My priorities for this system are (in order):
- maximize data safety (protect against hardware failure (RAID support), power failure (UPS or encrypted cloud storage or ...), accidental deletion (versioning), ...)
- minimize noise (its place will be approximately 1 meter (3 feet) from my ears so a fanless build would probably be best)
- minimize total cost of ownership (price of parts, replacement drives, power usage, ...)
- USB 3
- processing power to run a SMALL web server
To give an idea of scale and usage:
- I would like to keep this system unaltered for six to eight years (only possibly adding or replacing hard disks). I think this is realistic; I managed to keep my last desktop system for seven years with minor upgrades and the current is approaching four.
- I would currently need about 2 TiB of actual storage. Given the years it needs to survive and the moderate rate my storage needs grow, I would like to provision 6 TiB at the very least.
- The system will probably be idle more than 95% of the time. It will only be used for storing vacation photos and videos, some office documents and some source code. I will manually copy over some files and let it automatically synchronize very regularly for day-to-day changes (usually documents). (I'm considering something like git combined with rsync.)
Regarding hard drives, the 2.5" format saves on power and produces less heat but the cost per TiB is so much higher than the 3.5" format that 3.5" is the better choice for a home NAS.
Regarding memory, 1.35 volt memory is better in the long run than 1.5 volt. The prices are very slightly higher while the performance is the same but it is cooler and the power savings are larger than the price difference in the long run. (Source: http://www.servethehome.com/testing-pow ... el-avoton/)
I won't modify hardware. I can build a system well enough but I'm too clumsy and inexperienced to start sawing, drilling or hammering anywhere near electronics or anything expensive. I broke a power supply, a V.90 modem and a motherboard before I finally learned this lesson. (Don't ask. )
I have experience installing, configuring and running several Linux distributions so installing Debian or NAS4Free and configuring the RAID, UPS, synchronization and versioning myself is not a problem. I considered using Linux From Scratch (because I've always wanted to build a bare minimal server) but decided against it because I'm not willing to spend the time required to constantly check for and apply (security) updates manually.
I don't care if it is a pre-built system (like from Synology or QNAP) or something I build myself. However, the only pre-built fanless NAS I've found is the HFX PowerNAS and it is expensive (1295 EUR excluding drives and shipping). They offer the case they use separately, though, which I've used as a basis for my first attempt at composing a NAS.
This is my part list so far:
- Case: HFX PowerNAS enclosure (5 internal 3.5" bays, 1 2.5" bay, heatsink-like exterior, mini-ITX compatible, passively cools up to 65 Watt TDP, 249 EUR excluding shipping) (http://www.hfx.at/store/index.php?page= ... &Itemid=54)
- Cooling: HFX BorgFX micro (CPU heatsink and heat pipes connecting to the case walls, 59 EUR excluding shipping) (http://www.hfx.at/store/index.php?page= ... &Itemid=54)
- Motherboard: Super Micro X9SBAA-F (4x SATA3, 2x USB3, 2x Gbe LAN, IPMI, 217 EUR excluding shipping) (http://www.supermicro.com/products/moth ... SBAA-F.cfm)
- Memory: 2x Kingston KVR13LSE9/2 (DDR3 SO-DIMM 1333MHz, 1,35v, 2GB, 33 EUR per stick excluding shipping)
- Power supply: Mini-box picoPSU 80 + 60W Adapter (52 EUR excluding shipping)
- Hard drives: 4x Western Digital RED WD30EFRX (3 TB, 3.1 Watt idle, 0.4 Watt sleeping, EUR 107 per drive excluding shipping)
Total capacity: 12 TB raw (6 TB in RAID 10 or 6; 9 TB in RAID 5)
- What do you think about the part list in general?
- I like the motherboard because it consumes, excluding disk drives, only 12 Watt idle and features USB 3. Are there much lower power or cheaper parts available that can provide what I want? I've considered ARM but can't seem to find boards with enough SATA ports or USB 3 support that are available.
- Would you place the system OS on the RAID array or on a separate drive? Why?
- I am planning to run software RAID since there are motherboards with enough SATA ports and software RAID is probably cheaper (in terms of hardware and power usage). Would I be better off with a RAID card? Which would you recommend?
- The case is by far the most expensive part. Since this will be a very low power setup (I'm hoping for less than 20 Watts with the drives installed and idle), would I be able to use a cheaper case?
Thanks for reading! Any and all comments are appreciated.