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Need advice miniPC + DAS

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IamMesmerized

New Around Here
Hey!

Hope DAS topics are ok in NAS discussion.
Need a starting point and general beginning advice I can later explore more deeply on my own. General tips but if you have time and like to help people - more specific guidelines are very welcome.

Backstory:
I am a photographer. At end of every month I have 100-200 GB files to store on a HDD. After I finish working with photos I need to archive them on a HDD for cold storage. I don't need frequent access to archived file - at the end of every week I need to dump all the work from nvme to HDD AND just a couple of times per month I need to get some specific photos back on my nvme to work with them. At this point I don't need more layers of safety since the photos are delivered already to the client and additional copy is available in an online gallery.

I have my main workstation PC with 2 internal HDD, 1xM.2, 2xSSD. The HDD are getting full so I am designing myself a new workflow with files for soon coming future. I have also a mini PC Gigabyte GB-BACE 3160 which I wanted to utilize in this workflow as it is just gathering dust. I'm on a budget so targeting cheapest solutions and DYI.

What I was thinking off and let me know if this is doable:
Mini PC + 2 bay DAS (some ppl call that a homebrew NAS) - acting as a server to access files when I need them + maybe Home Assistant if possible since I have some smart junk via android apps (if needed it can be 24/7) + occasionally launch xbox app for cloud gaming on TV.

My main needs:
1. Storage - 2 HDDs in RAID1 with easy access. I need this access occasionally so a NAS is no-go for me cause I just don't need this kind of solution - I don't need those HDD's in standby all the time or spinning.
Can I send files from my main PC to a DAS via mini-PC without any problem?

In my head I have a design - 2 HDD in RAID1 in DAS with access from my main PC through mini-PC. After 1 year I dump all the files to a new HDD, put in on a shelf and erase everything from DAS for the next year. If I need access to files from earlier years - I have a docking station connected to my PC so I just take the HDD of the shelf and plug in.

If this is possible -
1. What OS should I choose to run on miniPC
2. What basic software do I need to act for it as a server with file browsing?
3. What kind of DAS I am looking for for this kind of configuration?

I know that there are dozens of different solution but I am looking not for the best one (cause that might took weeks) but any for quick, first implement that will work and is begginer friendly.

So something like - "Hey, choose windows server, you can install pulseway to have access but it's better to set network share since you will be mainly accessing it via your local network etc."
or
"Since it's not the best hardware go with Ubuntu. install docker, portainer, filebrowser etc."

If this is not possible please advise any closest solution. Thank you!
 
I'm using something similar with 2x 8TB EasyStore external USB drives and software synchronization. Doesn't need to be RAID1. I want some time between latest changes and previous state. My mini PC is HP EliteDesk running Windows. It does NAS duties, PCs backup every hour with 30-day history, the two drives sync once a day after active work hours. NTFS drives, readable on any PC. Very simple and effective for home use. My drives spin 24/7 because of what I want them to do. Backup software - light and configurable:

 
There's a lot of different ways to do what you want.

Since you have the mini already it doesn't make sense to go in some of the ways that are possible.

I would pair the mini with one of these - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY73BNQ/?tag=snbforums-20

It doesn't really matter which OS as the DAS uses its own FS which is linux based and provides better fie integrity than NTFS.

If you were starting from scratch though I would go for a PC that holds the drives internally for the best performance and pair it with Ubuntu for ease of use. I built my own setup several years ago now and have revamped things as my wants / needs change to boost performance. My recent swap was to AMD and NVME 16TB U.3 for storage. The U.3 2.5" format offers less heat from the drive and double the capacity of a M2 for only a couple of hundred more. Switching also means I don't have to deal with Raid any longer as I did with 4 drives to get capacity and speed. Going from 400MB/s to 6.5GB/s just means things get done faster when moving data. Also, shorter transfer times means less heat to deal with for stability.

The next thing to think about is how your data will get to the drives aka network speed. Or use an enclosure for the NVME and plug it into the mini and sync the data from there or plug it into the DAS The other thing I've been playing around with more recently is TB P2P networking and so far have gotten 20gbps between my server/laptop using a TB cable between them. I doubt the mini has a TB port but, considering your workstation could add a card for $60 it might open the door for this option. Then it would change everything again to another option depending on how deep you want to go into the rabbit hole of storage and networking.
 
If this is possible -
1. What OS should I choose to run on miniPC
2. What basic software do I need to act for it as a server with file browsing?
3. What kind of DAS I am looking for for this kind of configuration?

Sounds totally possible - take a look at OpenMediaVault - it might meet most of your needs straight out of the box, and it's light enough on the setup and maint that one doesn't need to be a full-time system admin to keep it running...

 
I'm using something similar with 2x 8TB EasyStore external USB drives and software synchronization. Doesn't need to be RAID1. I want some time between latest changes and previous state. My mini PC is HP EliteDesk running Windows. It does NAS duties, PCs backup every hour with 30-day history, the two drives sync once a day after active work hours. NTFS drives, readable on any PC. Very simple and effective for home use. My drives spin 24/7 because of what I want them to do. Backup software - light and configurable:

Hey! Thanks for the reply!

Can you tell me what main software/apps you use everyday to keep everything running?
Can you browse files on the elitedesk from other pc's/phone? Can you use it as personal cloud storage?
 
There's a lot of different ways to do what you want.

Since you have the mini already it doesn't make sense to go in some of the ways that are possible.

I would pair the mini with one of these - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY73BNQ/?tag=snbforums-20

It doesn't really matter which OS as the DAS uses its own FS which is linux based and provides better fie integrity than NTFS.

If you were starting from scratch though I would go for a PC that holds the drives internally for the best performance and pair it with Ubuntu for ease of use. I built my own setup several years ago now and have revamped things as my wants / needs change to boost performance. My recent swap was to AMD and NVME 16TB U.3 for storage. The U.3 2.5" format offers less heat from the drive and double the capacity of a M2 for only a couple of hundred more. Switching also means I don't have to deal with Raid any longer as I did with 4 drives to get capacity and speed. Going from 400MB/s to 6.5GB/s just means things get done faster when moving data. Also, shorter transfer times means less heat to deal with for stability.

The next thing to think about is how your data will get to the drives aka network speed. Or use an enclosure for the NVME and plug it into the mini and sync the data from there or plug it into the DAS The other thing I've been playing around with more recently is TB P2P networking and so far have gotten 20gbps between my server/laptop using a TB cable between them. I doubt the mini has a TB port but, considering your workstation could add a card for $60 it might open the door for this option. Then it would change everything again to another option depending on how deep you want to go into the rabbit hole of storage and networking.
Thanks for the insight. I'll use it in my next project!
 
Sounds totally possible - take a look at OpenMediaVault - it might meet most of your needs straight out of the box, and it's light enough on the setup and maint that one doesn't need to be a full-time system admin to keep it running...

Thanks for the info. I needed to choose Windows as main OS due to some crucial apps not running on linux.
Is there something similiar for win?
 

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