bit-tech.net

How to build a NAS box

Comments 1 to 25 of 54

Reply
The_Beast 23rd July 2010, 08:57 Quote
Very nice article, so far I only have DAS, but someday soon I'd like to build a NAS
phuzz 23rd July 2010, 09:10 Quote
I've got a FreeNAAS box, which is mainly built from the hardware of my old gaming rig, which is why it's running a watercooled Semperon, in an old DFI LANparty board, overkill is always fun :)

Right now, FreeNAS is (imo) the best free software for building your own NAS, but it is limited by it's FreeBSD roots (drivers etc.).
The original author of FreeNAS is currently working on a complete recode called Open Media Vault. Instead of BSD and custom scripts, it's being built on Debian Linux, which should mean much better hardware compatibility, and it should be a lot easier for end users to add plugins (eg, FreeNAS currently uses Fuups to stream to DNLA devices, which is pretty crap, OMV should allow any of the Linux streamers).
The only downside is that currently ZFS won't be supported (license issues with Linux), but it should be possible to use BTFS soon.
Hopefully OMV should have a first release sometime this year (there's only one developer at present).
crazyceo 23rd July 2010, 09:13 Quote
Just finished reading the CustomPC benchtest and reviews on NAS boxes and then this pops up. Are you peeking over the office cubicle walls to see what the other guys are doing?
Bindibadgi 23rd July 2010, 09:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Just finished reading the CustomPC benchtest and reviews on NAS boxes and then this pops up. Are you peeking over the office cubicle walls to see what the other guys are doing?

I'd have to have a bloody long neck

(since I live in Taiwan, and Anthony works in London!)
scott_chegg 23rd July 2010, 09:48 Quote
I've recently built a FreeNAS box and I love it.

It's running on a Dual Core Atom D510MO board, 1 GB DDR2-800 and a couple of 500 GB sata's (from my bits stash). Booting from a USB stick. The case is one of these.

The 2 drives are in the hot swap bays and the usb stick is hidden in the cd drive bay. Rather than go with RAID1 I've setup RSYNC to sync changed data from the primary sata to the secondary sata hourly. This protects you from a RAID failure or a file system corruption issue. Well done for pointing out out that RAID isn't acceptable for backup. An often overlooked fact!

For true backup I've got a 500GB USB disk. When I plug in this drive FreeNAS detects it, mounts the volume, RSYNC all the changed data then unmount. Got this setup from the FreeNAS FAQ's which are a really good resource.

All in I'm really pleased with it. The hardware runs cool and quiet. FreeNAS isn't overly difficult to setup and run. It's also running Torrents and the Itunes server component to serve the wifes laptop with tunes wirelessly and backup the laptop itself (RSYNC again!)

http://i863.photobucket.com/albums/ab200/scott_chegg/NAS/DSC03190.jpg

http://i863.photobucket.com/albums/ab200/scott_chegg/NAS/DSC03191.jpg

http://i863.photobucket.com/albums/ab200/scott_chegg/NAS/DSC03194.jpg

Inside pic isn't focused. Best I could do as my camera is knackered.
dispie 23rd July 2010, 10:24 Quote
Very nice article, i just rebuild old gaming system to server to nas but its way to power unfriendly

but this is a beter, optie
Da_Rude_Baboon 23rd July 2010, 10:29 Quote
Which case did you use Bindi? Thats always the stumbling block for me, finding a nice looking small case with plenty of HDD bays or 3x external drive bays that i can fit a removable rack into.
Bindibadgi 23rd July 2010, 10:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
Which case did you use Bindi? Thats always the stumbling block for me, finding a nice looking small case with plenty of HDD bays or 3x external drive bays that i can fit a removable rack into.

I was going to use the Array...

In the end I used the desk.
Iorek 23rd July 2010, 11:03 Quote
Nice, I've got a similar box but build using the OpenFiler project rather than Freenas, being Linux it does have the better hardware support and a pretty similar feature set.
Omnituens 23rd July 2010, 11:05 Quote
Any chance we could see the power draw from standard to underclocked, just to see what difference it makes?
Ljs 23rd July 2010, 11:15 Quote
Nice article, I shall be doing this soon so its nice to know I can come back and abuse this...
Bindibadgi 23rd July 2010, 11:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
Any chance we could see the power draw from standard to underclocked, just to see what difference it makes?

I don't have a meter here and I'm in a 110V country so the power drawn is respectfully more than 240V.
livenoise 23rd July 2010, 11:46 Quote
Nice article.. just as i'm putting together all the bits to make my own NAS box!...

My setup: after much web browsing I went with a VIA EPIA SN (4 SATA ports and a CF slot) with 2Gb RAM and 2 1Tb WD Green HDD's (soon to be 4)... I found a nice, but expensive, case - the Chenbro ES34169 (http://www.chenbro.eu/corporatesite/products_detail.php?sku=159) which holds the whole lot in a small (& quiet) footprint. I run FreeNAS off of a Compact Flash card plugged straight into the mobo...
faugusztin 23rd July 2010, 12:02 Quote
Actually, it is not that big problem getting a 8-port Atom box. True, i don't use FreeNAS or RAID at all (for backups, i have something else - i could if i would want, but i decided against RAID for this use case).

Anyway, the setup :
AT3IONT-I (http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=ZHofno9Kz03TkwXw ) - surprise suprise, 4 SATA ports and a PCI-E port which i used to put a :
Adaptec 1430SA SATA RAID controller ( http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/products/Controllers/Hardware/sata/entry/AAR-1430SA/ ) in it. That means another 4 ports.
The rest is standard - 1GB DDR3 RAM, Seasonic S12II-330 Bronze PSU, Fractal Design Define R2 case and of course the hard drives.

http://a.imageshack.us/img140/8505/atom1024.jpg

Such a small board in a Full ATX case :). On side note, i run all 3 Noiseblocker Multiframe fans at minimum, and it is enough to cool the whole box. Unused hard drives spin down after 1 hour of idle, the whole setup uses 38W with 1 running hard drive. For comparison, exactly the same setup with MSI 785G AM3 board and either Sempron 140 or undervolted X4 II 620 used 62W with 1 running hard drive.
faugusztin 23rd July 2010, 12:04 Quote
PS: On the photo, the board has 2GB in it, but in meantime i removed 1GB because the memory usage never went over 150-300MB. Right now, with Arch Linux, Samba, SSH, NX server and JDownloader my memory usage is 162MB/882MB :).
Parge 23rd July 2010, 12:10 Quote
What a great article.

I bought a Netgear ReadyNas but found it slow and unreliable and eventually sold it. This has totally inspired me to build another NAS.

My aim is to try and do it for under £100 – minus the hard drives which I have already.

I have an old Sempron 3000+ (socket 754 I think) – I could probably use that, along with the DDR400 RAM etc.

Need a new mobo/case/psu etc though.
koli 23rd July 2010, 12:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
PCI-E port which i used to put a: Adaptec 1430SA SATA RAID controller
Would you happen to know if that card needs messing around with drivers or works straight out of the box with Ubuntu?
emerge 23rd July 2010, 12:46 Quote
I'm running an Intel D945GSEJT with Atom 270 1.6, 2gb sodim ddr2, 2 x 1,5tb samsung 5400rpm drives.
It consumes about 15w, doesn't need an atx power supply (I'm using an LCD screen power supply), it's completely fanless.
One hard drive spins 24/7 and has data and os (debian), the other one spins for 30min a day because of the automatic backup. If one drive dies i don't loose anything, and if i delete some files i don't loose anything.
And by using Debian I also run apache, mysql, mrtg, squid transparent proxy, dhcp server, pppoe router, dns cacher and a lot of other useful things.

Questions?
wuyanxu 23rd July 2010, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Just finished reading the CustomPC benchtest and reviews on NAS boxes and then this pops up. Are you peeking over the office cubicle walls to see what the other guys are doing?
have to agree, very nicely timed article. i was considering to buy the Synology DS210J due to it's been recommended by Anthony. but wishing i could have more flexibility and more control.

got any cheaper small case to recommend? a brand new build for less than £250 would be nice, using the Asus AT3IONT-I (£150) mentioned earlier for its 4 SATA ports, a good PSU (£80) and a nice case. (<£70)
Farting Bob 23rd July 2010, 13:43 Quote
Out of interest, how easy is it to set up freeNAS to work nicely with windows 7 (my main PC which will be streaming content and browsing drives on the freeNAS server?
Phalanx 23rd July 2010, 14:00 Quote
I'm wondering if Software RAID in Windows would work better? I'm extremely concerned with the hardware compatibility of FreeNAS. I was going to start a new NAS self-built and was considering simply using Windows and Software RAID.
faugusztin 23rd July 2010, 14:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by koli
Would you happen to know if that card needs messing around with drivers or works straight out of the box with Ubuntu?

I didn't used it with Ubuntu, but all it needs is the sata_mv module (autoloaded for me).
scott_chegg 23rd July 2010, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farting Bob
Out of interest, how easy is it to set up freeNAS to work nicely with windows 7 (my main PC which will be streaming content and browsing drives on the freeNAS server?

My main PC and the wifes Laptop are both Windows 7 x64. No problems accessing CIFS shares on my FreeNAS box.
The Bodger 23rd July 2010, 15:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
I don't have a meter here and I'm in a 110V country so the power drawn is respectfully more than 240V.
Technically not correct; the current drawn at 110V is more than at 240V. If your rig was fitted with a 240V PSU of similar efficiency to your 110V one, and plugged into the UK mains, you would draw less current, but still use the same total power.

Power (Watts) = Amps * Volts, so the total power used by the PC works out the same regardless of the voltage supplied from the wall socket.

Note that I am not implying that reducing the core voltage of internal components such as the CPU would have no effect; we all know that supplying a lower voltage to a CPU results in lower power requirements. The reason for this difference is that the CPU is "using" the energy made available to it, whereas the power supply, if 100% efficient, merely shifts / converts the voltage of the supply from one level to another.

If you could get hold of a power meter, I second Omnituens' request for figures; it would be really interesting to see just how many Watts have been saved by your voltage and clock adjustments, and for that matter, what the total power consumption of the NAS box actually is. I've been planning to make a NAS box for a while, but have been put off using my old 'normal' PC (gathering dust in the closet) for the task by its power consumption.
tad2008 23rd July 2010, 15:09 Quote
Sadly, one of your reasons for making your own NAS box is down to cost, yet the case(s) and motherboard alone come to around £240 and a 2 bay NAS box can be found for around £140.

Doing your own NAS for the feature set and flexibility is most certainly worth considering. A good article that is informative and also points out some of the possible pitfalls and problems to be face.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums