Parts for a NAS build

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.

ingeborgdot

Regular Contributor
Okay, this is what I'm looking at using for my NAS. Can anyone tell me what I'm missing? I will be using Freenas for the OS.
Antec Performance Series P101 Silent Black/0.8 mm SPCC ATX Mid Tower Case with 8 x 3.5" HDD / 2.5" SSD Removable Bays
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1050 Ti DirectX 12 GV-N105TOC-4GD 4GB 128-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 ATX Video Cards
Seasonic FOCUS PX-550, 550W 80+ Platinum Full-Modular, Fan Control in Fanless, Silent, and Cooling Mode,
GIGABYTE C246-WU4 LGA 1151 (300 Series) Intel C246 SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core i3-9100 Coffee Lake 4-Core 3.6 GHz(4.2 GHz Turbo) LGA 1151 (300 Series) 65W BX80684I39100 Desktop Processor
Timetec Hynix IC 32GB KIT (2x16GB) DDR4 2400MHz PC4-19200 Unbuffered ECC 1.2V CL17 2Rx8 Dual Rank 288 Pin UDIMM Server
I will be using either 4 6GB HDD or 5 4GB HDD, not sure, plus a small SSD drive for the OS and running raid 5. Is this going to be powerful enough to run a NAS that will be used for a ton of important storage, plus eventually for Plex and whatever else that is new and interesting that may come into the world of a NAS.
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
You wont need that powerful of a graphics card. Get a bottom end minimum card if the cpu and chipset dont support the integrated intel graphics. This isnt a machine for gaming.

you can likely get away with 16 GB of ECC ram or less. Probably less.

run raid 10 if you can.

you likely will want a journalling file system.

if you plan to transcode on the fly, consider a stronger cpu unless the gpu is doing that work.

dont forget you must have a UPS that will switch to battery in the event of a power blip fast enough to not corrupt writes.
You will have to talk with APC, etc and tell them it is for a server application without onboard battery backup.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Once you get your APC squared away for battery backup you can turn on write caching which will increase your speed a lot. Do not turn on write cache without a good battery backup. If running this at home then it is not worth the risk as you will not load down this NAS enough to matter.

If you are running this at home I would consider just running a mirror with big drives. I bet it would be fine for home use and it would be cheaper. The drives are plenty fast for home use now days. I would not do this for a business.

Remember know matter what you do you need backups.
 

ingeborgdot

Regular Contributor
You wont need that powerful of a graphics card. Get a bottom end minimum card if the cpu and chipset dont support the integrated intel graphics. This isnt a machine for gaming.

you can likely get away with 16 GB of ECC ram or less. Probably less.

run raid 10 if you can.

you likely will want a journalling file system.

if you plan to transcode on the fly, consider a stronger cpu unless the gpu is doing that work.

dont forget you must have a UPS that will switch to battery in the event of a power blip fast enough to not corrupt writes.
You will have to talk with APC, etc and tell them it is for a server application without onboard battery backup.
So, if my CPU supports graphics, I would not even need a video card?
 

ingeborgdot

Regular Contributor
Once you get your APC squared away for battery backup you can turn on write caching which will increase your speed a lot. Do not turn on write cache without a good battery backup. If running this at home then it is not worth the risk as you will not load down this NAS enough to matter.

If you are running this at home I would consider just running a mirror with big drives. I bet it would be fine for home use and it would be cheaper. The drives are plenty fast for home use now days. I would not do this for a business.

Remember know matter what you do you need backups.[/QUOTE
This is a backup machine. This machine will also be backed up. Pictures, music, videos, and documents are something you can never get back. They are more important to my wife than money. Having more than 2 places for your info is important to us. So, yes, we do backups.
Why not Raid 5? It is still safer than Raid 1. No, it is not fool and fault proof but still safer. I don't want to spend anymore and a raid 10 would be overkill I think.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
RAID5 will give you the fastest reads. It also wastes the least amount of space for a redundant RAID, striping does not waste space in RAID. 2 big pluses. It is more complex and not really needed for home with how fast and large drives are now days. I think it is still worth it for a business NAS.

PS
Just to be clear if you are running your NAS at a business you will be connecting it with a 10 gig NIC or maybe 10 gig LAG for 20 gig. And a mirror would be too slow for 10 gig or above.
 
Last edited:

degrub

Very Senior Member
If the same motherboard supports either CPU, then i would start with the less expensive and see what it can do. You can also look at Synology's offerings and see which one (and thus CPU ) they recommend. PLEX may also have recommendations. AVS Forums is another good resource.
 

ingeborgdot

Regular Contributor
Then after going through all of the searching and trying to make sure I don't mess up and get wrong parts etc., I'm wondering if building is actually a better option. I could get a Synology or QNAP NAS, prebuilt for about the same money. Not as many headaches as trying to put my own parts together. I don't find much info on what parts you need for a quality NAS.
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
Yep, you are not alone with that conclusion. It depends on if you want to be sysadmin for a server and learn about hardware.
 

ingeborgdot

Regular Contributor
It's not like building a computer is hard. I've built hundreds over the years. Mostly for other people and organizations and such. I have no problem with it.
To me, there just seems to be so many variables that people are suggesting to make a NAS run right.
Many mention you need ECC memory but I look at most prebuilt NAS and they don't have ECC that I could find. If I didn't have to use ECC memory, I could get a build that I would be happy with and it would be a lot less than what I was looking at spending.
I think it would be fun, but I don't know how hard learning the software would be in Freenas and having to get it setup. I have setup multiple NAS over the last 10 years and none of those have been difficult. Many say that a DIY setup is a little trickier and learning the ropes of Freenas may be more of a challenge. I don't know for sure as no one around me has a DIY NAS. I have researched online but have not found many videos that are really helpful in steering me toward a DIY setup. Maybe I missed the videos, but none impressed me.
Thanks for your help. I'll continue to try to figure out what I"m going to do for sure pretty soon.
 

abailey

Very Senior Member
I run Freenas at my home. In fact I use it to host my VMWare datastore (as well as share files). Freenas is great but it is not nearly as easy as people think to set up correctly. Sure it is easy to get working but if you don't know what your doing and don't put in the time to learn Freenas then you are putting your data at risk. One example is the ECC memory. ECC memory is a very good idea with Freenas because of the underlying ZFS file system. Many NAS's don't use ZFS and many don't need ECC memory because they have tools that can be run to correct problems (like checkdisk for Windows). If your willing to put the time in to learn about Freenas then it is great. If not, then I would suggest using another NAS software or get a prebuilt NAS like QNAP or Synology.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
ECC memory is a higher standard of hardware than not.

The DIY NAS is all about RAID and RAID is all about what RAID controller card you buy. I would not try to use the motherboard bios for RAID. You need to buy a RAID controller card. A hot swap chassis is probably not needed for home. If you don't want to buy a RAID card then just buy a prebuilt NAS.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I was just looking around for RAID cards and it looks like you can get a LSI 12GB/s RAID card for less than $200. LSI is a good card way back when I used Dell RAID cards they were LSI rebranded.

My guess is you would want to use a 10 gig NIC card.

If you want better than this then you probably need to go to high speed SSDs. I have not done a lot of recent research, anybody know what is up from 12GB/s?
 
Last edited:

MichaelCG

Very Senior Member
So, if my CPU supports graphics, I would not even need a video card?
The only reason to have an add-on video card is going to be related to Plex...however most modern Intel CPUs will support Quick Sync which Plex should be able to use for HW acceleration of encode/decode. I don't recall how complicated it is to get NVidia HW support in Plex....I just went Intel and called it good.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
The Intel RAID cards look like they have the most complete update drivers now days. But the Intel RAID cards will set you back $500.
 

ddaenen1

Senior Member
The Intel RAID cards look like they have the most complete update drivers now days. But the Intel RAID cards will set you back $500.

I run 2 FreeNAS servers. and have them hooked up to 15 2GB SAS drives split into 2 pools in RAIDZ2. You don't need a hardware RAID card for FreeNAS. in fact, it is not recommended. ZFS works best using a HBA or onboard SATA controllers without RAID and have full control on the filesystem. Also, FreeNAS does need at least 16GB ECC to run smooth, more is better. Last but not least, getting the FreeNAS Plex plugin (which works great - i have it on of my servers) to use hardware acceleration is not a walk in the park. Also, i am unsure the Geforce is going to do anything for you there.

FreeNAS is indeed great, but takes some time to learn to get the most out of it. I run it on rather old HW, 2 Supermicro servers with Xeon CPU's and 32GB ECC RDIMMs but it runs really well.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I run 2 FreeNAS servers. and have them hooked up to 15 2GB SAS drives split into 2 pools in RAIDZ2. You don't need a hardware RAID card for FreeNAS. in fact, it is not recommended. ZFS works best using a HBA or onboard SATA controllers without RAID and have full control on the filesystem. Also, FreeNAS does need at least 16GB ECC to run smooth, more is better. Last but not least, getting the FreeNAS Plex plugin (which works great - i have it on of my servers) to use hardware acceleration is not a walk in the park. Also, i am unsure the Geforce is going to do anything for you there.

FreeNAS is indeed great, but takes some time to learn to get the most out of it. I run it on rather old HW, 2 Supermicro servers with Xeon CPU's and 32GB ECC RDIMMs but it runs really well.

So what setting do you set in the bios for hardrives when you use FreeNAS, RAID,AHCI, etc? I have never used FreeNAS.

I always used hardware RAID in the old days almost all Microsoft Server. A RAID card was faster because it ran out of hardware with a processor on board the RAID card. It did not pull your CPU down for server duties. Plus you built containers which were virtual drives so you had more flexibility on configuring and being able to expand RAIDs.
 

ddaenen1

Senior Member
So what setting do you set in the bios for hardrives when you use FreeNAS, RAID,AHCI, etc? I have never used FreeNAS.

I always used hardware RAID in the old days almost all Microsoft Server. A RAID card was faster because it ran out of hardware with a processor on board the RAID card. It did not pull your CPU down for server duties. Plus you built containers which were virtual drives so you had more flexibility on configuring and being able to expand RAIDs.

In the BIOS, you just keep them as single disks so leave them on SATA, no RAID/AHCI setting. ZFS takes care of the RAID once you set up the zpool. The advantage is that ZFS monitors I/O and even attempts to repair if it finds an issue and if it can't notifies you. I am not a subject matter expert but in the FreeNAS hardware requirements and forums, it is all HBA, no hardware RAID. That does not mean that you cannot use HW RAID but it takes away many of the advantages of ZFS.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
D NAS and disk recommendations DIY 2

Similar threads

Latest threads

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top