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DIY NAS Storage

I want to add a network storage device to my network. Rather then buy something, I was looking to possibly build one. Does anyone recommend any pre-built cases designed for NAS storage that you just add hard drives to? Any other DIY recommendations for adding a NAS devices to my network?

Not only would I like to be able to access the files across my network, it would nice nice to have an FTP set-up so I could get access when I'm away from home.
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  1. rancineb said:
    I want to add a network storage device to my network. Rather then buy something, I was looking to possibly build one. Does anyone recommend any pre-built cases designed for NAS storage that you just add hard drives to? Any other DIY recommendations for adding a NAS devices to my network?

    Not only would I like to be able to access the files across my network, it would nice nice to have an FTP set-up so I could get access when I'm away from home.


    There are MANY prebuilt NAS (0Gb). The question is how fast do want it to be? 20MB/s 60MB/s or 150MB/s transfer rate and HOW BIG do you want it to be like 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 drives

    These NAS can range from $70.00 to $900.00

    NewEgg / AMAZONE is where to start

    Of course if you want to DIY, then look at OpenFiler and FreeNAS, these are Great NAS/SAN OS

    and the BEST part is FREE and immune from ad-ware and virus, not like Window
  2. I'm looking for something for personal use at home to store my music and videos. I plan on playing music directly from the NAS (not copying from and then playing on a laptop), so I would need decent transfer rates, but probably doesn't need to be top. Would like something that can be set-up in RAID so I can have a back-up of my data. Probably would start with just 2TB of space needed so maybe a 4 drive device with 2 x 2TB drives set-up in RAID and then I can add 2 more later.
  3. Best answer
    Online expansion feature is very expensive and risky. So my suggestion is back up and recreate a new volume then copy data back...

    Here is what you need:
    Get a low power MB like ATOM - This will save the electric bill
    Or use the door stopper system just sit in the corner.
    2GB of RAM
    1x USB 1GB or larger
    1x Mini Tower can hold 5x HDD - you can use 5.25 to 3.5 bracket to install 3.5 HDD to 5.25 slot too this cost about $2.00 or less each
    1x GbE if the old computer does not have GbE - ideally Intel NIC would be great
    SPM394 <-- you can see what going on with the RAID - this is I prefer
    or SPM393-I <-- you need to connect all the LEDs indicator pins so you can see what going on

    Download FreeNAS ISO file
    Burn to CD
    Connect temporarily a CD/DVD rom to the NAS mother board
    Boot from CD
    Install OS to USB stick
    Remove CD/DVD rom after installed OS
    Connect 5x HDD to SPM39x
    Configure RAID5 or RAID5+HS. This takes about 30~45sec
    Connect to your network
    Reboot the system with USB
    System should boot and give you the IP address
    At you computer - open a web broswer
    Enter the IP address the FreeNAS just assigned
    Log in as: admin - password: freenas
    Format and mount the RAID
    Enable services that you need: SMB, FTP, iTUNE
    Make a share folder
    That's it

    Within 1hrs you should have a NAS ready to stream ANY Audio/Video

    Oppsss! Well not that fast...
    Sorry to burst you bubble
    You need to load you DVD/CD, MP3... 1st
    Which is VERY easy
    Open Window Explorer
    Enter: \\IP address - the network drive should show up.
    Map this drive

    Now you can load your content

    If you DO NOT want to go through all of DIY
    Get this NAS

    It's pretry much what I list it here... except they're tray-less and have fan on each drives so the HDD life is prolong
  4. Thanks for the feedback. I started looking around NewEgg yesterday at various NAS storage and found that it is pretty expensive to get a decent one. Especially if I want room for expansion and set-up RAID. I decided I would take an old system and turn it into a NAS. I figure this way I can have more flexibility, plus it'll be a good project to learn from. If that goes well, I might take the next step and set-up an actual server.

    I haven't looked at FreeNAS that much. Can you gain access to it outside of your network. So if I'm at work, or a friends house, can I login to get to the content to either copy from, or stream? I would assume to do this, FreeNAS would need some FTP capabilities.
  5. Yeap! agree - Hand-on experience is hard to beat

    FreeNAS, OpenFiler is full-blown NAS/SAN application OS.

    Here are the services FreeNAS offers:


    and more

    As you can see, you can turn it to full secure FTP (SFTP) so your data will not be vulnerable

    Yes! you can access it ANY where in the world as long as you have access to internet.

    This is what I call myCloud <-- lol

    There is little set-up with your router but that is not too bad

    To stream video your and stream to point internet connection have to be decent speed. Example to stream a MVK 720p you need min of 15Mb connection speed, otherwise you have a constant freezing
  6. Thanks a lot for your help. Once I get a system put together, I might be coming back for tips on how to best optimize FreeNAS for what I want to do.

    Are there any particular set-ups that you recommend? I know you talked about an ATOM processor. I'm probably not going to buy 5 HDDs. I think I'll just purchase 2 and set-up a RAID 1. What's the set-up that you have for your "cloud"?
  7. Hello,

    I'm not by any means an expert on NAS or RAID system but lately it seems that I'm going to need something built to consolidate my files into one system/location . I started doing the research on whats available and the options are endless and no one system seems to have everything you need or want.

    My needs are:
    - Must!!! good backup & recovery system without a lot of hassle.
    - Storage space that grows with my needs.
    - Able to handle different size hard drive.
    - Low power consumption.
    - Excellent media streaming abilities/performance
    - simple system.

    I looked at drobo and I liked some of the options they offered specially round adding any size hard drive to the nas. according to there intro video you can pull out the hard drive and insert any size hard drive and your up and ready to go. again based on there video recovery is simple as pulling the bad hard drive and inserting a new hard drive. Having seen and read little bit about it i have a feeling the performance isn't up to what I'm looking and you cant upgrade the hardware. If you want to stream a hi-def movie, drobo might not be the choise. moving to the next.

    I looked at freenas and I like what it had to offer. freenas defiantly meets performance which is based on the hardware you put into the system. freenas supports lot of the RAID systems used today, which is good. downfall is that you cant mix and match hard drives or pull a defective hard drive to add a new one or to add a larger hard drive to increase storage space on the spot options I wouldn't mine having.

    After a lot of searching I came across another utility called flexraid. It seem to offer what im looking for but the only downfall is that it runs on top of an existing OS. unlike freenas which runs on its own OS with a very small foot print, flexraid is installed on your existing OS. but it does give you somewhat what drobo offeres and freenas offers but im assuming freenas is lot more powerfull then flexraid.

    Having said all that Im thinking about trying flexraid on top of a linux maybe ubuntu.
    if anyone has any experience with flexraid, please share.

    I am looking for none complicate system with growth.

    R
  8. I think I'm going to go the FreeNAS route because of the small footprint being its own OS. Of course running on top of linux isn't going to be bad since stability is much better then Windows running 24x7. I might look into flexraid as well just to familiarize myself with it. Could be interesting to set-up a linux server and put flexraid on top of it. I haven't worked with linux before, does it have good media streaming software to other devices like an Xbox?
  9. FreeNAS offers ZFS. It's a future format

    I believe FlexRAID is derivative of ZFS
  10. What is ZFS and what benefits does it bring?
  11. I'm afraid that I do not have much knowledge in this ZFS subject... I'm still learning but here is the wiki of ZFS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS.
  12. Best answer selected by rancineb.
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