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'[OT] making of a NAS box'
2011\08\31@014444 by J. Bakshi

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Hello,

Could anyone suggest to make a NAS box please ?

Requirements :
1. Low power consumption : say a power supply with less than 150W max 200W
2. Ability to sustain a minimum of 4 x 2TB SATA 6Gbps HDD. Maximum 12 i guess should suffice (if it can run on the above mentioned power supply)
3. Rack Mount
4. Not looking at RAID. Just vanilla data storage
5. Gigabit Ethernet
6. Fanless system would be preferred.


Looking at a budget of less than INR 10000/- for the above without the HDD

TI

2011\08\31@093049 by M.L.

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On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 1:44 AM, J. Bakshi <spam_OUTbakshi12TakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> Could anyone suggest to make a NAS box please ?
>
> Requirements :
> 1. Low power consumption : say a power supply with less than 150W max 200W
> 2. Ability to sustain a minimum of 4 x 2TB SATA 6Gbps HDD. Maximum 12 i
> guess should suffice (if it can run on the above mentioned power supply)
> 3. Rack Mount
> 4. Not looking at RAID. Just vanilla data storage
> 5. Gigabit Ethernet
> 6. Fanless system would be preferred.
>
>
> Looking at a budget of less than INR 10000/- for the above without the HDD
>

If you want to build your own you just need a cheap mini-itx computer.
You aren't going to run 12 hard drives from a 200 watt power supply.
200W is pushing it for a small system.
Fanless will not be possible if you have 4 hard drives and a constrained budget.

-- Martin K

2011\08\31@114226 by Bob Blick

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Gigabit isn't fast unless you have a fast CPU and chipset.

Fanless means your drives fail in a year.

I never tried more than 4 drives at a time. If you need up to 12 drives
you will need multiple SATA controllers, it starts to sound expensive.

Friendly regards,

Bob

On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 11:14 +0530, "J. Bakshi" wrote:
{Quote hidden}

-- http://www.fastmail.fm - Faster than the air-speed velocity of an
                         unladen european swallow

2011\08\31@121029 by Dwayne Reid

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Head over to eBay and grab one of the many Windows Home Server boxes available.  The WHS v1 boxes (Acer or HP) are actually quite nice.  They are stingy with power consumption (the only wasted energy seems to be the cute front panel LEDs which can be either dimmed or turned off.

Because Windows Home Server v2 has now been released and won't run on the low-end hardware that most manufactured Home Server Boxes were made with, many of those Windows Home Server v1 boxes are now readily available for cheap.

I have an Acer H340 running WHS v1 which came with a WD Green 1TB hard drive installed and 3 empty drive carriers.  I populated those carriers with WD 'Green' 2TB drives for a total possible storage capacity of 7TB.  I left the top drive not integrated into the WHS Drive Extender drive pool so that I could easily swap other SATA drives into that spot.  However, I'm probably just going to set one of those desktop SATA drive docking stations on top of the unit when I eventually get to the point where I want the extra 2TB storage added to the drive pool.

I chose to stay with Windows Home Server v1 that came with my unit but you are free to install anything that you want.  I've read of others who have installed Linux on those boxes and been really happy with the results.

Both the Acer and HP units seem to use similar hardware: mini itx mainboard with Intel Atom processor (both single and dual-core versions available).  Because this was intended to be a server box hidden away in a closet, its headless.  That is: no monitor or PS2 keyboard / mouse connectors are available.

However, the mother board has a standard JST 2mm dual row connector that brings out the VGA monitor signal, 2- PS2 connectors (mouse & keyboard) and TTL-level RS-232 comm port.  Note that the RS-232 comm port needs a MAX232 or equivalent if you want a true RS-232 port - or you can just use the TTL signals directly to connect to your PIC-based project.  The pinout of that 2mm connector is readily available via a Google search but I have a cached copy if for some reason you can't find it.

I don't recall if there is any audio hardware on the mainboard.

Other features: 1- USB connector on the front of the box along with a button to cause WHS to grab a copy of whatever you plug into that connector.  Back panel: 4- USB connectors, 1- eSATA connector, 10/100/1000 Ethernet port

I'm sure that I've missed describing other features - its been a year since I last looked ay my unit.  I access it remotely via LogMeIn whenever I need to do any maintenance on the box.

It might sound as if I am quite enthusiastic about these units - and I am.  I think that its one of the nicest, densest collections of hardware that I've seen.  It has a single, large fan that spins only as fast as it needs to (when it needs to) - the unit is totally silent in use.  The WD 'Green' hard drives run cool to the touch - they really did succeed in making them much more 'Green' than other hard drives that I own.

And - it just works.  I run uTorrent on it for grabbing TV shows that I want to watch (TVtorrents.com) and play them back on either of the two media players that I have (Patriot Box Office and Asus O!PlayR3).  I've also ripped many of my purchased DVD's and play those via those same media players.  It also automatically backs-up any computers on my home network that I leave turned on (usually only a single machine).

When I first purchased the unit, I kept it at work for a few weeks to play with it and to configure it the way I wanted.  While I had the unit at work, I stored a copy of my file server on it and now that the WHS box is at home, update it frequently via LogMeIn's File Manager.  I don't have that scheduled - I do it only when I think about it.  Sort of a 4th level of backup, on top of the automated off-site backups that occur daily and the sort-of automated backups that happen to other machines on-site.  But that readily-available backup would be useful if something bad should ever happen to my shop - it would take DAYS to download the full contents of that file server from the off-site backups stored somewhere 'Out There' vs just taking my WHS box into work and putting it on the LAN.

dwayne


At 11:44 PM 8/30/2011, J. Bakshi wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2011\08\31@124135 by Peter Johansson

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On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 11:42 AM, Bob Blick <.....bobblickKILLspamspam@spam@ftml.net> wrote:

> Gigabit isn't fast unless you have a fast CPU and chipset.

You forgot to mention a fast bus to the ethernet chipset (i.e. not
PCI), a decent switch, and everything configured to use jumbo frames.

However, unless you are striping multiple disks, you'll bottleneck at
the disk before the network.

> Fanless means your drives fail in a year.

This cannot be stressed enough!  Heat is the number one killer of hard disks!

That said, I run WD Green drives mounted on rails in 5.25" bays in an
old full-size desktop case and the power supply fans are sufficient to
keep everything cool.  The fans (one intake, one exhaust) in the power
supply are temperature controlled and never seem to run above their
lowest settings.  I'm also running one of the most thermally-efficient
CPUs.

-p

2011\08\31@160018 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2011-08-31 at 08:42 -0700, Bob Blick wrote:
> Gigabit isn't fast unless you have a fast CPU and chipset.

Very true, one machine I had only had 100BaseT, so I installed a PCI
gigabit card (no PCIE in this machine). It went faster then the 100BaseT
adapter, but the most I ever got out of it was 40-50MB/s (less if the
PCI video capture cards were doing something).
> Fanless means your drives fail in a year.

Even more true. Heat is the true killer of HDs.

> I never tried more than 4 drives at a time. If you need up to 12 drives
> you will need multiple SATA controllers, it starts to sound expensive.

Not necessarily. If you get a motherboard with a couple PCIE slots, and
add a couple 4 port SATA cards (can be had for about $20 locally),
you're set (this is assuming the MB has at least 4 SATA ports, most have
more). You would have to upgrade the power supply, and have a case to
hold it all (with proper cooling), so the price will ramp a little for
that. But still, if you don't care about looks (buy a $40 box fan then
blow it at the open case) you'd have something workable.

I'd though have to question the requirement of "12 drives". As with
everything, a cost/benefit type deal has to be calculated. For example,
if the op was planning on using 12 1TB drives to save money, considering
the additional costs, it might be worthwhile to use 6 2TB drives
instead.

TTYL

2011\08\31@195201 by M.L.

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On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 4:00 PM, Herbert Graf <hkgrafspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> I'd though have to question the requirement of "12 drives". As with
> everything, a cost/benefit type deal has to be calculated. For example,
> if the op was planning on using 12 1TB drives to save money, considering
> the additional costs, it might be worthwhile to use 6 2TB drives
> instead.
>
> TTYL

The OP didn't want RAID either, which is confusing to me when storing
a large amount of data.

-- Martin K

2011\08\31@195956 by Peter Johansson

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On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 7:51 PM, M.L. <.....mKILLspamspam.....lkeng.net> wrote:

> The OP didn't want RAID either, which is confusing to me when storing
> a large amount of data.

I'm assuming the OP was going to go with software RAID.  Cheap
hardware RAID is EVIL and should be avoided like the plague.
Personally, I am a *huge* fan of OpenSolaris/Illumos and ZFS for NAS
boxes.

-p

2011\08\31@201933 by RussellMc

face picon face
> Fanless means your drives fail in a year.

> I never tried more than 4 drives at a time. If you need up to 12 drives
> you will need multiple SATA controllers, it starts to sound expensive.

I understand (B, IMBW) that the SATA standard allows you to drive
multiple (up to 8?) drives from one controller - but I've never seen
it done.

A fanless design that provided substantial conducted cooling and
encouraged far more than usual convective airflow would be possible
but is highly unusual. DIY (or other) fluid and/or heat pipe cooling
would allow miracles to be worked. Depends on how much effort versus $
tradeoff matters.


        Russel

2011\08\31@215743 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2011-08-31 at 19:59 -0400, Peter Johansson wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 7:51 PM, M.L. <EraseMEmspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTlkeng.net> wrote:
>
> > The OP didn't want RAID either, which is confusing to me when storing
> > a large amount of data.
>
> I'm assuming the OP was going to go with software RAID.  Cheap
> hardware RAID is EVIL and should be avoided like the plague.

There is no "cheap" hardware RAID.

What is labelled as "cheap" hardware RAID is actually just a few BIOS
hooks that allow an OS to more easily ID a series of drives as an array
and implement software RAID accordingly.

I worked a bit setting up one of these "cheap" hardware RAID setups, it
was indeed a nightmare. Ended up getting rid of it all (not easy) and
setting up a "normal" software RAID.

Didn't end up liking that (stability issues), so we bought a real
hardware RAID card. Has worked flawlessly and effortless ever since.
Note this wasn't just mirroring RAID, nothing special.

The way to tell a "cheap" hardware RAID card and a real RAID card is how
the OS detects things. If you configure the array in the cards BIOS and
the OS still sees single drives in the hardware detection portion of
things it's NOT a real RAID. A real RAID card will present to the BIOS a
single device per array.

TTYL

2011\08\31@220109 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2011-08-31 at 21:57 -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:
> Didn't end up liking that (stability issues), so we bought a real
> hardware RAID card. Has worked flawlessly and effortless ever since.
> Note this wasn't just mirroring RAID, nothing special.

That should read: "Note this WAS just mirroring RAID", sorry about that!

TTYL

2011\08\31@222723 by Justin Richards

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> I never tried more than 4 drives at a time. If you need up to 12 drives
> you will need multiple SATA controllers, it starts to sound expensive.
>
as the requirement was for min 4 drives max 12, perhaps use 2 x cheap
motherboards that support 6 sata + 1 ide each.

For less than AUD$2000 total you could have 2 separate NAS boxes
(providing some additional level of fault tolernce) each providing
12TB+ a total of 24+ TB

Naturally, this would require fans but cheap $89 2TB HD consume about
7 watts so total power per box = HDDs + CPU + MOTHERBOARD + FANS =
(7x7) + 65 + 50 + 10

Total 175 watts.  standard 200 watt supply should suit.

Having 2 boxes may provide additional speed improvements but that
would depend on the application.  Rsysnc could be used to backup any
important stuff

2011\08\31@222905 by Marcel Duchamp

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On 8/31/2011 7:01 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:
> On Wed, 2011-08-31 at 21:57 -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:
>> Didn't end up liking that (stability issues), so we bought a real
>> hardware RAID card. Has worked flawlessly and effortless ever
>> since. Note this wasn't just mirroring RAID, nothing special.
>
> That should read: "Note this WAS just mirroring RAID", sorry about
> that!
>
> TTYL
>

Does that imply that if the hardware RAID card dies and can't be replaced, you can still access the data?  It sounds like it since it is "just" a mirror RAID setup but I'm a clue-less newby here..

2011\08\31@223156 by Justin Richards

face picon face
Oops just read the original post which requires sustained 6Gb/s.  I
had not considered speed in any calculations.

So ignore my post.

On 1 September 2011 10:27, Justin Richards <justin.richardsspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2011\08\31@223930 by Justin Richards

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>
> Does that imply that if the hardware RAID card dies and can't be
> replaced, you can still access the data?  It sounds like it since it is
> "just" a mirror RAID setup but I'm a clue-less newby here...
> --
I have often wanted to know the answer to this.

Consider a hardware RAID system (say RAID 5) that fails sometime in
the future and the existing hardware is no loner available is it easy
to re-setup using different hardware.

This is one of several reasons why I have avoided using RAID as I just
dont know.


'[OT] making of a NAS box'
2011\09\01@034010 by cdb
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:: Not necessarily. If you get a motherboard with a couple PCIE
:: slots, and
:: add a couple 4 port SATA cards (can be had for about $20 locally),

There is another way to get 'mega Sata' arrays (NOT RAID) using eSata but it isn't cheap apart from this

<www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-storageworks-MSA20-12x-SATA-storage-hardrive
-array-/110737707814?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item19c87b5326>

There are eSata with port multipliers like this one.

<http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sata_port_multipliers/scsat10pm.asp>

Colin --
cdb, @spam@colinKILLspamspambtech-online.co.uk on 1/09/2011
Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk   Hosted by:  http://www.justhost.com.au
 This email is to be considered private if addressed to a named  individual or HR department, and public if addressed to a blog,  forum or news article.
 
On Wed, 31 Aug 2011 16:00:43 -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:

2011\09\01@065542 by Herbert Graf

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On Wed, 2011-08-31 at 19:29 -0700, Marcel Duchamp wrote:
> On 8/31/2011 7:01 PM, Herbert Graf wrote:
> > On Wed, 2011-08-31 at 21:57 -0400, Herbert Graf wrote:
> >> Didn't end up liking that (stability issues), so we bought a real
> >> hardware RAID card. Has worked flawlessly and effortless ever
> >> since. Note this wasn't just mirroring RAID, nothing special.
> >
> > That should read: "Note this WAS just mirroring RAID", sorry about
> > that!
> >
> > TTYL
> >
>
> Does that imply that if the hardware RAID card dies and can't be
> replaced, you can still access the data?  It sounds like it since it is
> "just" a mirror RAID setup but I'm a clue-less newby here...

This exposes a MAJOR misconception of RAID: having a RAID array is NOT a
replacement for backups.
RAID arrays are there so that you can "keep going" if you have a certain
level of hardware failure. If one of the drives in my array fails I
loose read performance, but the array keeps going, and my data is still
accessible.

You STILL need to back up everything through more "normal" means, RAID
doesn't change this one bit.

So, to answer your question, if the hardware RAID card dies, get your
data from your backup.

In my case, since I'm using mirroring both drives would still have the
data, so I'd be fine (assuming the death of the card wasn't accompanied
but the death of the drives, very possible if your machine is hit by a
nasty power surge). If OTOH you were using striping or RAID 5 things are
alot messier, I don't know how "standard" the physically mapping of
sectors is, I'm relatively sure replacing the card with an identical
type will result in a viable array, other card, I'm less sure. I've
never really cared, because THAT'S WHAT BACKUPS ARE FOR.

TTYL

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