New 1U build with pics - what install?

  • Hi all, hope your well.

    I have built a custom 1U machine for pfsense to be installed on, been doing lots of reading and due to the nature of my setup im not sure what install to go for?

    Should i go for full install or embedded? (I am running raid1)

    Here are my specs with some pics…

    Machine is ready for install, final parts turned up today so hoping to get it installed and up and running!

    Thanks in advance!

    Chassis - Logic Case SC-13400
    Motherboard - Gigabyte F2A78M-HD2
    RAM - Kingston 8GB (2x4GB DDR3)
    CPU - Quad Core AMD A8-7600 3.1GHz Socket FM2+ 4MB L2 Cache
    CPU Cooler - Gelid Solutions Slim Silence AM2 1U Low Profile
    NIC - DELL YT674 INTEL PRO 1000 MT Server Card
    DRIVES - 2 x Kingston SSDnow v300 60gb in RAID1 configuration
    PSU - Logic Case SC-FLEX1U320+ - Single 1U Flex ATX 320W 80 Plus PSU

  • Full install.

  • Only reason i asked is ive read a lot on ssd's not lasting to long because of all the read and writes? I have nagios running on one of my servers so will be monitoring both of the disks, just dont want to be replacing them every few months.

    Hopefully a few people comment on here

  • Anyone else got any input? A bit upset that my photobucket links have stopped working :(

  • Full-install is the best way going forward, nanobsd wont be available anymore when 2.4 becomes available.
    Also full install, if wanted, can be configured to use memory disks for /var to reduce writes from logs&leases. And the biggest ssd issues used to come from first generation ssd's afaik..

  • Thanks PiBA,

    I was wondering if there was a way i could configure it so that it does a bulk write to the disk over a period of time rather than hundreds of small ones?

    Hopefully it runs without any hickups. All parts are brand new so hoping they will last.

    Going to put windows 7 on it first just to use some familiar testing tools, as i want to assess the cooling on this unit when under full load (not that it should ever reach those kind of levels)

    Didn't realise they were dropping Nanobsd.

  • Don't worry about SSD write counts unless you're doing some very heavy web caching with Squid or another proxy. PfSense should turn on TRIM for you and if it doesn't it's easy to turn on after the initial install. Your set up is slightly overkill imo with the RAID1 setup for the disks and if it's done with the motherboard's built-in SoftRAID it can be problematic for pfSense in case a disk really dies on you, the GMIRROR RAID1 system in FreeBSD and pfSense is much better and recommended if you really want RAID1. With the 60GB disks you have I would use only about 80% of them and leave the rest as unpartitioned, this will help TRIM to have some unused space to play with.

  • The MB doesn't seem to be ideal for a 1U install as far as airflow is concerned.
    The two blower fans push air where the RAM bars block it and the CPU heatsink does not have a front-back venting direction but left-right. And the fan is blowing top-bottom, which in a 1U case is … sub optimal.
    You will want front-back ventilation everywhere.

    What's the deal with your concerns about write cycles of your SSDs if other components are stressed with unnecessary heat (I don't say excessice, though).

    Generated noise from strange air flow would be a factor for me as well.

  • Id also be wary of those flexible PCI risers, Ive seen them introduce errors before - although when they do work, they work well enough.

  • Are you trying to use the built-in motherboard raid? If so, try resetting the drives to stand alone and setting up the mirror in the pfsense installer.

  • Hi dotdash,

    Yes I'm trying to set up raid1 within the bios, how would I go about doing this with the installer?

    Best regards,

    Nick Harding.

  • @hardingnick:

    Yes I'm trying to set up raid1 within the bios, how would I go about doing this with the installer?

    Just delete the raid volume, sometime there is an option to reset the disks to non-raid from the BIOS raid utility.
    Then install pfSense with two separate disks- the installer will give you the option to create a mirror. You have to use the advanced, not quick install option.

  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    how much did it cost?

  • Hi johnpoz, probs approaching 500 all in but its a great build. slightly on the noisy side as most 1U's are but loaded it up with lots of heavy traffic, and its basically still at idle, which is fantastic!

    In the end i did wipe the hardware raid and go with the pfsense mirror, worked first time, very impressed.

    Will be putting it live tonight so will keep you all updated, all settings are in place just waiting for the network to quieten down so i can make the switch, hope it goes nice and smoothly.

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