I decided I need a new storage server. My 12TB PowerEdge 2950 is quite ok, but seems to be smaller and smaller. After a closer scrutiny one might find it is only the free disk space that is shrinking every day, but that doesn't help me does it? Aaaaanyhow... I studied the subject for a long time, browsing EBay lists and forums and I think I found the best solution. Let me share it with you, you might find it tempting.
The important thing is that there are actually two kind of these Dell R510 servers were manufactured with 3.5" disks. One with the eight LFF disks that is shown on the top of this page. Well, it is not mine, not what I bought, because mine... ready? Twelve LFF disks. Whoaw, sweet.
Well, this is actually not mine either, because this is a stock photo, mine has no disks on the front and it collected some dust and a lot of my garbage is on top of it. But the important thing is that I bought the 12 hot swap 3.5" disk version. These actually also have room for two 2.5" SAS disks inside. That's really handy because I mounted two of my dangling SSD storages into the box, installed the operating system on them (redundant config of course) and now all the 12 slots can be used to store data.
And what's even more important, this 12 LFF version is shipped with the H700 RAID card. The H700 is unlike my uncountably numerous PERC 5/i cards can handle disks up to 6TBytes. My Poweredge 2950 server that I use for storage right now can hold 6x2TB, that is 12TByte, which is nice, but you know what's nicer? 12x6Tb = 72TBytes and that's not counting the OS.
Wow, that'll be sweet, I just need to buy 12 disks... eh... well that will be a bit painful moneywise, that's why I put aside this project for weeks now. :D
Well, the hardware I bought was real cheap, and it has some decent stuff in it. You can find these on EBay and on other sites, you just need a little patience. Here is what I have:
Well, there is one CPU, it has 6 cores, but hyper-threading, and that's 12 threads, not too bad. I can buy an other CPU, heatsink, 24 threads, that sound decent. Well, it is 2.40GHz not exactly the Millennium Falcon, but for a storage server it sounds ok. I am not even sure I will put in an other CPU, because CPU eats electricity and electricity costs, especially when you keep running the server for days at a time. My current storage has 8 cores and I have no complaints.
The memory is not much, that sure needs some of my attention, but first of course I need to buy 12 caddies and 12 6TB SATA disks. Whoa, boy, that'll hurt. :D