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Author Topic: Project: Need more storage!  (Read 12711 times)

blafrisch

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Project: Need more storage!
« on: April 27, 2009, 08:47:15 AM »

Well I decided to finally upgrade my home server since I'm running low on space and I don't like to delete anything.  I'm a huge pack-rat even with my data.

What the system was:
  • Abit AN-7
  • Athlon XP-M 2500+
  • 1GB DDR-400
  • Netgear PCI Gigabit NIC
  • 1x Samsung 160GB HD (OS)
  • Rosewill RC-209-EX SATA RAID Controller
  • 4x Maxtor 500GB HD (RAID 5 - storage)
  • Antec Earthwatts EA500

What the system will now be:
  • Jetway Flex-ATX Atom Mobo
  • Atom 330
  • 4GB DDR2-800
  • Rosewill PCIe Gigabit NIC
  • 1x Samsung 160GB HD (OS)
  • 2x Rosewill RC-209-EX SATA RAID Controller
  • 4x Maxtor 500GB HD (RAID 5 - storage)
  • 4x Hitachi 1TB HD (RAID 5 - storage)
  • Antec Earthwatts EA500

Now, the issue that arose was that I didn't have nearly enough space in any computer case that I had for 9 hard drives.  That's a lot of hard drives!  So I decided that the best (read: cheapest) way to house 9 drives was to build my own enclosure.  To keep this on the cheap and build it with relative fast speed I decided to build it out of known cheap and fast building materials: MDF and aluminum.  Both of these are easily attainable at any Lowes or Home Depot.  It is also open air because I don't care if it's closed or not.  Besides, open-air is less material therefore cheaper.

Bill of materials:
  • 2' x 4' x 0.5" MDF = ~$6.50
  • 8' L-shaped aluminum bar = ~$5
  • 8' channel-shaped aluminum bar = ~$9

So without further ado you can see the beginnings of my creation and some details about the images:

As you can see, the measurements were drawn directly on the MDF because that's rather easy to read when cutting with a table saw.  Overall dimensions of the back panel are 18" x 18.25".
Moving from left to right: mobo + psu area is 11", HD area is 5.75", and the fan area was 1.5".  I left the area for the fans on the front in case I ever wanted to close it in then I'd have the fans coming directly to the front.


Hard drives are 5.75" x 4" x 1", and a 120mm can mostly cool 4 at the same time so that is the reason that the bays are 4 drives high.  The bay on the left is 1 drive rail area short as you may notice.  The channel-shaped aluminum needed to be 9' long for me to do this, unfortunately Lowes/HD don't carry lengths over 8' so since I didn't really need it then I didn't buy another piece.


Here you can see how it's held together.  Those are just 1.25" wood drywall screws that I had in my house.  The holes were all predrilled before inserting the screws though because MDF tends to split easily.  The screws are countersunk into the MDF just by using a larger drillbit.  The area for the fans was drawn using an actual fan and the circle to cut out was drawn using a roll of masking tape then cut out with a jigsaw.


The back side is kind of boring.


The only things that I'm really going to add to it now are an area to mount the PSU and mobo standoffs.  Then I'm just simply going to attach it to the wall in my bedroom closet.  That's already where my wireless router, gigabit switch, and cable modem are located.
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DeamonMachine

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 10:48:45 PM »

I like it, I can't wait to see what it looks like done.
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Glitch

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2009, 05:11:56 PM »

You can close it up and do the whole "wind tunnel" thing. 3 fans for intake and 3 exhaust
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blafrisch

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2009, 07:17:26 PM »

Well I'm pretty much done for all intents and purposes now.  I'm going to clean up the cables some for sure and add the last fan eventually, but I had some issues and pretty much just wanted to get it running.

Some of the issues I had:
  • 1 stick of RAM was dead :(
  • The third fan was not an Antec TriCool fan and didn't have screw holes shallow enough to put fan screw directly into the platform

Two new images and descriptions:

The thing I built actually just rests on a 24" long piece of 1"x2" that is screwed into wall studs.  What keeps it from falling down is a little board at the top that just swings down over the top.  It is not screwed in at all, but it is actually rather secure up there.


« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 07:19:33 PM by blafrisch »
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blafrisch

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2009, 11:53:37 AM »

Just wanted to give a little update/review of my new motherboard/CPU combo that I got.  I bought the Jetway JATOM-GM1-330-LF @ NewEgg for under $100.  It's a smallish board, but it's the only Atom board stateside that I've seen so far with more than one PCI or PCI-E slot.  It's also the only board that I've seen that supported up to 4GB of memory.  It's been running in my closet for a little while now with Windows 2008 Server Standard Edition x64 and I must say that this thing does a rather nice job.  It's quieter than what I used to have and I'd presume (though haven't tested definitively) that it consumes less power too.  Beyond that, since it's dual core it does a much better job of running Windows + a VM (Ubuntu 8.04 Server).

Before I left this morning I did a simple touch test and the only hard drive that was warm is the only one without a fan on it.  The CPU was mildly hot and the chipset was cool.  The temps that I get from CPUID's hardware monitor are 41C on the OS hard drive, no report from the other hard drives because they are plugged into the RAID cards, 55C for the CPU, and 28C for the chipset.  I think this is actually pretty damn good.  I may put a 50mm fan I have laying around on the CPU though just for good measure and actually put a fan on the last hard drive when I get a chance.

You can close it up and do the whole "wind tunnel" thing. 3 fans for intake and 3 exhaust

There seems to be no need to do a wind tunnel at this point, and then routing cables would be much more difficult too.
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divideByZero

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2009, 04:47:02 PM »

That is bad ass  :thumbsup:
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urgannagru

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 05:16:24 PM »

I like the use of the metal channels to act as rails. Easy cheap and effective. Do the hard drives make alot of metal to metal contact noise?
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RaDragon

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 05:33:25 PM »

holywallofstorage, batman!  :lol: :thumbsup:
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blafrisch

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 07:12:37 PM »

I like the use of the metal channels to act as rails. Easy cheap and effective. Do the hard drives make alot of metal to metal contact noise?

Nope, I only here the soft whir sound of TriCool fans on low speed.  The height & width of the drives are almost exactly the height and width of the holes they are in.  It's a fairly snug fit.  They are not held in via screws.

That is bad ass  :thumbsup:
holywallofstorage, batman!  :lol: :thumbsup:

Thanks :D



After getting home from the gym tonight I set up VMWare Server 2.0.1 on it and I have my Ubuntu VM auto-launching once again.  You have to have the Subversion up and running.  :)

In case you were wondering where I got the Windows 2008 license from, I did not pay for it.  :o  I've said before in these forums, but I don't know who read it, that if you are an engineering student you get nice perks like a MSDNAA (Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance) subscription where you get stuff like this as a freebie.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 07:16:33 PM by blafrisch »
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Glitch

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Re: Project: Need more storage!
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009, 06:43:34 PM »

It brings a tear to my eye (sniff, sniff).....so beautiful :thumbsup:


Hey btw you're sure that thing is secure? Hate to see it come crashing down during the night and kill the cat!! :(
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Chieftec Dragon (slighty modded)
E8400 w/ Freezer pro 7
Evga GTX 260 SC @ 650/1150 Mhz
4 Gb G. Skill DDR800 @ 4-4-4-12 2T
Ga p35 ds3l
Seagate 250GB HDD
Seagate 320GB HDD


IT AIN"T OCed IF IT AIN"T A LITTLE UNSTABLE
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