Long-lasting NAS box build!

Hi there, awesome community! I've been coming across this site again and again in my research today, so I figured it might just be best for me to post my question instead of trying to pick and choose from other people's!

(Apologies if I've put this in the wrong forum; it's NAS, sure - but it's also about the box rather than NAS itself...)

Goal:

I'm looking to build an NAS box. I'm not too worried about the Hard Drives right now; I plan to use 4 - 6 2TB WD Caviar Greens eventually, but I imagine that storage capacity will increase much quicker than box build-components will. Thus I'd like a box that can last me quite a while!

I'll probably use FreeNAS (yes, with ZFS - still need to do more research there). However, I'd like the community's opinion on quality parts, especially with things such as redundant power and long-lasting fans! Basically I'd like to be able to build it and be confident that it'll function without my oversight for long periods of time (month-scale, in case I'm out of the country)!

Budget Range:

I'm looking to build this for around $500 (just box, no drives). Less is better, but more is possible.

For certain components like fans, I'm willing to start basic and build up to higher quality later (I'd really like to see MagLev fans become more prominent!!).

Currently Have:

A very nice working computer, but it's rather irrelevant to this NAS box. I'd prefer building from scratch, rather than possibly sacrificing quality by scavenging old, cheap parts.

Currently Need:

- Motherboard (capable of 4-6 SATA in RAID 0, 1, 10, 5), and ideally small and efficient. I'd like to make it as energy efficient (and therefore as cool-running) as possible. I imagine there are other general capabilities asked of an NAS device that I'm forgetting here (that are tied to the motherboard - PCI, USB 3.0, Gigabit ethernet, etc).

- Processor; low power consumption, low heat, passive cooling is alright as long as I don't have to worry about heat buildup, but I wouldn't mind sticking a quality fan on there. Probably wouldn't go for liquid cooling, just because of reliability.

- Box/Chassis/Case; I've found plenty of promising ones, but I keep finding more. The Antec 300 seems wonderful, as does the BitFenix Shinobi Window. But those are just a few of the many I've seen.

- Power Supply; if it doesn't come with the case, I'd need one. I have no idea about these, other than lower wattage (and higher efficiency) is better for NAS devices. I still need to research specifics.

- Fans; Ideally long-lasting and quiet. More concerned about that "quiet" part in order to maximize longevity. Though I suppose a whisper quiet NAS wouldn't be anything to complain about! :)

- RAM; shouldn't be too much of an issue from what I've seen. I was thinking 8GB, but if anyone here recommends for/against cheaper RAM or less-plentiful RAM, that'd be nice to know!

Thank you very much! Your input is greatly appreciated :D
2 answers Last reply
More about long lasting build
  1. If your going to Use Freenas, You won't be needing on board raid, let Freenas handle the raid with ZFS/Raid-Z

    Perhaps look at the Intel Atom platform, my FreeNas is build around that with a Hotswap SATA raid cage and works great and has quite low power consumption

    Freenas will enjoy more then 4gb of ram, when more then 4gb is installed it will enable Prefetching to increase your drive performance.
  2. Quote:
    If your going to Use Freenas, You won't be needing on board raid, let Freenas handle the raid with ZFS/Raid-Z


    Ah yes, I figured as much, but it's good to have confirmation of this. However, many of the people I saw using FreeNAS in RAID-Z seemed to have motherboards capable of RAID-5, so I didn't know if it still needed the capability or not.

    Quote:
    Perhaps look at the Intel Atom platform, my FreeNas is build around that with a Hotswap SATA raid cage and works great and has quite low power consumption


    Great to know! How long have you had it, and does it seem reliable?

    Quote:
    Freenas will enjoy more then 4gb of ram, when more then 4gb is installed it will enable Prefetching to increase your drive performance.


    Also great to know! I'll make sure to get at least 8 GB then!
Ask a new question

Read More

NAS / RAID Build Storage