Raspberry pi as NAS

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Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:49 am

As I need a new backup solution and fun project around the house, I'm debating grabbing a raspberry pi and using it as NAS for backups - I need to back up around 2.8 tb of data, so I figure I can just use an external caddy with a 4tb drive in it for this purpose.
Obvious bottleneck here is likely the USB 2.0 interface - is that going to hit me hard in terms of backup speed (probably doesn't matter imo if backups are overnight)? will it limit any potential ability to access those files from other systems in my network? (not an important feature but would be 'nice')
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:52 am

pikaporeon wrote:As I need a new backup solution and fun project around the house, I'm debating grabbing a raspberry pi and using it as NAS for backups - I need to back up around 2.8 tb of data, so I figure I can just use an external caddy with a 4tb drive in it for this purpose.
Obvious bottleneck here is likely the USB 2.0 interface - is that going to hit me hard in terms of backup speed (probably doesn't matter imo if backups are overnight)? will it limit any potential ability to access those files from other systems in my network? (not an important feature but would be 'nice')



No..... just no. Too slow of network interface and too slow of USB for storage (bandwidth of which is divided between the NIC and USB). To top it off you will more than likely end up spending more on putting the Pi NAS together than just going out and purchasing one of the many single drive NAS units that can be had for under $50.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:54 am

I dismissed the Pi as a NAS/home server specifically for that reason. There may be other similar solutions out there with a proper gigabit NIC though, but I still need to look into it.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:55 am

Deanjo wrote:
pikaporeon wrote:As I need a new backup solution and fun project around the house, I'm debating grabbing a raspberry pi and using it as NAS for backups - I need to back up around 2.8 tb of data, so I figure I can just use an external caddy with a 4tb drive in it for this purpose.
Obvious bottleneck here is likely the USB 2.0 interface - is that going to hit me hard in terms of backup speed (probably doesn't matter imo if backups are overnight)? will it limit any potential ability to access those files from other systems in my network? (not an important feature but would be 'nice')



No..... just no. Too slow of network interface and too slow of USB for storage (bandwidth of which is divided between the NIC and USB). To top it off you will more than likely end up spending more on putting the Pi NAS together than just going out and purchasing one of the many single drive NAS units that can be had for under $50.

Can you link me some of those? Cheapest ones I can find are $100ish
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:14 am

pikaporeon wrote:
Deanjo wrote:
pikaporeon wrote:As I need a new backup solution and fun project around the house, I'm debating grabbing a raspberry pi and using it as NAS for backups - I need to back up around 2.8 tb of data, so I figure I can just use an external caddy with a 4tb drive in it for this purpose.
Obvious bottleneck here is likely the USB 2.0 interface - is that going to hit me hard in terms of backup speed (probably doesn't matter imo if backups are overnight)? will it limit any potential ability to access those files from other systems in my network? (not an important feature but would be 'nice')



No..... just no. Too slow of network interface and too slow of USB for storage (bandwidth of which is divided between the NIC and USB). To top it off you will more than likely end up spending more on putting the Pi NAS together than just going out and purchasing one of the many single drive NAS units that can be had for under $50.

Can you link me some of those? Cheapest ones I can find are $100ish


I can find them at the local Mom and Pop shop for about $50 but Newegg has similar and you can find a bunch on aliexpress usually.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817810014

I can usually find the Addonics NAS30U2 NAS adaptor for around $50 and it turns any USB enclosure into a NAS unit (still not as fast as a pro NAS but fast enough to do what you want). There are also a bunch of these adapters from other manufacturers as well such as:

http://www.amazon.com/Cirago-NUS1000-Ne ... pd_cp_pc_2
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:50 am

pikaporeon wrote:As I need a new backup solution and fun project around the house, I'm debating grabbing a raspberry pi and using it as NAS for backups - I need to back up around 2.8 tb of data, so I figure I can just use an external caddy with a 4tb drive in it for this purpose.
Obvious bottleneck here is likely the USB 2.0 interface - is that going to hit me hard in terms of backup speed (probably doesn't matter imo if backups are overnight)? will it limit any potential ability to access those files from other systems in my network? (not an important feature but would be 'nice')


Well, as long as you don't mind waiting for oh... 26 hours for one complete transfer? :D USB 2.0 caps around 30MB/s so any kind of transfer is going to take a long time... not a big deal for small incremental overnight updates, but if you're going to move hundreds of gigabytes each time then it's going to be an issue. And if you are going to move 2.8TB every night, then there aren't enough hours in a day to make it happen over USB 2. You'd need USB 3 to make it viable!
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:01 am

Kougar wrote:USB 2.0 caps around 30MB/s so any kind of transfer is going to take a long time...


You can easily divide that by 2 with the Pi. The USB ports and the NIC interface share that bandwidth. Realistically, you are going to be looking at roughly 10-12 MB/s writes.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:17 pm

Much like GPUs, with NASes the capabilities jump up to a sweet spot above $50-70 and then hit diminishing returns. Spending a small absolute amount more can get you much better performance. I have been researching NASes recently and have come across this model which seems like a good price/performance balance on a budget: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

I am about <--> *this* far away from getting one of these to stop having to worry about having my RAID 1 media disks running in my main PC. To get significantly better performance in a NAS you'd have to spend about 3-4x. I am still of the general opinion that a DIY NAS is the best route, but with bargains like that my opinion is strongly challenged.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:27 pm

Do keep in mind that you're looking at $80-100 for a functional Pi as the $40 board is just that, a bare board with storage, heatsinks, power plug etc. sold separately. A Pi could certainly do it as a hobby project but it wouldn't be very efficient or economical, and large data transfers are off the table.

If you care about your data enough for a NAS I really recommend Doing It Right with either a legit NAS system or an old PC running FreeNAS or similar.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:21 am

MadManOriginal wrote:I am still of the general opinion that a DIY NAS is the best route, but with bargains like that my opinion is strongly challenged.

I also think it is the best route, but keep in mind that a NAS based on old PC hardware will probably consume significantly more power over its lifetime than a pre-built NAS with similar capabilities.

NovusBogus wrote:If you care about your data enough for a NAS I really recommend Doing It Right with either a legit NAS system or an old PC running FreeNAS or similar.

I would argue that if you *really* want to Do It Right you should be using something with ECC support, which unfortunately rules out a lot of old PCs. AMD motherboards from Asus (APU boards excepted, since the APUs don't support ECC) are among the few consumer-grade motherboards that typically had ECC support. But then you've got to factor in the cost of replacing the DIMMs (unless the system happened to already have ECC RAM installed).

Which brings up another interesting side issue: Do consumer-grade NAS appliances typically use ECC RAM, or no? I'd be willing to bet no...

I guess my personal recommendation boils down to build your own, and re-purpose an old Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3 Asus motherboard (upgrading DIMMs to ECC if necessary). For OS use FreeNAS or Linux, depending on your level of Linux knowledge and/or whether you want a more turnkey solution. I'd go RAID-1 for the disks.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:48 am

While the DIY route may consume a lot more power you can underclock and undervolt CPU's to try and make them more power efficient. Still not as efficient as a platform but still far more powerful.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:59 am

Think you guys recommending full blown NAS solutions are kind of missing the OP's intention. It's obvious that he is not looking for screaming performance to begin with but just something to do a backup to once and a while to. Sure it's not as robust or feature rich as a full blown nas but it sounds like he could get away with a network connected drive enclosure.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:05 am

*sigh*

Yes, it is easy to get carried away on stuff like this. Guilty as charged.

OTOH, all of my home servers have been built out of old desktop parts, so I've generally been paying only for the disk drives. Furthermore, being a long-time believer in ECC RAM I typically did not need to buy new DIMMs to get it (always had enough on hand already).
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:19 pm

Honestly the main reason i've strayed away from doing it on my own is fear I'll end up feature-creeping myself ("if i throw in more ram this can become my random linux testing rig" / "well I'm curious what the new APUs can do" etc) - that said I might be able to reclaim an old Q9300 from a friend which would help costs substantially (obviously overkill in terms of CPU power, but at least my utilities are already rolled into my rent)
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:30 pm

You do *not* want your server/NAS to double as your Linux testing rig. Testing/experimentation are incompatible with stability and reliability. My current file server has been shoved into a semi-inaccessible corner of the crawlspace, and I have not touched it for years:
my file server wrote:mike@ipa:~$ uptime
14:26:18 up 932 days, 2:45, 2 users, load average: 0.15, 0.03, 0.01

Yes, you saw that right -- it was last rebooted over two and a half years ago.

I'm due for an upgrade though. Working on that... obviously that will require a reboot, since I will be replacing all of the hardware! :wink:
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:00 pm

just brew it! wrote:You do *not* want your server/NAS to double as your Linux testing rig. Testing/experimentation are incompatible with stability and reliability.


Nothing wrong with running a virtualized machine however on that NAS for testing / experimentation.

My current file server has been shoved into a semi-inaccessible corner of the crawlspace, and I have not touched it for years:
my file server wrote:mike@ipa:~$ uptime
14:26:18 up 932 days, 2:45, 2 users, load average: 0.15, 0.03, 0.01

Yes, you saw that right -- it was last rebooted over two and a half years ago.


I start licking my chops when I see uptimes like that. Nearly 3 years of kernel exploits to go after (unless you are using a live kernel patching solution). Hope it's not exposed to the outside world.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:31 pm

Deanjo wrote:I start licking my chops when I see uptimes like that. Nearly 3 years of kernel exploits to go after (unless you are using a live kernel patching solution). Hope it's not exposed to the outside world.

Nope, I would not expose a machine like that to the outside world. That would be like hanging a "Root me!" sign on it.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:52 pm

just brew it! wrote:You do *not* want your server/NAS to double as your Linux testing rig. Testing/experimentation are incompatible with stability and reliability. My current file server has been shoved into a semi-inaccessible corner of the crawlspace, and I have not touched it for years:
my file server wrote:mike@ipa:~$ uptime
14:26:18 up 932 days, 2:45, 2 users, load average: 0.15, 0.03, 0.01

Yes, you saw that right -- it was last rebooted over two and a half years ago.

I'm due for an upgrade though. Working on that... obviously that will require a reboot, since I will be replacing all of the hardware! :wink:


So are you just blowing the dust out while it's running, or does the inside of that PSU look like a tribble died in it? :P
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:30 pm

There is (or at least was...) a room air filter running right next to it, and the inside stayed amazingly clean. I guess I ought to check the inside of the case more frequently since the air filter died a little while back.

Edit: And yes, I do sometimes dust out machines while they are running.
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Re: Raspberry pi as NAS

Postposted on Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:29 pm

just brew it! wrote:You do *not* want your server/NAS to double as your Linux testing rig. Testing/experimentation are incompatible with stability and reliability. My current file server has been shoved into a semi-inaccessible corner of the crawlspace, and I have not touched it for years:
my file server wrote:mike@ipa:~$ uptime
14:26:18 up 932 days, 2:45, 2 users, load average: 0.15, 0.03, 0.01

Yes, you saw that right -- it was last rebooted over two and a half years ago.

I'm due for an upgrade though. Working on that... obviously that will require a reboot, since I will be replacing all of the hardware! :wink:

Sorry should have clarified, it'd be primarily database tomfoolery (I'm a DBA) which would likely not impact stability too much outside of incurring server load.
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