Friday, April 14, 2023

The storage 'endgame'.

 I've been 'playing' with my NAS options. So far:

  • The original Xeon E5-2630L v4 NAS. 200W, multiple 10G interfaces (built in 2017/2018)
  • Zimaboard - 2x 1Gbit Network ports, 2 SATA ports, PCIe x4
  • TMM Lenovo Thinkcentre M900 1xSATA, 2xNVMe PCIe x16
  • Topton NAS board, 6xSATA, 2xNVMe, 4x 2.5Gbit ethernet
  • Framework laptop motherboard with a+e 2230 to m.2 2280 converter and 2280 m2. 8x SATA ports: 
All of these have some kind of 'severe' limitations in one way or another, be it form-factor, the lack of a real 'case' or just being plain ineffficient. Mostly, on everything except the E5, I'm 'missing' bandwidth (PCIe lanes).

Back the original NAS, but with a 'twist'. 
Storage is going to be SATA SSDs, and for performance some T4510 Intel SSDs attached directly to a PCIe switch. That should hopefully keep power low, as I do not have a real SAS controller for those disks. It should also keep performance really high.

I'll be using a backplane from Supermicro to house all the SATA drives, hopefully. But using a SAS controller with only 4/8 ports should keep power-usage down.

The SAS expander in more detail:

I'm going to be making something similar to this, but then for 2.5" drives and specifically for this setup, I hope:

Maybe I can even 'reduce' the backplane to a 10" format, making it suitable for a 10" rack. Or maybe it can be used 'sideways'

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The M900 experience,

To begin, a couple of links:
  • I have installed an A&E key PCIe ethernet card which fits beautifully in the VGA/Serial option slot. It's an RTL1811 card, so not 'great'.

  • I already ordered a A&E-key to miniPCIe adapter from DeLock, and I've ordered a dual I350 chipset based miniPCIe card. It's dual, so that should be 'exiting' in terms of performance/manageability. I'm not sure it will fit in the case though!
Still waiting on the Tiny P340 from Lenovo. To be delivered in April. Still a lot of waiting to do. It's basically a completely standard one, but with a serial port (maybe for a UPS, we'll see).

So far the update for my TMM project, except for that I'm now using the P320 with the Nvidia P600 as a graphics card. Works great for my limited use so far.

Monday, January 31, 2022

Upgrading the Homelab.

Upgrading the Homelab


I've always had a homelab of sorts, until recently that consisted of a beefy NAS server and nothing else. The NAS server uses around 150W of power, much-too-much in my opinion.


'Upgrading' to an M900 Lenovo mini-server as here:



i5-6500T processor with 4 cores. I'm coming from a Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2630L v4 with 10 cores and 20 threads. Needless to say I don't use this server processor to it's fullest capabilities. So going from a TDP of ~55W to 35W should make a huge difference. 

Storage controller:

Coming from an Adaptec RAID controller with 16 ports to an internal M.2 2Tbyte disk and a SATA connected 8Tbyte disk with 5x 4Tbyte external rotating disks (USB connected) with software-RAID is going to be quite a step-down, but should be very manageable. But it should bring down the power-usage.


Coming from a large amount of rotating disks (8x 4tbyte) and going to 1x 8Tbyte SSD should save a lot of power. The external rotating disks will be mounted when needed, and will thus not add much to the power-consumption.


Going from 48Gbytes of server-based memory to 64Gbytes of laptop memory (both DDR-4) should make quite a dent in the power consumption, hopefully.


The current power usage of the server is ~200W at idle and around 300W under full load, I hope to reduce that to around 20W during idle or about 50W during full load. I Think that will be a challenge with full retention 

The Six USB ports will be used by 5x 4Tbyte HDs, the internal 2.5" will be populated by a 8Tbyte SSD and the mini PCIe port will be used by a mini PCIe to Ethernet interface (It will also do duty as a firewall/router). As you can see in the pictures, there is not much space for the mini pcie -> Ethernet card.

Some pictures:

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Installing unifi-poller influxdb and grafana on a unifi Cloud Key 2 (non plus, but plus should work too)

Here is a short guide on how to install Grafana, InfluxDB and unifi-poller onto a Unifi Cloud key 2 (native storage, not the SD-card):

Please make sure you change the default passwords and usernames to keep things safe. 

Where I have found documentation to do a step, I have referenced it, so if things don't work for you, go there, they have probably changed something (and hopefully their documentation too!)

If you have any suggestions for improvements, let me know by commenting on this post.

And in case you were wondering what's inside:

This whole article was as a response to

I am adding this picture, to make everything slightly more interesting:

Install Grafana (
curl | sudo apt-key add -
apt install -y apt-transport-https
add-apt-repository "deb stable main"

apt -y update && sudo apt -y install grafana
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl start grafana-server
systemctl enable grafana-server.service
systemctl status grafana-server

Install Influxdb (comes in Xenial):
apt-get update
apt-get install -y influxdb influxdb-client

Add user to influx (
influx -host localhost -port 8086
USE unifi
GRANT ALL ON unifi TO unifipoller

Install unifi-poller (
curl -s | sudo apt-key add -
echo deb bionic main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/golift.list
apt update
apt install unifi-poller

Correct the unifi-poller configuration file (
vi /etc/unifi-poller/up.conf

Go to the Grafana webpage http://controller-ip:3000 and login with admin/admin
Change your password for admin
Add an influxdb datasource (it should say it's connected)
Add dashboards by ID:

Memory usage:
  988 unifi     20   0 6368724 405672  19228 S  32.6 20.0   3:29.76 java
  911 unifi     20   0 3170348  74576  16972 S   0.0  3.7   0:10.08 launcher
 1036 grafana   20   0 1654836  32816  17276 S   0.0  1.6   0:03.70 grafana-server
 1170 unifi     20   0 1230256 101868  18208 S   5.6  5.0   0:32.71 mongod
  758 root      20   0  933412  37248  13480 S   0.0  1.8   0:04.16 node
  626 www-data  20   0  881340  42920  12276 S   0.0  2.1   0:02.81 node
  761 nobody    20   0  715480  13712   5664 S   7.6  0.7   0:07.50 unifi-poller
  754 influxdb  20   0  612316  94832   6944 S   5.9  4.7   0:25.09 influxd
  784 root      20   0  530660  32420  13316 S   0.0  1.6   0:02.22 containerd

  615 root      20   0  168552  12780   8820 S   3.9  0.6   0:23.99 ck-ui

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Eveything and nothing, mostly Louqe Ghost S1 stuff.

Let's start at the beginning.

The 3D printed Louqe ghost s1

Progress has been slow, at best. 

Front has been re-printed to include the 'incorporated' cooling solution. I have also assembled the case, but it still needs bleeding and filling ports added, as I was doing that via the radiator initially. Since this option is not possible, I have to add the ports.

I've also ordered a flow meter and temperature sensors so I can calculate the 'cooled power' accurately via my aquearo.

So all is progressing, albeit slowly.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

My next challenge.

My next challenge.

My next challenge? A tiny, mitx PC build with 240mm watercooling and copper-coated.

Problems to solve?:
  1. All 'nice' mitx cases that can watercool are sold out (basically the Louqe Ghost S1 with tophat)
  2. Try to get 10/100Gbit adapter card in the same case.  PLX or bifurcation.
  3. Copper-coat PLA (because of (1) above).