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almost 20 years old.
Cat-Ears to increase listening power


You sir, get 10 internet points! GG



Why? because this next one should be your dream come true.

Name: Mimi Takaoka
Female 17 also a super advanced bio-mechanical computer
special... when registered to you is basically your girlfriend for life and sex increases her power.


Time for an update....
Current setup as of 04/05/15 (UK date format).

Top to bottom:
Monitor/keyboard tray.
(back dell 5324 switch)
Low power virtualisation server (Xeon L5520, 24Gb ram, 500Gb drive)
Runs Proxmox 4.1, although it is in a sopos email 1u case (aka a rebranded supermicro chassis) it actually has a Supermicro X8STi+ motherboard. using a riser to add an additional 2 NIC's

HP DL385 G1 - Archive server. (opteron 220, 4GB RAM, 6x 300GB scsi drives in raid 5 with hotspare)
This machine is pretty old and entirly used for making weekly dumps from the FreeNAS machine as a sort of offline storage (ignoring another machine offsite)

Sun X fire X4170 M2 - virtualisation (2x X5650, 96GB RAM, 4x 146GB SAS in Raid 5) (Ikaros)
A more recent acquisition entirely so I could compact my older Ikaros system from a 4u to a 1u system. Also runs latest Proxmox. Runs a huge bulk of VM's and is hooked up to two networks providing servers for both.

FreeNAS - Storage (Asuna (she's grown a little fatter)) (2x L5520, 48GB RAM, 6x 2TB in Zfs raidz2) got some other disks to go in it, 3x 4TB woooo.
Asuna.... got fat, almost a year ago I acquired the Supermicro cs824 chassis. It was an old ex-enterprise unit that had some "disk issues". Which basically turned out to be the SAS expanding backplane giving up the ghost. Now all disks are directly attached (mess of cables) into LSI 9240-8i (flashed as a 9211 IT) and a 9211-8i.

Finally a APC 3000 smart ups, a 2.7Kw capable unit. Got it for free and replaced the batteries, works solidly.
The APC unit actually came with the rack (along with two really old fujitsu servers) and was basically dead. Took a gamble on purchasing new batteries for it (8 in total and close to £100) and magically it sprang back to life. The network management unit on this model is a bit flakey and keeps resetting passwords (???). Although it can sustain a 1.4Kw draw for about 20 minutes on battery, which is fairly impressive. Seeing as the machines mostly draw on average 400Watts it can keep them on for a long time.


My Fileserver

Currently housing 102 TB of usable data in 4 ZFS RaidZ2 pools of 8 drives. Running ZFSguru and ncdc for lans nothing more.


Supermicro X9-SAE-V Motherboard, Intel Xeon 1265V2 CPU, 2 Intel Postville 120 GB SSDs as Boot, ARC and ZIL. 1 IBM M1015 IT flashed and 2 HP SAS Expanders.

The machine is build for data storage and not for speed. It can do 550MB/sec but then the M1015 bottlenecks the system. However I can put in 48 drives which I'm slowly expanding to.

As a taskserver I use a I5 4570, 8 GB, 120 GB SSD, 2 TB WD drive for most of the tasks. This basically makes my fileserver not having to run 24/7 Although efficient as the fileserver might be Idling at 100 Watt is still a decent amount on the yearly bill ;) compared to a 20 watt system. Although this is nowadays mostly run a Minecraft server and Plex portal/transcoding machine.

Next is a PFsense router with this

It houses a Supermicro A1SRi-2558F, 8 GB ECC ram, 120GB SSD on a PicoPSU

Allong that the house has one 24p Zyxel GS1900 and 2 Zyxel 1900 8 Port switches

Lastly I have a small webserver running which is a C1037u thinclient with 8 GB memory a 480 GB SSD and 2 TB 2,5" HDD which I run download services like Couchpotato, Sonarr, AutoSub, NZBget. Along with Mumble and Teamspeak server and a private DC++


Home Lab:
My build is a combination of purchased, scrapped, and borrowed hardware.

I'll have to post pictures at some point soon

1 24pt terminal server
1 48 pt enterprise/telecom class L3 switch
1 24pt enterprise/telecom class L3 switch with 2 SFP+ interfaces @10Gb/s
1 HP DL385 G2
1 HP DL580 G7
1 HP Storageworks D2700
1 24pt Patch panel

DL385 G2
iLO 2 (Remote Management)
8 450GB SAS HD
1 HP Smart Array P812 PCIe x8
2 HP 671798-001 10Gb NICs (Single port each)

HP Storageworks D2700
25 450GB SAS HD

DL580 G7
iLO 3 (Remote Management)
4 2.6GHz Intel Xeon 6 core CPU
~250GB ECC RAM @ 1333MHz
3 146GB SAS HD
1 300GB SAS HD
1 450GB SAS HD
1 Dual Port SFP+ 10Gb nic
2 4pt 10/100/1000 eth NIC

Power Draw:
DL 580 717 Watts 24/7
DL 385 372 Watts 24/7
24pt Enterprise Switch ~127 Watts 24/7

DL 385: monkey
FreeNAS 9.x storage . . . duh

DL580: big-boy
VMware vSphere (Virtualization server)
pfSense : Home Routing / DNS / DHCP
xUbu-Media : Plex
xUbu-Downloads : Downloads
Win7 : Family windows Machine
DNS-ubu : secondary DNS
Freenas10 : testing
Nagios : Monitorying (Freeware)
OS_Block : OpenStack Block Storage VM : testing
OS_Compute : OpenStack Compute VM : testing
OS_Controller : OpenStack Controller : testing
OS_Object : OpenStack Object storage : testing
vCSA : web GUI for vCSA clustering
www : web server for learning

FYI : Procuring this stuff is relatively easy if you are patient. Ebay has MANY re-sellers that sell 3 year old models for heavy discounts.


Good morning everyone!

I currently have two servers, one NAS and one virtualization server to play around with:

Name: Freenas (known to most of the family as "The Plex")

CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5 GHz

Mobo: Asrock H87M

RAM: 16GB (8GBx2) DDR3 1866 MHz Corsair Vengeance Pro

HDDs: 1x WD Red 3TB, 3x Seagate Barracuda 3TB (all four HDD RaidZ2), 8GB USB Flash (OS)

Case: 2U Rosewill RSV​-Z​2600

Uses: Plex Media Server + file sharing across all computers in the house

VMWare ESXi Virtualization Server (unknown to most of the family)

CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5540 2.53 GHz (ebay, super cheap!)

Mobo: Supermicro X8DTI-F (ebay, super cheap!)

RAM: 48GB (4GBx12) DDR3 1333 MHz (ebay, super cheap!)

HDDs: Old 160GB Hitachi + 250GB WD AV-GP (both reused from older builds)

Case: 4U Rosewill RSV-L4000

Uses: Currently running Ubuntu Server 16.04 x2 - one as LAMP server, one as application server (mostly Minecraft). I've run Xubuntu on it as a remote desktop, and have played with Sandstorm in a separate virtual machine. I'm open to suggestions but primarily only use it within my LAN.


VM Host for Firewall, Minecraft, File Server

  • HP DL360 G5
  • CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5450
  • RAM: 20 GB
  • Storage:
    ** RAID1 (boot): 2x 72GB 10k SAS)
    ** RAID5 (storage): 3x 300GB 7.2k SAS

It was given to me from a company that was upgrading. (Just ask around, small businesses are usually cool with giving equipment away as long as they get the chance to wipe it)



Time for a thread revival and an update (15/08/17) (UK date format)

Top to bottom:
Monitor/keyboard tray.
This is hooked into a KVM unit that is in one of the vertical U on the left of the chassis

Quanta LB6M Switch
This is a beauty. A Full 24 port 10Gb Switch using SFP and 4 1Gb port (but meh, gigabit). As I understand it’s an ex-Amazon unit which they used to use a while back now. It’s a bit of a weird device as it can be best described as a layer 2+ switch, as it supports many layer 3 functions but not as many as an advertised Layer 3 switch would. Still it is incredible as all I need it for is 10Gb, VLAN and LACP.

Dell R610 - virtualization (2x X5650, 96GB RAM, 120GB SSD for boot, Intel X520-DA2) (Kongou)
An old unit I picked up from an office skip (lol) that could have been sold for a good price. It only had 24GB of RAM when I got it, but I’ve since added more to balance it out to my other server. It uses a 120GB SSD for boot (Proxmox 4.4 yet to update to 5.0) and it’s main storage is on the storage system below. It is setup in a HA cluster with the other Proxmox Node (see below) although is mostly off atm.

Sun Xfire X4170 M2 - virtualisation (2x X5650, 96GB RAM, 4x 146GB SAS in Raid 5 and a 500GB SAS drive, Intel X520-DA2) (Ikaros)
This is pretty much the same as the system above, runs the same version of proxmox yet it hasn’t made the transition to an SSD boot drive yet. The only way it really differs to the Dell is that it can house 3 PCI-e cards (half height) instead of 2 (full height) and it can hold 18 DIMMs instead of just 12.

Sun F5100 - Storage (48x 24GB Flash storage)
This is a BEAST, its basically a bunch of Flash to with a SAS expander bolted to it. In Sequential reads and writes I’ve had it at 1.2GB/s over a single SAS 8088 cable. It’s pretty f***ing fast.

Dell MD1000 Disk shelf bolted into the system below.

Dell R710 - Storage (Asuna (she went on a diet)) (2x X5670, 48GB RAM, 6x 2TB in Zfs raidz2, Intel X520-DA2) (10x 450GB SAS drives (in disk shelf))
Asuna went on a diet since last time, shrinking from a 4u SuperMicro chassis into a Dell R710. I got this as the old supermicro system was doing some very strange things, basically the board was failing. So after swapping the PERC6 for a H200 (flashed into IT mode (yes the Dell H200 is basically an LSI 9211)), it works a treat. On the back it also has 2x H300 (also basically 9211’s except with SAS 8088 connectors) for connecting out to the disk shelf and Sun F5100.
There are plans in the not so distant future to shift this thing to a Linux distro and use ZFS on Linux for my 6x2TB, but also so I can use a RAID card for the MD1000 and Flash Array. As FreeNAS is less than willing to coperate with that sort of setup.

Finally a APC 3000 smart ups, a 2.7Kw capable unit. Got it for free and replaced the batteries, works solidly.
Nothing has changed about this, other than the fact I changed it to use a 16A plug at the wall.

Finally Finally, (I swear) APC 2200 smart UPS. 2Kw capable. (Out of picture on top of rack)
This was a similar story to the 3000 unit. It came from a job where I replace the UPS becuase it failed. I was given the UPS and I replaced the batteries. Some extra battery power is always appreciated!

That’s about it… for the server rack.
As for the rest of my network, there is a Netgear GSM7352Sv2 (it provides 48 ports of Gigabit goodness) above the rack (in a cab) that has its 2x 10GB SFPs linked to the Quanta. Out of the back of that switch is an 10Gb XFP tranciever that then stretches on a 100M fibre into the house into another Netgear switch, a GSM7328Sv2 (24 port Gigabit with 10Gb Uplinks and expansion ports) that then links into my router (pfsense). My Desktop is also hooked into that switch at 10Gb.

Currently the back of the rack is a mess… so you only get this.

Question about a storage solution

In progress…
Parts from ebay and micro center. CPUs and memory are used.

Samba - Storage, Backups
Apache/SQL/PHP - custom home automation
Emby - in home streaming

Dual Xeon X5675 6c 3.06ghz
24gb ddr3 1333 2Rx4
120gb SSD booting Debian 9.1
4tb & 2tb backup disks
Soon™ - 4 x 4tb hgst HDDs in zfs raidz pool maybe. Or Raid10, undecided.
Dual gigabit NICs (hope to aggregate)

First boot last Sunday after 4 months of procrastinating. Still need to buy a couple more drives. This is replacing a similar use case AMD Phenom x4 4gb 4tb-mirrored 2tb-mirrored recycled machine that’s drives are full and not setup to stream.


After learning and doing as much as i possibly could between my daily driver and aging hardware, finally stumbled across some Craigslist treasure and i’m now the proud owner of a Cisco UCS-C240-M3S as my first used piece of enterprise gear towards my (hopefully) budding homelab.

UCS C240 M3S specs:
Intel® Xeon® CPU E5-2665 @ 2.40GHz (x2)
64GB (8GB x8) DDR3 1600MHz Registered
650W PSU (x2)
Intel Onboard 1Gbps Ethernet (x4)
nVidia Quadro 2000 (x3)
LSI 9266-8i MegaRAID SAS HBA
600GB Seagate 10K.5 SAS HDD (x3)

Thanks to Ryan & Wendell for this wonderful community and to everyone who has contributed to my learning process.

EDIT: Eeeet’s alive.


Just finished (for the moment anyway) my new server. It’s built from a collection of parts either sourced from refurbishers on eBay, various online server components stores or left overs I had from previous builds. It was built as a replacement for my HP Microserver because I wanted an ESXi host with more than 8 virtual cores and 16GB RAM (it also seems to be getting more and more difficult to get updates and patches from HP without paying for enterprise support)

Anyway, here’s the spec for “blue-midget” (I already have red-dwarf, starbug and carbug on my network so the new server got the sh***y end of the stick when it came to choosing a name :laughing:)

  • 2 x Intel Xeon X5680
  • 112 GB (8 GB x 14) DDR3 1333 Registered ECC
  • Tyan S7012 Motherboard (SSI EEB form factor)
  • Corsair CX450M PSU (I had this from PC build so it might need to be upgraded)
  • LSI 9260-8i RAID Controller (The TYAN board has an integrated LSI SAS1068E which I am not using at the moment so I have disabled it)
  • 4 x Intel 1Gbps NICs (2 x 82574L, 2 x Intel 82576EB) ** onboard
  • 1 x 256GB SATA II SSD (boot drive on SATA 2 port with VMWare ESXi 6.7 installed)
  • 1 x 500GB SATA HD (scratch drive for logs and ISOs on SATA 2 port)
  • 3 x 3TB WD Greens in RAID5 on the LSI 9260-8i (although this are WD Greens they seemed to work OK in a RAID5 array on my HP)
  • 1 x StarTech Hot swap backplane (holds the 3 WD Greens on the LSI 9260-8i controller)
  • 1 x In Win PL-052 PL Series Tower Server Chassis

ESXi doesn’t seem to know the TYAN board.

The IN-Win PL-058 came with 3 internal fans. They were pretty loud so I’ve swapped them out for Corsair SP120s which are a lot quieter but I am hoping there’s still enough air flow over the board.

Blue-Midget (with Red-Dwarf, Starbug and erm Macmini in the background)

Stuff I still need to add or change:

  • I am not sure if the 450W PSU will be enough especially if I add more drives so this might need to be ugraded
  • Get either a USB3.0 PCI card or USB3.0 to USB2.0 adapter to connect up the front panel USB3.0 ports as the TYAN board doesn’t have a USB3.0 header
  • Might buy one of those little PCI slot blower fans to sit beside the LSI 9260-8i for additional cooling
  • Might get a new heatsink for the chipset because it gets hot and I am not sure if the internal case fans will keep it cool enough
  • Moar! RAM … my own OCD … there are still 4 empty slots on the board :thinking:



Cool stuff, loving the Red Dwarf based names!

I would +1 to getting another fan just pointing down on the motherboard above the chipset or point it down/backwards as it would provide a nice bit of airflow to any expansion cards.


I have two.

Home Firewall/OpenVPN Server:
Intel NUC i3 7100U, 8GB RAM, 120GB M.2SSD running Untangle Home.

Home file/Backup Server:
i5 6500, 16GB DDR4, 120GB 2.5" SSD for OS, 500GB 2.5" SSD for VM’s, 4 4TB WD RED drives. Running Ubuntu Server. All my PCs and Macs backup to this machine.


I was thinking about getting one of the little tower coolers for the chipset.

Something like this little silver one

or perhaps this

If I could get it to fit with the wide side facing the fans behind the drive cage I think it would do a better job of cooling the notrhbridge than the existing low profile heatsink and I might be able to avoid adding a dedicated fan.

Then I was thinking about something like this to suck the hot air away from the RAID controiller

If I put this in the slot beside the RAID controller I think the fan would sit pretty close to its heatsink. My only concern would be adding more noise. It’s not too bad at the moment with the Corsair fans but there’s a bit of coil whine coming from somewhere that’s really annoying, I definitely need to see if I can do something with that.