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.
I’m a big believer in USB 3.0, having come to rely on it as part of the Tech Field Day video production workflow. But I’m also a believer in traveling light and reducing clutter in my computer bag. That’s why I’m thrilled about the Cable Matters Ultra-Mini 4-Port SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hub!
The re-birth of NexGen Storage is surprising to be sure, but it’s a positive move for the industry. Competition is good, especially when it comes from folks who know how to “do” storage. And the world of midrange storage just got a strong new competitor!
Top-of-rack flash and bottom-of-rack disk makes a ton of sense in a world of virtualized, distributed storage. It fits with enterprise paradigms yet delivers real architectural change that could “move the needle” in a way that no centralized shared storage system ever will. SAN and NAS aren’t going away immediately, but this new storage architecture will be an attractive next-generation direction!