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DIY NAS for small business - I need your help

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desynt
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DIY NAS for small business - I need your help

#1

Post by desynt » 12 Jan 2018 14:48

Hello everyone!

I am going to build a NAS that will be used in a small business working with video production and I could need some opinions and recommendations. I recently got into this and I am still learning and researching. My intention for this thread is to learn more about this and hopefully end up with a list of what I should buy and build. I thank you in advance for taking the time reading this and helping me, it really means a lot to me!

In short this is what I would want to get from the NAS:
  • Storage,raid and ZFS. I plan to start with between 16 and 20 Terabyte usable storage but with possibility to increase it in the future with ease.
  • I want to be able to use PLEX without any issues for up to three multiple streams at the same time(1080p) but would be nice if we also could stream at least one 4k video without issues.
  • Be able to send a download link to customers so they can download a specific file. Using a torrent client or even winrar is usually too advanced for the customer
  • 10gb connection between the NAS and two PCs
Budget: 2000 USD but less is much prefered.

I will use a 60gb SSD for nas4free.

I think I will go with 5x Seagate Ironwolf ST6000VN0041 128MB 6TB or 5x Seagate Ironwolf ST6000VN0033 256MB 6TB (Will I benefit from having 256mb cache disks instead of 128mb? Something I have to look into) in RAID 5 as it seems to be the cheapest I can find at the moment and will give me 24 terabyte usable storage to start with. SAS seems to be very expensive and not give me any increased performance for what I would use the NAS for.

I want to use ECC ram. Starting with 32gb(If I can't start with 16gb) but I want to be able to upgrade to 64gb in the future if it would become required. Would 16gb ECC be enough for everything to start with?

I need a CPU + Motherboard to go with this. Here I am clueless on what to pick that will have enough power. What do you recommend?
I was first thinking of going with Ryzen 5 1600. But I heard that Ryzen have issues with NAS and they have not tested ECC ram and hard to get a motherboard with ECC support.

I heard that using raid 5 taxes your cpu hard and that I need a raid card controller. Do I need it? Any recommendations? Can I use both the sata ports on the motherboard + raid card to have even more HDDs?

Do I need SSDs for cashe?

10gb network speed between the NAS and two workstations I was thinking instead of getting a switch I just put a dual 10gb network card into the NAS and single port network cards into the workstations so I can connect them directly to the NAS that way. Also connecting the NAS to the normal network using/internet the port in the motherboard. Will this work?

Do I need a GPU? Is there any benefit of having a GPU in a NAS for what we would use it for (other than when installing the NAS when using a cpu without integrated gpu)? I was considering putting a 1050/1050ti or a gt 1030(passive cooling) in it.

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ChriZathens
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Re: DIY NAS for small business - I need your help

#2

Post by ChriZathens » 16 Jan 2018 10:37

You should get a proper server motherboard, with ECC support; Supermicros are a good choice. (e.g. the X11SSM-F. Supports up to 8 sata devices, up to 64GB ECC Ram and has IPMI with iKVM out of the box.

You won't need a GPU for a server motherboard which has IPMI. Regular consumer motherboards are a poor choice for a server, especially since you are planning for a business build. Most of them have stuff like audio/hdmi etc which are useless on a server and will only consume power and will be another point of failure/instability. Additionally, most consumer motherboards will not boot without a GPU attached; again wasted money, power and another possible failure point .

For 3 simultaneous streams you can possibly get away with an i3 CPU. One example could be the core i3-7300 which passmarks at about 6500 (plex requires about 2000 per 1080p stream). But if you also hope for a 4K stream then perhaps a Xeon is the way to go
Regarding disks:
For starters ZFS uses a different terminology. You should read a bit about it and try to use the proper terms, otherwise it may lead to confusion and/or bad advice from others.
So, Raid1 --> Mirror
Raid5 --> RaidZ1 (one disk parity)
Raid6 --> RaidZ2 (two disks parity)
There is also RaidZ3 which uses 3 disks as parity

If you want to have about 20TB of usable storage, then you should start with 6x6TB disks is RaidZ2. RaidZ1 is a poor choice for such large disks, unless you don't really care about the data and you are willing to restore from backup in case of a catastrophic failure ( you do plan to have a backup solution, right?)
ZFS, however, works a bit differently when adding disks. Once the first disks are almost full, you cannot simply add another single disk and expand the available storage.
When you reach at that point, you have two choices:
1. Replace disks with larger and once all disks are replaced the storage expands
2. Add another vdev to the pool (another 6disk RaidZ2 ) and get the additional space immediately.

You should plan ahead, though, because case number 2 will require a case capable of housing 12 disks. If you want to add additional disks you will also need to add an HBA when the time comes, but that's the easy part. Or if this will be your route of choice you can opt for a X11SSL-CF from the start, which has an integrated SAS controller for 8 more disks
So, as you can understand, adding extra space will not come cheap, because when time comes you must purchase a few disks more

Another route you can take for easy storage expansion is going with mirrors:
For starters you can get 4 10TB disks and set them as two mirrors. You will get about 20TB of very fast storage.
When it gets full, you will only need to add another pair of disks and you can expand immediately.
In this scenario you lose half of the usable space in parity, but stripes of mirrors is the fastest you can get with spinning rust, plus storage expansion requires only two additional disks to be purchased, which makes this choice the cheaper when it comes to expansion.

Regarding your other questions:
Be able to send a download link to customers so they can download a specific file. Using a torrent client or even winrar is usually too advanced for the customer
You can use owncloud/nextcloud plugin for this --> https://www.nas4free.org/forums/viewtop ... 71&t=11718
10gb network speed between the NAS and two workstations I was thinking instead of getting a switch I just put a dual 10gb network card into the NAS and single port network cards into the workstations so I can connect them directly to the NAS that way. Also connecting the NAS to the normal network using/internet the port in the motherboard. Will this work?
This should work no problem with the proper configuration
Do I need SSDs for cashe
No. More Ram is almost always what you'll need. If you maximize your Ram and still need more speed, then you can think about cache.
My Nas
  1. Case: Fractal Design Define R2
  2. M/B: Supermicro x9scl-f
  3. CPU: Intel Celeron G1620
  4. RAM: 16GB DDR3 ECC (2 x Kingston KVR1333D3E9S/8G)
  5. PSU: Chieftec 850w 80+ modular
  6. Storage: 8x2TB HDDs in a RaidZ2 array ~ 10.1 TB usable disk space
  7. O/S: XigmaNAS 11.2.0.4.6625 -amd64 embedded
  8. Extra H/W: Dell Perc H310 SAS controller, crosflashed to LSI 9211-8i IT mode, 8GB Innodisk D150SV SATADOM for O/S

Backup Nas: HP N40L (4x1TB HP branded Seagate disks in RaidZ configuration - 8GB ECC RAM)

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