DIY NAS Build

Soldato
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West London
Needed a NAS box and found the current micro/mini servers or a Qnap/Synology a bit rich for me, so am putting together my own and thought I would post up here for anyone in a similar position.

Spec
CPU: Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core with HT (Kabylake) 3M cache, 54W TDP
HSF: CM Hyper 103
Motherboard: Asrock E3V5 WS
Memory: 8GB Kingston Value 2400 ECC
Boot drive: Samsung 840 PRO 128 GB
Storage Drives: 4 * 4TB Toshiba X300
PSU: Antec TruePower 650
Chassis: Silverstone CS380
Other: Asus GT640 GFX card

Planning to RAID mirror the SSD once funds allow so it can be more safely used for caching, will probably move the OS onto a USB drive on internal header at that point.
Also planning on getting a pair of Asus XG-C100C 10GbE NICs, one for this box, and the other for my main system, or failing that some second hand Mellanox Connect 10Gb SPF NICs (2 for £50) or similar.

PSU (overkill for this), display adapter, HSF, and the SSD all came out of my spares box I had in the cupboard, the 4TB X300's have all come out of my main TR system.

Anyway, some pics!

Cheapest Intel C232 chipset board I could find anywhere, its not full size ATX (full height but not width) which is perfect for my chassis, has 6 SATA ports, an Intel NIC, and with a BIOS update can take the E3-12** v5/v6 Xeon if required.
YewYQqBl.jpg


Completely unneeded addition, but I've never been a fan of the stock Intel HSFs:
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Very impressed with the Silverstone CS380, very cheap, quality seems fine, and its nice and compact for a full ATX capable tower. You get 8 hotwswap bays that can take either 2.5" or 3.5" drives, and there's 2 x 5.25 bays as well, allowing the addition of extra hotswap capacity for 3 x 3.5" drives or 8 to 12 x 2.5" drives.
vfhDdVbl.jpg


Front door seems sturdy enough, with a magnet to help keep it closed if not locked, you can also move a slider to the up position on the inside of the door to prevent the power button being pressed without having the door open. You'll find 2 USB3 ports behind the front door which is handy if you have a large amount of data to upload via 'sneakernet'
to3PgwXl.jpg


In this image you can see the backplane - its quite a cheap looking affair, but is neatly soldered, be careful if mounting a full width motherboard in this chassis - it would be quite easy to catch one of the capacitors with the edge of the board if not being attentive enough during installation. Each tray has its own SAS/SATA port on the back of backplane, 2 molex connectors provide power, and the fans for cooling the drive cage can be both be plugged into the provided 3 pin fan headers for a nice neat installation.
JTxPXrSl.jpg


I had 2 spare PSU's to choose from, the Antec HCG is much newer than the Truepower, but is non modular, and is a much lower quality unit internally, but I tested both on a PSU tester to help with the decision. If funds had allowed I would have purchased a decent quality 300/350w Seasonic - but for now one of these will be fine
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PSU tester showed several errors on the HCG - which made the decision much easier!
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Good old Truepower passed - so I gave it decent clean and installed it first
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Then installed the motherboard - you can really see how narrow a board the Asrock is, case might allowed the installation of boards upto CEB, though it would be very tight.
v4TArsYl.jpg


I added some extension cables for the 8 and 24 Pin power connectors to allow a neater installation, plenty of space to play with behind the motherboard tray to get things hidden away
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And that's as far as I've got for now, having realised only after installation that this board has arrived with a v1 BIOS - so have been waiting in for a Celeron G3900 to show up today so I can flash the BIOS with a newer one that supports Kabylake.

Updates to follow!
 
Associate
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Nice. That’s a good little system that should last you a while. You can always upgrade the CPU later if you want.
 
Soldato
OP
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Surely an HP microserver is less than this?

Gen8 would have been ok, but seem to have got a bit rare and I think their starting to show their age now, and the Gen10 is not a very decent piece of kit IMO.

Also wanted capacity for more than 4 3.5" drives really

The rest of the current cheap Fujitsu, Lenovo, Dell and HPE are also not hot swap capable unless spending a lot more money.
 
Soldato
OP
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Finally got round to uploading the rest of the pics

Better pic of the backplane:
4rUSrYul.jpg


And managed to get a pair of 16GB SanDisk Ultras for £8 for mirrored FreeNas install:
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2.5" drives seem to fit in the sleds well enough - smooth insertion and removal despite the cheap chassis - you can see the acrylyic "wand" running along the top edge of the sled in this pic - clever way of making the backplane LED visible from the front of the tray without an having to have an expensive sled/tray:
cTt2eeLl.jpg


Main disk array ready to go:
EqLbIpIl.jpg


All done, will need to buy some shorter (and matching!) SATA cables at some point to address my cable OCD:
hav294Al.jpg



FreeNAS install was nice and easy - works well, ZFS is nice and have full disk redundancy which is nice, due to my disk pool size I need to add more RAM before I could run any VM's, but as a backup device which is my main priority Im very happy with the performance for now, and the new web-interface is much more modern than the previous releases:
2Jj2PCCl.png
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
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Is 8Gb enough for ZFS?
Yeah its fine - the 1 GB of RAM for each TB of storage seems to be a worst case scenario kind of thing and I think you'd need to be using more ZFS features such as deduplication/compression to get near it - I am planning on adding more RAM (3 more sticks of 8GB) to give me 32GB total - but without running VMs and while I'm consuming less than 4TB of total pool size it seems fine for now and performance is good.

Edit: if this build was for more than just my home network with many clients accessing / using simultaneously then more memory would definitely be needed
 
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Soldato
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Joined
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Posts
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Location
West London
After a couple of short power cuts I've gone and ordered a new UPS - my current ancient Belkin coped, but if it had lasted another minute or so then it would not have made it...

Have orderd the rather cheap APC Back-UPS BX 700 (only £70) - does anyone here have an APC UPS working with FreeNAS UPS service? At idle the NAS draws less than 100w - so should be able to get about 20 mins from the new UPS hopefully.

Unlike my old NAS this one has a USB interface so I can hopefully automatically invoke a graceful shutdown after a few minutes of powerloss (not an essential but nice to have) - but nearly all of the APC UPS with the USB interface have the following listed on https://networkupstools.org/stable-hcl.html under support level, and I'm not sure what features of the FreeNAS UPS service this will let me use tbh...!

based on fragments of publicly available protocol
 
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