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How to scale from 20TB to 100TB

Discussion in 'Servers and Enterprise Solutions' started by pallys, 3 May 2021.

  1. pallys

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jul 2004

    Posts: 1,144

    Hi guys,

    After some advice.

    Currently I have 20TB storage over 5 disks in an Antec 300 case, running windows 8.1 pro, i5-2500k. This also (under)powers a gaming rig + plex so I have a 3900x coming.
    The antec 300 case and MB can take 1 more drive.

    Before I purchase a b550/x570 board + 32GB ram to complement the 3900x I wanted some advice;

    I want to be able to scale up on storage increases over the coming years e.g. ~100TB slotting in storage as I need it.

    Options running through my mind is;
    - Going down the homelab/rack setup (feels abit excessive? + probably wasting my 3900x?)
    - Get a bigger PC case seems the easiest for now but will still hit a limit
    - Consolidating the drives by exchanging them out for higher capacities over time;dont know why but this feels my least favoured option.

    How would you go about this?

    Can you recommend me some hardware? particulary interested in the rack setup as it might be the most future proof option for me?

    Other things I may migrate to this machine in the future is dropbox replacement,CCTV and eventually pfsense.

    Many thanks.
    Last edited: 3 May 2021
  2. paradigm


    Joined: 26 Aug 2003

    Posts: 36,719

    Location: Staffordshire

    By doing that. So long as you have enough physical disks to sustain disk failure (both immediately and during the rebuild process, so no RAID5!) then upgrading the disks one by one until you have them all the same capacity and expanding the volume(s) is the right way to approach this.

    This is the approach I use with my Synology Rackstation at home, and is also the approach I would use at work with any number of servers and storage arrays and SANs.

    If you currently use JBOD then do what you like as data integrity isn't a concern anyway :p

    I consolidated my home lab setup to a pair of mirrored Synology rackstations as they handle my CCTV (Synology Surveillance station), Media (DLNA, Plex), Network Storage, Virtualization, Pihole cluster, etc. They are far shorter than most rackmount servers, being roughly half-length. This means they fit in an Ikea Lack perfectly, and I no longer need a proper server rack.
  3. Avalon


    Joined: 29 Dec 2002

    Posts: 6,483

    20TB is single drive territory now, 100TB is potentially 5 drives, why do you think you need a rack for such a small drive count? Even if you use 10-12TB drives, it’s still only 17-20 drives, you’re better off buying a single 24 bay (good luck finding a decent cheap one).

    The internet is littered with people who thought it was a good idea to buy ex corp hardware, got a ‘cheap’ rack and the discovered that filling it with ‘cheap’ servers that often have not so cheap running costs, and little things like rail kits that can cost as much - if not more - than the hardware you are racking. That’s before we get to efficiency, power, cooling, noise and that anything you might want to run is probably cheaper to buy/build/run in desktop form. For example I had to purchase two lots of rail kits last month, nothing fancy and as it’s only rails for home, I went used, that was £150, and I would consider that cheap.
  4. pallys

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 2 Jul 2004

    Posts: 1,144

    Hi thanks for advice, yeah gonna rule out the rack setup and just go with my pc tower case which can take 11 3.5" drives with some modification.
    However mobo im looking to purchase only has 8 SATA ports, Asus X570 tuf gaming plus.

    To add extra SATA ports was thinking of getting an HBA SAS card - can somone recommend?
    Or is this overkill too and I should just get a vanilla SATA 4 port pcie expansion card?

    Thanks for advice guys.

    ps. those rails - are they universal or chassis manufacturer specific?
  5. Avalon


    Joined: 29 Dec 2002

    Posts: 6,483

    OS dependant, but H200/H310 are the default option in the UK based on price, for future support you probably want something a little newer though.

    My rails were Supermicro yellow label, SM only rate them upto 3U, but a lot of 4U users love them for SC846’s, I just wanted full extension on my SC833/835 to make working on them easier. You can get generic stuff, but it’s usually pretty average at best. The rail kit for my UPS costs more than my UPS chassis. Some are cheaper though.