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Dr. FunFrock

Ambitious NAS on a shoe-string budget

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey guys,

My father just gave me 6 1TB Seagate Barracudas which he isn't using anymore at his company. I'd love to put them to use in a NAS/Home server. I have some expectations but I'm still hesitating on some key points of the design, so any help would be appreciated. I have many questions but try to consider the global picture if you're so kind to answer any of them. Please also consider that I do not know much if any at all about server and NAS hardware, so the following may be complete nonsense.

 

-First, RAID ? Basically I'm hesitant on which type of RAID to choose, and I'm not even sure if I should do any RAID at all. I'd like to have as much storage space as possible, I already have a 3 TB crappy WD NAS and it's completely saturated. So redundancy on the storage would probably not be a good thing, but I'm wondering if a RAID array optimized for speed (data split on multiple disks) would not be too risky. Does that necessarily means that if one of the drives fail all of the data is lost on the 6 drives ?

-Then, I guess I have to choose some kind of MoBo. Basically I'd like a cheap MoBo with a grillion SATA ports. Obviously 6 would be a minimum but I'm thinking, why not open the crappy WD NAS and get its drives too ? Plus I already have 2 extra 1TB drives lying around and I can probably grab a few more. Let's say maybe I could get to 10 or 12 1TB drives. Is that ludicrous ? I mean if I was buying anything I'd obviously buy some 2 TB or even 3 TB drives but I have all these lying around unused, so it would be nice if there was some relatively cheap way to take advantage of all of them. The end result is going to be big and ugly so I really do not care about the mobo format.

-Third, is the "features" I'd like to have. I want to use this mainly as a NAS, but I was thinking why not also use it as a media player ? Is it reasonable to hope that I could build a system which both allows me to run a dozen sata drives and also has some kind of hdmi output that I can plug on my TV ? From there, and given that I'd like to keep it as cheap as possible, can I expect to be able to : read 1080p or even 4k content from the drives, browse the internet from my couch, use steam streaming to play silly games on my TV ? Or would it be more reasonnable to build a dedicated machine for this kind of use, and just have the NAS as a 100% storage oriented build ?

 

Last but not least, should I buy used parts if I really want to save money or is it not a good idea for that kind of build ? Does it make any sense to buy an old xeon for a fraction of its former retail price, or are they so cheap for a reason ?

 

Thanks for any advice you can give, as you've probably guessed by now I'm completely lost.

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use open media vault to make a raid 5 array

with raid 5 you will get faster speeds (utilizes all drives) and has 1 drive redundancy. so you will only lose 1tb of storage for redundancy. and when you lose 1 drive you just change it and rebuilt the array

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Just now, Dr. FunFrock said:

Nice thanks :)

I'm seeing prices for RAID cards right now and I'm thinking why does a glorified PCIE to SATA adapter has to cost so much ?

 

Does anyone knows of any cheap-ish option for a bunch of RAID cards ?

the solution am giving use is software raid so no need of raid cards

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24 minutes ago, Dr. FunFrock said:

Last but not least, should I buy used parts if I really want to save money or is it not a good idea for that kind of build ? Does it make any sense to buy an old xeon for a fraction of its former retail price, or are they so cheap for a reason ?

3

they are cheap because the companies that have them want to get rid of them and get new ones with better efficiency so they pay for less electricity

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1 minute ago, Dr. FunFrock said:

Oh okay, so then my best option would be to pick some 'regular' PCIE to SATA cards right ?

yea of just get a old zeon cpu with a mobo that has a shit ton of sata ports

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7 minutes ago, Dr. FunFrock said:

Well apart from supermicro, do you have any examples ?

 

Buying anything from supermicro would be ludicrously expansive right ? 

I will find you a CPU + mobo tomorrow I have a test tomorrow.

What's your budget?

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You might find dedicated NAS hardware to be cheaper, easier to setup, and more reliable

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Netgear-ReadyNAS-NV-RND4410-v3-NAS-Good-Condition-WORKING-NO-HDDs-/232515617937?hash=item362302c491:g:~Y8AAOSwTPFZzlLB232515617937?hash=item362302c491:g:~Y8AA

 

Something like that. I have 4 of them, work great, silent and low power usage. (I hooked my killawatt up to one, at full burn it was using 30 watts of power)


So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Ethocreeper said:

What's your budget?

Well I don't really know. If i can get a decently working system for approx. 500 euros or less, I'd be considering it right now. Anything more expansive and I'll have to save up money for a little while. I don't need RGB fans or anythging labelled "Xtreme gamers' Overkill edition", I don't need it to be hosting dedicated game servers, and of course who needs a case when you have some cardboard and plywood. 

I know that for gaming hardware you have be willing to invest a decent amount if you want the best "bang for your bucks" but from what I'm seeing in my first searches for this kind of project I guess the cheapest possible would be best.

 

I have no problem with using a CPU which is not very energetically efficient if that means I can get one with better specs for cheaper.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 minutes ago, Radium_Angel said:

You might find dedicated NAS hardware to be cheaper, easier to setup, and more reliable

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Netgear-ReadyNAS-NV-RND4410-v3-NAS-Good-Condition-WORKING-NO-HDDs-/232515617937?hash=item362302c491:g:~Y8AAOSwTPFZzlLB232515617937?hash=item362302c491:g:~Y8AA

 

Something like that. I have 4 of them, work great, silent and low power usage. (I hooked my killawatt up to one, at full burn it was using 30 watts of power)

Well that is not going to hold 12 drives and I'm not in the US so it definitely won't do the trick.

 

I'm not buying that kind of harware anyways, for a few reasons :

1 : no, it's not cheap at all. I don't need super fancy disk bays with hotswap features like Synologys have. Just a buch of drives piled on top of each other in some dark corner. 

2 : I don't mind setting it up. I love linux environments, and I love troubleshooting them. On the other hand, i HATE not being able to troubleshoot anything and being reduced to raging against the manufacturer in frustration.

3 : This is not meant to be a clean, shiny-looking build that I will give to my grandma when complete. It's a trash-recycling build, meant to be used by someone who just loves to be in a love and hate relationship with his machines (that is me). I want to be able to tinker with anything at any moment and I'll probably break it a thousand times trying to make it better, but hey, that's perhaps mostly why I want something like that, who actually NEEDS local storage when you have a 500Mbps internet connection...

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8 hours ago, Dr. FunFrock said:

-First, RAID ? Basically I'm hesitant on which type of RAID to choose, and I'm not even sure if I should do any RAID at all. I'd like to have as much storage space as possible, I already have a 3 TB crappy WD NAS and it's completely saturated. So redundancy on the storage would probably not be a good thing, but I'm wondering if a RAID array optimized for speed (data split on multiple disks) would not be too risky. Does that necessarily means that if one of the drives fail all of the data is lost on the 6 drives ?

Depends how much you value the data. If its media, when I had some individual drives, I used to create a folder list export every month so in the event of a drive failure, I could just refer tot he list on what I had lost so I could decide on what to redownload. Easily done by creating a batch or powershell script and scheduling it with Task Scheduler. 

 

If you're looking to move up to 12 drives, youre going to want RAID6 (a 2 disk parity). If you're looking to use it as a Media Player as well, i'd recommend just using Windows with Storage Spaces to create the volume. I wouldn't recommend RAID5 with a high number of second hand drives. 

8 hours ago, Dr. FunFrock said:

-Then, I guess I have to choose some kind of MoBo. Basically I'd like a cheap MoBo with a grillion SATA ports. Obviously 6 would be a minimum but I'm thinking, why not open the crappy WD NAS and get its drives too ? Plus I already have 2 extra 1TB drives lying around and I can probably grab a few more. Let's say maybe I could get to 10 or 12 1TB drives. Is that ludicrous ? I mean if I was buying anything I'd obviously buy some 2 TB or even 3 TB drives but I have all these lying around unused, so it would be nice if there was some relatively cheap way to take advantage of all of them. The end result is going to be big and ugly so I really do not care about the mobo format.

High port count boards are often expensive. You're generally best just to get a HBA later (wether thats a cheap SATA card, or a half decent SAS HBA)

For expansion you could be better to buy larger capacity disks and upgrade one at a time. It's much easier to manage 6 disks than 12. 

8 hours ago, Dr. FunFrock said:

-Third, is the "features" I'd like to have. I want to use this mainly as a NAS, but I was thinking why not also use it as a media player ? Is it reasonable to hope that I could build a system which both allows me to run a dozen sata drives and also has some kind of hdmi output that I can plug on my TV ? From there, and given that I'd like to keep it as cheap as possible, can I expect to be able to : read 1080p or even 4k content from the drives, browse the internet from my couch, use steam streaming to play silly games on my TV ? Or would it be more reasonnable to build a dedicated machine for this kind of use, and just have the NAS as a 100% storage oriented build ?

I used to have mine in a Silverstone Lascala LC17B which can hold up to 8 drives. Great looking case if you want something that fits in your entertainment center with some asthetics. There are half a dozen other similar Silverstone HTPC cases. If you want 4K playback you'll need a Kaby Lake processor or at least a GTX960/GTX1030 would be preferable. It's quite common to make a HTPC/NAS hybrid build. 

 

8 hours ago, Dr. FunFrock said:

Last but not least, should I buy used parts if I really want to save money or is it not a good idea for that kind of build ? Does it make any sense to buy an old xeon for a fraction of its former retail price, or are they so cheap for a reason ?

 

Thanks for any advice you can give, as you've probably guessed by now I'm completely lost.

 

You could build it second hand, but might find it hard to find parts for 4K playback. If you have the budget something like this would play 4K and last years

 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($117.00 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: ASRock - Z370 Pro4 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard  ($111.98 @ Newegg) 
Memory: Crucial - Ballistix Sport LT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory  ($74.99 @ Amazon) 
Storage: SK hynix - SL308 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($52.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Case: Silverstone - GD08B (Black) HTPC Case  ($144.99 @ Amazon) 
Power Supply: Corsair - CXM 550W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($38.99 @ Newegg) 
Total: $540.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-10-12 19:07 EDT-0400


Spoiler

Intel i7 3770K @ 4.6ghz | EVGA Z77 FTW | 2 x EVGA GTX1070 FTW | 32GB (4x8GB) Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600 | Corsair H105 AIO, NZXT Sentry 3, Corsair SP120's | 2 x 256GB Samsung 850EVO, 4TB WD Black | Corsair 600T (White) | OCZ ZX 1250w | Samsung 28" 4K Display | Ducky Shine 3 Keyboard, Corsair M50 Mouse, MicroLab Solo 7C Speakers, Razer Goliathus Extended, X360 Controller | Windows 10 Pro | SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headphones

 

Spoiler

Corsair 400R, IcyDock MB998SP & MB455SPF, Seasonic X-Series 650w PSU, 2 x Xeon E5540's, 24GB DDR3-ECC, Asus Z8NA-D6C Motherboard, AOC-SAS2LP-MV8, LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i, RES2SV240 SAS Expander, Samsung 840Evo 120GB, 2 x 8TB Seagate Archives, 12 x 3TB WD Red

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks @Jarsky for all this wisdom. I'm probably going for an hybrid, perhaps I'll use some virtualization to set up a proper linux for the NAS part and have windows on the TV side if I wanna stream games, or a more user friendly linux if I keep it to just movies and web browsing. If I am going to spend some money on a GPU, I might just take the GTX960 from my main rig that I've been planning to upgrade for quite some time (I bought my main PC at a time everyone could tell Maxwell cards were going to be replaced soon, so I didn't spend much on the GPU). And I'm not buying a brand new i7 just because intel and netflix tells me that's what I need for 4K (yes, I am one of those guys who pay for Netflix but still sometimes download their content from illegal sites just to get them in 4k, and I find that pathetic).

 

Given what I'm finding on the french's equivalent for craigslist, I'm probably definitely going for a second hand Xeon too, my gosh these guys are cheap, and they're not even always very old : I found an 8-core e5-2650, in a bundle with a MoBo and 32gigs of ECC memory for 350 euros, and there are tons of guys just throwing away their old servers for less than the price of the PSU inside... I'm thinking Linus should do a Scrapyard wars server build ;)

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