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You can never have too much storage.

At least, I can’t. Between backing up the various machines around the house and the VPS this site sits on, my repositories of past projects and a fairly hefty collection of ripped media (if you have any early DVDs they’re getting toward the end of their lifespan) I was rapidly outgrowing the repurposed desktop that used to serve me as a NAS and VM host.

Enter the Supermicro CSE-846. 24 hotswap disks will give me plenty of room for future expansion, and the fact that it’s a 4u chassis means I can fit decent sized tower CPU coolers in my quest to quiet it down to something vaguely house-appropriate. It’s an older model, but Supermicro have been using the same chassis for the last ten years so there are plenty of newer platforms I can just drop in when it’s time to upgrade.

The first things that had to go were the stock fans. They’re 7000 RPM Sanyo Denki screamers pinned with a connector that slots into the hotswap cages. A five pack of Arctic P8s and a bit of crimping later and we have a much more demure chassis.

Hushing down the chassis fans revealed a new problem however: the PSUs were also on the loud side. Happily Supermicro have several quiet models in their line of redundant power supplies, so a quick swap for the PWS-920P-SQ later and it’s actually tolerable to be near.

Migrating my existing disks across to the new chassis was as simple as plugging them in and waiting for the ZFS pools to pick them up. I haven’t added any more disks yet, but I have 16 free slots and more cores, threads and (now ECC) RAM to spin up virtual machines on for various jobs.

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