Minimum Hardware Requirements

    • Minimum Hardware Requirements

      I'm looking to build my first NAS and have been researching OMV and FreeNas. I see that the forum posts on FreeNas recommend server grade hardware which can drive the cost of a rig higher than I was expecting. How come it appears that the specs for a machine to run OMV are not as high?

      Can someone help with the minimum requirements and help explain the pros/cons and tradeoffs of using what is recommended for minimum specs for FreeNas versus lower spec'd components of a workstation or Consumer PC? I'm going with OMV, but want to know why such a disparity in spec levels.

      When I've looked at the specs of the top vendors for NAS appliances, like Synology and Qnap, they are pretty low spec'd when it comes to RAM and CPU. Can someone help provide clarity here?

      thanks!
    • Is quite simple. Server grade components are meant to be far more reliable for 24x7 service than regular consumer components. Is actually up to you what you want to spend on components but remember that you get what you pay for. OMV requirements are no greater than what Debian minimum hardware requirements are without a desktop environment:

      CPU: 500MHz Pentium 3 class or higher
      RAM: 128MB, 512MB recommended
      Storage: 2GB

      Remember, these are MINIMUM requirements which means the server will be fully operational with this type of hardware.

      Nowdays, a good Atom based system works absolutely fantastic if all you do is file serve and use download managers such as Transmission. Adding at least 4GB of RAM is very inexpensive as well, so there's no excuse to install any less than that. For the operating system, is preferred to use a solid state drive and I've seen 16GB and 32GB selling for fair prices. The storage drives are entirely up to you when it comes to size and how many you need.

      Pros of using server grade hardware will always be stability, durability, compatibility and ease of remote management. Cons of course would be the price and at times, proprietary interfaces or chassis that can make future repairs or upgrades difficult and/or expensive.

      There is some consumer hardware which at times surpass some of the enterprise counterparts. MSI is known for being over the top with some of their gaming boards, others such as Intel have always maintained great quality all across.

      Don't expect a magic formula to find out what you need. The more critical and reliable the server has to be, the more you will have to spend.
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    • Ok, thanks a lot for the clarification and advice. Quick question on software RAID versus hw RAID. I've read consistently that HW RAID is more reliable and better than SW RAID. That said, any concerns I need to take into account before just using SW RAID in OMV? I would prefer to avoid having to purchase a separate RAID controller. The main purpose for the NAS is to host our family photos and videos and to be able to access/stream to multiple locations. I want to have redundancy and I'm looking for a separate backup solution.
    • There's no need to buy a separate RAID controller. A good board with an Intel chipset will have Intel's RST for little to no cost if you decide against soft RAID.

      As far as reliability goes, I've never had an issue with MDADM (Debian's soft RAID solution), but it can only be as reliable as the OS itself. The advantage is that is portable, so if your OS or system fails, you can simply move the whole array to another Debian hosted machine and recover your data.

      A RAID controller doesn't have to rely on software, but in the event of hardware failure, it can be difficult to match the controller and recover the data. The latter doesn't seem to be an issue any longer with Intel's RST since it can be found in many boards and seems to be cross-compatible even with older generations of the chipset.

      The only real issue with hardware RAID is that by nature, you have a layer that obscures direct access to the hard drives. Meaning that you will not be able to monitor things like SMART, or drive temperatures. For most people though, this is not an issue.
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    • Minimum Hardware Requirements

      If you're just serving photos and videos on your home network then you don't really need a full RAID setup. RAID has to spin up all of your disks on every access which is a waste of energy. And you can't access the data, in case of emergency, on a single disk outside the array. I'd use a JBOD setup with Snapraid for paraty. That has the advantage of being able to use different size disks.

      Ian
    • Question on hardware choices:

      Motherboard - I'm looking at Asus Mobos and was targeting their boards with business chipsets (Q87, B85) versus the consumer boards. Any considerations between the two categories - business/consumer? I am also targeting an Intel onboard NIC versus Realtek. Any recommendations on that as well?

      Harddrives - Are NAS specific drives recommended, for example, WD Reds versus Greens?

      for the OS, is a USB stick sufficient or is it recommended that I shell out for a smaller SSD?

      thanks
    • changsaw wrote:

      Any considerations between the two categories - business/consumer?


      I bet you won't even notice a difference.

      changsaw wrote:

      I am also targeting an Intel onboard NIC versus Realtek. Any recommendations on that as well?


      Some people have problems with Realtek out of the 2k Series, but not all. 8k Series works fine. Intel works fine all the way. I have better transfer rates with a realtek chipset then people with intel chipsets.

      changsaw wrote:

      Are NAS specific drives recommended, for example,


      Yes.

      changsaw wrote:

      WD Reds versus Greens?


      Especially REDs over GREENs... The latter can be very anoying in RAID setups.

      changsaw wrote:

      for the OS, is a USB stick sufficient or is it recommended that I shell out for a smaller SSD?


      No USB Stick, not recommend at all. Use the SSD instead.

      Greetings
      David
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    • You can use more than 5. That is just what they recommend which means they want you to spend more money if you have more than 5 :)
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    • Everyone of them should be fine:

      idealo.de/preisvergleich/Produ…sultlist.sortKey=minPrice

      Greetings
      David
      "Well... lately this forum has become support for everything except omv" [...] "And is like someone is banning Google from their browsers"

      Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.


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    • It doesn't actually matter for the OS. The choice for SSD is quite simple: no moving parts, and for some, less noise. In contrast to the actual array, which you can put to sleep after inactivity, you won't be able to do that with the system drive since it is always writing logs. In theory, not having mechanical components can increase the reliability of the system.

      On the other hand, I've seen hard drives lasting well over 10, even 15 years. As an example, I bought some WD Raptors 74 back in 2004, three of them to be exact, and they worked flawlessly on a RAID 0 array without a single failure in these 10 years, even after so many upgrades that I've done over the years. Just recently I retired them and replaced them with a single SSD, but they are still good.

      Is entirely up to you if you want to use a hard drive or SSD.
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    • changsaw wrote:

      Does it matter that I install OMV on an SSD versus an HDD? what's the tradeoff? Will there be a noticeable performance difference? thanks.


      It would be just like anything else regarding SSD vs HDD:

      SSD:
      1. Will boot faster
      2. webUI will likely be a bit faster.
      3. Less noise

      HDD
      1. Likely to have a longer lifespan
      2. 2.5in sata drives are pretty quiet and have similar power consumption to an SSD.
      3. Probably cheaper per mb, if money is an issue. New or refurbished laptop drives are easy to find in the 80-160gig range.. which is plenty.
      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.

    • KM0201 wrote:

      SSD:
      1. Will boot faster
      2. webUI will likely be a bit faster.


      both only slightly. Had an SSD as well as HDDs built in. Just a matter of a few seconds for booting and almost no time while using the webif. However. I have two 265 GB SSD´s laying around here. Maybe I´ll do a clean install when I have some spare time.
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    • WastlJ wrote:

      KM0201 wrote:

      SSD:
      1. Will boot faster
      2. webUI will likely be a bit faster.


      both only slightly. Had an SSD as well as HDDs built in. Just a matter of a few seconds for booting and almost no time while using the webif. However. I have two 265 GB SSD´s laying around here. Maybe I´ll do a clean install when I have some spare time.


      I agree, the differences are going to be fairly subtle.. Unless you're the type to sit around with a stopwatch while your machine is booting.

      Personally, I'm just fine with my sata drive acting as an OS drive, although sometimes I get tempted to buy an SSD..
      Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.