Building High Performance NAS / HTPC

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valentin

Regular Contributor
If you have not finished it yet, and you will use Ubuntu - my advice is to use v.8.04 instead of the latest one v.8.10

I converted the PC in the living room from Windows XP to Ubuntu Desktop, and I am very happy with it. I will use it for movies, NAS and torrents from now on. It is not t all as compact as the pre-built NASes, but it can do everything, and much faster.

Why Ubuntu 8.04?
At first I installed Mythbuntu 8.10 - no sound, then tried Ubuntu 8.10 - again no sound and also could not set up the resolutions that the TV supports (1920x1080i and 1280x720p).
Then I found a lot of reports for broken sound in v.8.10 due using new sound architecture, PulseAudio. Then I installed Ubuntu 8.04, and everything works.

The current hardware is: GA-MA78GM-S2H + AMD X2 4800+, 4GB RAM, 320 + 750 GB disk drives, and Asus DVD writer. No discrete video card, using the HDMI output from the mainboard to the TV. It is also usable to browse the internet, however 32" TV is a bit small for that - I need to change the fonts to larger and use the firefox zoom feature to read the texts easy.

Both Windows XP (32 bit) and Ubuntu (32 bit) used 3GB of memory out of 4GB.
________
Porntube
 
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00Roush

Very Senior Member
Hi,

I want to build a high performance but also relative less power consuming NAS.
It should backup important files, videos, pictures, music, etc...

I'm thinking of these components:

CPU: AMD X2 4850e AM2
MB: Gigabyte MA78G-S2H or Asus M3A78-VM both are AMD 780G Chipsets
PSU: Enermax MOD82+ PRO 385W or S12II-330 both with 83% eff.
RAM: cheapest DDR2-800er 2GB

CASE: Silverstone SG03 or Antec Mini P180 (I have the standard ATX P180 here, so it would be his little brother :D )

OS: Windows Home Server, Unix, I have also access to Windows Server 2008 (MSDNAA) but that would be overkill?, ... maybe you can recommend me one?


Thanks in advance, and sry for my english :)

So any progress on the build?

00Roush
 

juhe

New Around Here
This is interesting discussion indeed. But can you tell me what is possible to get and what do I need for that, both regarding hardware and software, network and server.
 

00Roush

Very Senior Member
This is interesting discussion indeed. But can you tell me what is possible to get and what do I need for that, both regarding hardware and software, network and server.

I assume you want a summary of what hardware and software are needed for a certain level of performance. The discussion in this thread was about building a high performance NAS which to me means it is capable of 100+ MB/sec file transfers. So I will give recommendations of hardware and software needed to achieve that that goal with the SMB/SAMBA protocol as it is the most commonly used.

As for hardware, here is what I think is necessary to achieve 100+ MB/sec file transfers:

Either a mid range single core CPU (~2.5 Ghz) or a dual core CPU clocked at 1.8 Ghz or higher. I would go with a dual core if at all possible.

PCIe based network cards in both the server and client are a must. Onboard network cards are sometimes PCIe based but double check as not all are.

Hard drive or hard drives capable of reading/writing at 100+ MB/sec in both the server and client. Just remember that hard drives are the fastest at the beginning of the drive. At the end of the drive a hard drive might only be capable of 60 MB/sec. In this case to sustain 100+ MB/sec file transfers across the whole disk you would need at least two drives in a RAID 0 array.

1-2 GB of RAM. Any less and I think performance could suffer a bit. More could help but in general I don't think it would be utilized very much.

Gigabit network switch. To my knowledge any of the gigabit switches available are capable of supporting 100+ MB/sec file transfers between two computers.

Now onto what software is needed:

A file copy engine on the client capable of keeping multiple reads\writes in flight at once. This is necessary for high performance file transfers over a network. To my knowledge only Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a file copy engine built in that is capable of this. Basically you need Windows Vista or Windows 7 on the client to achieve high speed SMB/SAMBA file transfers.

Ubuntu or any version of Windows from XP up as the server OS. I can only recommend what I have tested so that is why the list is small for server OSes.


Does that help?

00Roush
 
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Jay_S

Regular Contributor
00Roush - you might consider adding the hardware aspects of your last post to your sticky re: NAS performance.
 

questionesse

New Around Here
do you have concrete recommendations for the hardware?
The suggestions from the thread starter on page 1 still up to date? it's almost a year old...

as written here
http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showthread.php?t=2299
I'm also considering building a home server out of my old pc, but there are some components like the motherboard I need to change anyways (still IDE), so I was wondering, what would be a good catch.
power efficiency is a bigger issue for me than high performance, i'm not that eager to reach the 100mb/sec
lemme know what to change, what to add, what to get rid of
 

00Roush

Very Senior Member
do you have concrete recommendations for the hardware?
The suggestions from the thread starter on page 1 still up to date? it's almost a year old...

as written here
http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showthread.php?t=2299
I'm also considering building a home server out of my old pc, but there are some components like the motherboard I need to change anyways (still IDE), so I was wondering, what would be a good catch.
power efficiency is a bigger issue for me than high performance, i'm not that eager to reach the 100mb/sec
lemme know what to change, what to add, what to get rid of

Well I don't want to get too far off the topic of the original thread so I will reply back in your thread.

00Roush
 

tropmonky

New Around Here
I just scanned though the 3 pages and I didn't see if you were wanting this to be a headless system, or a system that would do video playback?

headless sytem (basically a NAS): People are recommending Ubuntu, but that's a PITA to do IMO. Instead I recommend FreeNAS and use the XFS file system. Easy to setup, great access support, very inexpensive, ZFS file system support for robust reliability.

Non headless system: just bite the bullet and do windows 7 home premium so you have Media Center to play your video/audio/pics in.

But like I said, FreeNAS is the way to go for building your own NAS box. Just don't forget a 1-2GB USB stick to install the OS on.
 
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bnborg

Occasional Visitor
The OP has me rethinking about what to do with my old GA-MA78GM-S2H. I wonder how that project went. I just need a LP AM2+ or AM3 CPU.
 

00Roush

Very Senior Member
That old Gigabyte board would be perfect for a high performance NAS. A cheap AM2+ or AM3 dual core CPU, a gig or two of RAM, and some fast hard drives is all that is needed.

00Roush
 

iposminus

New Around Here
I'm building "starter" DIY NAS and I need some advices or directions. For now I'll have only three WD Green 2TB HDDs, probably more if need arises (and of course I'll have enough money :)).

I was thinking about buying this motherboard and this controller.
I'm going to have RAID5 for redundancy. On this network I'll have one Windows 7 system, one Windows XP and very likely HTPC (probably running Windows 7).

Which software should I use? I'm leaning toward FreeNAS, but I don't have experience with none of them. If you need any other details, just ask.

Please advise.

Thank you in advance.
 
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00Roush

Very Senior Member
I wouldn't consider that motherboard a starter!! :D

Were you looking to build a high performance NAS/HTPC? If not could you possibly start a new thread asking for advice? Just didn't want to get too far off the main topic of this thread.

00Roush
 

GregN

Senior Member
Which software should I use? I'm leaning toward FreeNAS, but I don't have experience with none of them. If you need any other details, just ask.

Please advise.

Great Deal on the motherboard!

There are, and continue to be compatibility issues with the 3Ware card and the Green WD drives.

If you are going to do iSCSI I recommend Openfiler
If you are going hardware RAID I recommend FreeNAS
Software Raid and organic growth, up to 18TB (raw) NexentaStor CE

Your hardware shouldn't be an issue for any of those. You should be able to get excellent performance ( I add at least another few gig of memory). and look around for a PCI-X riser board for expansion.

Careful with the case, the SM boards are EATX and if you use a riser board the case will have to accept lateral cards slots.
 

facefirst

New Around Here
Hello all, gotta say I really like this forum. I have gained a lot of information lurking through threads here. I feel like this sticky is getting on with age and could use an update.

On another forum, I saw a very decent 30TB+ build that someone put in a 4u chassis, the user's name is firewire2 (a few posts down from this link).
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/265641-32-40tb-server-performance-issue

This is what I would consider a high performance NAS by today's standards. 20 hdds should be plenty of space for any soho user.
 

GregN

Senior Member
You can do better for cheaper, take a look at Old Shuck.


The linked DIY NAS got 85MB/s in a large file copy, here is a large file copy on Old Shuck:



(Full Disclosure: LUN to LUN Copy )

Old Shuck at 20 drives could support about 60-70TB, Net.
 
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