Recommendations for a DIY

aNASforXmas

New Around Here
Greetings,
I want to build my own NAS server and would like to have some recommendations please.
I decided to go with my own build since I want to reduce my expenses and more importantly my university lifetime googledrive will soon cease to exist this coming mid-January,
I have 13 TB of Data on it that I need to transfer to my soon to be built NAS as soon as possible.
For that end I just bought 4x6TB wd red plus drives arriving today.I already own an old PC tower with the following Characteristics:
.Case: Antec P180
.Motherboard:Asus A88X-PRO
.CPU:AMD a10 5800k
.Memory:corsair 8gb 1600 mhz ddr3 dual sticks
.SSD samsung 840 120gb drive
.corsair A70 cooler

My aim is to have a quite set up, used mainly for storage, occasional streaming of music, movies.
I am using Kodi that streams from the google drive for now.
I am fairly new to this,hence my questions:
1.Is the onboard raid of the motherboard enough for my needs or should I invest in a raid controller card, if so what would be your recommendation for a budget card that is good enough to do the job.
Which RAID array I should go for that will mostly protect my important data, I also subscribed to a cloud storage to backup my most important data.
2.Which is the simplest NAS operating system I can go for that fits the bill.
3.The case is noisy, used to be quite at first, I am thinking about swapping the case fans, any
recommendations and/or other suggestions to minimize the noise.
That is all I can think about right now, I would appreciate any information, pointers to get me going. Thank you.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Welcome to the forums @aNASforXmas.

5 Best NAS Software in 2021 (fixthephoto.com)

While you can do the DIY thing, I would recommend a QNAP or Synology NAS unit instead. Much more secure. Much more reliable.

Depending on how important that 13TB of data is to you, give serious thought to going with a trusted solution. Particularly if this will be your first crack at this.

I would certainly be remiss if I did not warn you about having a second (and third) backup of this data too. In addition to any NAS, you decide to go forward with. If you were considering QNAP or Synology, I would suggest two units that would be backing up to each other.

Edit: In addition to an external USB drive backing both of them up too. Yes, data is expensive to keep and protect.
 
Last edited:

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
That's not a NAS. You need a NAS to use it with. This is merely an extension/expansion unit.

A highly recommended QNAP model today is the 4 bay or 6 bay (remember, you don't need to populate all the drive bays at once) TS-453D or TS-653D. With the 4 bay model enjoying a nice BF discount right now.
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
Welcome to the forums @aNASforXmas.

5 Best NAS Software in 2021 (fixthephoto.com)

While you can do the DIY thing, I would recommend a QNAP or Synology NAS unit instead. Much more secure. Much more reliable.

Depending on how important that 13TB of data is to you, give serious thought to going with a trusted solution. Particularly if this will be your first crack at this.
Do either of those support the ZFS filesystem on the consumer level hardware? I think that's important for data integrity (and great features).
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I don't know about ZFS (but I don't think they are supported).

I do know that QNAP products just work, decades at a time.
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
That's what holds me back from buying the hardware and software from one vendor: it's essentially an appliance at that point. If it breaks you have to rely on their customer service.

If you build your own system and use something like FreeNAS or NAS4Free you can easily build a system to your requirements, replace parts, and upgrade for the price of commodity hardware. The software support is actually pretty good with dedicated online forums with a lot of helpful people.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
An appliance that works as one. Highly reliably. Which is (or should be) the cornerstone of a data storage unit.

All I've ever replaced on a QNAP is the HDDs as (and if) they fail.

I always upgrade the RAM to the maximum possible. I want the hardware to work at least stress levels.

With a DIY approach (and yes, I started there too), you are trading in proven reliability with potential. Potentially less expensive (not necessarily, over a decade). Potentially fewer issues (not in my experience). Potentially higher geek factor (true).

@aNASforXmas, be sure you start downloading and verifying that 13TB of data way before your expiration date on that cloud service. Not only may this take much longer than expected (be expected to be throttled), but it may also need to be done more than once too (to ensure data integrity).
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Do either of those support the ZFS filesystem on the consumer level hardware? I think that's important for data integrity (and great features).
I would think if you want to run a ZFS filesystem then you would want ECC ram. That means a server type motherboard and not a standard PC.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
He was asking about QNAP NAS' ZFS support (if I'm not mistaken).
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
I would think if you want to run a ZFS filesystem then you would want ECC ram. That means a server type motherboard and not a standard PC.
Depends on the manufacturer. I just built a PC for my son using a $70 Asus A520M-K board that supports ECC with the Ryzen 5600x CPU I put in it.
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
With a DIY approach (and yes, I started there too), you are trading in proven reliability with potential.
That's why I like ZFS. The chances of a hardware failure corrupting your data is almost nil, unlike RAID or similar strategies. In the end the data is what's most important. I did have a motherboard fail several times on my NAS, and it was because of a bug in the actual motherboard hardware that was eventually fixed by the manufacturer. Coincidentally, it was a board with a soldered Intel Atom CPU that then died because of an Intel bug, but that was outside of the warranty. No data were harmed.

It was ironic because I've never had anything like that happen with consumer level "junk" I have all over the place. I still have motherboard, CPUs, RAM, and hard drives that still work and they're older than some people on this board. The one time I buy "server grade" hardware it fails multiple times within 5 years.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Nothing is bullet-proof. Including ZFS + ECC RAM.
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
Absolutely, nothing is 100% guaranteed, but as far as I know ZFS is one of the only filesystems that can detect in-flight data corruption and correct it.

The second greatest thing to me are snapshots. Lots of systems have snapshots, but I've not seen any that operate at the block level like ZFS. It allows me to have hundreds of snapshots that only take up a tiny bit of disk space. I especially love that the snapshots show up in Windows clients as "Previous versions" of files that makes it easy for the casual user to restore them.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Every modern NAS includes snapshots. ZFS isn't recommended by the people in the know.

Don't Use ZFS on Linux: Linus Torvalds - It's FOSS (itsfoss.com)

While some people drool over ZFS, Linus Torvalds is not that impressed with ZFS. He doesn’t think it’s using ZFS is a good idea specially when it is not actively maintained by Oracle (after they open sourced it)

The benchmarks I’ve seen do not make ZFS look all that great. And as far as I can tell, it has no real maintenance behind it either any more, so from a long-term stability standpoint, why would you ever want to use it in the first place?
I am no legal expert but if there is even a slightest doubt, I would prefer staying away from ZFS.

If somebody adds a kernel module like ZFS, they are on their own. I can’t maintain it, and I can not be bound by other peoples kernel changes.
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
Every modern NAS includes snapshots.
And they're block-level snapshots? If I snapshot a 100GB Veracrypt container and then add a 1 kB file to the container and take another snapshot, the two snapshots will occupy 1 kb on disk?
ZFS isn't recommended by the people in the know.
To each his own. Linus also hates C++, Gnome, GCC, Java, and XML.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Yes, afaik (block-level snapshots).

Agreed. Me too! :)

But it seems to me that he has good reasons to. Regardless of other things he doesn't like.
 

sbsnb

Very Senior Member
Well, most of them don't apply to the NAS world AFAIK. They use OpenZFS which isn't owned or controlled by Oracle. The development and maintenance is very active even today.
 
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