Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stonabox Review -The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Stonabox Review -The Good The Bad and The Ugly

My Plan
Hard drive: 1TB
Ram: 4GB
Speed: 100 Mbps
Type: Dedicated
Price: $37 per month, discount to $32 a month when paid in 3 months advance.

-The Good-
The first 3 months were like a dream, constanly getting 3-4 MBps download speed for torrents and FTP downloads were deceint at 1 MBps (my top download speed)  The sales guy who I spook with said that public torrents were allowed aslong As I stayed under my 10TB a month limit here is a direct quote from the email sent to me keep in mind this comes out later "Private trackers are allowed, but its discouraged to leave public torrents seeding in your client since its not required, and public trackers will eat your bandwidth pretty fast"

-The Bad-
The site has limited options hardware wise and does not allow you to pick how your server is setup with the hardware you do chose. My 1 TB was really two 500 GB hard drives in RAID 0, also covers OS and swap partions, acctual usable storage was around 860 GB How every my box FTP server was not proply setup, which I contacted the admin about, sick of waiting for a respone I fixed it myself with 10 minutes of google-fu, and a putty SSH login.

Lackluster email support, I contacted the admin 4 times, all 4 times it took 3-4 days to get back to me (not counting weekends), 2 of the times I resolved the issue myself, with the help of google

One of the drives hard started to fail, I grabed a copy of the SMART data, but the issue never really got resolved before my service ended.

-The Ugly-
The last 4 weeks of my service was horrible.
At the begining of May my first 3 months of service were up, After being sent a new invoice with the incorrect amount, I was offered a discount to send the payment by paypals "gift" option, this was my mistake of doing so as you will see in at the end.

On May 19th, I noticed a lot of my torrents were getting corrupted, so I ran a hard disk scan to find one of my two RAID disk was failing, this of corse was bad I contacted the admin about this, and got no response

On June 2nd, ruTorrent went down, I tried restarting the service by both Webmin and SSH, it would work for a few minutes at best and then crash.  I contacted the admin again, still no response, Seedbox is useless at this time, I am able to download already completed files, but have to check them against the orginal torrent to make sure they are not currepted, almost all of them were, and needed to redownload pieces again.

On June 6th, June 9th, June 11th, and June 17th, I contact the admin again and again, I finally get a response on June 17th afternoon.  Basically saying I volated the Terms of service for haveing a public torrent, the same torrents I asked about and was told that I was allowed to have and my service was being cancled, not even 24 hours to fix the issue.  I said that was fine as long I as I get a refund for the time I could not use the service, an amount was agreed on for deposite on June 19th, On June 26th withou a refund I contact the admin again.  I get this response. Direct quote from email
"Paypal does not perform interventions on payments for services or gift.payments."
Yep, they screwed me over and gloted about it, despite the steelar start, this is not serivce I can stand by. Thanks for screwing me out of $60, hope it was worth it.

-I never got close to my 10TB limit, since I put raito limits on all large files of 1.00-2.00
-I Paid 3 months in advance
-I did not share this box, despite the fact I was told I could

You lied, cheated me, and stole from me, thanks for it,

Monday, May 23, 2011

DIY MultiMedia NAS Beast

There are hundreds of DIY computers out there.  What sets mine apart is cost and how easy I built it.

Materials-This is what I used but you can substitute most of these thing of others

Speaker Box Local thrift Shop $6
Screws Local Hardware Store $3
Peg Board Local Hardware Store $7
550 Watt PSU NewEgg Sale OCZ $25
Sata power right angle x40 Ebay $28
Various Power Cables Had, cut offs from dead PSU ---
ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP Ebay $55
CPU -Black Edition Athlon X2 7850 Ebay $35
2 GB ram (4x512 DDR2) Had but cost around $20
MB standoffs (x25) Ebay $6
Sata Cables 18” (x8) Ebay $4
Sata Cables 36” (x12) had $24
Sata II PCI-e 2 port (x2) ebay $12
Sata PCI 12 port (3ware 9500s) Ebay $29
Fans 120 mm (x8) Ebay+Had $26
Fans 80 mm (x1) Had $2
Video Card Gforce 240 512 MB NewEgg Sale $34
TOTAL $247
Total cost without Hard drives $316
Total Sata Ports =24 so cost per sata port is 316/24 = $13.16

Hard drives -Purchesed Between 2/12/10-5/23/11
750 GB (OS DRIVE) Ebay $21
1.5 TB seagate LP (x2) Ebay $45 (both)
1.5 TB 7200 rmp Seagate Ebay $42
1.5 TB 7200 rmp Seagate Ebay $42
1.5 TB 7200 rmp Seagate Ebay $48
1.5 TB 7200 rmp Seagate Ebay $30
1.5 TB 5400 rmp WD green Ebay $41
1.5 TB 5400 rmp WD green Ebay $42
Total $311
Size: (1360x8=10880+700=311/11580 $0.026856

Note the 2 Major things, the cost per sata port and the cost per GB,  I also got a lot (all) of my drives off of EBAY, but I fully tested each drive before placing it in the media center

Assemble the Case

Speaker box $6 with dead speakers, 

Remove the speakers
This too.
now remove the front panel, there is also the pegboard already cut up 
DO NOT DO THIS like I did, you can screw from the inside so that there are no holes
Self One is in. 

Cut Fan Holes, Is a mess I know, 

Version 2, changed the shelving and the fan wiring. 

Custom NAS DIY Case

Drives, Shelves, and Motherboard in. cables are a bit a mess, will clean it up later.
Self 1 Holds 9 Drives (.35' spacing)(currently 7x1TB, Raid 6)
Self 2 Holds 8 Drives  (.5' spacing)(currently 750GBx1, 4x2TB Raid 5)
Self 3 Motherboard (PCI 3ware 12 port, 2x2port PCI-E, 8 Onboard Sata, Video Card)
Self 4 Holds 6 drives (.35' spacing)(None installed) PSU

Total drives that this case can hold is 23, and since one of the 
24 sata ports is Esata I have 23 stata ports to work with,
Drives are easily kept cool with the 120mm 12 volt fans spinning at 5 volts due to large spacing on them compared to commercial drive housing which holds the drives at .15-.25' spacings, 
together there is plenty of air flow.

I still plan on adding 6x1.5 TB, and 2x1TB, and 1x2TB drives to the arrays as soon as the RMAs come in. 

Cover, with filter installed.

Filter installed, its not normally visible but the flash brought it out.
And thats that.
Some info on the software side.  This build was done before I went to ZFS so the specs were a bit light.
Ubuntu 10.04 LST,
Software installed
-Webmin 1.5 (remote admin and terminal)
-Transmission (torrent)
-Jdownloader (file downloader)
-Filezilla (FTP file Downloader)
-ProFTP (FTP server)
-mdadm (Software Raid)
-LVM 2 (logic drive management
-Gnome Disk Ulitiy 3.0.2
-ZFS on Linux (ZFS) (test run install for later upgrade to my current ZFS build)
-HandBreak (Video Encoder)
-XChat (IRC)
-VirtualBox (Virtual Machine)
-Samba (File Share)

Hardware Specs at the time I took the unit down
Motherboard: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP
CPU: AMD-Athlon X2 4450e (was downgraded for lower energy use)
RAM: 4GB ECC (2x2GB)
Hard drives: about 15 TB
Raid Cards: Sata II PCI-e 2 port (x2) + Sata PCI 12 port (3ware 9500s)
Fans: 8x120mm + 80mm
GPU: Gforce 240 512 MB (for HDMI)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hello World,

Hello This is post one, of hopefully many on my new blog.
Now I will be posting my many projects that I tend to do here.