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luckylinux
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:04 am    Post subject: Gentoo as a NAS Reply with quote

I'd like to ask for opinions about running Gentoo as a NAS because I'm currently not really satisfied with my current setup/OS.

Currently my NAS is built on top of an intel E5-2620 hexa core processor with 64GB RAM and 6 x 3.0TB RAIDZ2 HDD (plus 2 x 3.0TB mirror for root and boot). Operating system is FreeBSD 9.1 because I might want to do something more than "just" NAS (therefore FreeNAS wasn't really an option for me). File system is ZFS v28.
What really gets on my nerves with this setup is Power consumption: 148W at idle with 8 HDDs (tested with only 4 HDDs gives 121W at idle). Therefore at idle both mainboard and CPU consume around 148W - 2*(148W - 121W) = 94W. Compare that with the new Haswell processors that run like @20-25W at idle ...

Back on track: to lower power consumption I though about using sleep (suspend to RAM). As if in FreeBSD 9.1 that would work :S. Powering down and up every now and then is not really an option either (it takes about 5 minutes to power it on).

I plan on using ZFSOnLinux with Gentoo Hardened kernel in order to have the best stability and security for the system.
Do you know if such a hardware configuration (Supermicro X9DR3-LN4F+ motherboard) would be supported under Gentoo for sleep (suspend to RAM) to work properly?

Or would you rather just buy a new hardware configuration for the E3-1200 V3 platform (Haswell)? I was thinking about:
- Supermicro SC825 TQ-R740LPB (chassis + redundant PSU) @ 720$
- Supermicro Motherboard X10SL7-F @ 380$ (very expensive because of the 8 SATA/SAS controller)
- Intel Xeon E3-1230V3 @ 260$

The energy savings in 3-5 years (24/7) would be less than the cost of buying this new hardware, hence I'd prefer putting the NAS to sleep when I don't need it instead of buying a new one.

300$ could be saved by going with some ASUS 990fx chipset + FX processor while still lowering power consumption compared to the actual solution. Redundant PSUs are very expensive though. A lot may be saved there, though I'd still want HDD to be hot-swappable. Another solution may be the SuperChassis 822T-400LPB (380$) non-redundant PSU. That would be like half the price (680$ instead of 1360$).
Would you just buy a regular PSU (more like in the 300W-400W range) and setup another server for regular (daily?) backups instead? Even though this means twice the power consumption over a certain time I'll have to do backups anyway, right?


Sorry if this post is a little messy. I'm just hoping to see if somebody here has some suggestions to lower power consumption of my NAS (it may do other things as well, but let's consider it a NAS for now). Thank you very much in advance.
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dmpogo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If putting to sleep will spin down your drives, that may significantly reduce their lifetime.
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luckylinux
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply, dmpogo.

dmpogo wrote:
If putting to sleep will spin down your drives, that may significantly reduce their lifetime.

How come? I wouldn't put it to sleep like 10 times a day. At most 2 I think.
And putting the server in sleep mode shouldn't spin down my drives: they should stop running completely AFAIK.
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dmpogo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckylinux wrote:
Thank you for your reply, dmpogo.

dmpogo wrote:
If putting to sleep will spin down your drives, that may significantly reduce their lifetime.

How come? I wouldn't put it to sleep like 10 times a day. At most 2 I think.
And putting the server in sleep mode shouldn't spin down my drives: they should stop running completely AFAIK.


Spin down is the process of stopping harddrive (and spin up is opposite). Harddrives are at their most vulnerable during spin-up.
Most of the failures happen at that stage. ( I recall a hard drive that got in a state that it took three/four failed boots before it will spun up, after that it would run for months with no issues. Of course after few such harsh reboots it came one when it failed completely). If you look at specs, start/stop cycles is
the main reliability parameter. Usually it is something like 50,000 or 100,000 which is not that small, but it is like mean value and failing drives are at the tails of distribution.
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luckylinux
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dmpogo wrote:
luckylinux wrote:
Thank you for your reply, dmpogo.

dmpogo wrote:
If putting to sleep will spin down your drives, that may significantly reduce their lifetime.

How come? I wouldn't put it to sleep like 10 times a day. At most 2 I think.
And putting the server in sleep mode shouldn't spin down my drives: they should stop running completely AFAIK.


Spin down is the process of stopping harddrive (and spin up is opposite). Harddrives are at their most vulnerable during spin-up.
Most of the failures happen at that stage. ( I recall a hard drive that got in a state that it took three/four failed boots before it will spun up, after that it would run for months with no issues. Of course after few such harsh reboots it came one when it failed completely). If you look at specs, start/stop cycles is
the main reliability parameter. Usually it is something like 50,000 or 100,000 which is not that small, but it is like mean value and failing drives are at the tails of distribution.


So basically you'd suggest I buy a less power consuming hardware to keep on 24/7, right? Or even to leave things as they are now but keep the NAS on 24/7, right?
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dmpogo
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckylinux wrote:
dmpogo wrote:
luckylinux wrote:
Thank you for your reply, dmpogo.

dmpogo wrote:
If putting to sleep will spin down your drives, that may significantly reduce their lifetime.

How come? I wouldn't put it to sleep like 10 times a day. At most 2 I think.
And putting the server in sleep mode shouldn't spin down my drives: they should stop running completely AFAIK.


Spin down is the process of stopping harddrive (and spin up is opposite). Harddrives are at their most vulnerable during spin-up.
Most of the failures happen at that stage. ( I recall a hard drive that got in a state that it took three/four failed boots before it will spun up, after that it would run for months with no issues. Of course after few such harsh reboots it came one when it failed completely). If you look at specs, start/stop cycles is
the main reliability parameter. Usually it is something like 50,000 or 100,000 which is not that small, but it is like mean value and failing drives are at the tails of distribution.


So basically you'd suggest I buy a less power consuming hardware to keep on 24/7, right? Or even to leave things as they are now but keep the NAS on 24/7, right?


Well, I do not know your usage case, and how much value you put into making use of existing components versus making a dream NAS. I myself would just pay for electricity :)
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckylinux,

My NAS is a HP Microserver stuffed with WD 2TB Greens. It runs 24/7. As they are all SATA drives, they are hot swappable.
You have a lot of wasted power, since even my 1.6G Neo will keep a 1G network card busy.
The WD Greens were a mistake. When they die, which probably won't be long, I'll replace them with Hitachis

I use it for a media server and running 4 VMs under Gentoo hardened.
The link was good when it was written but udev has changed things since.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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luckylinux
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
luckylinux,

My NAS is a HP Microserver stuffed with WD 2TB Greens. It runs 24/7. As they are all SATA drives, they are hot swappable.
You have a lot of wasted power, since even my 1.6G Neo will keep a 1G network card busy.
The WD Greens were a mistake. When they die, which probably won't be long, I'll replace them with Hitachis

I use it for a media server and running 4 VMs under Gentoo hardened.
The link was good when it was written but udev has changed things since.

How much power does it consume (idle / load)? How many HDDs did you stuff in? How much did it cost?

I agree on the fact that I have a lot of wasted power (for a NAS), which may however be useful if I were to do some virtualization.
First I'll have to replace FreeBSD with Gentoo though ...

EDIT: I just computed some rough estimates about power consumption gains with using an Haswell (E3-1230 V3) solution with respect to mine. Assuming Haswell box idles at around 25W with no disks, that gives a power consumption difference of around Delta = 94W - 25W = 69W (at idle). Therefore 0.069 kWh / h, or 1.66 kWh / day, 49.7 kWh / month and 596 kWh / year. At the cost of electricity where I live (around 0.20$ / kWh) that would mean around 120$ / year of less energy bills. This means that for motherboard (>200$), RAM (4x8GB ECC ~ 300$) and CPU (260$) alones the gain in power consumption may only be (economically) worth in 4 years or more (likely 5-6) and by that time some more energy-efficient solution would have emerged. Does this sound correct in your opinion?
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckylinux,

Its 60w idle and 100w working hard.
It contains 5x 2Tb WD Greens, and the RAM has been maxed out to 8G.

Ebuyer want £290.
Plus the HDD plus 2x4G ECC RAM.
You will have a 2G ECC RAM and a 250G HDD lest over.

Shop around, until recently, there was £100 cashback on these servers. You don't have to fit ECC RAM.
That link is to the 2.2GHz CPU model. Mine is 2 years old and has the 1.6GHz CPU.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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luckylinux
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
luckylinux,

Its 60w idle and 100w working hard.
It contains 5x 2Tb WD Greens, and the RAM has been maxed out to 8G.

Ebuyer want £290.
Plus the HDD plus 2x4G ECC RAM.
You will have a 2G ECC RAM and a 250G HDD lest over.

Shop around, until recently, there was £100 cashback on these servers. You don't have to fit ECC RAM.
That link is to the 2.2GHz CPU model. Mine is 2 years old and has the 1.6GHz CPU.


Thank you for these informations, NeddySeagoon.

I'd use ECC any day (at least on a server/NAS).
60W at idle seems relatively low with 5 HDDs. Since these are "Green" drives used in a GNU/Linux scenario I suppose they're not all that green (you had to use the wdidle3.exe trick to disable spin down I suppose).

Maybe I could lower power consumption a little bit by disconnecting some additionnal NICs and tweaking something in the BIOS. I'm also quite tempted at replacing stock fans that make it seem as if a 747 was about to take off in my apartment :lol:
5 HDDs for me would be not the right number. Planning ZFS RAIDZ2 so I'd need either 4 or 6 (plus 2 mirrored drives for boot/root - although maybe this may be done on a USB stick).

I'll look around but for what it costs (withno redundant PSU!) I think I may get something better.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luckylinux,

I have an intel 4 port NIC in my Microserver.
The fan, there is only one, is slow and huge so its quiet but not silent. There is no scope for noise/power reduction there.

Four drives fit in the drive cage, the 5th one is in the space provided for an optical drive.
There is a sixth SATA port but its provided as a hard wired eSATA connector on the back of the box.
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NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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