The $1,000 (USD), 2TB OpenSolaris File Server


Here’s how to score a sweet OpenSolaris-compatible 2TB file server for $1000 (USD). I’m running Solaris Express Developer Edition on it with a ZFS RAIDZ1 file system.

  • Motherboard: Asus M2NPV-VM. A great, inexpensive mATX board w/4 SATA ports, 2 IDE, PCI-X, GigE, built-in nVidia graphics w/DVI and VGA outs, FireWire, and tons of USB love. Oh, and the official nVidia driver works like a charm. Sweet! (The only thing that hasn’t run out-of-the-box is the built-in audio controller. Oh well.) $100.
  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Dual Core Processor. 2.5GHz, 2x512KB, 1GHz Bus. $130.
  • Memory: 4x1GB via OCZ OCZ2G8002GK DDR2-800 PC2-6400 kits. $175 total (after MIR).
  • Drives: 4x500GB Western Digital Caviar SE 16 WD5000AAKS 7200RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s for the ZFS data volume. $450. (Old, small, slow and cheap PATA disks reused for the system volume. FMV ~$25.)
  • Optical Drive: Reused old typical IDE DVD-ROM. FMV ~$20.
  • Case: Reused typical ATX tower w/450 watt PSU. FMV ~$80.
  • Peripherals: Reused optical mouse and keyboard. FMV ~$20.

Total: $1,000. Nice!

2 replies on “The $1,000 (USD), 2TB OpenSolaris File Server”

[…] Preston Says: I asked Dan McClary for a big favor recently: use his general UNIX knowledge and graduate-level statistics voodoo to produce a report highlighting performance differences between two different OS and file system configurations on a common, COTS hardware platform. The following analysis is his work, reformatted to fit your screen. You may download the PDF, HTML, graphs and original TeX source here. […]

[…] When I built the $1000, 2TB file server, the on-board nVidia HD audio support of the Asus M2NPV-VM motherboard didn’t work out of the box. It’s a trivial fix using the recently open sourced OSS drivers from 4Front Technologies. (I also tested a Creative Audigy 2 PCI sound card using these drivers under Solaris 10 11/06, and the playback worked just as well.) […]

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