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Old workstation as NAS?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I had been very interested in building my own NAS in replacing my unstable external HDD. I had built a lot of PCs over the years but have little experience on anything about networking and servers. I had found some second handed workstation available for a very cheap price. 

 

The workstation in question is Dell precision T3500, with:

 

Xeon E5640 (7 years old, still an overkill for FreeNAS)

24GB ECC DDR3 (ZFS likes ram isn't it?)

500gb HDD (which I am not going to use anyway)

525w 85plus power supply

4 SATA 3Gbs port (I may add a PCIe sata card)

 

I have an old SSD that can be used as cache.

 

The real problem is, Is this seven years old workstation good enough as a base of a NAS? What is expected to be replaced or upgrade from this system?

Or I better off building a low-end PC from new parts?

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That is way overkill for a soho NAS, even WITH ZFS. Not to mention the power consumption is through the roof.

I'd rather part out and sell the workstation and get a low power dual/quad core, keep the ram is possible, slap it onto a new motherboard with at least 4/6 SATA ports and a PCIe sata card if more ports are needed.

 

Major overkill if you're just going to use the one 500 gig HDD, lol.

SSD should be partitioned for the OS with the rest going to caching.


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks for the advice, I forgot to mention I got four 4T WD red to put in that NAS. And good point on selling the MB and CPU for lower power consumption as it is going to run 24-7. I had thought of using old PC parts, but many parts I saw are already on their last legs, so I turn my attention to more reliable workstations. I think I should dig a little deeper until I can found something better fit for the job.

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2 hours ago, revsilverspine said:

SSD should be partitioned for the OS with the rest going to caching.

No, no, no, no.  Any SSD that's going to be stressing it's wear level by being a cache should not ALSO have the OS.  The OS barely writes to it's own drive, you can just run NAS4Free or FreeNAS off a 2GB USB Key even.

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Just now, AshleyAshes said:

No, no, no, no.  Any SSD that's going to be stressing it's wear level by being a cache should not ALSO have the OS.  The OS barely writes to it's own drive, you can just run NAS4Free or FreeNAS off a 2GB USB Key even.

Sacrifices must be made.

Also, USB keys are slow as hell, even for a fairly barebones OS (I should know. Been running Lubuntu off of a USB drive for the past year and a half and it's PAINFULLY slow)


Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down. - Adam Savage

 

PHOΞNIX Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.75GHz | Corsair LPX 16Gb DDR4 @ 2933 | MSI B350 Tomahawk | Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ 8Gb | Intel 535 120Gb | Western Digital WD5000AAKS x2 | Cooler Master HAF XB Evo | Corsair H80 + Corsair SP120 | Cooler Master 120mm AF | Corsair SP120 | Icy Box IB-172SK-B | OCZ CX500W | Acer GF246 24" + AOC <some model> 21.5" | Steelseries Apex 350 | Steelseries Diablo 3 | Steelseries Syberia RAW Prism | Corsair HS-1 | Akai AM-A1

D.VA coming soon™ xoxo

Sapphire Acer Aspire 1410 Celeron 743 | 3Gb DDR2-667 | 120Gb HDD | Windows 10 Home x32

Vault Tec Celeron 420 | 2Gb DDR2-667 | Storage pending | Open Media Vault

gh0st Asus K50IJ T3100 | 2Gb DDR2-667 | 40Gb HDD | Ubuntu 17.04

Diskord Apple MacBook A1181 Mid-2007 Core2Duo T7400 @2.16GHz | 4Gb DDR2-667 | 120Gb HDD | Windows 10 Pro x32

Firebird//Phoeniix FX-4320 | Gigabyte 990X-Gaming SLI | Asus GTS 450 | 16Gb DDR3-1600 | 2x Intel 535 250Gb | 4x 10Tb Western Digital Red | 600W Segotep custom refurb unit | Windows 10 Pro x64 // offisite backup and dad's PC

 

Saint Olms Apple iPhone 6 16Gb Gold

Archon Microsoft Lumia 640 LTE

Gulliver Nokia Lumia 1320

Werkfern Nokia Lumia 520

Hydromancer Acer Liquid Z220

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Just now, revsilverspine said:

Sacrifices must be made.

Also, USB keys are slow as hell, even for a fairly barebones OS (I should know. Been running Lubuntu off of a USB drive for the past year and a half and it's PAINFULLY slow)

Who cares if they're slow?  They're BARELY accessed once boot is complete.  Both NAS4Free and FreeNAS almost entirely run out of RAM other than saving settings and logging.  They're literally designed to do that.

 

Don't confuse a full desktop OS running off a LiveUSB for a NAS OS that is purpose built for embedded type operations.

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