Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

DIY or off-the-shelf NAS? Please help!

Last response: in Storage
Share
January 13, 2010 8:25:12 PM


I'm looking into a ~$500 - 700, 4-drive NAS with 4TB of storage but am bogged down in the "Buy an off-the-shelf NAS" or "Build a NAS box" dilemma so I need some perspective...

The main purpose of my NAS is:

* To consolidate all of my professional and personal data which is currently scattered on multiple drives, into a central place that can be accessed by all my machines at home

* To be able to continue to put more and more data there and know it is safe

My feature requests, in order of importance:

* Ease-of-use (I'm no sysadmin and don't want to have to play one)

* Redundancy / "safety" (I'm looking to back up and store multiple TB's of professional and personal data that I would like to have around forever)

* Expandability / upgradability (This set-up will be my centralized storage "depot" for the foreseeable future)

* Low-power (needs to be easy on the electricity bill)

I'm in no need of a BitTorrent client to be running or having transcoding capabilities on this setup so those and other "gimmick-y" features are not important to me (however, if the capabilities of being to stream video and music files come for "free", then great)...

I thought I had settled on the HP EX490 but the cost after adding the drives went too high (especially when comparing to the DIY cost)...

I then trudged through all the QNap's, Synology's, Thecus's, SmartStor's, Netgear's, Drobo's etc (just as he did: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/254446-32-choice-hell ) but cost wise, building one and doing the FreeNAS thing may be the better bet (heck, even spending the extra $100 for Home Server keeps the price near or under the off-the-shelf boxes)...

In terms of building one, I'm thinking something like this:

--------------------------------
CASE:
--------------------------------

Rosewill FE-M020 Black SECC Steel MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$30

--------------------------------
MOBO:
--------------------------------

ASUS M4A78LT-M LE AM3 AMD 780L Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$65

--------------------------------
CPU:
--------------------------------

AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX240OCGQBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.00

--------------------------------
RAM:
--------------------------------

Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT12864BA1339
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55

--------------------------------
POWER SUPPLY:
--------------------------------

Rosewill Green Series RG530-S12 530W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50

--------------------------------
HDD:
--------------------------------

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 (x4 = $360)

OR (if no RAID)

SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD154UI 1.5TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$110 (x4 = $440)

--------------------------------
MISC:
--------------------------------

Rosewill RFX-120 120mm Case Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$8 (x1)

Rosewill RFA-80-K 80mm Case Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$2 (x1)

--------------------------------
--------------------------------

= ~$650.00 (on the low-end version, with shipping, extra SATA cables, etc...)

--------------------------------
--------------------------------

In the end, I am still on the fence and am looking for help / advice / info in order to make a decision and commit...

Thanks...

VENAM1

(PS: Some thoughts / questions I still have:

* I am a PC building n00b so I'm wondering if the "learning curve" of assembling and maintaining a FreeNAS box may actually end up costing me more in terms of time and headache than just ponying up for an off-the-shelf device (I can read and write and use tools though...;))

* Is RAID even necessary in terms of backup / storage? It seems it may be overkill in a NAS, no? I'm not looking for speed (per se) and would be very, angry to watch my data go down the drain after a drive failure or URE (which seems very probable in a RAID 5 config), even though RAID 5 is touted as an "ideal combination of good performance, good fault tolerance and high capacity and storage efficiency"

* I wanted to go the "green" HDD route but kept reading about catastrophic data loss when used in conjunction with any type of RAID configuration so that is why I am eye-balling the Spinpoint F3 (but without RAID, I take it the "eco" drives are a better choice in terms of power savings, yeah?))

More about : diy shelf nas

a b G Storage
January 14, 2010 2:50:22 PM

Buy a 2 TB drive and put it in your computer. Buy another 2 TB external drive and backup your most important files to that drive periodically. Leave this drive disconnected as much as possible. This is better than RAID but leaves your short 1 TB of space if you went RAID 5. If the is ok for now, this is a very easy solution and is very cheap too. Leaving the drive disconnected also protects you against lighning strikes, etc. If you absolutely need more space, its get more complicated and you have the right idea, but IMHO you will still need a single offline external drive for your most important stuff if you really want to never disappear.
m
0
l
a b G Storage
January 14, 2010 3:47:24 PM

^ Agreed.

Also, DO NOT get a RoseWill brand PSU. Get a quality PSU from Corsair, Antec, OCZ, etc. A Corsair 400CX will do well.

Also, grab a single 2GB RAM DIMM.

As for FreeNAS, it works quite well, however, depending on what you need you may want to install a full distro on it and turn it in to a file server,media streamer,etc.

Overall, looks good.
m
0
l
Related resources
January 15, 2010 3:54:35 PM

Hey goobah,

The trick for me right now is that I have over 2TB of data that I need securely backed-up so unfortunately a single 2TB drive won't work for my needs...:( 


goobaah said:
Buy a 2 TB drive and put it in your computer. Buy another 2 TB external drive and backup your most important files to that drive periodically. Leave this drive disconnected as much as possible. This is better than RAID but leaves your short 1 TB of space if you went RAID 5. If the is ok for now, this is a very easy solution and is very cheap too. Leaving the drive disconnected also protects you against lighning strikes, etc. If you absolutely need more space, its get more complicated and you have the right idea, but IMHO you will still need a single offline external drive for your most important stuff if you really want to never disappear.

g
m
0
l
a b G Storage
January 17, 2010 3:23:05 PM

Well, then double what I said, and dont use RAID at all. The securely backed up statment is what steers me from a RAID only solution. I have about the same amount of data, but I only have 300-400 gigs of stuff that I cannot imagine losing. So, I use a large raid and have a small backup drive.
m
0
l
!