Need advice on NAS build

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Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:01 pm

Hi Guys,

Currently LGA 1150 and Mini-ITX form factor

Budget: $500 pm $100
Usage: Dedicated NAS for file sharing, streaming to devices, and data backup
Timeframe: Next month or so unless there is upcoming technology worth waiting for. Not in any rush.
I buy from Newegg, Amazon, and TigerDirect

The build focus so far has been on compactness and low power consumption. I want to leave this NAS device on 24/7 and later on put together a HTPC. I also haven't decided on the OS. I have experience with ubuntu server, but I have also read about freeNAS. I'm not fond of dedicating a hard drive to the OS or plugging in a USB stick all the time. Looking to do RAID 1 w/ 2x2TB.

CASE - Fractal Design Node 304 [$55]
I really like the sleek look of this case and the 6 drive bays for expansion and air flow.

STORAGE - WD Red NAS 2TB [$200]
I had a hard time picking this over the 5 year warranty on the WD black HDD. I assume the WD red is better optimized for the NAS application and will draw less power when idle.

CPU - Pentium G3220 3.0GHz 54W [$70]
**Updated CPU choice based on Wirko's research.

MOBO - ASUS H87I-PLUS [$115]
Pretty much the only LGA 1150 Mini-ITX motherboard with 6 sata connections built in.

PSU - Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D 380W [$45]
The approximate peak power draw with 6 HDDs was less than 300W. I targeted a 80% peak loading to be safe (300W/.8 = ~380W).

The reason I am posting this here and asking for help is because most of my builds have focused on gaming/raw power. As such I'm not as confident on where to invest to get the performance i'm looking for. I've also never dealt with NAS, however I currently have a running Ubuntu Server box. I'm open to any comments/suggestions!
Thanks
Last edited by HallofFamer on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:34 pm

You're doing it wrong. Spend a little bit more for a good Synology NAS. You'll get much more compact device, with unbeatable power consumption and very good built-in management tools (as well as mobile apps).
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:50 pm

I suggest using FreeNAS and ZFS. I built a low end AMD system (A4-5300, Gigabyte GA-F2A85XM-D3H, 8GB RAM) plus 3 2TB WD Green drives late last year, and it's been rock solid ever since. I admit that I don't have power usage statistics for it, but I've had no problems just using an old flash drive for the host OS (though I would suggest a small SSD for the OS + ZIL, it's much faster). RAID-Z is pretty fantastic, and I end up much more limited by the gigabit networking (or the wireless) speed than anything else for most file transfers.

For what it's worth, the system cost me like $160, plus $85 each drive. That comes in under your $500 suggestion, and gets you an extra 2TB of storage. FreeNAS is super easy to use, and the web administrative interface is snappy and fully featured. Easy to set up CIFS, AFS, and NFS shares so if you have a variety of OS' on your network, you can have proper shares for each ecosystem.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:14 pm

JohnC wrote:You're doing it wrong. Spend a little bit more for a good Synology NAS. You'll get much more compact device, with unbeatable power consumption and very good built-in management tools (as well as mobile apps).


John - I was looking at the pre-built Synology boxes and they come with good reviews. I'm looking for something with more hardware customization. I also don't know much about the software it comes with. Not saying it's off the table, but If i can build something myself It would be preferable.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:24 pm

CampinCarl wrote:I suggest using FreeNAS and ZFS. I built a low end AMD system (A4-5300, Gigabyte GA-F2A85XM-D3H, 8GB RAM) plus 3 2TB WD Green drives late last year, and it's been rock solid ever since. I admit that I don't have power usage statistics for it, but I've had no problems just using an old flash drive for the host OS (though I would suggest a small SSD for the OS + ZIL, it's much faster). RAID-Z is pretty fantastic, and I end up much more limited by the gigabit networking (or the wireless) speed than anything else for most file transfers.

For what it's worth, the system cost me like $160, plus $85 each drive. That comes in under your $500 suggestion, and gets you an extra 2TB of storage. FreeNAS is super easy to use, and the web administrative interface is snappy and fully featured. Easy to set up CIFS, AFS, and NFS shares so if you have a variety of OS' on your network, you can have proper shares for each ecosystem.


I was wondering about ZFS and if it's worth the larger RAM required/heat generated. I was just researching some builds and I saw a motherboard with a built-in USB reader. I'll definitely give FreeNAS a try if I got one of those.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:27 pm

You can as well get an i3-4130 without T as it's probably cheaper. All Haswell chips, including i7, consume next to nothing at idle and much, much less than 300W at load. A system with a mini-ITX board was tested by SPCR and consumed up to 133W after the PSU - but the CPU was a 4770K! A single 4TB Red consumes up to 5.1W, says Geoff.

Edit: Or a Pentium without T, of course.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:55 pm

HallofFamer wrote:I also haven't decided on the OS. I have experience with ubuntu server, but I have also read about freeNAS. I'm not fond of dedicating a hard drive to the OS or plugging in a USB stick all the time. Looking to do RAID 1 w/ 2x2TB.

I'm assuming the comment about dedicating a drive to the OS is directed only at FreeNAS? Because it is most certainly possible to boot Ubuntu Server from the same software RAID-1 array that you use to serve files.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:02 pm

Correct - I'm certainly not dedicating a HDD to FreeNAS. So it would have to be a USB drive.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:08 pm

If you're committed to rolling your own box, and you already know how to administer Ubuntu Server, OS selection sounds like a no-brainer to me.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:11 pm

just brew it! wrote:If you're committed to rolling your own box, and you already know how to administer Ubuntu Server, OS selection sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Yeah I'm leaning towards it. I'm still on the front-end of the learning curve though.

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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:46 pm

I would definitely like to second CampinCarl on the flexibility of FreeNAS. The OS and configuration easily installs on an old 2 or 4 GB USB thumb drive, and you don't lose any HDD space to the host OS. ZFS RAID across 4 1TB drives powers my development server NFS for lab VMs, accessible by both XenServer and VMware ESXi images. I also host a CFS share for the Windows guys. I've been super happy with it and the forums and community are awesome.

All this is running on an old Dell Workstation Tower 2007 era with only 4GB of RAM and 2 Linked network cards. CPU never goes above 25 Percent.

Either way you do it, good luck!
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:48 pm

I went the Ubuntu + ZFSonLinux route. Can't complain. Speed is great and it's rock solid.

Here's mine:

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Please excuse the phone photo. I haven't been able to find my camera in quite a while.
Core i7 920 @stock - 6GB OCZ Mem - Adaptec 5805 - 2 x Intel X25-M in RAID1 - 5 x Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX 1TB in RAID 6 - Nvidia GTX 460
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:10 pm

kc77 wrote:Please excuse the phone photo. I haven't been able to find my camera in quite a while.

Ahh, I gather that your "geek cave" is about as well-organized as mine is. I occasionally lose stuff in the mess for weeks at a time too.

Aside: Earlier this evening, one of the old UPSes at the far corner of my home office started screaming about its battery needing replacement. Physically accessing it involved excavating a tunnel under the table in the middle of the office wide enough for me to crawl through; it's probably been around a year since I touched any of the equipment running in that corner. I thought that UPS was the one running the web server, but it turned out that only the DSL modem and a couple of network switches were plugged into it. Moved everything to the other UPS located in that sector (the one the web server is *actually* plugged into) and called it a day. I'll probably just junk that UPS instead of replacing the battery again; it's an old 500VA APC I've had since forever.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:57 am

just brew it! wrote:
kc77 wrote:Please excuse the phone photo. I haven't been able to find my camera in quite a while.

Ahh, I gather that your "geek cave" is about as well-organized as mine is. I occasionally lose stuff in the mess for weeks at a time too.

Aside: Earlier this evening, one of the old UPSes at the far corner of my home office started screaming about its battery needing replacement. Physically accessing it involved excavating a tunnel under the table in the middle of the office wide enough for me to crawl through; it's probably been around a year since I touched any of the equipment running in that corner. I thought that UPS was the one running the web server, but it turned out that only the DSL modem and a couple of network switches were plugged into it. Moved everything to the other UPS located in that sector (the one the web server is *actually* plugged into) and called it a day. I'll probably just junk that UPS instead of replacing the battery again; it's an old 500VA APC I've had since forever.


LOL yeah that pretty much describes it. After every build I always have zip ties, hard drive cages, video cards, screws, and old Cisco switches (that I need to do something with) left over. They all go into a series of boxes until the next build. I find myself always needing something out of them. But I do believe now it's gotten to the point where I need to either give it away or chuck it. The camera is in one of those boxes and I can't bring myself to go through them. Oh well until the next build. :)
Core i7 920 @stock - 6GB OCZ Mem - Adaptec 5805 - 2 x Intel X25-M in RAID1 - 5 x Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX 1TB in RAID 6 - Nvidia GTX 460
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:22 am

Actually what is the problem with plugging in a USB drive? Just the unsightly nature of a stick outside the case? You can always get something internal and tape the stick inside the case.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:29 am

Flying Fox wrote:Actually what is the problem with plugging in a USB drive? Just the unsightly nature of a stick outside the case? You can always get something internal and tape the stick inside the case.

Or this or this (though I might look for something from someone other than Memorex, that was just the physically smallest thumbdrive I could find via a quick search).

Aside: I've seen server motherboards that have a USB female "type A" jack right on the motherboard. One of the servers at work is like this, and yes we use a thumbdrive to boot the Linux kernel. Only the boot image is on the thumbdrive; the root filesystem is on the RAID-6 array.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:32 am

Flying Fox wrote:Actually what is the problem with plugging in a USB drive? Just the unsightly nature of a stick outside the case? You can always get something internal and tape the stick inside the case.

That and it would be nice for the box to be fully contained. Also worried about accidents with a USB stick sticking out of the box on the side. Found I can solve this with either your suggestion (always so many cool solutions to PC problems) or this neat little thing. FreeNAS only requires 2GB of space.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:42 am

HallofFamer wrote:or this neat little thing

That's a much better choice than the one I linked. I trust Sandisk a lot more than I trust Memorex.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:54 am

I have several Memorex flash drives at work that I've been abusing, and they've held up fine. The last time I bought a Sandisk flash drive, it went belly up the first time I formatted it then tried to copy 2GBs worth of music files to it.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:38 am

I actually bought a 64GB Sandisk microSD for my phone that went belly-up after six months. On the plus side their RMA service is pretty good so I got a new one within a week or so.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:29 am

Maybe the Memorex thumbdrives are OK. I've been avoiding Memorex products on principle, due to every other Memorex product I've bought in the past decade or so massively sucking (optical drives, optical media, MP3 player, etc...)

My overall impression of them is "rebrander of cheap Chinese junk".
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:32 pm

I built a fileserver with brand new parts a couple years ago using a sandy bridge Core i3, 16GB memory and six 2TB hard drives running FreeNAS on a usb stick. Hard drives are configured with ZFS in a Raid-Z2 which provides 4 drives of data and 2 drives of parity. Very happy with the results so far. Performance is awesome. Read/write speeds hit the gigabit network limit of ~100MB/s. FreeNAS even warned me about a drive dying a couple months ago. I simply took the drive out and replaced it with another 2TB drive, re-striped it with a single console command and it went back to normal operation with basically no downtime (other than the time it took to power down the machine and replace the physical drive).

I highly recommend FreeNAS as it provides all the functionality you could want in a dedicated NAS and is easier to maintain than a linux file server.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:53 pm

just brew it! wrote:Maybe the Memorex thumbdrives are OK. I've been avoiding Memorex products on principle, due to every other Memorex product I've bought in the past decade or so massively sucking (optical drives, optical media, MP3 player, etc...)

My overall impression of them is "rebrander of cheap Chinese junk".


They were in the office supply closet, so it was going to be whatever our office manager ordered. They aren't the fastest things, but the transfer rates are steady. Unlike a 64GB Lexar I bought recently.

I these are the first Memorex branded things I can remember using since I quit buying cassette tapes. I might have bought some optical media when it was on sale, but I don't remember. Anyway, I've never had a problem that stuck out in my mind.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:25 pm

Can anyone make a suggestion for/against using ECC memory with a ZFS FreeNAS build? I've read some strongly cautionary posts from people saying ECC is basically required...?
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:09 pm

HallofFamer wrote:Can anyone make a suggestion for/against using ECC memory with a ZFS FreeNAS build? I've read some strongly cautionary posts from people saying ECC is basically required...?

I would argue that ECC should be used regardless of whether the server is running ZFS or not. Any excess RAM beyond what the OS needs will end up being used as file cache, and the data is vulnerable to corruption while it is sitting in RAM.

OTOH I tend to be pretty anal about data integrity, so I'm a bit of an "ECC Nazi" (I use it even on my desktop builds).
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Mon Nov 04, 2013 5:37 pm

HallofFamer wrote:Hi Guys,

Currently LGA 1150 and Mini-ITX form factor

Budget: $500 pm $100
Usage: Dedicated NAS for file sharing, streaming to devices, and data backup
Timeframe: Next month or so unless there is upcoming technology worth waiting for. Not in any rush.
I buy from Newegg, Amazon, and TigerDirect

The build focus so far has been on compactness and low power consumption. I want to leave this NAS device on 24/7 and later on put together a HTPC. I also haven't decided on the OS. I have experience with ubuntu server, but I have also read about freeNAS. I'm not fond of dedicating a hard drive to the OS or plugging in a USB stick all the time. Looking to do RAID 1 w/ 2x2TB.

CASE - Fractal Design Node 304 [$55]
I really like the sleek look of this case and the 6 drive bays for expansion and air flow.

STORAGE - WD Red NAS 2TB [$200]
I had a hard time picking this over the 5 year warranty on the WD black HDD. I assume the WD red is better optimized for the NAS application and will draw less power when idle.

CPU - Pentium G3220 3.0GHz 54W [$70]
**Updated CPU choice based on Wirko's research.

MOBO - ASUS H87I-PLUS [$115]
Pretty much the only LGA 1150 Mini-ITX motherboard with 6 sata connections built in.

PSU - Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D 380W [$45]
The approximate peak power draw with 6 HDDs was less than 300W. I targeted a 80% peak loading to be safe (300W/.8 = ~380W).

The reason I am posting this here and asking for help is because most of my builds have focused on gaming/raw power. As such I'm not as confident on where to invest to get the performance i'm looking for. I've also never dealt with NAS, however I currently have a running Ubuntu Server box. I'm open to any comments/suggestions!
Thanks


Updated to ECC build:

Micro-ATX form factor

CASE - Fractal Design Define Mini [$100]
Sticking with Fractal Design's mATX case for the huge 3.5" disk storage capacity. Also these look really nice.

MOTHERBOARD - SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SLM-F-O uATX Server Motherboard LGA 1150 DDR3 1600 - ECC Supported [$150]
With IPMI and ECC I think this is the board to get for this build.

MEMORY - Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1600 [2x$55=$110]
Cheapest ECC memory I could get. The Supermicro board has 4 memory slots so I could go up to 16GB if required.

CPU, STORAGE, and PSU are the same.
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Re: Need advice on NAS build

Postposted on Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:28 pm

Just ordered the parts! I'll post some pictures once I get all the goodies. Thanks to everyone for your help.
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