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Hardware recommendations

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grnorris
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Hardware recommendations

#1

Post by grnorris » 05 Aug 2012 22:47

I can't quite afford to do this yet but I'd like to build my own NAS machine (I don't have an old machine with sufficient specs). My question is what combination of hardware should I use?

I'm looking for something cheap (price not construction), somewhat small, and that can hold 4x2TB (3TB?) SATA's which I will buy as I go. Ultimately I want to have a mirror setup with Backup (Rsync?), iTunes Server, and remote access of specific files with password protection (FTP?). It does NOT need to stream media so it doesn't need to have a powerful CPU/GPU. I'm also curious about how easy it is to change the setup later (so if I buy one 2 or 3 TB hard drive now and add a second one later can I just add it as a mirror or would I have to store my data externally, change the setup, then copy data back?)

I like the size of commercial products like this: http://www.amazon.com/Synology-DiskStat ... ywords=nas

Though I've no idea if I could actually build one like that (I've never seen a case/motherboard for such a setup).

Thanks in advanced.

armandh
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Re: Hardware recommendations

#2

Post by armandh » 06 Aug 2012 00:01

it does not take much cpu or memory to just stream
typically one can play from a file on the nas with no trouble
a one hour hi def TV program that takes 2 minutes to transfer to the nas
will use 1/30 of the nas capacity to play it out over the hour
a 900+ P-III is still quite useful for such work but 6in 9out mb/sec typical for a mirror
trans coding is another issue.

your best bet is something with a 64 bit processor, DDR -x memory, of course PCI-e buss and gb lan from that buss.
1Gb memory minimum, 1Gb per Tb of storage typical.

there should be lots of off lease refurbished that meets your needs [except the small size]

meanwhile one can experiment with the old boxes one has

the least capable one I put together is still in use. It is a
600 mhz celeron, 256 meg of PC-100 memory, and one UFS formatted drive.
Boots with live cd, 3" floppy config, freenas 7; and is used as a photo storage place
my late friend's widow turns it on, dumps the new photos and turns it off
just in case her laptop and I phone fail/get stolen/etc
somewhat slow [6 mb/sec] but steady, but not as slow as this guy's 200 mhz box
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ME54-N- ... re=related

.
Last edited by armandh on 06 Aug 2012 19:38, edited 2 times in total.
4 thread 3300 Mhz Intel i3, 1 TB ZFS mirror, available RAM 7.823 Gb, 64 bit NAS4Free 9.1.0.1 rev 573 [88 watts, 48 Mbps]
2 thread 1600 Mhz atom/ion, 1 TB ZFS mirror, available RAM 3.083 Gb, 64 bit NAS4Free-9.1.0.1 rev 573 [27 watts, 35 Mbps]
2 thread 3900 Mhz AMD A6-6400K, 2 TB ZFS Mirror, available RAM 7.557 Gb, 64 bit Nas4Free 9.3.0.2.1771 [89 watts, 68 Mbps]

armandh
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Re: Hardware recommendations

#3

Post by armandh » 06 Aug 2012 17:25

UP-DATE
I got out the old 966 P-III and tested it

768 Mb PC-133 memory
NAS4Free X-86 live CD boot and USB config

had to use an old 512 Mb usb stick as the usb-1 ports did not like a newer USB stick
Gb pci card lan [1000 base T]
two small drives ZFS mirrored [maxtor, and WD]

test file 1.5 GB .mkv one hour 720-p TV program

drag and drop to share around 4 minutes 6+ mb/s
streaming viewed with VLC no stutter! on a 2Ghz 64 bit AMD 2 core
drag and drop from share to desk top about 2 min 45 sec 9+ mb/s

if you have some old stuff you need not wait for the fun to start.
a single UFS formatted drive tests twice as fast 19 mb/s in, 20 mb/s out
on this elderly but useful hardware
4 thread 3300 Mhz Intel i3, 1 TB ZFS mirror, available RAM 7.823 Gb, 64 bit NAS4Free 9.1.0.1 rev 573 [88 watts, 48 Mbps]
2 thread 1600 Mhz atom/ion, 1 TB ZFS mirror, available RAM 3.083 Gb, 64 bit NAS4Free-9.1.0.1 rev 573 [27 watts, 35 Mbps]
2 thread 3900 Mhz AMD A6-6400K, 2 TB ZFS Mirror, available RAM 7.557 Gb, 64 bit Nas4Free 9.3.0.2.1771 [89 watts, 68 Mbps]

grnorris
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Re: Hardware recommendations

#4

Post by grnorris » 06 Aug 2012 23:59

Thanks for the replies. I didn't think about how much power a mirror setup would need but as it currently stands I have a lot of data on my 2TB EHDD that doesn't have a backup which worries me as I've already lost over 1TB of data before due to a previous drive failing. Currently my EHDD is connected to my mother's desktop with a Windows share so all of our computers can access it. Typically I can just browse to a large video file and play with VLC. I don't ever use 360's Media player or any other streaming system like that so I'm not too worried about the power that consumes still wit the mirror setup it sounds like a dual core CPU with at least a 2 GB of memory is a good idea (probably should go with 8 GB expandability). Unfortunately the only old computer we have that's not in use is running an old atom type processor (single core 1.2 GHz I think) with a 500 MB (not sure if that much is installed) RAM limit and a 40GB IDE drive (expandable to I think a couple hundred MB (old motherboard/power supply have some serious limits). At best I might be able to host my EHDD but it's not really worth it just for that. Part of the reason for the small size is because we have 8 people in our house and not a lot of room for stuff, plus it's an old house with 2 prong plugs everywhere. I had to Jerry-rig a 3 prong and it's not even a true 3 prong (was hoping to have my uncle look at it [he's a master electrician] but it looks like we'll be visiting him instead).

So in summary looks like a should get:
x64 processor (core2duo [want to avoid AMD as I've had some issues with those burning out])
2GB RAM expandable to 8GB
4+SATA ports
USB or SD boot (SD would be preferred as it doesn't stick out so much and I imagine it would be fast enough).

So any suggestions for particular hardware?

Edit: To clarify I do need decent speeds as I'll be actively using it from multiple computers for backup and the type of streaming mentioned earlier (the box doesn't convert anything). Also I have a 130MB/s connection to my router (Single band N in compatibility mode for old G devices) so it would be nice to transfer data at those speeds.

armandh
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Re: Hardware recommendations

#5

Post by armandh » 07 Aug 2012 02:34

I cannot be specific about hardware other than what I use [see below]
the 2 thread atom is pci-e and the fastest

you will likely find the wifi is the slowest part of things from end to end.
when the distance increases some of that maximum possible speed is used up in error correction re-send
I recommend locating with a wired connection back to the router

don't forget a UPS
power failure during a write can screw up the journal of whats where
Last edited by armandh on 08 Aug 2012 12:24, edited 2 times in total.
4 thread 3300 Mhz Intel i3, 1 TB ZFS mirror, available RAM 7.823 Gb, 64 bit NAS4Free 9.1.0.1 rev 573 [88 watts, 48 Mbps]
2 thread 1600 Mhz atom/ion, 1 TB ZFS mirror, available RAM 3.083 Gb, 64 bit NAS4Free-9.1.0.1 rev 573 [27 watts, 35 Mbps]
2 thread 3900 Mhz AMD A6-6400K, 2 TB ZFS Mirror, available RAM 7.557 Gb, 64 bit Nas4Free 9.3.0.2.1771 [89 watts, 68 Mbps]

sjordan
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Re: Hardware recommendations

#6

Post by sjordan » 07 Aug 2012 04:00

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=232
Read my thread above. The case in particular is probably what you are looking for. It can hold 6 hot swap sata drives. As for the motherboard the one I listed is very nice...but you can find cheaper. I chose it because it's mini itx and has 6 sata ports. The CPU I selected is very cheap and uses very little power. I highly recommend at least 8gigs of ram and it you got $70 to spare get a ssd for l2arc if you plan to use dedup on zfs.

Good luck

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