It has been a long time since I have posted about The Big WHS. At the last update in May 2010, the machine occupied 8U using two 4U enclosures, and was topping 60TB of raw storage capacity. Since then there have been quite a few developments that I thought I would write about.
After completing the first DAS/ SAS Expander JBOD enclosure project I realized that there was a major area of improvement. Using less than 30% of a large 4U case’s volume for useful purposes seemed like the key area to improve upon. As I was completing that build I soon realized that I wanted a secondary server to be able to access some of the drives for EXSi or Hyper-V virtual machines. Further, NAS operating systems that run poorly in virtual machines, such as unRaid require dedicated server for testing. I could have built another server in another enclosure, but I decided that I could improve upon the original design and access drives that are housed in the Big WHS ecosystem [...]
The Big WHS was originally supposed to house approximately 30TB of storage when the plans were first detailed on an Excel spreadsheet BOM in December 2009. This was a big upgrade to my first DIY Windows Home Server box that had well under 20TB. About five months later, the storage capacity has crested 60TB, with further room to expand. The Big WHS now spans two 4U Norco cases (using a total of 8U of rackspace and another 4U chassis is in the works) has over 60TB of storage, and requires well over a dozen ports on the gigabit switch.
Oftentimes, users running file servers such as Windows 2008 Server R2, Windows Home Server, Linux variants (including Openfiler), OpenSolaris, FreeBSD (including FreeNAS), and so forth will require more storage than their server can physically store. One option is to add more servers to the SAN. Another option is to add more storage to an existing server. Adding a second (or third) enclosure for additional disks is a great option. This allows a server administrator to build a massive DAS storage system very inexpensively for applications like iSCSI, backup storage, media storage, virtual machine storage, and etc. Oftentimes, the ensuing research will lead IT professionals to JBOD DAS [...]