” mostly based on hardware I already had lying around here at home.

It consists of the following hardware:

  • CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8B75-MLE
  • Memory: 8GB Kingston HyperX
  • Disks: 1 WD Red 2TB for the OS and 4 WD Red 2TB for my pools
  • Cooling: Custom water cooling
  • Case: Corsair C70

k0nsl-nas-motherboard01_k0nsl

That is practically it when it comes to the hardware powering my NAS. The custom water cooling is a overkill as it could have been cooled by a cheap heat sink coupled with a quiet fan…but what fun is that?
I also have one add-in PCIe SATA III controller card as the motherboard itself has very few SATA III ports, some cheap generic brand I bought via Ebay and which was made in China; it cost me $13.00 with shipping included in the price.

rockstor01_k0nsl rockstor02_k0nsl

As for the operating system. I was very unsure what to go with at the time of assembling the system. My friend “M. Wynn” suggested that I should use NAS4Free, as he was satisfied with it himself. However, I wanted to check out something entirely new which wasn’t very widely used.
rockstor03_k0nsl rockstor03_k0nsl
So, what did I pick? Well, it’s called Rockstor[2] and it truly was something brand spanking new at the time. The first ever public release was pushed to GitHub in July 2015, so at the time I installed it one could say it wasn’t a particularly widely used operating system. In fact, I suspect it still isn’t a widely used operating system. However, I could be wrong on that count.
I am running version 3.8-14.22 and I’m pulling new releases from their test channel rather than the stable one. Yes, I like to live on the edge. The test channel, or branch, features new releases every five days (if there is one available). The stable release channel once every month. My system runs on kernel 4.6.
The four Western Digital enterprise hard disk drives which makes up my btrfs-based pool is configured in RAID 10 because that is the best option for me out of the available raid levels; there is RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 and finally the one I’m using — RAID 10. There are five hard disk drives in total but only four are used for my pool; I honestly cannot afford any more at the moment as it’s over $500 already for the current amount of disks. Keep in mind, this is supposed to be a super budget NAS build and nothing spectacular or mind-blowing.

The web interface of Rockstor has a rather pleasant design based on Bootstrap 3 with a wide variety of features. You can for example create customized storage pools and you can enable their so-called “Rock-on”-feature which is just a fancy front-end for Docker; this will allow you to install various applications such as Deluge, EmbyServer, GitLab, OwnCloud, Sickrage and many more.

Thanks to my water cooling solution the NAS itself is running both cool and quiet. The temperature inside of my house is 16 C and as of this moment the NAS is reporting the following readings:

[root@nas01 ~]# uptime && sensors
 23:18:52 up 29 days,  8:04,  3 users,  load average: 0.27, 0.20, 0.16
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +27.8°C  (crit = +99.0°C)
temp2:        +29.8°C  (crit = +99.0°C)

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +32.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 0:         +32.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 1:         +28.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 2:         +28.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 3:         +22.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)

That’s with just one fan on the absolute lowest RPM on the dual radiator.

I have to say, despite this being a so-called “curry solution” I’m satisfied with it. I have had zero issues to speak of, none that would warrant mentioning anyway!

References

[1] A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is a storage device connected to a network that allows storage and retrieval of data from a centralized location for authorized network users and heterogeneous clients. NAS devices are flexible and scale-out, meaning that as you need additional storage, you can add on to what you already have. A NAS is like having a private cloud right in your home. It’s faster, less expensive and provides all the benefits of a public cloud, giving you absolute control.

[2] Rockstor is a Linux/BTRFS based Network Attached Storage (NAS) and private cloud solution. It is distributed as a CentOS flavored Linux operating system with a newer kernel and Rockstor application software bundled together to easily install a system and manage your data. You can find more information about Rockstor, here.

I hope this might post might be useful to someone else. I certainly would recommend Rockstor for anyone looking to build a personal NAS; it is a solid product and it is 100% open source.

3

My Next “Big Upgrade”..

I am almost 100% decided on the next upgrade for the box, which will be used mainly for gaming and a bit of development work, decided to keep the current case instead of spending extra bucks on some fancy pantsy solution, for no real purpose. The case which I currently got is sufficient for what I’ll do, it’s a H70 from Corsair:
k0nsl-box01
my-workstation01_k0nsl

Right now, it looks a bit different inside, but that’s the case I’ll reuse for my next “big upgrade”. I was tempted to get the Corsair Carbide Air 540 Cube Case or a Lian-Li case, but I honestly don’t need a new case. So I will rather save those bucks and put them to use for something else…

So as of today the current list of critical components that I will be buying looks like this:

  • Intel Core i7-4770K
  • Kingston DDR3 HyperX Beast 32GB
  • ASUS Radeon R9 290X 4GB GDDR5
  • Asus Maximus VI Extreme, Socket-1150

That’s pretty much the only things I need, so far. I don’t count the miscellaneous accessories, such as the NZXT Kraken G10 and watercooler for the GPU, but yeah, things like that eat up the bucknicks too. I have most of the other stuff, like SSDs and regular mechanical 3,5 inch HDDs, in surplus. A new monitor will be bought in early January, had my eyes on a 29″ inch from Asus — the Asus 29″ LED MX299Q:

Very nice bezel too. I like that kind
It appears to be a pretty good monitor all-around. I’ve almost made up my mind about buying it.

stm asked me in #taunet:

no broadwell?

I didn’t know when Broadwell was due and don’t have the patience to wait for it, either…

I might post another update if things change, but this is pretty much final.

2

Upgraded CPU Cooler, done.

Corsair H90 Corsair H90


Yesterday I bought a new CPU cooler, a small one, a so-called “closed loop” water cooling solution from Corsair, with a 140mm fan on the radiator. Here’s what Corsair says about it on their site:

Hydro Series H90 is a 140mm all-in-one liquid CPU cooler that provides better cooling with lower noise than other high-end liquid coolers. Liquid cooling simply works better than air cooling, and the self-contained design of the H90 makes it easy for you to protect your valuable CPU.

corsair-h90-01_k0nsl

Since I am not doing any overclocking to speak of any longer there’s very little need for anything other than this petite cooler. The only things which can get considerably hot in my box are the HDDs, so I might add one 120mm fan for them. Right now there’s only two fans in my entire box; the one in my PSU and the one mounted on the itty bitty radiator.

The only thing about it that sucked was the backplate used for mounting the cooler, it didn’t support my ASRock motherboard so I had to use a “Mora”-knife to sculpt it, but it still wouldn’t fit. Later, the backplate broke completely. Piece of shit.
So I crafted my own solution by using two twin nuts, or whatever they’re called, and now it works perfectly. Sure, using four twinners would’ve been ideal because it would mean a mount with equal pressure. But as fate had it, poor k0nsl only had two twinners available at the time

My CPU temperature has been cut down by approximately forty-five percent:
k0nsl-work01

In any case, I’m satsified for sure. It is overall a fine product.

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Watercooling Products Finally Ordered

Good day, friends.

 

Today I have placed an order for the following items:

  • Cuplex Kryos XT (CPU block)
  • GELID Solutions GC Extreme (Thermalpaste)
  • Mayhems Aurora Nebula Blue (Coolant additive)
  • Corsair Vengeance C70 Arctic White (Case)
  • EK-Reservoir Combo DCP 4.0 (Pumps. One for the CPU-loop, and one for the GPU-loop)
  • Masterkleer PVC 19/13mm UV-white, 3,3m (Tubing)
  • Teflon tape 12mmx10m (I always use this on my fittings)
  • EK-CoolStream RAD XT 360 (Radiator. Yes, I bought one more even though I have two at home that would probably work just as fine. Dumb of me, but I’ve not tried this one before)
See my update below. I did some hasty changes in the last minute.

(the CPU block I will be using for my i7-2600K)

Yes, I am aware that my choice of pumps aren’t the best out there. I don’t care for that right now, they will be sufficient for what I have in mind 

The parts — all of them — should arrive next week at Wednesday, all the items were in-stock. Dang, I really am looking forward to this. The C70 case from Corsair is so sweet too! 

If somebody noticed that my order lacks fittings that’s because I have a lot of totally new, never before used at home so I don’t need to pay extra for it.

Over & out for this time!

 

[UPDATE: I decided to change three things in the last minute of checking out from the store. I changed: pump, radiator and reservoir!

Pump: Swiftech MCP350

Res: EK-BAY Spin RES DUAL Loop

Radiator: Alphacool NexXxoS Pro 240 v2 (OR Thermochill PA120.3 — I have this one at home already.)

So now all these parts have been ordered. We do not have loads of watercooling oriented stores where I live so the supply of different products is very crass, unfortunately. I won’t order from other countries because of VAT — I just to order from all sorts of countries some years ago but it’s not worth the hassle when RMA is concerned and other issues.]

Right so now the wait begins! 

-k0nsl

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Elric Talks SSD Performance, Prices and More

Elric, of Motherboards.org, talks about SSD performance, prices and that prices of such appliances are dropping quite much.

[youtube_sc url=http://youtu.be/pi7TzU8pgto?hd=1 rel=0 fs=1 autohide=1 modestbranding=1]

I am myself using a OCZ SSD for my OS. It sped up things considerably and I had no negative experiences at all with this drive. I recommend getting SSD; mechanical drives are no match to them, but of course most people know this by now.

 

Check it out, friends !

-k0nsl

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Gondor & The Workstation

I’m just posting two pictures, one of Gondor: my pit bull puppy, I also named one of my servers “Gondor”, see http://gondor.holocaust-news.com – that server has been online since 67 days approximately. You could say I’m a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and his works, and naturally the “filmatization” of his works, or some of it 

So that’s the reason I named my puppy to Gondor – I always got a good feeling when reading or watching stuff that associated itself with this Gondor. My Gondor is also good – almost four months old now, and I train him every day with the hope that he becomes equally good as my other dog, who is now eleven years old – that dog is so well-trained you couldn’t imagine it  :mrgreen:

Ya, ya. I’ll post the pics. Continue Reading

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Planned system-upgrade

My new, planned system-upgrade, will consist of these items:

CPU: Intel i7-3820 (4 cores is enough for what I do)

Motherboard:Asus Rampage IV Extreme

ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME

ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME

Memory: Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz 24GB CL9

 

The exact product may change but I will definitively get these from Corsair as they have been great for me in the past and I’ve heard some good stuff about their Vengeance-series. 24GB should keep me aloof for what I do (I’ve started doing some RAM-intense work now so the amount is certainly justified).

 

That’s it for now, I might add something more – most likely a new generation graphics card: either the already released AMD solution or the upcoming Kepler from Nvidia. We’ll see.

 

-k0nsl