Recent home project: ZFS NAS server

July 2, 2007

I apologize for not posting for the last week, it was a very hectic week for myself because of a certain request for a Solaris 9 machine with tape that took the greater part of a week to get working properly. All I have to say about that is that I much prefer Solaris 10 over Solaris 9.

Anyhow, on to the project. Lately I’ve been working on an old Blade 150 that I have at home trying to get it to recognize the IDE controller card and old hard drives attached. Below you can see a picture of what I’m working with:

Blade 150

I have an UltraSPARC II processor in there running at 650Mhz as well as a gig of RAM (hopefully enough for my purposes). I found an extremely old IDE RAID controller card, switched it to JBOD mode and stuck it connected to 2 spare hard drives. At this time the hard drives are each only 40GB and I haven’t figured out a way for them to stay in the case (not enough space in there). I ran the IDE cables through the PCI slot opening and set the drives on top.

One of the problems I ran into was powering the hard drives, in this case the 150 didn’t have enough spare power hookups for 2 additional drives (in addition to the one inside the machine for the OS), so I ended up gutting another machine of mine for the power supply to power only the hard drives. Slightly out of the picture on the left the power supply is sitting with a paper-clip jammed into the motherboard connector to manually switch it to “always on”. Not a very elegant solution, but for the time being it works. Hopefully I’ll be getting a case for the hard drives and additional power supply so it doesn’t look nearly as ugly.

Anyhow, after installing OpenSolaris build 65, the machine booted up and was able to see the additional 2 hard drives, but panicked and rebooted when I actually selected them, upon rebooting they acted alright. I proceeded to create a mirrored zpool in case of drive failure. At this point it’s only 40GB, but I plan on getting some 300-500 GB drives for the data. Eventually I want this to be shared across the network for Delilah and I to store our important documents on (and it will be backed up also). Definitely a very cheap solution for our simple home.

Does anyone out there have a home server running Solaris? What do you use it for? How does it work out?

Thanks to my beautiful wife Delilah for taking the picture while I was at work!

posted in hardware, solaris, zfs by Lee

2 Comments to "Recent home project: ZFS NAS server"

  1. sp1te wrote:

    I have a NAS that i built out of a dual amd box i was using to run gameservers. I added 4x 250 gig drives installed the OS on one and raidz the rest using zfs. I have to say it has worked flawlessly. I perform nightly snapshots, and couldnt be happier with it.

  2. Tanmoy wrote:

    It would be a great help to me if you tell me how did you managed to make the machine (above one) recognize the 40 GB HDD, I presume by default it did not recongize the 40 GB HDD. The picture shows that the cable are coming out from a Card (i presume). What card are you using to support 40 GB HDD. It would be kind of you as I am myself stuck at a PII machine that does not support above 20 GB HDD. The BIOS update is not available for my MB.
    Another thing if you could mail me the response it would be of great help…as I am not a regular visitor to your Blog. I stumbled upon thorough google.

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