RaspBerry Pi 3 NAS Build

  • Hello,

    I hope this hasn't already been answered, as I can't seem to find the information I am looking for. I have a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B which I would like to use as a NAS for a small office workgroup of 15 Users and PCs.

    What I need help with is how many external Harddrives can I connect to the PI and is there a limit on the capacity of the Harddrives? I was thinking of getting 4 self powered 6TB external harddrives. 2 would be used for SMB/CIFS Shares and the other two would be to mirror the data on the two drives.

    I am using OpenMediaVault version 3.0.59 on a 16gb Flash Drive.

    Thank you

  • I have connected 4 external drives to the Pi already and it worked fine. Prerequisite is that the Drives are selfpowered or that you are using an active USB hub with appropriate powersupply (app. 3,5 ampere).
    I doubt, that the Pi is capable to deal with 15 users in parallel, because the USB interface and the Ethernet port are shareing the same internal interface and are therefore quite slow.
    All really depends on the filesizes and the activity of the users.

  • I have a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B which I would like to use as a NAS for a small office workgroup of 15 Users and PCs.

    Those users will hate you soon :)

    Raspberries are way too limited to be used in such a scenario, due to the physical bus limitation you can't even fix the situation with an USB Gigabit Ethernet dongle (unlike with other small and less expensive SBC): https://forum.armbian.com/inde…findComment&comment=28835

    Forget about the performance numbers there if you want to use multiple disks (or be prepared to read a lot about USB troubleshooting, 'congestion' and why a shared bus dramatically further decreases performance if concurrent access happens).

    The only ARM boards capable of providing 4 disks with reasonable performance are currently Solid-Run's Clearfog Pro (with additional mPCIe SATA controllers) or Helios4 board (not so surprisingly) relying on the same MicroSOM (the 'engine'): https://forum.armbian.com/inde…findComment&comment=31957

  • In a professional environment, with that much data, do yourself a favor: bite the bullet and build a proper server.

    Anything based on an RPI will be a kludge and will lack performance and reliability. Once you add power supplies, USB enclosures, cases and cables, it won't be significantly cheaper than something like an HP microserver or a proper home-built Intel-based server.

  • I agree with the advice in this thread.

    If you're serving files to 15 users and you're trying to do it on a tight budget, consider this economy server. - > Thinkserver TS140 This particular version has an 3.5GZ Intel Core I3. (For $225 or so, you'd have a hard time doing better.) For a bit more, you could get the version with a Xeon processor to bump up performance. Unlike the R-PI, the TS140 has a 1GB Ethernet interface which will also make a big difference in a production environment. With nothing to build, just add a few components, it would be easy to get it up and running. All you'd have to do is get a couple drives, install OMV (you could use a USB 3.0 flash drive for OMV), and you're on your way. (Another 4GB ECC RAM module, for a total of 8GB, is not a bad idea either. They can be had on E-bay for $25 to $30.)
    In the bottom line, the price point is hard to beat and it's better suited to the purpose than an R-PI.

    I'm running an R-PI2 as a backup file server, with a single 4TB USB powered WD "Mypassport".
    (An R-PI can power a single 2.5" drive. Other than one 2.5" USB drive, more drives would have to be self powered or hub powered.)

    Basically my R-PI is replicating LAN shares with Rsync. I have Samba shares already setup on the R-PI so that if something goes wrong with my primary server, I can be backup up in a matter of minutes. (Just activate the Samba shares.) In that role, as a data backup server, the R-PI is not a bad idea. For more than 2 or 3 users, however, the 100mbs Ethernet interface is "limiting".

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