It is time for my approximately twice-a-decade file server upgrade. I've actually been intending to do this for over a year, but kept putting it off. The death of one of the drives in the RAID array of the existing server gave me sudden incentive to move the project forward. If I'm going to need to muck around with the server anyway, I might as well get 'er done right and build the new one!
My home file servers are typically based on older, recycled desktop hardware; this time is no exception. However, I did decide to splurge on some hot swap drive bays to make replacing/upgrading drives easier, and a new PSU, since this rig going to be powering a substantial pile of hard drives.
First up, the case. This is an old Chieftec full-tower, picked up dirt cheap years ago when the local TigerDirect was clearancing a truckload of obsolete Alienware cases. It has housed multiple systems over the years, but has been sitting in the spares pile for a while now. Time to put it back in service!
The motherboard is an Asus M3A78-CM, a Micro-ATX Socket AM2+ board. This is a real workhorse board that I used for multiple builds back in the day. It never let me down, but was retired from duty as a secondary desktop a while back. Power is provided by a new Corsair CX500 picked up at Microcenter. The two PCIe cards are a 4-port SATA controller to augment the 6 on the motherboard, and a 2-port USB3 card. Two of the SATA ports are brought out to rear eSATA connectors, so this system can support a total of 4 external drives (2 eSATA and 2 USB3) in addition to the hot swap backplanes which will be used for the main storage arrays.
The CPU is an Athlon 7750 X2, which based on the Kuma core and runs at 2.7 GHz. 4 GB of DDR2-800 ECC RAM rounds out the core system components. The CPU cooler is actually the retail HSF from my FX-8320; this system will be moved to the crawlspace, so I don't care about the fan noise! I also replaced the CMOS battery; the existing one was reading a little low, and neglecting to replace the battery when repurposing old motherboards is just asking for trouble.
There are 7 hot swap bays in all -- a single 2.5" one for the system drive (a Corsair 40GB SSD I had sitting around), and 6 3.5" bays for data drives. One of the reasons I'm using the Chieftec case is that it has 4 external 5.25" bays; this allows me to use a pair of the 5.25" hot swap backplanes (each backplane occupies 2 5.25" bays and provides 3 trayless hot swap bays). The faceplates of the hot swap backplanes don't match because I didn't order them at the same time, and they were out of the silver ones by the time I ordered the second one. Kind of wish I'd gotten them both in black (in hindsight it looks better), but nobody's going to see them once the server is in the crawlspace anyway!
Initial complement of hard drives consists of 4 3TB WD Reds.
The OS is Ubuntu Server 14.04 64-bit. I've already got the OS installed, and I'm about to create the RAID arrays. I thought about doing RAID-10, RAID-6, or even ZFS, but decided to keep things simple this time and will just be doing a pair of RAID-1 arrays.
I hope to get all the files copied over so I can cut over to the new server in the next couple of days. There's some additional mucking I'll need to do before pulling the plug on the old server though, since the old one also provides some other services on my network (it is configured as a local NTP and DNS server).