Short-depth FreeNAS 2-4U Chassis Recommendation


I am looking for building (or buying) a reasonably priced server to run FreeNAS and mount it in my 22" deep server rack (I’m installing things inside of a ventilated/repurposed coat closet). Looking at having 10-16 SATA or SAS drives installed. Preferably something reasonably silent.

Any ideas on where I should start?


Start with the HCL.

Finding short depth cases which fit a lot of drives is a pain… I have a similarly short rack constraint. Here’s some that I looked at: (I ended up with this one)
Supermicro has some “short depth” chassis but they just barely fit into my 600mm rack with right-angle cables, so I don’t think they’d fit for you. And all their ultra-short-depth chassis can’t fit more than 2-3 drives.

I’m assuming the 22" depth is the total depth and that you actually need it to be shorter for the wiring?

If height isn’t an issue, I’d consider a small server with an extra JBOD disk shelf.

A Dell R230 could be a good option for the server itself. They can take upto 64GB of RAM and a single Xeon processor, have two PCI-E 3.0 slots and a depth of around 500mm / 19.5". (1U height) I’d add a HBA with external ports, 10gbps network card and load it with SSD cache drives. For a shorter depth I’d instead look at the R220, but that only has a single PCI-E slot.

I’d then consider something like the SGI Rackable SE3016 - This is a 3U / 16 bay JBOD disk shelf with a SAS expander (Although it’s quite old so it is only 3gbps) and have a depth of about 15.5".

(Sizes are according to Google searches so double check before you purchase anything, I also haven’t checked for compatibility)