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Low power, Mini-itx, NAS

Last response: in Storage
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March 7, 2013 6:30:31 PM

I'm looking at replacing my old file server with something more efficient.

info on current fileserver:
2ghz winxppro 400watt PS, 2 external usb HDs (ntfs), 1 500gb internal IDE, 1 250gb internal partitioned for OS and temp data
serves video, music, pictures from read only Windows shares
temp partition is a read/write share, used for torrents and web downloads

requirements for new fileserver
*low power, no fan, want to be able to store in a closet and forget about it
**used for windows shares, bittorrent, & maybe web downloads?
*PS+CASE: looking at: http://www.mini-box.com/M350-enclosure-with-picoPSU-80-...
**is there enough power on the 80w pico PS to run an ide and/or sata internal HD to use as a r/w temp share
*MB: looking at: http://www.mini-box.com/Intel-D2700DC-Mini-ITX-Motherbo...
*RAM: 4gb max for that MB
*HD: 2 external usb2.0, already have (NTFS) should be able to plug in and leave as is
*OS: probably freenas, unless there is something easier to deal with
**don't really care about updating freenas later on, or even having it write any log files
**will it work with a APC UPS? will it power down drives internal or external usb when not in use?
*HD for OS: should be SSD,(don't want to waste external usb plugs) some options I've found:
**sata flash module? pin7 vcc, how does that even work without a MB with power on pin 7??? http://www.mini-box.com/SATA-Flash-Modules
**USB DOM, MB has header for it, prices all over the place $30-$80 for 4gb vert or horz OK, not sure how to get freenas iso on such a thing
**USB 2 header to USB A adapter, with a 2-4gb usb stick




More about : low power mini itx nas

a c 126 G Storage
March 7, 2013 8:51:29 PM

Quote:
*OS: probably freenas, unless there is something easier to deal with

If you are going to use ZFS, this requires different hardware than if you are going to use Windows NTFS legacy storage.

If using ZFS, then 4GiB RAM is very low. You probably want a low-power server, but are being misled by TDP. Generally I suggest you avoid the Intel Atom. Instead, I recommend you look into low TDP Intel Socket 1155 offerings with H61 chipset of newer (B75). This means you run a normal system with more powerful CPU capable of 16GiB - 32GiB RAM and having modern PCI-express ports and modern chipset with at least 6 SATA ports. Your Atom system is... wanting. And not at all very lower power! You might save a few watts but compared to the much faster performance and expansion capabilities of a modern system - that will be worth it in my experience.

Many of my customers are opting for cheap boards like ASrock B75-Pro3-M pared with a cheap Intel G2020. It willcosts a little bit more, and consume a little bit more, but you can use PicoPSU with such a setup and have a 100% passive cooled system that is both powerful, affordable and carries room for future expansion. And it will run ZFS just great! :-)
March 7, 2013 9:22:50 PM

sub mesa said:
Quote:
*OS: probably freenas, unless there is something easier to deal with

If you are going to use ZFS, this requires different hardware than if you are going to use Windows NTFS legacy storage.


Not going to be using ZFS, also not going to need more than 2 sata ports internally.

The Intel D2700 is 2x or better than the cpu setup I'm replacing. And that system handles streaming and torrents at the same time.
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a c 126 G Storage
March 7, 2013 10:14:35 PM

If you will be using FreeNAS why not use ZFS? It is within easy reach and will greatly improve the protection granted to your data. Even if you stick with your current setup and two disks in a mirror configuration, this would be much better than using software RAID + UFS - which is your only real alternative when using FreeNAS.

So if you want a real lightweight system, probably you have done your homework already - much better than I could advise you.
March 8, 2013 12:52:49 AM

sub mesa said:
If you will be using FreeNAS why not use ZFS? It is within easy reach and will greatly improve the protection granted to your data. Even if you stick with your current setup and two disks in a mirror configuration, this would be much better than using software RAID + UFS - which is your only real alternative when using FreeNAS.

So if you want a real lightweight system, probably you have done your homework already - much better than I could advise you.


The only reason I'm looking at freenas is because it appears to be a simple solution. I didn't want to deal with a large OS that was constantly updating itself and needed an antivirus. I will also not be using RAID.

I've done some homework, but still have questions (listed in the 1st post) that I would like anyone's opinion on.
!