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Questions regarding NAS Build

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August 21, 2011 8:22:45 AM

So, I'm building my first NAS.
Now, I've been told to use the Software RAID that FreeNAS offers, instead of wasting money on a RAID controller. Mostly because the build is only supposed to be used for light home use.

I plan to use 4 SATA-2.0 1Tb HDD's and 1 CF Card (In a CF to IDE adapter - As I understand ATA-133 is an IDE interface).

My hardware list is the following:
MotherBoard: ASUS-P8H67-M-PRO-B3-Sandy-Bridge
CPU: Intel-Core-i3-2100T-Sandy-Bridge
PSU: DeZen-PSU-400-Watt-PowerLINK-17-db
HDD: 4 x Seagate-1000-GB-7200.12-32MB
RAM: Kingston-4-GB-DDR3-1333MHz-HyperX
CASE: Fractal Design ARC Mini
CF to IDE Adapter
8gig CF Card

I plan to boot FreeNAS off the CF Card and run the HDD's in ZFS.

1) When I want to expand my system, I've read that you can take out one HDD and put in a larger one (As I'll be using the ZFS equivalent of RAID5), and when the filesystem is rebuild, I just copy the same procedure. I do this till I've traded all my 1Tb drives for larger ones. This is possible right?

2) Now, I'm also aware that the MoBo have 2 SATA-3.0 Ports that I won't be using in the above setup. Let's say that I want to expand to 6 disks + CF Adapter. Can I add 2 more disks to the system, without having to redo a lot of stuff?

3) I'd also like to know, If I have 4 disks, in ZFS equivalant of RAID5, but only use what equals 2 disks, can I then change the system to ZFS equivalent of RAID6 WITHOUT having to loose the content of the 2 disks?

4) When I want to expand to more disks, with ZFS it is possible to just "add" the new disks? I know this isn't possible in normal RAID as you'd have to rebuild the whole system? But I'm told you can always increase the size of ZFS, but not decrease.

5) I also want to be able to monitor the fan speed, temperatures (Especially of the HDD's and CPU) & condition. The fan speed is easy to control, but the temperatures and condition is what bothers me. I've read that I can utilise S.M.A.R.T. for the temperature and condition, but I'm not certain if my hardware supports SMART and if it does, how to utilise it. Does anyone know if this is possible?

I certainly hope some of you can help me :) 

More about : questions nas build

August 21, 2011 6:44:54 PM

MRChristensen said:
So, I'm building my first NAS.
Now, I've been told to use the Software RAID that FreeNAS offers, instead of wasting money on a RAID controller. Mostly because the build is only supposed to be used for light home use.

I plan to use 4 SATA-2.0 1Tb HDD's and 1 CF Card (In a CF to IDE adapter - As I understand ATA-133 is an IDE interface).

My hardware list is the following:
MotherBoard: ASUS-P8H67-M-PRO-B3-Sandy-Bridge
CPU: Intel-Core-i3-2100T-Sandy-Bridge
PSU: DeZen-PSU-400-Watt-PowerLINK-17-db
HDD: 4 x Seagate-1000-GB-7200.12-32MB
RAM: Kingston-4-GB-DDR3-1333MHz-HyperX
CASE: Fractal Design ARC Mini
CF to IDE Adapter
8gig CF Card

I plan to boot FreeNAS off the CF Card and run the HDD's in ZFS.

1) When I want to expand my system, I've read that you can take out one HDD and put in a larger one (As I'll be using the ZFS equivalent of RAID5), and when the filesystem is rebuild, I just copy the same procedure. I do this till I've traded all my 1Tb drives for larger ones. This is possible right?

2) Now, I'm also aware that the MoBo have 2 SATA-3.0 Ports that I won't be using in the above setup. Let's say that I want to expand to 6 disks + CF Adapter. Can I add 2 more disks to the system, without having to redo a lot of stuff?

3) I'd also like to know, If I have 4 disks, in ZFS equivalant of RAID5, but only use what equals 2 disks, can I then change the system to ZFS equivalent of RAID6 WITHOUT having to loose the content of the 2 disks?

4) When I want to expand to more disks, with ZFS it is possible to just "add" the new disks? I know this isn't possible in normal RAID as you'd have to rebuild the whole system? But I'm told you can always increase the size of ZFS, but not decrease.

5) I also want to be able to monitor the fan speed, temperatures (Especially of the HDD's and CPU) & condition. The fan speed is easy to control, but the temperatures and condition is what bothers me. I've read that I can utilise S.M.A.R.T. for the temperature and condition, but I'm not certain if my hardware supports SMART and if it does, how to utilise it. Does anyone know if this is possible?

I certainly hope some of you can help me :) 


Why use 4 1TB drives? Will cost you about $220. You don't need the extra bandwidth. 3 1.5TB drives will be cheaper and more reliable and use less power. 2 3TB drives in RAID 1 is easier and not much more expensive.

It is is really for home use - you probably don't need RAID anyway. Run 1 drive and back it up/clone it to a second drive every night. If you use hot-swap or USB - then you can periodically take the backup drive to a remote location (and replace it with a spare). This is much more reliable for typical home stuff (photos, music, tax returns, etc.)
August 21, 2011 7:39:23 PM

The idea is to also to store my music and movie collection there. I guess I could run each drive one at a time, but I want to have a go with ZFS.

I haven't really settled with the disk's yet. Part of me want to go all out with 6 x 3TB drives, and part of me just wanna start small (mostly not to anger the missies with the expenses :p ).
!