OpenSolaris + Fit-PC2 + Mediasonic Pro Box 4 Bay Enclosure

After the failure of the SATA and USB ports on my Intel D945GCL Atom board, I decided to build out a new file server. Sticking to the Atom theme, I decided to go small and get the CompuLab FIT-PC2. This little toy uses the Z530 1.6Ghz CPU that apparently uses only 6 watts of power. I'm assuming that means *without* a hard drive installed.


Measuring in at around 115 x 101 x 27mm (~ 4.5"x4.0"x1.0"), it is only big enough to hold one laptop sized 2.5" SATA drive.


The drive I installed only has 80GB of space. That would run out real quick with my needs, so I decided to get a MediaSonic USB disk enclosure to link up with my server. It can hold up to 4 SATA drives.


The PC sits on top of the enclosure on my bookshelf taking up 8.5" x 5.0" x 6.5" amount of space. This is not only power efficient, but space efficient since I am using 4 x 1TB drives. 4TB total (theoretical), ~2.6TB in a ZFS raidz. If I were to have purchased the 2TB drives, it would be even better.

Doug's blog on the FIT-PC2 gives a good overview on the features of the device and what works. There is no wifi driver and Xorg doesn't work, so you may want to install OpenSolaris on another machine before installing the internal HDD. My server is headless and uses the built-in gigabit ethernet, so I don't care about those issues.


Links and prices Total = $748
Comments:

Good combination for this,Very powerful features I think it will work more efficient because no additional installation require.Thanks for the post.

Posted by Fit PC on November 14, 2010 at 09:18 PM MST #

Brilliant post!You have a great review about this fit PC 2.My concern why I like this because it is convenient to handle and it helps to lessen the electric consumption.Thanks for including specifications to know if it requires the capacity I need.

Posted by Fit PC on February 22, 2011 at 06:48 PM MST #

Can you elaborate more on how the Mediasonic device is interfaced, and how Solaris views it? Is it JBOD, or are you using it as a single ESATA visible drive to solaris, and the Mediasonic box is raid'ing for you?

Posted by Gregg on July 01, 2011 at 07:40 AM MDT #

The Fit PC-2 does not have an eSata port (Fit PC-3 does), so I'm using a single USB cable to connect to the Mediasonic box. It does act as a JBOD and each drive is seen as an individual USB device through rmformat. This makes it simple to create a zpool with the four drives, however, performance is not very great considering we are using a single USB 2.0 cable to communicate with four devices. I write to the pool at about 10MB/s.

Posted by guest on July 04, 2011 at 12:23 PM MDT #

Okay, it sounds like a good configuration for a 4 disk pool. The speed would probably be okay for casual data storage and access though.

The problem I'm trying to resolve is storing 8GB and 16GB SDHC card images and accessing 20GB-80GB videos from handheld HD camcorders. I'd really like to have blazing speed to move those things around.

I wondered if solaris was finally going to allow a simple esata expansion to work as a JBOD so that extra storage pools could be easily added to a zpool as needed. I'd really like to be able to expand with about 4-6 TB at a time.

Posted by guest on July 05, 2011 at 02:30 AM MDT #

I enjoy reading a lot and your stories are worth reading, nice blog, keep it up.

Posted by Acoustics Inclosures on February 17, 2012 at 01:55 AM MST #

What I have done now, is use the Intel SASx8 card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816117157) as the expansion control. This card will allow SAS-to-SATA cabling and with adapter plates on the card slots, you can do eSATA. There are also hot swap bays with external expansion ports, such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817994113. That one in particular has a SATA cable already on it, so I plug that into the motherboard slots. So, with some small enclosures with a power supply, and one of these multibay devices, you can expand 4 disks at a time. There are sata coupler connectors (http://www.amazon.com/Dalco-SATA-Cable-Coupler-Adapter/dp/B0033Z74L2/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1329835909&sr=8-13), extension cables (http://www.amazon.com/SATA-Male-Extension-Cable-inches/dp/B002P6QIIA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1329835909&sr=8-5) and other bits and pieces to fit things together. Flexible 4-disk enclosures, like http://www.addonics.com/products/mst.php, have varied connectivity, so that you can run 4 sata cables in a bundle over to the back of the enclosure.

I have been building 10 disk configurations into large cases, like the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163180. They are "large", but allow 120mm or 140mm fans at slow speeds so that the noise is fairly limited.

Posted by Gregg on February 21, 2012 at 07:57 AM MST #

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Hiya, my name is Paul Johnson and I'm a software engineer working on the ZFS storage appliance .

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