Latest interface: 0.3.1
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Dyslextic
User

10 posts

Posted on 16 March 2011 @ 04:35
Hello,

I have been reading lot about ZFSGuru and what would be good hardware to run it on. My question is would the following work with good performance. I plan to reuse a PC I currently have that has the following specs.

Motherboard: Intel D975XBX2
CPU: Intel Quad Core Extreme 2.93Ghz/8M/1066 SLACP QX6800
Memory: 8GB DDR2
Video card: what every I have that works
Hard Disk Drives: 8 - 320GB SATA Western Digital 7200rpm 3.5 hard disk disk (been in used for a few years - still good)
Intel SASUC8I Raid card flash to IT mode with correct break out cables.
GB Intel NIC.

So does this seem reasonable for my first ZFS system or should I go with building a new Xeon system? I am hoping to come close to maxing out my 1GB connection to the server when I configure ZFSGuru using NFS for sharing. Looking for good information on which way to go.

Oh, almost forgot. This is for my home use. It would be used for Virtual Machines (hopefully it would let me run them from the share and thus let me get them off my desktop - already working up spinning up a xenserver), storage of various ghost images and yet another place to backup my data (already backup it up to 2 other hard disk drives, DVD's, USB flash key, etc.)

Thanks for your help,
Dyslextic

Adam
User

19 posts

Posted on 16 March 2011 @ 05:01
Looks great to me. ECC ram would have been nice but mainstream intel doesn't support. Xeon would be overkill for your home server imho. AMD boards often support ecc ram. It seems RAM has a larger impact than CPU power. So, if you build new, buy a low power amd chip/board which supports ecc ram and dump 8 gb in there.

But, in the mean time. Use the qx6800. I'm (embarrassingly) using a q6600 right now. Maybe snb upgrade in the summer???
The_Dave
User

221 posts

Posted on 16 March 2011 @ 22:07
Ram does play a much larger role. My cpu seems like it basically idles except when reading/writing to a file system with compression on it.
Jason
Developer

806 posts

Posted on 17 March 2011 @ 17:42
Seems like a nice first ZFS system to me! The CPU is excessive though, the 8GiB memory is nice! You don't really need a video card though; this may consume a fair amount of power! Booting without video at all does work; make sure you can configure the system through network when using this setup. You would hear BIOS beeps but it would still continue to boot.

Probably the best investment you can do is buy an Intel G3 SSD in a few months when it comes out (Intel G3 has a supercapacitor). This allows you to use a small SSD for L2ARC+SLOG and accelerate your RAID-Z performance. By the way i would personally opt for RAID-Z2 with 8 disks! Due to them being normal 512-byte disks, you have more freedom on the number of disks in a RAID-Z1/2/3.
Jason
Developer

806 posts

Posted on 17 March 2011 @ 17:46
Adam wrote: I'm (embarrassingly) using a q6600 right now. Maybe snb upgrade in the summer??? The Q6600 uses a fair amount of power when idling (doing nothing). For a NAS that runs 24/7, a CPU/motherboard with low power figures is of course the desired platform. But using what you already have sounds logical to me too.

For upcoming summer, my ideal ZFS platform would be AMD Bulldozer which should perform better than Sandy Brdige (higher IPC so faster per GHz than Sandy Bridge) and features AES acceleration and allows ECC without expensive server hardware. Thanks to AMD's new 32nm High-K Metal Gate process, which Intel has been using since 40nm (the Q6600 is 65nm), AMD Bulldozer should feature VERY low idle power consumption!
Dyslextic
User

10 posts

Posted on 18 March 2011 @ 02:07
Thanks for the replies.

I know the CPU is over kill but I was more thinking for the 4 cores on it then anything else. I do have a 2.4Ghz quad core (q6600) or a 2.66Ghz E6750 core 2 duo I could put in there instead. I probably just stay with the QX6800 as my understanding is that ZFS can take advantage of all those cores very nicely.

I did not even think of the idea of boot the system without a video card. That I will defiantly do. Thanks for the idea Jason. I also like the idea of an 8 disk RAID-Z2. I was not sure how I was going to configure the disk but that seems as good a way as any. The only other configure I thought of was 2 sets of 4 disk each RAIDZ1. I also plan to look at purchasing a Intel G3 when they are out.

I had been thinking of upgrading this at some point in the future to a SNB but AMD Bulldozer does look promising. However, as long as the ZFS system performs well, I will probably just add a G3 into the system and let the do for awhile.

Again thanks for all the advice and suggestions,
Dyslextic
Jason
Developer

806 posts

Posted on 18 March 2011 @ 15:41
The Intel G3 probably would accelerate your speeds alot more than switching to even faster CPU (bulldozer). The real advantage of modern Intel or Bulldozer CPU is the AES acceleration; if you encrypt alot then doing it at 3GB/s while keeping the CPU free is alot better than encrypting at 0.5GB/s and with all cores fully loaded.

If you use compression the CPU cores would be particularly useful, for normal I/O it's not that CPU intensive, even a RAID-Z2 isn't. It's nice to have some headroom, though! But RAM is an obvious bottleneck in most ZFS systems.
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