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FaxCap

join:2002-05-25
Surrey, BC
reply to elwoodblues

Re: [Rant] Holy Hard Drive rip off

I hope AMD will if not regain the lead at least equal the iCore Intel
chips. If they can't Intel will be back to it's old ways where we pay
through the nose for fast CPUs.

FaxCap


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by FaxCap:

I hope AMD will if not regain the lead at least equal the iCore Intel
chips. If they can't Intel will be back to it's old ways where we pay
through the nose for fast CPUs.

Exactly. Problem is that if Bulldozer is any indication we're knee deep in shit for a long time.

AMD is taking a major and considerable dent out of Intel's marketshare in the netbook low-end laptop market, though. Not that it helps us.


FaxCap

join:2002-05-25
Surrey, BC
Reviews:
·Shaw
said by Gone:

Exactly. Problem is that if Bulldozer is any indication we're knee deep in shit for a long time.

Having a soft spot for AMD I actually felt sorry for them when I saw
the Bulldozer tests. Good Lord, i5-2600 was kicking the sh*t out of them. :-(

FaxCap


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by FaxCap:

Having a soft spot for AMD I actually felt sorry for them when I saw
the Bulldozer tests. Good Lord, i5-2600 was kicking the sh*t out of them. :-(

Me too. They really dropped the ball on that, because there is enough stuff out there that isn't perfectly multi-threaded to kind of make the design a real downer. A high clocked X6 could at least keep up with, if not beat, some of the lower-end i7-900s. Intel responded with Sandy Bridge and AMD simply didn't deliver, and this is probably why the cost of an i7-2600 has gone up by $50 or so in the last nine months.


mazhurg
Premium
join:2004-05-02
Brighton, ON
Reviews:
·MTS
reply to HiVolt
said by HiVolt:

Wasnt the Q6600 wasn't the first Core 2 Quads? I know I didn't buy it right when it came out, but a while after... Still kicking.

I too am considering a mega upgrade, with Sandy Bridge E and a X79 mobo...

Still using one of those here too and gaming. Must say that with proper memory and a good video setup it still tackles everything very decently.

I can probably wait a while longer before the next gen.



Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
reply to elwoodblues
Back to hard drives.

I was just doing some backups and a restore onto a new drive and something just occurred to me. Virtually all drives these days are AFT (Advanced Format Technology). In fact I'm not sure if it's possible to buy a relatively large drive any more that isn't.

This is OK if you're initially installing Windows 7 on it (or Vista). In most cases it's also OK if you're installing XP or some other OS and do some initial partitioning on it with something that understands AFT geometry. However it's not necessarily OK if you're doing a restore with most/many current backup programs, especially if you are only restoring one partition as opposed to the whole disk. It's really easy if you're not careful to have the partitions misaligned and as a result you will have horrible write performance for the entire life of the system.

Not a fan of AFT, but there seems no avoiding it these days.


andyb
Premium
join:2003-05-29
SW Ontario
kudos:1
reply to elwoodblues
TD sent me an email saying they have HD's on sale.I see nothing great but some of you may.There is also a 240GB SS OCZ drive on sale for 280.Link leads me to a mhigher price but...I dunno.

»www.tigerdirect.ca/email/ca/EM23···ANEM2376


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2

1 edit
Beat me to it Andy,I just got the flyer , look at the "fine print" it's after rebate.

Ha ha they're trying to say it's TigerDirect.COM and I having a nice argument with them. Nice to get some sleep and be full of piss and vinegar!


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to elwoodblues
I finally installed my 5x2TB in my file server and added them to the storage pool ^_^

However, the process required the installation of a new RAID card (LSI SAS 9211-8i with firmware replaced by IT mode one), installation of a new 5-drive hotswap bay, redoing the internal wiring (the excess PSU cables took up most of the space inside the case, so I managed to cram them in the mobo-tray cable management space instead), and replacing the OS (OpenSolaris b134 -> Ubuntu 11.10 with zfsonlinux kernel module).

I was thinking about putting in the third hotswap bay (giving me 15 drive capacity) at the same time, but the above stuff already took me multiple days of work, so I didn't have time. One thing is for certain, fitting 15 hotswappable hard drives into a case that small is a pretty darned high density
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


vue666
Small block Chevies rule
Premium
join:2007-12-07
Halifax, NS
kudos:1
Can you post some photos of your case & setup?

TIA


Davesnothere
No-BHELL-ity DOES have its Advantages
Premium
join:2009-06-15
START Today!
kudos:7

2 edits
reply to andyb
said by andyb:

TD sent me an email saying they have HD's on sale.I see nothing great but some of you may.There is also a 240GB SS OCZ drive on sale for 280.Link leads me to a mhigher price but...I dunno.

»www.tigerdirect.ca/email/ca/EM23···ANEM2376

 
Hmmmm, the 2TB Seagate External is back down to what it was for most of last year !

(and NO rebate)

EDIT - TB, not GB.


vue666
Small block Chevies rule
Premium
join:2007-12-07
Halifax, NS
kudos:1

1 edit
NCIX has an ADATA AS510S3-120GM-C 120GB for $165.00 minus a MIR of $30 for $135.00

»www.ncix.ca/products/index.php?s···rReviews

Only one review on NCIX but Newegg has more...

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···FullInfo


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

1 edit
reply to vue666
I might post photos after I get the third hotswap bay in.

The case I have was discontinued a while ago:

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···11112191

It was specifically purchased because it was aluminum (being a lian-li), and because it had 9x 5.25" drive bays with no obstructions between them; it fits the 3x height hotswap bays without modification:

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···17994028

The case isn't the greatest in the world, but it's decent enough, and the 5.25" bays are perfect. Saving weight on the case ended up to not really matter much once you load the thing up with tons of heavy hard disks and hotswap bays.

The hotswap bays have been working pretty decently for me, although they're not cheap. They're the highest density you can get, 5x3.5" in 3x5.25" space. Three of them allow me to get 15 drives in the case, hotswappable to boot.

Powering it is a 750w single-rail Corsair TX750. It's a v1 of this:

»www.corsair.com/power-supply-uni···ply.html

If it had been available at the time, I would have bought the modular edition to make life easier.

The board is a SuperMicro MBD-X7SLM-L-O, which was purchased because it was cheap, had at least two slots that were physically PCI-e 8x or higher (for the RAID controllers), and had two gigabit LAN ports. In hindsight, trying to save money here was a mistake, and I should have bought a higher-end board that supports more than 4GB of RAM. Originally I only bought 2GB for it because that was the listed max, but the board does support 4GB in the end (showing up as 3.5GB even in 64-bit, but better than 2):

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···13182168

The CPU in the thing is a Celeron E1500:

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···19116075

Again, in hindsight, shouldn't have tried to save money here. It's not a very fast CPU, and ZFS can be pretty CPU-intensive. Things are a bit better after I switched from OpenSolaris to Linux, though.

The RAID cards are not identical matches, since they were bought years apart. The first RAID card I put in the thing was the SuperMicro AOC-USAS-8li:

»www.supermicro.com/products/acce···-L8i.cfm

It's not actually a PCIe card, it's designed for a proprietary SuperMicro slot, but the interface is still PCIe. It works in a normal PCIe slot except the card's components are on the wrong side, which means the rear case bracket doesn't line up. In other words, it works fine, but it's only being held in the PCIe slot by tension of the slot. Somewhat risky, but it cost half as much as the LSI card at the time, so that was like a $150 savings. Again, probably shouldn't have tried to save money there... Anyhow, it's an 8-drive or SAS controller, has a PCIe-8x interface so that's not a bottleneck, supports SATA2, and can be loaded with a special (but official) firmware that makes it act like a dumb controller, exposing the drives directly to the OS. And, most importantly, it worked with Solaris, which was a requirement for me back then.

The second card, I decided to "do it right" and buy a real LSI card, so a few months ago I bought an LSI 9211-8i. Somewhat similar card, but it's a proper PCI-e card (so it has a rear bracket holding it in), supports SATA3, and has a different chipset. But it also has the special firmware available. The card is in a physical-8x-electrical-4x slot, but PCIe 4x is enough for my purposes here:

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···16118112

The downside of all these cards is that they require a special connector cable. You'll notice both cards have only two connectors on the board, but claim support for 8 drives. That's because you need SFF-8087 cables for SATA drives, and at $25 a pop they're not cheap:

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···16116097

They're good cables though. It's just tricky; they have to be forward cables, but forward and reverse cables look identical. And they lock in, which is nice. Actually my first card, I bought supermicro brand cables, and they're super stiff and annoying to work with, so when I got these 3ware cables, they're much nicer. I'm almost tempted to buy another set of two of them to replace the supermicro ones, but that'd be another $50+shipping, and the supermicro ones still work OK...

What else... Well, due to my original cost saving efforts (which, as I've mentioned, I've come to regret to some extent), the original server with 5x2TB drives (10TB), cost me about $1500 all-in. The second expansion (which brought the capacity of the server up from 5 drives to 15 drives, and populated half of the new drive bays giving me 20TB total) cost me about $1300. It would have been much cheaper if not for the thailand flood (that raised my costs by maybe $200-250), and that I bought the third hotswap bay even though it was not yet needed (another $180ish). The third expansion, which will populate the remaining drive bays, requires only the drives, since I have everything else needed. Impossible to say how much that will cost based on the HDD pricing, but if drive prices come back down to normal, and I buy more 3TB drives to complete the set I have, that would cost me $735 to bring the server capacity from the current 20TB to what would then be 35TB.

But the current 20TB capacity will last me quite a while. The first 10TB lasted me 2 years, the second 10TB should last me at least a year, year and a half...

In terms of the software environment on the server, I started out with OpenSolaris, and I hated it. But it was the only show in town at that time for a recent and stable ZFS build.

Very recently, I replaced OpenSolaris with Ubuntu 11.10, because there is now kernel-level support for ZFS available in Linux via the "zfsonlinux" project, which is very actively developed and reasonably stable at this point. And because it's a fully integrated kernel module (licensing issues don't apply if you distribute the non-GPL ZFS code in source form and have the package use DKMS to compile/install it on user systems), performance is actually better than Solaris. Installing it was dead simple, just add the PPA repo then "apt-get install ubuntu-zfs" kind of thing:

»zfsonlinux.org/

The primary goal when building the original server was expandability. I was only putting in 5 drives to start (in a raidz array, which is like raid5, giving me 4 drives usable capacity and 1 for parity), but I wanted to be able to expand in the future. I specifically picked a case and motherboard that would allow me to add the second RAID card and extra two hotswap bays that would let me triple the number of drives, and I also made sure that I could expand capacity even after filling the server; with ZFS, you can replace drives with larger capacity ones, and after all five drives are replaced, it will get the higher capacity. So if in 5 years I want to replace 5x2TB drives with say 5x6TB drives or whatever is available, I can do that. It will be a very slow process because the process is to replace a drive and rebuild the array five times, but it can be done.

I guess that's about everything there is to know about my server, let me know if you have questions.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


Thane_Bitter
Inquire within
Premium
join:2005-01-20
Reviews:
·Bell Sympatico
So you are using a Raid card, rather as a dumb disc controller, then using the OS to do RAID (RAID-Z), as RAID-Z offers better functionality over the more traditional RAID types. My apologies if I have not translated that correctly. If so, why not just use a less expensive SAS/SATA controller (something non-raid)?

Regarding the SM 'flipped' card, it seems that one can add some plastic spacers as standoffs to relocate the bracket to the correct expansion slot. I have not done it myself, I just recall a post about doing this out on the net while trying to figure out what the hell a SuperMicro UIO slot was; I think they used small nylon washers and slightly longer small screwbolts.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
said by Thane_Bitter:

So you are using a Raid card, rather as a dumb disc controller, then using the OS to do RAID (RAID-Z), as RAID-Z offers better functionality over the more traditional RAID types. My apologies if I have not translated that correctly. If so, why not just use a less expensive SAS/SATA controller (something non-raid)?

That's exactly the idea. raidz has the advantage of integrating with ZFS's use of per-block checksums, so it can tell if a block is corrupt, and recover it from parity.

In terms of why not use a less expensive controller, well, find one :P

There are no 8-port non-RAID controllers, so that narrows it down to RAID controllers. Of those, the following requirements had to be met, at the time:

1) Must support HBA (non-raid mode)
2) Most work with OpenSolaris
3) Must have a PCIe 8x interface (4x was acceptable)
4) Must support 8 drives per card (required to support 15 drives on 2 cards)

Finding that is hard. NewEgg sells precisely one card that meets at least requirements #3 and #4 that is cheaper, the HighPoint RocketRAID 2680 SGL. However, information on points #1 and #2 is scarce. From their website, it sounds like "Multiple Logical Drive" means it *might* work for requirement #1, but that's not certain, and their website does not list OpenSolaris as supported. It also doesn't cost much less than the SuperMicro card originally cost me ($150, I think). So for the first card, it definitely wasn't an option, and even for the second card, it wasn't really clear if it would work, and I wasn't even sure what OS I would be using when I bought the second card. I tried to match it as close as possible by purchasing the LSI card, which is a much newer chipset than the SM card, but is the same family.

said by Thane_Bitter:

Regarding the SM 'flipped' card, it seems that one can add some plastic spacers as standoffs to relocate the bracket to the correct expansion slot. I have not done it myself, I just recall a post about doing this out on the net while trying to figure out what the hell a SuperMicro UIO slot was; I think they used small nylon washers and slightly longer small screwbolts.

You can, but I don't have any such spacers, and I don't know where to get any such spacers, and I'm not sure I even still have the original bracket anymore.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
What did it all cost you when said and done Guspaz?


Thane_Bitter
Inquire within
Premium
join:2005-01-20
Reviews:
·Bell Sympatico
reply to Guspaz
Ah, I see.
Yes I find RAID card/supported drive thing a nightmare to decipher.
I thought I would build a windows server box, however the OS is costly, and to do a stable RAID setup (like 6) requires a good controller and those pricey non-firmware borked drives. This ZFS via something like FreeNAS looks promising; however it means I can’t consolidate some very old hardware.
Thanks for the details on your system, as well as the explanations on your part selections.


HiVolt
Premium
join:2000-12-28
Toronto, ON
kudos:21
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·TekSavvy Cable

1 recommendation

reply to vue666
Click for full size
said by vue666:

Can you post some photos of your case & setup?

TIA

This is my server setup.

C2Q Q6600 2.4 (stock)
4gb ddr2-800 ram
8x1TB Seagate RAID5
Promise EX8350 hardware raid controller.
2x2TB Seagate RAID1
2x150GB Velociraptor RAID1 (Boot/OS)
Generic trayless hotswap bays.

I was planning to upgrade the 8 drives to 2TB's this summer, but I kept putting it off then got burned by the increase...
--
GO LEAFS GO!


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
I used to run something similar to that in the basement, but I retired it all when I realized that the thing was more often than not sitting idle yet sucking power for nothing. So instead, I bought an external hard drive to do backup to my desktop, moved two of the hard drives to a cheap NAS enclosure to act as an FTP server for files from the shop, moved two more of the drives into my desktop, gave a bunch of other hard drives away to family and used the CPU and RAM to put together a system for my sister's birthday a few months back. No regrets at all. It was fun having something like that when I did IT work, particularly when I had the thing running a bunch of different OSes under ESXi, but now that I'm out of that I don't miss it at all.


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
I admittedly haven't upgraded for a while...

My first RAID5 set is 6 x 1TB WD Caviar Black's WD1002FBYS0 which still allowed adjusting TLER and 4 x 3TB WD Caviar Green's which I picked up a few months before the shortage at around $139 a piece.

I have around 12TB of useable space on my home server which is terribly convenient, as I rarely have to delete anything.

I had 20TB but I sold my 2TB drives during the shortage for a ridiculous amount of money when the shortage hit.


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

1 recommendation

reply to elwoodblues
Click for full size
Click for full size
I put in the third hotswap bay now, hooked it up to the two RAID cards, and tested each slot with a drive.

The bottom unit is empty at the moment (only 10 drives out of the 15 bays), but it'll make adding another 5 drives a snap when the time comes. Just have to screw the drievs into the empty trays, stick them in, and add the new vdev to the pool.

                                                 capacity
pool                                          alloc   free
--------------------------------------------  -----  -----
tank                                          6.52T  11.6T
  raidz1                                      6.49T  2.57T
    ata-WDC_WD20EARX-00PASB0_WD-WMAZA602****      -      -
    ata-WDC_WD20EARX-00PASB0_WD-WMAZA602****      -      -
    ata-WDC_WD20EARX-00PASB0_WD-WMAZA602****      -      -
    ata-WDC_WD20EARX-00PASB0_WD-WMAZA604****      -      -
    ata-WDC_WD20EARX-00PASB0_WD-WMAZA606****      -      -
  raidz1                                      22.4G  9.04T
    ata-WDC_WD20EADS-00R6B0_WD-WCAVY135****       -      -
    ata-WDC_WD20EADS-00R6B0_WD-WCAVY135****       -      -
    ata-WDC_WD20EADS-00R6B0_WD-WCAVY133****       -      -
    ata-WDC_WD20EADS-00R6B0_WD-WCAVY136****       -      -
    ata-WDC_WD20EADS-00R6B0_WD-WCAVY136****       -      -
--------------------------------------------  -----  -----
 

The vdevs in the pool are currently rather unbalanced, as you can see.

--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to elwoodblues

Prices to remain high until the fall



elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
In otherwords, we are making so much money producing so much less product, we're going to gouge the market a tad longer.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
Pretty much.


Thane_Bitter
Inquire within
Premium
join:2005-01-20
reply to Guspaz

Re: [Rant] Holy Hard Drive rip off

Came out nice.


newTekuser

@teksavvy.com
reply to elwoodblues
Tech items that could cost you more in 2012
»ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/right-cl···243.html

Last year's historic flooding in Thailand had severely constrained the global supply of hard drives, an effect that has lingered for several quarters. More than a dozen hard drive factories were damaged in a country that accounts for nearly 50 per cent of global hard drive production."

"Some retailers have actually been rationing hard drive—based products," reveals Laura Heller in a Deal News blog. "As a result, we've seen fewer hard drive discounts. Expect continued shortages throughout the first quarter of 2012, which is when experts predict that production will begin to catch up to demand."



TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Calgary, AB
kudos:3
reply to elwoodblues
Man prices need to come down already I need me a new HD too.


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
As above, won't get back to pre-flood pricing until September... so hang in there...


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by urbanriot:

As above, won't get back to pre-flood pricing until September... so hang in there...

It looks like they've kind of dropped from obscenely expensive to merely slightly more expensive recently, but they are certainly nowhere near pre-flood prices, that's for sure.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
reply to Davesnothere
Bestbuy has a 2TB external drive , Hitachi Touo for $99.

Pretty damn cheap (these days) if you ask me. Older model I suspect, the have USB 3.0 models these days.

»www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/id/···L-120124