Have you ever wondered if mounting a hard disk drive on its side or even upside-down affects its lifespan or reliability? According to every drive manufacturer, it’s perfectly acceptable to mount a hard disk drive in any orientation as long as it’s not tilted and has sufficient cooling.
I’ve written a few times about my quest to build the ultimate home storage/server rig. But one issue was surprisingly vexing: What kind of case has room for a dozen or more hard disk drives? In this update, I’ll talk about the various options as well as the one I ultimately picked: The NZXT H440 (and a Corsair power supply).
Today I’m going to dive into the hardware I selected for FreeNAS, starting with the motherboard, CPU, and memory. FreeNAS runs on any PC hardware, but building a reliable and scalable storage solution means picking higher-end components. I selected a Supermicro X10SL7 server-class motherboard with 14 (!) SAS/SATA ports paired with an Intel Xeon E3-1231v3 (Haswell) CPU and ECC memory from Crucial.
Long-time readers of my blog know of my love for Drobo, but the time has come to say goodbye. My old Drobos (and Iomega ix-4) are showing their age and I decided to go in a different direction: I’m building a FreeNAS server. In this article I’ll talk about my thinking behind this move; later posts will talk in more detail about the hardware and software setup.
Although not discussed in today’s keynote, Apple is adding a new “universal” filesystem to iOS and macOS. Apple File System (APFS) will likely replace HFS+ as the default filesystem for Macintosh computers, iPads, and iPhones and brings a wealth of modern features. But judging from the initial developer documentation, that’s not going to happen for a few more years. And there’s still much confusion about how APFS and CoreStorage, introduced in Mac OS X 10.7, will interact.
I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with the Raspberry Pi, and have even deployed a few as UNIX servers in my home and office network. The quad-core performance of the latest Pi models is awesome, but serious I/O limitations remain. With just one USB 2.0 interface shared for all network and storage operations, you aren’t going to […]
Last week I headed to Austin, Texas to attend the semi-annual OpenStack Summit there. Along with the usual socializing, I was looking to understand the current state of the technology: What does OpenStack really mean these days, and where is it going? Let’s start with “free”. As “the Internet” is quick to point out, this critical word has multiple […]
I’ve got fond memories of St. Louis, having lucked into a ticket to the 2011 World Series. Now I’m back twice in two weeks, presenting at the VMUG User Conference and TechTarget Seminars!
It took longer than I expected for Nimble Storage to introduce an all-flash array, but their AF7000 looks to be a very credible offering. They’re targeting XtremIO and Pure with their marketing, but I expect HP, Dell, and especially NetApp to be cross-shopped more frequently. In that fight, I expect the Nimble AF7000 to be very attractive indeed!
I’m really excited about the prospects of memory-addressable flash. Moving flash closer to the CPU and addressing it as memory rather than block storage brings tremendous performance benefits, and is a once-in-a-generation radical change to system architecture. But questions remain as to how it can be integrated with today’s applications. Now Plexistor is here with a promising solution: Their “Software-Defined Memory” concept is a generic filesystem for storage, from NVDIMM to NVMe to SSD.