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 PostPost subject: My little server cabinet project...        Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:46 pm 
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As some of you may know I got my own little server spinning around in my computer room. I built my server cabinet myself without any prior experience, and even with some problems recently it's still up and running. And I am fixing the problems as we speak too.

But I completed a small project website describing a little about how I built it. It's not very detailed, but it has general ideas, some photos etc. Perhaps something you custom builders out there want to see.

It's a lot to read, so be patient. :P

http://www.mrpijey.net/index_projects.htm

(Click "Finished projects")


And please don't link this further without adding proper credits where credit is due. And no direct image re-linking please.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:48 pm 
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I expected this to suck, but it was actually p. cool, good job (your cables are still a mess).

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:52 pm 
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Yeah, as I wrote it's still a problem. I have ordered cabling and connectors, will assemble it when I get the time. I also got myself one of those Chieftec modules, if it works as good as it looks then the cabling issue will be a breeze, since it's a lot easier working with molex connectors than SATA.

And those pics don't show the current cabling which is a bit neater. Not much tho :P.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:04 am 
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Google tells me a HD can pull up to 33W during start-up and around 10-15W in use, that's ~2.7 A * 8 = ~20A over the 12V (and another few over 5V), no wonder you had problems with wiring. If you wanted to pull that over a single wire you'd need at least 2.5mm^2 cables.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:18 am 
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The PSU:s I tried were specced at up to 30A/rail, but since the efficiency is quite low unless properly balanced it still didn't manage to power my drives. But wiring is also an issue, I discovered that the other array (16 drives on one 850W PSU) seem to work better, but it's also using better cables. I will however for the future use max 8 drives per PSU. I also used staggered spin-up on the drives, so only one drive spins up at a time.

Any other suggestions on how to fix the power issue would be helpful. :P

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:25 am 
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It would probably work best if every single drive was hooked up directly to the PSU in parallel with high quality wiring.
If you're looking for more crazy ideas get a SLA or two and hook them up with the 12V for cheap battery backup in case of power outage the drives could presumably power down safely (although they probably do that already, data loss from caches etc. would be a greater concern.)
You could also use L78S05 2A 5V regulators on each drive although those are pretty ineffecient (with 12V in they would pull 2A and turn 7V 2A into heat).

(This is all assuming the stability prbblems were caused by voltage drops due to wiring and PSU)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:51 am 
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Well, a SLA wouldn't work well, since it would not fit into the cabinet. And those aren't really safe either in the long run... However the direct PSU connection is a safe bet, since I know that some of the power outages are due to bad wiring (i.e touch cables and some drives reboot etc).

Once I managed to connect the new Chieftec modules I will rewire everything directly from the PSU. I'll even remove the molex connectors on the PSU and resolder them into longer cables that goes directly to the module. Each module has two molex connectors (that is shared between four harddrives and the module itself (LED:s, fan etc). So using two rails on each PSU to drive one module per rail should be sufficient, thus driving 8 harddrives in total, per PSU.

Regarding safe power outtages, the only thing I can do is to disable all kinds of caching. I already disabled the OS caching of the drives, and also the RAID caching. So all writes are written through directly to the drives and not through a cache. I guess I can't do much more than that without hooking up a series of UPS:es to aid the harddrives. But then I would only get another series of power issues to solve :P.

Thanks for the tip tho, I believe the wiring is the number one concern atm. And it's no problem adding two more PSU:s to the system. It won't be a neat solution, but it works. The router doesn't need more than 150W in total (if even that, running only mobo and one compact flash harddrive (5V). Server needs a bit more, I got a 400W connected now, and it works perfectly.

And ever since I replaced two faulty drives (prolly crashed during one of those power outtages) and moved 4 harddrives to two old AT PSU:s the system has been stable. I just don't dare to touch anything now.... :P

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:40 am 
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I saw this a while back...what exactly needs so much storage? :P


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:44 am 
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Is that computer monitoring software I see in one of those pics custom? I see one of your "Active Projects" is System Information, is that what it is. If its public software, could I get a link? :)

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:19 am 
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System Info and that app isn't the same project. It's a custom monitoring system I made just for my server.

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