Author Topic: My raid build  (Read 10899 times)

Offline dreznik

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My raid build
« on: January 12, 2014, 06:09:07 pm »
Recently I started thinking about a backup/NAS/raid solution to move all my media files off of the main PC.
Looking at various hardware/software offerings I decided to go with a software RAID, and once I came across FlexRaid (raidF) I realized that I don’t even need a new box – it’s a snapshot raid, therefore lower hardware requirements – so I’ll be able to salvage components from the two old PCs I had laying around.  I would use the case and some cabling from a 2003 Gateway desktop, and the cpu/mobo/ram from a 2007 htpc.


Then I thought, if I’m going the DIY route, why not all the way?  So I decided to make it a fun project and do some woodworking and programming as well.  The raid box will have a custom case, 8 swappable hard drives, extra fans and a fan controller unit, and, since it’s a headless box I’ll need an embedded display to know what is going on with the crucial components/processes.  Plus it will make look like an off-the-shelf raid box.  Plus nobody else I know has anything like that  ;)

First the desktop stripped off its panels and gutted:


Cutouts are made for hard drive cages:


Brackets to secure the cage and the fan controller.  As you can see it’s really DIY – I’m using every scrap of wood and aluminum I can find.


Next the top, botom and front panels are cut from ¾’ playwood and wrapped in carbon fiber (faux, of cause).  The botom panel gets a cutout and a mesh screen for a fan and the feet from and old AV component



Fans and panels attached, cages ready to go in:


The sides made of ¼’ plywood, painted and lacquered:


The display, power/reset buttons and LEDs. The plastic panels are cut from the old case’s front panel.


Everything assembled:


« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 06:26:37 pm by dreznik »

Offline dreznik

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My raid build
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 06:23:02 pm »
Now the fun part – writing a plugin for a Cold Tears Electronics Display.  I am using WMI, FlexRaid API and FlexRaid command line utility to gather system info, hard drive space utilization and temperature, FlexRaid running tasks and the parity state.

This is what it looks like in the case:


After running a Validate task – there are some new and deleted files:


Running an Update task:


Then another Validate task – and we’re good, as expected:


Another front view:


That's all for now.  I'm planning to upgrade the hardware in about a year from now, but I will defiantly keep the case.  It's got a quite high WAF, so it stays in in the room (no a living room, though)  :)

Offline Brahim

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 06:46:41 pm »
You had me at "woodworking and programming". :D
Loving the faux carbon fiber look. Sweet build. :)

Now the many questions:  :P

1. Why the bottom cut-out? Is the fan there crucial?
That fan will have to work extra hard to pull air in. Or is it pushing air out?

2. That display is pretty cool. I have been toying with the idea of one. However, with tablets getting cheaper and cheaper, I am leaning more on a table mod.
Is the display touch screen? Is it able to send instructions to the OS?


Offline dreznik

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 07:44:10 pm »
1. I wanted to have extra fans to improve the air circulation, as the harddrive cages and the extra wires reduce the internal space.  The bottom and back fans + the fan in the lower cage are sucking air in, the power supply fan + the fan in the upper case are blowing the air out.  The lower fan might be working hard, but the overall temp of the system is OK:  normally the fan controller keeps the RPM of all fans at 40%, the average temp is 69F on the buttom and 73F on top.  During high load the temp on top goes up to 90F, which is still OK for me.
2.  The display is not touch screen and doesn't have any buttons, but it has 320x240 resolution, 16bit colors, displays images, and costs only $31.  All other USB displays i've seen are at most 4x20 characters, monochrome and cost around $100.  And you would pay more for buttons.
But I hear you about a table mod.  I was thinking about using a used android cell phone, but it would be a big learning curve for me, and while it would be an interesting project I won't be able to dedicate it enogh time.

Offline Brahim

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 10:01:48 pm »
You should look into phonegap for the mobile app. You can develop the app using HTML + Javascript.

However, even better yet, you can just go with a simple mobile website plugin page. You could use http://jquerymobile.com/ for styling or http://getbootstrap.com/ as I do in the tRAID Monitoring plugin page. In any case, I digress.  :P

You really did a good job mod'ing that case. Looking at the final result, one would never associate the case with the original.

I would revisit the air flow. Having the back fan pull air in while the PSU is pulling air out looks like a cancellation point to me. All I see is a circular air flow between the back fan and the PSU leaving the case a bit starved for air. You will do best getting the back fan push air out rather than in. The combo pressure of the back fan and PSU pushing air out would actually result in a pull from both the bottom and front vents.



Offline samstudent

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2014, 10:03:22 pm »
I really like the use of the display, I happen to have one that I use on my gaming rig, how hard was it to setup because I'd love to have something like that on my box.

Offline dreznik

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 10:23:50 am »
Brahim, thanks for the advice on the air flow. I reversed the rear fan but can't really say if it made a difference or not, but I believe that was the right thing to do.
As for the mobile app, the suggested products look interesting.  I actually have a license for DevExpress suite of products, including the ASP.net stuff, which is cross platform and touch-enabled, but I just don't enjoy web developing as much!  I would do it at work, if I can't avoid it, but for hobby - no way.  Again, purely personal and subjective.  When I said I was thinking about an android application I meant a native app - java or Mono C#.  Well, now I really digress  :)
Thanks again for your feed back and encouragement.

Offline dreznik

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 10:34:12 am »
samstudent,
Do you mean you use Goverlay and have the exact same display?  If that's the case I can share my plugin with you, you'll have to enable it in Goverlay and import some of the additional images.  Or, if you interested in developing I can share my source code.

Offline samstudent

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 12:32:22 pm »
Yes I have the display and the GoOverlay software, I use it on my gaming rig to stay on top of my GPU temps and Teamspeak. Its a truly wonderful tool. I never thought to use it in my RAID box but if its just a plugin and some images I'll probably buy a second one for my raid box too.

Offline nikon858

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2014, 10:32:40 am »
dreznik,

can you please upload your plugin for goverlay? I've been using it on my gaming rig and would love to have it working on my server.

Offline dreznik

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2014, 09:55:36 pm »
to samstudent and nikon858:
sorry for the delay.  I didn't feel that the flugin was of "production" quality, just good enough for me, and and was putting off uploading to this site.
I might as well do it now.  Perhaps with more people using it i'll be able to find and fix all the bugs.
Let me know how it goes.

Offline nikon858

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 06:51:26 pm »
Thank you!

I just busted the usb port of my lcd so I can't try it out yet. New one is on order, hope to try it soon.

Offline wiretap

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2014, 05:05:14 pm »
I have a Goverlay and I was trying to get this working, but I don't see the Command Client anywhere.. is it only available in the newer FlexRAID tRAID software and not the FlexRAID 2.0 F-RAID software?
FlexRAID RAID-F 2.0 - 20TB w/ 2 PPUs
WHS 2011, Intel i5 2500K, 8GB DDR-1600, Highpoint DC-7280, Sans Digital TowerRAID 8-bay eSATA

Offline dreznik

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 09:28:38 am »

Offline wiretap

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Re: My raid build
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2014, 06:56:54 pm »
Thanks. I installed it and I am able to connect from my desktop to my server running FlexRAID using the standalone FlexRAIDCMD.exe, but the Goverlay plugin seems to not want to connect. (black screen on the Goverlay). I followed the instructions in the Word document to put the plugins in the Goverlay folder and upload the images.

Here are my settings.txt file contents:

flexraid.rpc=http://192.168.1.113:9595/json/rpc
flexraid.username=wiretap
flexraid.password=<my password>
flexraid.cmd=C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenEgg.org\FlexRAID Basic CMD Client 2.0\flexraidcmd
flexraid.host=192.168.1.113
sysinfo.update.sec=10


I opened up ports 8080 and 9595 on the server, but still no difference. (tried both ports in the settings.txt file as well.) The file location is correct in the "flexraid.cmd=C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenEgg.org\FlexRAID Basic CMD Client 2.0\flexraidcmd" parameter.

Any pointers as to what I'm doing wrong?

Here is my error log in Goverlay:

12/11/2014 8:01:14 PM:LCDSys - Sensor Plugin 1418345328.6869 (RAID info malfunction : Public member 'CallBack' on type 'FlexRaidInfo' not found.:    at Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompilerServices.Symbols.Container.GetMembers(String& MemberName, Boolean ReportErrors)
   at Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompilerServices.NewLateBinding.CallMethod(Container BaseReference, String MethodName, Object[] Arguments, String[] ArgumentNames, Type[] TypeArguments, Boolean[] CopyBack, BindingFlags InvocationFlags, Boolean ReportErrors, ResolutionFailure& Failure)
   at Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompilerServices.NewLateBinding.ObjectLateCall(Object Instance, Type Type, String MemberName, Object[] Arguments, String[] ArgumentNames, Type[] TypeArguments, Boolean[] CopyBack, Boolean IgnoreReturn)
   at Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompilerServices.NewLateBinding.LateCall(Object Instance, Type Type, String MemberName, Object[] Arguments, String[] ArgumentNames, Type[] TypeArguments, Boolean[] CopyBack, Boolean IgnoreReturn)
   at q.b()


Maybe I need to install some sort of VB package? I installed VB 6 SP6 pack; no difference.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 07:14:31 pm by wiretap »
FlexRAID RAID-F 2.0 - 20TB w/ 2 PPUs
WHS 2011, Intel i5 2500K, 8GB DDR-1600, Highpoint DC-7280, Sans Digital TowerRAID 8-bay eSATA