TeraByte File Server Project - Case

  1. Index
  2. Case
  3. Disk Brick
  4. Power
  5. Cooling
  6. Motherboard
  7. Memory
  8. Disk Controller
  9. Drive Cables
  10. Disk Drives

The project described in this web page was started in May, 2001. The product information in this web page (components to use) is current as of January, 2002. The information in this web page provides the knowledge, and ideas necessary to build a functional TeraByte file server. For more information on current file server offerings, please look here.


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This is a front view of the case. The cover has many air slots in it. This is critical for proper cooling. With thirteen 80MM fans and two 40MM fans, there is a slight under-pressure behind the door.
This is a back view of the case. The power supply is rated at 800W total. It consists of two 400W hot-swap units. There is room in this case for two power supplies and two motherboards. Additionally, the space to the right of the power supplies is empty. The case can be modified to put additional power supplies here, if necessary.

The area in the upper right-hand corner (where it looks like fans should be) is blocked. The reason for this is explained in the Cooling section.

When you open the front of the case, you're confronted by a large space. There is a power control panel in the upper right-hand corner, and a filter panel below it. The rest of the front panel is taken up by bay covers and bay coolers.
With the side panels off, it can be seen that there is plenty of space for air movement and cables. There should be no problem with cooling in here.

The case construction is quite solid, as it's made entirely of heavy-gauge sheet metal. The quality of the fabrication is excellent. This balances with the quality external finish, and the positive locking wheels.

The space for the second power supply is unused at present. When the system is filled, one supply won't be able to provide adequate power to spin the drives up.

Unlike SCSI drives, which can be configured to spin up in a staggered manner, IDE disk drives all spin up at the same time. This puts a large load on the power supply.

Here we see the mounting space for the motherboards. There are three fans in the front of the case, which provide fresh air, to help cool the motherboards.

There is a significant amount of bracing in this area. This is to support the end of full length cards, which will be used for the second stage of the project.

This is a close-up of the fans. The top fan is speed sensing, and is connected to the chassis fan connector on the motherboard. The other two fans are temperature sensing, and have their temperature probes in contact with the CPU heatsink.
This is a close-up of where the motherboard will go.
This is a picture of the chassis with 15 data disks in it, all cabled up. There are unused cooler/brackets for another 15.

This is a picture of the motherboard with the cables to the disk drives. The slot covers for the unused slots have been removed, to allow some air to exhaust over the motherboard. This is the first stage configuration, which used two Promise Ultra-66 cards.

To see how the cables should be run, please see the section on Drive Cables

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