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Tips for a complete new beginner setting up a NAS.

Hello folks!

 

I am looking into creating my own NAS, for backups of photos, videos and other files.

Furthermore, I would like to be able to copy games from the NAS to other computers on the network, as then my friends coming over for LAN-parties won't have to download a gigantic patch (or a whole game for that matter) when we are about to play.

 

P.S. 

This is meant as a Mini-ITX build, just to mention that.

 

Do you folks have any suggestions for what OS to use and anything else related to getting a basic and simple NAS up and running?

 

My planned specs for the NAS. (Do feel free to come with suggestions to potentially improve it):

 

CPU: Ryzen 2200G

MB: MSI B450I GAMING PLUS AC, Socket-AM4

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200MHz 16GB

HDD: 2x WD Red 3TB 3.5" NAS HDD

SSD: 1X Samsung 860 EVO 250GB

Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX

PSU: Open for suggestions, as I am not sure what would be the best for a NAS.

 

Thank you very much for reading the post. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

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If I were to setup a computer as a NAS I would get a really big case that can fit tons of hdd's. Hdd space tends to be really fast to fill up :)

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I would cheap out on the processor and get something like an athlon 200GE. Or yo could even go for some sort of a mini-itx board with a soldered CPU. Make sure to get a good power supply though (tier 1 or 2) as a nas will be running 24/7.

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For OS I would run any linux distro and use Samba for sharing. It is free and pretty simple to set up but it has features like running as an AD primary server if needed.

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Are you wanting to simply file transfer or will the machine be doing other tasks (such as transcoding videos for streaming)?

 

The build is more than adequate for a file server, heck I'd go as far as to say it's a little overkill for a file server but that's not a bad thing. You certainly don't need 16GB of RAM though.

 

If you want to transcode I'd strongly suggest getting a dedicated GPU with onboard HEVC/X265 decoding. My fileserver cannot stream anything X265/HEVC at all (infact it cannot even play them locally) because the iGPU doesn't support decoding.

 

Finally OS and I'm probably going to get some stick for this but I use Windows Server. I much prefer the flexibility of running other software on my server (that's already running 24/7) than using something like FreeNAS and relying on plugins. Windows is more than capable of hosting Samba shares, I use FileZilla Server for FTP and RDC for remote access. Imo it's easier to setup and maintain on Windows and the only thing I miss out on is ZFS.

Main Rig:-

Ryzen 7 3800X | Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming | 16GB Team Group Dark Pro 3600Mhz | Corsair MP600 1TB PCIe Gen 4 | Sapphire 5700 XT Pulse | Corsair H115i Platinum | WD Black 1TB | WD Green 4TB | EVGA SuperNOVA G3 650W | Asus TUF GT501 | Samsung C27HG70 1440p 144hz HDR FreeSync 2 | Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS |

 

Server:-

Intel NUC running Server 2019 + Synology DSM218+ with 2 x 4TB Toshiba NAS Ready HDDs (RAID0)

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49 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

Are you wanting to simply file transfer or will the machine be doing other tasks (such as transcoding videos for streaming)?

 

The build is more than adequate for a file server, heck I'd go as far as to say it's a little overkill for a file server but that's not a bad thing. You certainly don't need 16GB of RAM though.

 

If you want to transcode I'd strongly suggest getting a dedicated GPU with onboard HEVC/X265 decoding. My fileserver cannot stream anything X265/HEVC at all (infact it cannot even play them locally) because the iGPU doesn't support decoding.

 

Finally OS and I'm probably going to get some stick for this but I use Windows Server. I much prefer the flexibility of running other software on my server (that's already running 24/7) than using something like FreeNAS and relying on plugins. Windows is more than capable of hosting Samba shares, I use FileZilla Server for FTP and RDC for remote access. Imo it's easier to setup and maintain on Windows and the only thing I miss out on is ZFS.

I'm not gonna call you out for using Windows Server, but why filezilla? Doesen't Windows have built in FTP? :P

 

1 hour ago, TheNorwegianLynx said:

Hello folks!

 

I am looking into creating my own NAS, for backups of photos, videos and other files.

Furthermore, I would like to be able to copy games from the NAS to other computers on the network, as then my friends coming over for LAN-parties won't have to download a gigantic patch (or a whole game for that matter) when we are about to play.

 

P.S. 

This is meant as a Mini-ITX build, just to mention that.

 

Do you folks have any suggestions for what OS to use and anything else related to getting a basic and simple NAS up and running?

 

My planned specs for the NAS. (Do feel free to come with suggestions to potentially improve it):

 

CPU: Ryzen 2200G

MB: MSI B450I GAMING PLUS AC, Socket-AM4

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200MHz 16GB

HDD: 2x WD Red 3TB 3.5" NAS HDD

SSD: 1X Samsung 860 EVO 250GB

Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini-ITX

PSU: Open for suggestions, as I am not sure what would be the best for a NAS.

 

Thank you very much for reading the post. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

Nothing is really wrong with your parts. What OS you choose is completely up to you and probably based on the knowledge you have. FreeNAS, Windows Server, Linux. Really doesen't matter other than what you want. However, once you start using arrays you might have problems expanding in the future depending on what system you choose.

 

If this is your first time, i'd look into FreeNAS or spend a few bucks on the lowest tier of Unraid, which will make adding drives alot easier for you.

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1 hour ago, LinusOnLine said:

If I were to setup a computer as a NAS I would get a really big case that can fit tons of hdd's. Hdd space tends to be really fast to fill up :)

Thanks for the tip mate! :)

 

But for me, I'd like to keep it as small as possible, while still having possibilities to expand later down the line! :) 

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1 hour ago, Konrad_K said:

I would cheap out on the processor and get something like an athlon 200GE. Or yo could even go for some sort of a mini-itx board with a soldered CPU. Make sure to get a good power supply though (tier 1 or 2) as a nas will be running 24/7.

I see, so even the cheapest CPU would do just fine?

 

What PSU would you recommend in that regard for 24/7 operation?

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1 hour ago, LinusOnLine said:

For OS I would run any linux distro and use Samba for sharing. It is free and pretty simple to set up but it has features like running as an AD primary server if needed.

Samba is pretty new to me, is it a form of utility I could use for sharing files?

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Just now, TheNorwegianLynx said:

I see, so even the cheapest CPU would do just fine?

 

What PSU would you recommend in that regard for 24/7 operation?

I am not a PSU specialist, but I would recommend that you get a power supply from Tier 1 or Tier 2

 

You can find the tier list on this forum: 

 

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1 hour ago, Master Disaster said:

Are you wanting to simply file transfer or will the machine be doing other tasks (such as transcoding videos for streaming)?

 

The build is more than adequate for a file server, heck I'd go as far as to say it's a little overkill for a file server but that's not a bad thing. You certainly don't need 16GB of RAM though.

 

If you want to transcode I'd strongly suggest getting a dedicated GPU with onboard HEVC/X265 decoding. My fileserver cannot stream anything X265/HEVC at all (infact it cannot even play them locally) because the iGPU doesn't support decoding.

 

Finally OS and I'm probably going to get some stick for this but I use Windows Server. I much prefer the flexibility of running other software on my server (that's already running 24/7) than using something like FreeNAS and relying on plugins. Windows is more than capable of hosting Samba shares, I use FileZilla Server for FTP and RDC for remote access. Imo it's easier to setup and maintain on Windows and the only thing I miss out on is ZFS.

Yes, it will predominantly be used for file transfers, backups and some other tasks I could put on it. I doubt I'd transcode anything though, as I mostly just stream whatever I watch, (although maybe I'll look into it in the future).

 

Okay, I don't mind being on the overkill side of things, as then it will last for a good while. 

 

So if I add two more drives in the future (going to have two HDD's for now in raid 1 for redundancy), 8GB would still be plenty?

 

Thank you for the information, I'll definitely keep that in mind and perhaps add a GPU for transcoding in the future if I decide to stream movies and such content. 

 

I think Windows Server will be a good one for me, as I presume it will be pretty similar in many ways to regular Windows? It would definitely be a nice advantage in that regard. Would you mind explaining what Samba shares, FileZilla, FTP and RDC means? I am sorry but I am completely new to the server and NAS world. :) 

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9 minutes ago, Konrad_K said:

I am not a PSU specialist, but I would recommend that you get a power supply from Tier 1 or Tier 2

 

You can find the tier list on this forum: 

 

Alright, that's fantastic! Thank you very much for your help! That will be very useful indeed!

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29 minutes ago, TheNorwegianLynx said:

Samba is pretty new to me, is it a form of utility I could use for sharing files?

Samba is basically a way to simulate a windows server sharing abilities in this case. You can use it to simulate a normal windows share, or a older domain controller share or the new Active directory based share. Setting up a normal share is easy, setting up an ad share is a bit more work :)

A quick guide to an easy workgroup share with samba. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-set-up-quick-and-easy-file-sharing-with-samba/

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27 minutes ago, TheNorwegianLynx said:

I think Windows Server will be a good one for me, as I presume it will be pretty similar in many ways to regular Windows? It would definitely be a nice advantage in that regard. Would you mind explaining what Samba shares, FileZilla, FTP and RDC means? I am sorry but I am completely new to the server and NAS world. :) 

If you are going the windows server track I would recommend not using the newer server versions since they get more and more complex. Windows 2000 server or even NT server if they work on the Ryzen CPU will do whatever you need and are not as hardware demanding either. Just install them as stand alone servers and not domain controllers and it is easy enough to handle. Samba is a popular windows simulator for shares on Linux. FTP is mainly used in windows environment for transferring files over the internet. RDC is for remote control of your server either on your LAN or over the Internet.

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5 hours ago, LinusOnLine said:

If you are going the windows server track I would recommend not using the newer server versions since they get more and more complex. Windows 2000 server or even NT server if they work on the Ryzen CPU will do whatever you need and are not as hardware demanding either. Just install them as stand alone servers and not domain controllers and it is easy enough to handle. Samba is a popular windows simulator for shares on Linux. FTP is mainly used in windows environment for transferring files over the internet. RDC is for remote control of your server either on your LAN or over the Internet.

Hm, okay I’ll look into that! Although considering Windows 2000 and NT are quite old, won’t they be quite a security hazard in that regard, or does it matter at all?

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And thank you very much for the explanations on the different terms, it did help quite a lot in terms of my understanding of how it all works. ?

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