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45 posts

Geek


  #2501486 9-Jun-2020 13:29
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kiwifidget:

 

@OzoneNZ , thanks, that's a very generous offer.

 

I'm near Auckland, in Pukekohe.

 

I see the card in the link you gave me is in China??

 

So could be a risk freight-wise at the moment?

 

 

 

 

I think the only risk is shipping delays, me and my partner have had several packages from China turn up during lockdown but obviously the couriers are running quite behind at the moment.

 

Chinese vendors on eBay are probably the biggest sellers of recycled server hardware hence the low prices but nothing to be concerned about otherwise. That particular LSI card is originally used in IBM servers hence the IBM branding. The firmware flashing process involves flashing un-branded LSI firmware to turn it back into a normal SAS/SATA card.

 

I ordered my card from a Chinese seller back in 2018 and chose expedited shipping over the free shipping option, took about 5 business days to get here.

 

 

 

Anyway just food for thought! I had an el-cheapo SATA expansion card from PB Tech prior to the LSI card and would say the LSI card is leaps and bounds better - it's properly proven enterprise-grade stuff, guaranteed to not mess with S.M.A.R.T information from your drives, no dodgy RAID implementations etc. like cheaper cards. Also has very wide driver support across different operating systems, VMware ESXi, FreeNAS, Unraid to name a few.

 

Not sure if it's important to you but they also do SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) so you'll get good speeds even if you add SSDs to your drive pool.

 

 

 

EDIT: forgot to say, I'm on the North shore - so not too far away




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  #2501514 9-Jun-2020 14:20
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@OzoneNZ  I see there are different models of that card, LSI 9220, 9240, 9260 etc for sale.

 

Are they all much of a muchness? 

 

Or are you specifically recommending the 9220?





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45 posts

Geek


  #2501523 9-Jun-2020 14:25
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kiwifidget:

 

@OzoneNZ  I see there are different models of that card, LSI 9220, 9240, 9260 etc for sale.

 

Are they all much of a muchness? 

 

Or are you specifically recommending the 9220?

 

 

 

 

Mostly the same with slight variations - such as different types of SAS connectors on the card's side, different number of ports, etc.

 

Reason I recommend the 9220-8i variant specifically is because:

 

 

 

1) There are two SFF-8087 ports on the card, so you can use 2 SATA breakout cables - 4 drives per cable, 8 drives total supported by the card

 

2) SFF-8087 to SATA forward breakout cables are cheap and the most common type

 

3) It's the exact model I purchased and I can vouch for the flashing process being relatively straight-forward and working correctly

 

 

 

The thing that DOESN'T change (and the very important factor meaning the cards can be cross-flashed with different firmwares) being that they all use the LSI SAS2008 chip.

 

 

 

For what it's worth this is the exact auction I used in 2018: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/IBM-ServeRaid-M1015-46M0861-SAS-SATA-PCI-e-RAID-Controller-LSI-SAS9220-8i/192161107657




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  #2501554 9-Jun-2020 14:55
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@OzoneNZ , you must be very persuasive, I just bought it :)

 

I chose to stick with the free shipping, US28 seemed a bit steep.

 

Plus it gives me time to sort a case and a mobo.

 

I figure whichever way I go, that card gives me more options.

 

Thank you for recommending it.





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  #2501594 9-Jun-2020 16:06
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I have had nothing but bad luck with older cheap sata cards in other machines but the server cards either with the break out cable or an actual antique sas box have been faultless. Seems to be the drivers fail which is why people report success under Linux with them.

Best cheap card I have had so far comes up as an ahci controller and needs no drivers. 5 ports on it and they all work ok but it needs a 2x slot which is not common so I have to waste a 16x slot in that computer to run it.

Even if you get an older lsi hba card that only does 3 gigabit data that's still more than spinning discs do for now so no limitation on performance for you.




Richard rich.ms

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Master Geek


  #2501598 9-Jun-2020 16:16
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Curiously enough a few years ago I decided to make myself a server and after seeing the price of proper server hardware bought one of these https://www.gigabyte.com/nz/Motherboard/GA-H270N-WIFI-rev-10#kf

 

 

 

I believe apart from being a bit older it ticks all your boxes and I never really ended up using it as a server - bought a NAS instead. I have an i5 7400, 8Gb of RAM, and a 120GB SSD on it and it just does a bit of Netflix now and again.

 

If second hand interests you and you feel like making an offer let me know, I wasn't really meaning to sell it just yet but I've been wanting to put something better in that case for a while now.

 

 

 

On the AMD side of things another advantage is ECC ram support across most of the CPU range.

 

 

 

I did end up making an open media vault box with an embedded dual core AMD board but I just really prefer the small size and easy setup of a proper NAS so I abandoned that project too. I really should clean out some of this stuff.




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  #2501613 9-Jun-2020 17:01
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@Dugimodo , that is a very intriguing offer, though I have no idea what a reasonable offer would be.

 

I did click the link, but just to check:

 

It has - USB-C port, a slot for the card I just bought, a CPU and RAM already installed (bonus!), somewhere to put a NVMe thingy for the OS, DVI plus HDMI, 2xGBe.

 

I really dont mind that its a bit older and 2nd hand.
Still better than my 13y old Pentium core2-quad with 4GB ram and USB2 ports.

 

@OzoneNZ sorry to bug you, but is this a good idea?





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  #2501620 9-Jun-2020 17:24
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kiwifidget:

 

@Dugimodo , that is a very intriguing offer, though I have no idea what a reasonable offer would be.

 

I did click the link, but just to check:

 

It has - USB-C port, a slot for the card I just bought, a CPU and RAM already installed (bonus!), somewhere to put a NVMe thingy for the OS, DVI plus HDMI, 2xGBe.

 

I really dont mind that its a bit older and 2nd hand.
Still better than my 13y old Pentium core2-quad with 4GB ram and USB2 ports.

 

@OzoneNZ sorry to bug you, but is this a good idea?

 

 

Could be a good deal for the right price!

 

 

 

Just had a thought - you mentioned Windows Home Server 2011 and drive pools (I assume you're using Dynamic Disks)?

 

The "Dynamic Disk" function is actually deprecated in Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 and the latest Windows 10 build, in favour of the "Storage Spaces" feature. Pretty sure Storage Spaces can still achieve all the software RAID functionality that Dynamic Disks did but just something be aware of.

 

I don't think you can directly import an old Dynamic Disk Pool straight into Storage Spaces so the array might need re-creating on a newer Windows OS. Definitely wouldn't recommend continuing to use WHS2011 these days with the EOL date being back in 2016 haha.

 

Options other than Windows if you don't fancy paying for a license would be software RAID in Linux using MD, or maybe FreeNAS / Unraid.


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  #2501621 9-Jun-2020 17:28
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@kiwifidget sorry to piggy-back on your thread, but I do hope that you do not mind:

 

 

 

This micro-itx you had your eyes on, is it for servers only? E.g. will it accommodate a half-decent GPU, such as RTX 2070?

 

I have a problem with cases. For certain reason I have to move my desktop several times a week, so I want it to be "portable". Currently I have a case that I like a lot, I got it in 2016, it's also micro-itx but they are no longer sold in NZ: https://www.corsair.com/ww/en/Categories/Products/Cases/Graphite-Series%E2%84%A2-380T-Yellow-Portable-Mini-ITX-Case/p/CC-9011065-WW

 

I like that it's moderately compact, has a carrying handle, I can stuff 2 HDD and an SSD or two into it and it accommodates the NVIDIA I mentioned above. It also opens from both sides, and there are no screws to open it up, just handle levers. I'm really happy with this case.

 

I'm also looking to build a new PC for me in a year's time, and I want to pass this one to a family member, so I will need a new case. I was not able to find a case that I would be happy with and yours looks like something I might consider.

 

 


45 posts

Geek


  #2501627 9-Jun-2020 17:33
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@kiwifidget Not sure if you're ever considering having a graphics card (or anything else) in the system but the LSI card is obviously going to be occupying the only PCI express slot. That's actually what moved me off the mITX form factor for a home server years ago since expansion options are limited. Maybe cross that bridge when you get there if it's unlikely you'll be needing to add a secondary PCIe card




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  #2501630 9-Jun-2020 17:35
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@zespri , the more the merrier. I used to work at Zespri many moons ago. An original employee.

 

Here is a link to the Inwin case. It has one slot but I dont know if a GPU would fit.

 

https://www.ipc.in-win.com/soho-smb-iw-ms04

 

 

 

  





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  #2501633 9-Jun-2020 17:42
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OzoneNZ:

 

@kiwifidget Not sure if you're ever considering having a graphics card (or anything else) in the system but the LSI card is obviously going to be occupying the only PCI express slot. That's actually what moved me off the mITX form factor for a home server years ago since expansion options are limited. Maybe cross that bridge when you get there if it's unlikely you'll be needing to add a secondary PCIe card

 

 

It's going to be a data box, thats all.
On-board graphics will be sufficient.

 

 

 

When I get around to replacing my ShuttleXPC desktop, thats when I'll be looking at GPU's.
I tried to fit one in months ago but couldn't find anything that fitted unless I removed the ODD bay, which I actually need. 
I'm probably the only person left on the planet that still uses one.

 

 

 

So now I'm finding that even mATX cases arent designed for 4x3.5" HDD.
Stupid server should have died at the start of lockdown when I had more time for googling.

 

However, Dugimodos board should work in the Inwin ITX case from what I can tell.





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  #2501634 9-Jun-2020 17:50
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kiwifidget:

 

@zespri , the more the merrier. I used to work at Zespri many moons ago. An original employee.

 

Here is a link to the Inwin case. It has one slot but I dont know if a GPU would fit.

 

https://www.ipc.in-win.com/soho-smb-iw-ms04

 

 

Thank you. I'm not and was not connected to Zespri in any meaningful form ;)




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  #2501642 9-Jun-2020 18:00
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@OzoneNZ , If I stayed with Windows, and I probably will coz I dont know anything else, then I would also stick with DrivePool. 

 

I do not know if the disks are dynamic or not.





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Master Geek


  #2502407 10-Jun-2020 17:09
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Here's a photo of the motherboard I was talking about. Still mounted in a very small Silverstone case at the moment because I don't want to dismantle it unless a deal is done.

 

 

 

It's difficult to see all the Sata ports, 2 are visble and you can see the red cable coming from where the other 4 are. The SSD mounts on the underside

 

 

 


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