Build a low-power NAS with a SBC

    • Build a low-power NAS with a SBC

      Hello,

      I'm looking to build a NAS with the following objectives:
      - offer a centralised storage for all computers at home and my RPI used as a music server
      - offer a backup storage for all of them + my remote server
      - probably some LUKS encrypted partitions but it should not be a problem on OMV
      - maybe some minor functions like torrent client

      I think a low-power solution is sufficient to cover these needs so I'm looking for a SBC (single board computer) to power my NAS. I want to have one or two SATA disks inside (probably good-old mechanical disks at first) so I would prefer a solution with a SATA interface than connect them with USB.

      These last days I read a lot this forum and the armbian one, and I have noted the following SBC which have SATA:
      • Kobol Helios 4 looks really like a nice solution but it's too late now, it's not possible to order it anymore :(
      • RockPro 64
      • BananaPi M3
      • Udoo Quad or x86, Odroid HC2...
      I read that the RockPro 64 is a nice board and it could do the job for my NAS. Combined with this case pine64.org/?product=rockpro64-metal-desktopnas-casing it seems a good solution to me.

      For the SATA part, Pine64 sells a PCI-E to SATA adapter but I also read a post from @tkaiser pointing to a good one sold on ebay, so I would like some advice. (because buying all at the same shop reduces shipping costs)

      My other questions concern the system part. It seems that OMV do not offer a RockPro64 image, only a Rock64: are they compatible? what do I need to have a working installation image? will it be simple to maintain/upgrade? (I know Linux but I don't want to need too much time to maintain it).
    • Njuilpo wrote:

      I read that the RockPro 64 is a nice board and it could do the job for my NAS. Combined with this case pine64.org/?product=rockpro64-metal-desktopnas-casing it seems a good solution to me.
      I have both. It is a nice setup.

      Njuilpo wrote:

      For the SATA part, Pine64 sells a PCI-E to SATA adapter but I also read a post from @tkaiser pointing to a good one sold on ebay, so I would like some advice. (because buying all at the same shop reduces shipping costs)
      Go with his suggestion. The card from pine64 isn't very good.

      Njuilpo wrote:

      It seems that OMV do not offer a RockPro64 image, only a Rock64: are they compatible?
      No but look here - github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-build/releases
      omv 4.1.13 arrakis | 64 bit | 4.15 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 4.1.13
      omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

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    • ryecoaaron wrote:

      Njuilpo wrote:

      It seems that OMV do not offer a RockPro64 image, only a Rock64: are they compatible?
      No but look here - github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-build/releases
      I think I am going to upgrade also very soon to the rockpro64 any issues with those release, 2 are listed one 64 the other plain armhf what are the differences?
      Any advices in term of add on like Emmc Or other parts?
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Nefertiti ().

    • Nefertiti wrote:

      2 are listed one 64 the other plain armhf what are the differences?
      One is 64 bit and the other is 32 bit. If you don't have a reason to use one or the other, then follow ayufan's advice when he says the 32 bit (armhf) offers the best compatibility.

      Nefertiti wrote:

      Any advices in term of add on like Emmc Or other parts?
      I don't use emmc on mine because it really doesn't make a difference. What other parts are you looking at?
      omv 4.1.13 arrakis | 64 bit | 4.15 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 4.1.13
      omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

      Please read this before posting a question and this and this for docker questions.
      Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!
    • ryecoaaron wrote:

      Njuilpo wrote:

      For the SATA part, Pine64 sells a PCI-E to SATA adapter but I also read a post from @tkaiser pointing to a good one sold on ebay, so I would like some advice. (because buying all at the same shop reduces shipping costs)
      Go with his suggestion. The card from pine64 isn't very good.
      Okay, juste need to find it again, I think I saw it on armbian forums.

      And confirm that it will fit in the RockPro64 case.

      Njuilpo wrote:

      It seems that OMV do not offer a RockPro64 image, only a Rock64: are they compatible?
      No but look here - github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux-build/releases
      Those are user-made custom builds? Once installed, will it be a problem to upgrade them? I mean: will my setup rely on those builds, which can vanish anytime in the future because they are not official ones? or once installed, my setup do not need them anymore, like upgrade from OMV vx to OMV vx+1?
    • Njuilpo wrote:

      Those are user-made custom builds? Once installed, will it be a problem to upgrade them?

      No problems. Debian updates are fetched from upstream Debian repos, OMV upgrades from there and the only thing that's device specific (kernel and bootloader support) are coming from ayufan's repo hosted on Github. So even if ayufan disappears completely all that happens is you not getting any kernel updates any more (which is more or less usual situation everywhere on SBC if it's not RPi, Hardkernel, Armbian or ayufan)

      So no worries. His images are also all created 100% automated from scratch (like the OMV ones based on Armbian) so these are of highest quality possible.
    • Njuilpo wrote:

      I tried to found the link to a good PCI-E to SATA adapter you post somewhere in a forum, but couldn't find it again, could you please post it here?

      The ASM1061 is IMO doing fine for spinning rust (HDDs) even if it only utilizes a single PCIe lane so would bottleneck attached SSDs. I have one mPCIe card with an ASM1061 and this one is showing constant errors but I guess it's due to the SATA connectors on this card being of very poor quality.

      If you want to spend more or attach more than 2 disks simply search the forum. Most probably something based on Marvell 88SE9220/9230/9235/9215 will be recommended (the 9215 is also just single lane PCIe so not that much difference to an ASM1061 from a performance point of view)

      No idea about the quality of Pine's ASM1061 card. My RockPro64 is one of the early dev samples where I would have to manually remove a resistor to get PCIe to work (and I'm so bad with hardware that I want to avoid doing such stuff). Fortunately this has been fixed on the RockPro64 boards that could be bought later but it seems rumors are floating around that this would be a general problem. No idea.
    • Njuilpo wrote:

      And confirm that it will fit in the RockPro64 case.
      Just about any low profile card will work.
      omv 4.1.13 arrakis | 64 bit | 4.15 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 4.1.13
      omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github

      Please read this before posting a question and this and this for docker questions.
      Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!
    • Oh... it seems that this RockPro64 supports 2 2"5 HD AND 2 3"5 HD, which is a total of 4 HD! Nice news, since I have a lot of old disks which can be used for this purpose.
      So I think I'll look for a Marvell 88SE9215 adapter.

      About the power supply, I think 12V 5A is enough.

      For the board itself, I may buy the 4GB version, even if I'm pretty sure I won't use all this RAM just for NAS functionnality, but it's more future-proof (add a Seafile client for example).

      What about heat dispersion? Do you have any idea about the differences between the several ones sold by Pine64 ?

      About SD card or eMMC, is there any benefit for using the latter?
    • Njuilpo wrote:

      What about heat dispersion? Do you have any idea about the differences between the several ones sold by Pine64
      The huger the better: github.com/ThomasKaiser/Knowledge

      The 'NAS case' can accommodate 4 HDD but with Pine's offerings you can only use 2 at the same time (look at the offered SATA cable). If you want to add a Marvell and you're after performance then choose an 9235 (using 2 PCIe lanes). And wrt powering of the disks you're partially on your own.
    • Nefertiti wrote:

      How can we use the built in 128MB SPI flash?
      It's 128Mb which is 16MB. Just like other SBC that add the same amount of bootable SPI NOR flash this can be used to flash a bootloader (u-boot) to it. Then booting from USB and network (PXE) is possible without the need for an eMMC or SD card.

      github.com/ayufan-rock64/linux…ster/recipes/flash-spi.md
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