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Old 02-01-2013, 09:30 AM   #1
deaner
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Default NAS Storage

Looking for advice for home NAS Storage -

Have a Citrix Environment at home and looking to move alot of the Storage - have published Desktops, so VHD's. And also, shared storage for the home users..

Looking for advice on a recommended NAS device, holding up to say 4 - 6TB, not overly expensive..

Suggestions?

Last edited by deaner; 02-01-2013 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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If you are at all technically proficient, you can save hundreds building your own. Even more if you are willing to forego ecc ram and have an old pc laying around. But i recommend using ecc. Asus 7 series or later mobo plus sempron 140 plus ecc ram plus nas4free or freenas is cheap and easy.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:59 PM   #3
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Another vote for FreeNAS. It's so easy, I can do it.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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Vote #3 for FreeNAS. If you can build and run a Windows PC, you can setup a really good ZFS RAID system.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:21 PM   #5
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depends on what you call expencive. Most cheap ones are lacking in performance and generally one or 2 drive units. To get your 6TB of space, means no data protection.

To get 6TB space and data protection with performance, looking at upto $1000 I would expect. (plus drives). Looking at units under $500 and holding 4 drives would be not worth the time.

So making your own does work out cheaper (as recommended above).
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:44 PM   #6
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Been using a Synology for over a year and it's great. Have 12GB of storage on it and it works well hosting multiple VM storage pools. The 1511+ I have ran around $800 new and I already had 5 drives at the time. Whenever I needed space, I just put in a replacement 3TB drive.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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Another vote for Synology. Have used them for years and they are very good.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:24 PM   #8
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What becomes expensive when building a DIY NAS is finding a card that has many sata ports. Once you go over a 4 port card you're looking at close to $1000 for just the card.

That said I'd look at the Supermicro 24 bay chassis, cheap motherboard/ram/cpu and then try to find a 16 port card or so and get 2 to handle all 24 drives.

You may also get lucky and find a case where the backplane acts as a SAS expander, meaning you wont need to try to find a card with so many ports. Have not built one yet myself but been reading up a lot as I do want to eventually build a SAN at home, then later upgrade my server.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #9
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You may want to re-read OP's requirements. 4-6TB and not too expensive sounds a lot like needing no more than six SATA ports to me (effectively free with mobo for many mobos), and DIY is cheaper. If he needs to massively expand later he can simply buy more later as semiconductor parts tend to depreciate quickly. Maybe even buy used or refurb parts.

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Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
What becomes expensive when building a DIY NAS is finding a card that has many sata ports. Once you go over a 4 port card you're looking at close to $1000 for just the card.

That said I'd look at the Supermicro 24 bay chassis, cheap motherboard/ram/cpu and then try to find a 16 port card or so and get 2 to handle all 24 drives.

You may also get lucky and find a case where the backplane acts as a SAS expander, meaning you wont need to try to find a card with so many ports. Have not built one yet myself but been reading up a lot as I do want to eventually build a SAN at home, then later upgrade my server.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
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Red Squirrel and others, I would argue that if one opts for a ZFS build - which I highly recommend - that the best thing to do would be to use multiple non-RAID HBA controllers, without the use of SAS expanders or SATA multipliers.

A popular HBA for use with ZFS is the IBM M1015 controller, which can be found cheap on ebay ($50 or less) or about $120 new. Using two mini-SAS cables, it can connect to a total of 8 drives using SAS/SATA 6Gbps. It also runs on virtually all storage platforms. The controller itself comes in IR mode firmware, but can easily be flashed to IT mode firmware which disables the RAID functionality and give you a pure HBA 'controller'.

Going the ZFS route means you offer formidable protection to your data. If memory serves me correctly, Synology is just ext2 storage with a SHR layer on top. Such a setup would not be very resilient to bad sectors, for example. This huge problem is largely unknown to the big public.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sub.mesa View Post
Red Squirrel and others, I would argue that if one opts for a ZFS build - which I highly recommend - that the best thing to do would be to use multiple non-RAID HBA controllers, without the use of SAS expanders or SATA multipliers.

A popular HBA for use with ZFS is the IBM M1015 controller, which can be found cheap on ebay ($50 or less) or about $120 new. Using two mini-SAS cables, it can connect to a total of 8 drives using SAS/SATA 6Gbps. It also runs on virtually all storage platforms. The controller itself comes in IR mode firmware, but can easily be flashed to IT mode firmware which disables the RAID functionality and give you a pure HBA 'controller'.

Going the ZFS route means you offer formidable protection to your data. If memory serves me correctly, Synology is just ext2 storage with a SHR layer on top. Such a setup would not be very resilient to bad sectors, for example. This huge problem is largely unknown to the big public.
I'll have to check out those cards. I've been wanting to build a large SAN myself but the prices of cards is what is holding me back. Hard to find anything that can support 24 drives or even 12. My current server has a bunch of 2 port PCI cards + motherboard ports just so I can have 10 ports. And yeah ZFS or Linux MD raid is the way to go. Have not tried ZFS myself but I hear nothing but good things about it.

The nice thing with any software raid is that you are not depending on hardware, which can fail. So it's one less point of failure. If the hardware does fail, the data is safe and can simply be transplanted to other hardware.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:22 PM   #12
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I'd include NAS 4 Free into the consideration. I believe its interface is a bit older than FreeNAS, but the version of FreeBSD is newer and hence so is the ZFS version.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:17 AM   #13
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You don't have to do it an expensive way. I use SATA to 5x SATA port multiplier to creat my hardware 8TB Raid5 (5 2TB HDs).

The HDs connected to the port multiplier. A single SATA cable goes from the the card to the SATA port on my MB. The entire array shows up as a single 8TB drive on my BIOS.

The card is around $100.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:52 AM   #14
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Thanks to everyone for their input -

I went with Freenas and so far I am very pleased...
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