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211 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 98666 3-Mar-2012 15:19
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In a similar vein to this thread, I'm looking at the possibility of building my own NAS and invite the collective wisdom of the Geekzoners.

I'll be running ZFS, so I'm not really interested in buying a standalone device with its own RAID.

The NAS will be 'offsite' in an outside building (garage)
  • No heating
  • No cooling
  • (I Will probably build a rat proof cage around it)
It's to be a file server, only. I don't need or want media capabilities.
Requirements are:
  • 6+ SATA disks, 3.5" form factor
  • 1 x Gig-E network
  • 1+ USB, bootable (to install software)
  • Minimal graphics (will be a server, managed over network)
Optional, but unnecessary
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • CD/DVD (I'll install from USB)
  • etc.
It's going to be using ZFS, so I need to run something like
  • OpenIndiana
  • FreeBSD
  • FreeNAS
  • Mac OS X
And, because it's ZFS, and I'd like to use dedup,
  • Reasonable CPU required
  • 4GB+ memory desirable
I'd be interested in suggestions for:
  • Mainboard
  • Case
  • PSU
  • Supplier of same
Case no bigger than necessary, wide better than high. Rack mount OK (though I'd have to build the rack Smile)
Power consumption no greater than necessary (350W PSU is probably overkill)

I don't need disks, I already have a source for them.

Overall cost needs to be well under $1,000.

I'm note sure I'll go this route at the moment, which is why I'm asking for suggestions.

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521 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 594498 13-Mar-2012 11:07
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What size HDD's are you going to use? If they're 1TB+ in size and you're using ZFS, then I'd say you'll need more RAM than that given that there will be six of them.

956 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 594506 13-Mar-2012 11:27
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There's no native support for zfs on mac osx. Freebsd and freenas implementations aren't as good either

I'd stick with Solaris or OpenIndiana

 
 
 
 




211 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 594710 13-Mar-2012 18:46
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wsnz: What size HDD's are you going to use? If they're 1TB+ in size and you're using ZFS, then I'd say you'll need more RAM than that given that there will be six of them.


1.5TB or larger. RAM is cheap, so I'm not too worried about putting in more. However, I can attest to ZFS working just fine with only 1GB and 3x1.5TB in RAIDZ, although I'm not running dedup on this. 



211 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 594712 13-Mar-2012 18:51
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defnz: There's no native support for zfs on mac osx. Freebsd and freenas implementations aren't as good either

I'd stick with Solaris or OpenIndiana


MacZFS works just fine, as does Zevo

I'm probably leaning more towards OpenIndiana, but I gather it's a little picky about the chipsets it supports. Hence the query. Advice is appreciated.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 594814 13-Mar-2012 22:06
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Michael, have you had a look at the community version of Nexentastor?
 
it's built on OpenSolaris, I guess it kind of constrains you into 'their' way of doing things.
It does have dedup plugins and supports things like iSCSI (which doesn't always play well on the mac, from my experience).

Your question sort of hinted at wanting to roll-your-own style NAS, which this obviously won't work for but at the same time, you talked about FreeNAS as well, so I thought I'd pitch NexentaStor in your general direction.





"Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong." Donald Porter – British Airways

The views expressed here are my own and are not reflective of other organisms or organisations.



211 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 594877 13-Mar-2012 23:53
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DoomlordVekk: Michael, have you had a look at the community version of Nexentastor?
 
it's built on OpenSolaris, I guess it kind of constrains you into 'their' way of doing things.
It does have dedup plugins and supports things like iSCSI (which doesn't always play well on the mac, from my experience).

Your question sort of hinted at wanting to roll-your-own style NAS, which this obviously won't work for but at the same time, you talked about FreeNAS as well, so I thought I'd pitch NexentaStor in your general direction.



Yes, I've had a look at it. However, I'm more interested in the moment at suitable hardware. I could always go for a NAS appliance, but right now I'm researching options built around PC hardware.

Thanks for the suggestions, keep 'em coming.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 594884 14-Mar-2012 01:44
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why not just go with an old 939 or AM2+ or even an Intel 775 mobo tradme have heaps for sale and you can pick up CPU's dirt cheap there aswell or if your looking for something new

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/components/motherboards/amd/auction-455926123.htm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/components/cases-power-supplies/power-supplies/auction-457212516.htm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/components/cases-power-supplies/cases/auction-456984164.htm

all total cost including shipping $691.99



211 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 594915 14-Mar-2012 07:45
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Athlonite: why not just go with an old 939 or AM2+ or even an Intel 775 mobo tradme have heaps for sale and you can pick up CPU's dirt cheap there aswell or if your looking for something new

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/components/motherboards/amd/auction-455926123.htm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/components/cases-power-supplies/power-supplies/auction-457212516.htm

http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/components/cases-power-supplies/cases/auction-456984164.htm

all total cost including shipping $691.99


Thanks. I have been working through the plethora of components available to see what would meet the needs. Because there is so much choice, and possibility of getting it wrong, and since I've not assembles a system from scratch before, I thought I'd ask. Maybe someone had built something similar and could suggest MB+CASE+... as a good idea.

If there is such an ideal system, it does't seem to be obvious. Smile

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm adding them to the list of options---although the MB only seems to have 4 x SATA 2.0, which is less than I'd like.

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  Reply # 594954 14-Mar-2012 09:46
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Might be interesting to consider buying a laptop if you can find one with a PCIe interface (expresscard 2.0?) for the disk array.

Bonus is that they have their own screen if you need it for setup/debugging/updates, and have a battery for backup.

Generally they tend to be quiet as well as have a relatively low current draw...



211 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 595028 14-Mar-2012 12:15
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jonherries: Might be interesting to consider buying a laptop if you can find one with a PCIe interface (expresscard 2.0?) for the disk array.

Bonus is that they have their own screen if you need it for setup/debugging/updates, and have a battery for backup.

Generally they tend to be quiet as well as have a relatively low current draw...


Interesting idea. I could also just look at a cheap-as PC with eSATA out. I then have to factor in the cost of suitable eSATA disk enclosures (which at least do generally offer JBOD functionality). So, simpler in some respects, but more complicated in others. Hmmm.

Thanks. 

521 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 595140 14-Mar-2012 15:04
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michaeln:
1.5TB or larger. RAM is cheap, so I'm not too worried about putting in more. However, I can attest to ZFS working just fine with only 1GB and 3x1.5TB in RAIDZ, although I'm not running dedup on this. 


It works yes, but with 4.5TB using ZFS I'd recommend 6GB+ RAM to maximise the performance of your drives, even if they're low-end performance drives.

521 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 595150 14-Mar-2012 15:18
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michaeln:

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm adding them to the list of options---although the MB only seems to have 4 x SATA 2.0, which is less than I'd like.


Definitely get a mobo with 6 SATA-3 ports and if you think you'll outgrow that, make sure it has 1 or 2 PCI-E 1x connectors so you add some more ports.

Personally, I'm currently looking at the Asus E25M1 for an upgrade to my NAS at home - has GB NIC, 6 SATA ports, Radeon HD 6310 graphics etc. This model doesn't have the PCI-E 1x connector but I'm not worried. This is in the sub $200 category.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 595216 14-Mar-2012 17:33
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Thanks. I have been working through the plethora of components available to see what would meet the needs. Because there is so much choice, and possibility of getting it wrong, and since I've not assembles a system from scratch before, I thought I'd ask. Maybe someone had built something similar and could suggest MB+CASE+... as a good idea.

If there is such an ideal system, it does't seem to be obvious.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm adding them to the list of options---although the MB only seems to have 4 x SATA 2.0, which is less than I'd like.


with the extra money saved from not having to buy an Graphics card you could buy a nice PCIe x4 RAID card to put in the PCIe x16 slot

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