Lowcost SATA 6Gbps RAID 5 max x10 disks: Banana Pi BPI W2 + 2x JMB575: A working solution? What casing?

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    • Lowcost SATA 6Gbps RAID 5 max x10 disks: Banana Pi BPI W2 + 2x JMB575: A working solution? What casing?

      Hello,
      I'm relatively new to building nano computers from PIs, besides purchasing one of the numerous basic cases and AC/DC adapters.

      I'd like to build a lowcost SATA 6Gbps RAID 5 (soft) NAS (samba, nfs...) (with possible additional media purpose...), I forsaw that the following config might do the trick (here the max config with 10 disks, could be less):

      • 1x (~EUR 150.-) Banana PI BPI W2 W2 Spec @BananaPi / W2 Spec @WikiBananaPi (has x2 SATA 6Gbps sockets, needs 12V DC input, seems to have IR (media...));
      • 2x (~EUR 20.- (40.-)) JMB575 (SATA 6Gbps 1 -> 5 multiplier) JMB575 spec @JMicron (for more than 5 disks...);
      • Options to hold 5-to-8 disks together? I was thinking of an Icy Dock, but it already has electronics, the JMB575 would not be needed anymore, I assume. Maybe an alternative option to consider, but an expensive one, as an Icy Dock x8 2"1/2 SSD/HDD is around EUR 200.-... well, it doesn't seem to match my intent of a lowcost NAS...
      • 1x (Probably around EUR 20.- tops) 230V~/12V= AC/DC Power Adapter compatible with "12V @ 2A via DC power 5.0mmx2.0mm jack" as spec says Links?;
      • One of the Linux distros Kernel image list @W2 Spec @WikiBananaPi.
      • Feasibility: (I did not have the time fully to dig all the subjects around that matter, as I'm still in the early stages)
        • Does Linux have the required drivers for the JMB575? Hardware Compatibility
        • Does Linux support IR remote control and/or CEC remote control (does the W2 Banana Pi HDMI port support CEC altogether? no? "HDMI out works normally on kernel I have built myself (just no CEC from TV plugged there [...])")?
        • Would Soft RAID 5 work with that combination? Linux Raid Wiki
        • Media: can this be driven by IR remote and/or from your TV set remote over CEC (hmm...) (HDMI insert needed? Would it work? Does a Linux driver recognize that insert?)?
      • Performance: What is the performance of the JMB575 with that many disks per multiplier?
      (Approx. Total: EUR 190.- 210.- w/o case)

      The issue I can't solve: how do you wrap that up nicely?

      Indeed, as building such computers is necessarily custom, the casing needs to be as custom-friendly than your most wicked ideas, if you see what I mean. Of course, the market can't be expected to match each idea one can have, but maybe there's a modular casing approach that exists for example (building blocks, lego... an USB-hole-lego block would be funny... lego casing haha, that would be useful for all these PIs and crasy ideas!).

      Open question: what could be a way to hold the disks and a Banana W2 together while still having access to the I/O (USB, HDMI...) and buttons (Power, Reset...)? Could you help here, as I'm a dead stuck?

      Thanks in advance for any useful help.

      The post was edited 3 times, last by tomoyo255: Forgot to take JMB qty into account. Typo. Formatting. ().

    • Not sure if it would work or be very fast. But it is worth a try.

      You could build a custom case in wood.

      Here is an example with a nice internal rack for drives (the first design was noisy):

      ibuildit.ca/projects/design-an…d-a-wooden-computer-case/

      Just place the Banana Pi close using some screws. Possibly behind a door or with the buttons accessible through a hole? If you use long thin screws you can put a piece of then plastic tubing between the wood and the PCB and use that as a standoff.
      OMV 4, 7 x ODROID HC2, 1 x ODROID HC1, 5 x 12TB, 1 x 8TB, 1 x 2TB SSHD, 1 x 2TB SSD, GbE, WiFi mesh
    • Interesting indeed. Thanks.

      I was thinking of something when you suggested a wood custom case: is 3D printing feasible (for those like me that aren't that comfortable with a circular saw :/ ). Is it easy to design a model (with the proper software (links?))? But, that means I've got to find a professional with a 3D printer on the street. Don't know if that's cheap either.

      Good ideas so far. Even more?
    • tomoyo255 wrote:

      Interesting indeed. Thanks.

      I was thinking of something when you suggested a wood custom case: is 3D printing feasible (for those like me that aren't that comfortable with a circular saw :/ ). Is it easy to design a model (with the proper software (links?))? But, that means I've got to find a professional with a 3D printer on the street. Don't know if that's cheap either.

      Good ideas so far. Even more?
      For designing your own parts for 3D printing or fabrication, there's a lot of free options to get started with. The paid programs are often better, but a free option lets you test to see if its something you're interested in. The issue is going to be learning curve, even the free options can get complex and they don't always have a lot of documentation. You can try Tinkercad. (Tinkercad) and see if you like it. Its a good choice to start with because there are a number of tutorials online. SImply google Tinkercad + what you're trying to do ( i.e. create a hole in an object, resize, copy, etc.) and someone has documented it for you, even with video.

      For inspiration or designs to start with, you can try Thingiverse (Thingiverse), which is has a lot of 3D printer project files for free download. You sometimes need to get creative there with searches. I tried "banana pi", 'NAS" and "pi server" and got a lot of lot of hits. There's one for a Raspberry Pi and 4 disks, which could be adapted I suppose. Plus a Banana Pi server and others. I didn't look through all the files, but you get the idea.


      If you see something you like, you can also download the files and import them into Tinkercad to modify them to suit your needs. My computers are full of little parts I've made that way (mounts, ducts, etc.)


      There are services that will 3D Print your part for you. Ones like 3DHubs are more commercial, but there's some that will simply connect you to local people willing to print your part. Its very much dependent on where you are, some services only work with people in certain countries. I know that where I am in central California, there's 10 or so people within 10km that will print things to order.


      If you are having someone else do the work, another option is to design and having someone cut your parts with a laser cutter out of Acrylic or wood. Metal is an option, but the lasers that do metal cost a lot more so you usually get charged more accordingly. Tinkercad will do models for lasercutting too, but personally I use Inkscape for those designs (Inkscape). I made a server for my home office with two disk "trays" cut from acrylic that hold 4 disks each, for example. I made them to simply screw down to the motherboard tray in an ATX sized case that had an mITX motherboard in it, so there was room next to the motherboard. Laser cutters are less fussy than 3D printing, but you're limited to flat pieces for the most part.
      Just trying to get by

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Markess ().

    • Id be cautious about the software maturity of the board. Youre putting a lot of money into HDDs, extras, and effort into getting a board working from a company thats known to have poor software support. There is a big increase in cost going from 4 to more than 4 HDDs with SATA expansion boards typically and you do add an extra point of failure. If you can use 4 SATA ports you have a ton of options.

      Helios4 for ARM w/ ECC RAM
      If you dont necessarily need ECC ram --> amazon.com/ASRock-J4105-ITX-2-…Motherboard/dp/B079GHRQD9

      Id be careful also about thinking you need RAID5. Most home use NAS would be better off making snapshots to a backup drive than spending money on RAID arrays.

      tomoyo255 wrote:

      Hello,
      I'm relatively new to building nano computers from PIs, besides purchasing one of the numerous basic cases and AC/DC adapters.

      I'd like to build a lowcost SATA 6Gbps RAID 5 (soft) NAS (samba, nfs...) (with possible additional media purpose...), I forsaw that the following config might do the trick (here the max config with 10 disks, could be less):

      • 1x (~EUR 150.-) Banana PI BPI W2 W2 Spec @BananaPi / W2 Spec @WikiBananaPi (has x2 SATA 6Gbps sockets, needs 12V DC input, seems to have IR (media...));
      • 2x (~EUR 20.- (40.-)) JMB575 (SATA 6Gbps 1 -> 5 multiplier) JMB575 spec @JMicron (for more than 5 disks...);
      • Options to hold 5-to-8 disks together? I was thinking of an Icy Dock, but it already has electronics, the JMB575 would not be needed anymore, I assume. Maybe an alternative option to consider, but an expensive one, as an Icy Dock x8 2"1/2 SSD/HDD is around EUR 200.-... well, it doesn't seem to match my intent of a lowcost NAS...
      • 1x (Probably around EUR 20.- tops) 230V~/12V= AC/DC Power Adapter compatible with "12V @ 2A via DC power 5.0mmx2.0mm jack" as spec says Links?;
      • One of the Linux distros Kernel image list @W2 Spec @WikiBananaPi.
      • Feasibility: (I did not have the time fully to dig all the subjects around that matter, as I'm still in the early stages)
        • Does Linux have the required drivers for the JMB575? Hardware Compatibility
        • Does Linux support IR remote control and/or CEC remote control (does the W2 Banana Pi HDMI port support CEC altogether? no? "HDMI out works normally on kernel I have built myself (just no CEC from TV plugged there [...])")?
        • Would Soft RAID 5 work with that combination? Linux Raid Wiki
        • Media: can this be driven by IR remote and/or from your TV set remote over CEC (hmm...) (HDMI insert needed? Would it work? Does a Linux driver recognize that insert?)?
      • Performance: What is the performance of the JMB575 with that many disks per multiplier?
      (Approx. Total: EUR 190.- 210.- w/o case)

      The issue I can't solve: how do you wrap that up nicely?

      Indeed, as building such computers is necessarily custom, the casing needs to be as custom-friendly than your most wicked ideas, if you see what I mean. Of course, the market can't be expected to match each idea one can have, but maybe there's a modular casing approach that exists for example (building blocks, lego... an USB-hole-lego block would be funny... lego casing haha, that would be useful for all these PIs and crasy ideas!).

      Open question: what could be a way to hold the disks and a Banana W2 together while still having access to the I/O (USB, HDMI...) and buttons (Power, Reset...)? Could you help here, as I'm a dead stuck?

      Thanks in advance for any useful help.