Building a NAS rig

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  1. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 6,894
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #11

    Hi there

    @sygnus21

    If you have a spare machine why not just install any sensible Linux distro on it with SAMBA and run that as a NAS. The OS is FREE, you can easily install other applications, Software RAID works very efficiently and you can use a decent GUI on the NAS as well.

    For this purpose I'd recommend CENTOS 7 -- OK the kernel is slightly old but it's so stable and solid (its the free version of RED HAT's Enterprise server - and supported by RED HAT -- the RHEL server with CENTOS for smaller shops is probably the most used server software around the world.

    Install KDE as the GUI, SAMBA for file sharing, NTFS3G for Native NTFS read/write ,GRSYNC for file backup and other software to choice. Depending on how you logon to the CENTOS system -- either directly or remotely -- in which case you'll need to install tigervnc so you can RDP from Windows (say a laptop) to your GUI console on the NAS. For software raid ensure MDADM is installed .

    Software installation is a breeze -- usually you just need to type from the command line yum install package1, package 2 etc. The system handles all dependencies etc.

    To backup from the NAS to external devices just run GRSYNC which will copy changed / new files to your external drives which for speed I'd format with Linux file system -- XFS is a good one (mkfs.xfs -f /dev/sdx where x is the number of the disk attached). Simple file sharing via samba will make files acessible to windows for your windows machines. You can also setup CRONTAB which will schedule jobs to run at specific times.

    This is a complex idea but IMO anything is better than having important data controlled by proprietary systems. Software RAID also in Linux works extremely well.

    Using an i7 CPU is a bit overkill for essentially a NAS server unless you are going also to run a whole slew of VM's on it. Incidentally there's nothing wrong either in using 2 / 4 bay external USB / SATA boxes either if your server doesn't have enough internal HDD bays etc.

    Why not start practising by installing CENTOS as a VM on your Windows system, play with it and then you'll see the possibilities you have.

    BTW I have 2 NAS systems running CENTOS -- they run 24/7 -- the only time I ever re-boot is when I'm adding say new hardware (e.g more RAM) or after a rare kernel upgrade. I've had these for several years now -- 100% reliable. I'm though using the HP proliant Microservers - small 4 bay servers with 2 Nic's each and they occupy very small storage space and totally stored away in a closet unseen. They can run totally headless (i.e no keyboard / screen connected and easily accessed via RDP from a windows laptop or xrdp from a linux laptop).

    Should be an interesting project for you -- the i7 though is grossly overkill -- an i3 is more than enough for a decent NAS server !!!!.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 2,958
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1809 - 17763.134 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #12

    What I have done is to simply attach some storage to the USB3 port of my Main router, an option that is quite common these days, this gives me 2x2TB, [ i used a spare 4TB external drive when I upgraded my backup drive to 8GB], but you would need to decide how much storage you need and then chose a Rack or enclosure to suit either USB3 or Ethernet.

    Also as my Main system is rarely switched off I also share the contents of my Hard drives, [also 8TB storage 2x3TB and 1x2TB, around my network, [fully 1GBit ]
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 6,894
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #13

    Barman58 said: View Post
    What I have done is to simply attach some storage to the USB3 port of my Main router, an option that is quite common these days, this gives me 2x2TB, [ i used a spare 4TB external drive when I upgraded my backup drive to 8GB], but you would need to decide how much storage you need and then chose a Rack or enclosure to suit either USB3 or Ethernet.

    Also as my Main system is rarely switched off I also share the contents of my Hard drives, [also 8TB storage 2x3TB and 1x2TB, around my network, [fully 1GBit ]
    Hi there
    That's obviously a great cheap idea if you merely want to share files and probably the best solution for a lot of people-- however depending on what you want to do a separate box (the OP already has one) IMO is a much more flexible - albeit far more complex. For instance you might want to set up a multi-media server e.g PLEX or run several VM's. Also depends on what OP uses as main system and whether it's man enough for the job.

    Another advantage of a separate OS is that if you have several users then you can use RAID -- RAID 0 on Linux is incredibly fast for I/O and since he's going to be taking backups the risk inherent on RAID 0 doesn't seem a problem -- I've 2 NAS servers both running RAID 0 on server A 2 X 2 sets of HDD's (2 arrays) and Server B with older smaller disks running a 4 disk array. I've not had any errors with these and they are on 24/7 and have been used for several years. I do take regular backups of course so if I lose an array it's easy to recover the data.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 1,727
    Windows 10 x64 (1809)
    Thread Starter
       #14

    Some great suggestions guys.

    @jimbo45, I'm not looking to get into some overly complicated at this time as I simply don't have the time. And from what you describe in your recommendation, it sounds to me like FreeNAS may be a bit simpler. But I get you on the over kill of the i7.

    @Barman58, I like your idea as temporary solution of simply attaching an external drive to the USB port of my router. Cheap, simple, fast. I think I'll go with that for the time being and see how that works out.

    Thanks to all.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 2,958
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1809 - 17763.134 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #15

    What I do is I use the attached storage for a copy of my media that I store on my main system, this data can then be accessed from any other media system, PC, Laptop, Tablet, Phone, TV or Media centre, over the network Wired or Wirelessly,

    It also provides an online live backup for my media, even though I keep compressed backups anyway of all my data to another External drive
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 1,727
    Windows 10 x64 (1809)
    Thread Starter
       #16

    Barman58 said: View Post
    What I do is I use the attached storage for a copy of my media that I store on my main system, this data can then be accessed from any other media system, PC, Laptop, Tablet, Phone, TV or Media centre, over the network Wired or Wirelessly
    That's my main purpose. I'll go with that.

    Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Infrasonic's Avatar
    Posts : 148
    W10 Home 1803 / Virtual Box / Linux Mint VM
       #17

    If you like Synology NAS' but have your own hardware then why not put the Synology OS on it?

    Xpenology: The Definitive Guide (2019 Update)
    Xpenology is a bootloader for Synologyís operating system which is called DSM (Disk Station Manager) and is what they use on their NAS devices. DSM is running on a custom Linux version developed by Synology. Its optimized for running on a NAS server with all of the features you often need in a NAS device.
    Xpenology creates the possibility to run the Synology DSM on any x86 device like any pc or self-built NAS. So you can benefit from the powerful multimedia- and cloud-features of DSM without buying the hardware NAS from Synology. A lot of people prefer this because they can pick out there own (more powerful) processor and RAM to handle things like transcoding video.
    This will also save money and make you more flexible in the long term.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 1,727
    Windows 10 x64 (1809)
    Thread Starter
       #18

    Went with WDís 4-Diskless My Cloud Pro PR4100


    So, after going back and forth on whether to build or build a NAS, I Decided to go with WDís 4-Diskless My Cloud Pro (PR4100) NAS box and two WD 6TB Red Pro drives.

    I decided against building one being the spare system I would have used has hardware higher specíd hardware better used elsewhere. Plus, no matter where I looked, it would have cost me at least $500 bucks for drives and other incidentals. The WD system has a higher price cost but is more feasible for me in the long run. Also purchased for future considerations - more bays if needed and also a Plex server.

    With that, I await delivery of items and setting things up for both backups and storage use. Will be testing for other configs as Iíll just be using 2 of the 4 bays in a RAID, and using the other bays for simple storage and backup as well. Will also upgrade the unitís RAM from 4 to 16gig.

    Until thenÖ
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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