NAS Recomendations?


I am building a NAS server for backing up computers on my Network. I have 4 Windows computers and 2 Linux servers. Network is running Gigabit LAN, some computers will be backing up from wireless N connections. I will be running Ubuntu Server 10.10. I am looking for the cheapest solution.
My experience is in building Gaming computers, not NAS servers, so I am out of my element.
Currently the parts assembled are:
4 Seagate 1TB Hard Drives. (already have 2 adding 2 more to make Raid 5)
BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500)
AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core

Could I use an “AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz” over the Athon II? It’s a savings of about $60 to switch.
Is a quad-core overkill for a NAS server? How much power do I need? I have a spare 600 Watt PSU. I worry about building a computer I cannot upgrade later. The Mobo has 6 SATA ports using software raid. Can I add a Raid Card on later to make two Raids on one board?
5 answers Last reply
More about recomendations
  1. I would avoid software raid 5 also you should probably not boot from the raid array.

    depending on what you are doing id prob snag a cheap dual core for a nas.

    I think you would be better off with buying 2 2TB drives and running a raid 1
  2. I also do not recommend software RAID5 and also not booting from the RAID array. It is better to maintain a small drive for the NAS OS and keeping your RAID array with your data separated.

    You can install a RAID array using the onboard SATA ports and also install a hardware RAID controller card to have multiple RAID arrays. Depending on the RAID controller card, some support multiple RAID arrays on the same controller; like 3Ware, Highpoint, and Areca. Do not know if the southbridge on the AMD 770 chipset can support multiple arrays.

    Check out FreeNAS as it is a free FreeBSD based NAS solution with the minimalist of hardware requirements. I have been using FreeNAS for several years and have found it to be rock solid, stable, easy to use, and has all of the NAS features you could need. I highly recommend it. The ZFS file system alone is worth running FreeNAS.

    The parts you have spec'ed out are overkill for a NAS, especially FreeNAS. As an example, my FreeNAS box is running a PentiumD 940, 1GB DDR2-533, with the FreeNAS OS installed on a 1GB CF card using an IDE-CF adapter. I also have a RAID5 array using 8-320GB WD drives on a 3Ware 8506. Everything is pluggeg in a Supermicro PDSME+ motherboard. There is a 450w Corsair psu powering the whole thing with watts/amps to spare.

    With the parts you have spec'ed, you could run VMWare and install FreeNAS in a VM and then use other VM's to set up your back-up application, software firewall, or whatever else your network might need; just saying that with a quad core there is alot more you can get out of it than just running a NAS solution.

    Some folks also highly recommend Windows Home Server and from what reviews I have read, it is also a very good solution.

    Lastly, there are pre-built NAS solutions from companies like Q-NAP and Thecus that are worth taking a look at.
  3. i recently custom built a NAS Server with old (and new) computer parts for my home, also running on a Gigabit LAN /w wireless N... so i might be able to help you out

    first of all.. yes, an Athlon II quad-core is most definitely over-kill for a NAS Server... get the cheapest CPU you can find for that motherboard (so probably yes, to that Sempron), as well as 2gb RAM is a lot too... 1gb, even 512mb should be enough

    just to give you an idea of how little power you need... my NAS Server is built around an AMD Sempron 2800 (1.6GHz single-core CPU), 512mb DDR RAM on an old ASUS socket 754 motherboard with a (crappy) VIA chipset... and it's more than enough

    for the storage there's 2 x 1TB Seagate Barracuda's in a RAID 1 mirror connected to a separate PCI SATA II controller card. as 'rand_79' ^ said.. i'd also recommend going RAID 1... as with the quality of hard drives these days -> out of 4/5 drives in a RAID 5... you're bound to have at least 1 fail sooner or later... not to mention the extra cooling you'd need... accompanied with the higher noise levels because of it

    also, with a RAID 1 mirror, the task of identifying a failed drive and restoring your mirror will be a lot simpler and more suited for the 'home environment'

    for a PSU you don't need much power at all... go for something like this (high end manufacturer/low wattage):

    or this:

    yes, you can add another RAID card in the future... and having said that... you can go with a RAID 1 now on your motherboard's RAID controller... then if you run out of room... add a RAID card and 2 x HD's in a 2nd RAID 1
  4. What about zfs? Not suited to linux but if you're willing to try freebsd unix type stuff zfs zraid is the raid 5 for you. Research it a little.

    Also, yes to sempron.

    Use the PSU you have unless you are a power miser and then buy a seasonic 400fl or similar.

    Consider ecc ram!
  5. I would consider FreeNAS or Openfiler

    A NAS does not require powerful CPU.

    I did a 32TB NAS base on FreeNAS and ATOM CPU 1Gb RAM - Here is the thread.
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