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.
The history of technology moves in fits and starts, but one trend trumps all else: An inevitable shift from fine-tuned specialized gear to general-purpose commodity building blocks. We see it in both hardware and software, and at all levels of the industry, from chips and wafers to operating systems and networking devices. Take a step back and you’ll certainly agree: Commodity hardware always wins (eventually).