Low power home-made NAS or QNAP / Synology ?

  • And for two HC2, we are close to the price of the Helios4 solution with PSU included :


    https://kobol.io/helios4/


    What do you think about the Helios4 ?

    But 2 HC2 costs a bit less than a 2 bay Synology or QNAP NAS.


    The Helios4 looks nice. But I don't have any personal experience from it. Also it doesn't seem to be available for purchase at the moment? And I really don't like the fans.


    With two (or more) HC2 I get hardware redundancy if one unit fail and also a distributed load. More memory and computing power. But I need more network ports and cables.


    I won't switch from HC2 to Helios. But it might perhaps be a better alternative as a first NAS if you really need 4 x 8-12 TB disks.


    I suspect many buy Helios4 and put in 4 x 4-6TB HDDs in RAID 10 or RAID 5/6. Or even without RAID. That I think would be silly. Two HC2 with 8-12TB HDDs would beat that.


    But Helios4 with 4 x 8-12TB HDDs without RAID would be more cost effective storage than 4 HC2 with the same HDDs.

    Be smart - be lazy. Clone your rootfs.
    OMV 5: 9 x Odroid HC2 + 1 x Odroid HC1 + 1 x Raspberry Pi 4

    Edited 2 times, last by Adoby ().

  • What do you think about the Helios4 ?


    Helios4 is based on a 'true NAS SoC' (also used in commercial NAS boxes, routers and access points -- this Marvell stuff is simply great) and provides a couple of unique features like 4 real SATA ports and ECC memory (if you love your data you care about data integrity, and ECC memory is then one of your friends -- the other is 'checksummed' filesystems like btrfs or ZFS).


    When I heard about Helios4 the first time and even when Gauthier asked me to get a free dev sample when they prepared first production run HP Microservers in my area were similarly expensive and provided a lot more opportunities (I've to admit that I'm neither a Linux nor an OMV fanboy but choose the OS platform based on requirements: often ending up also with FreeBSD or illumos/Solaris).


    Then... it always depends on what you want. A 4-bay NAS is asking for troubles and/or being infected with the RAID virus. RAID-5 was a great approach 2 decades ago for businesses to allow for 'business continuity' in case one of the 2GB, 4GB or 8GB SCSI disks failed completely. All of these businesses also ran a backup strategy. Back then the amount of data was that small that backing up to tape was sufficient even allowing a full 'disaster recovery' restore in a timely manner.


    Times have changed. Today misled users play RAID for no reason other than being told RAID would improve data safety which is plain BS.


    There are three different but basic things to care for with storage:

    • data safety
    • data integrity
    • data availability


    Who needs 3) at home? Usually you need 1) and 2) -- so focus on this.


    A good backup is physically separated from productive data (that's another HC1 or HC2 in another room, house or city -- the latter accessible via a VPN). This 'physical separation' thing is something you can talk about endlessly but once fire, water or theft happened everyone will get it immediately.


    So what is a multi-bay NAS for? This is the question you need to answer yourself first.

  • Ok,


    Thank you for all these advices. A first ODROID HC2 with one of my 4To seems to be a good start. Price per go of 6To, 8To, 10To disk seems to more expensive than 4To disk, and I have just calculated that for now, I need arround 3To of backup (other data are not critical if I loose them!)


    Because this NAS is not urgent for me, have you some ideas of new ODROID in 2019 ? If there are some announcements until this summer, I can wait for it!


    Thanks again!


    Edit : I just saw your nice post here : Which energy efficient ARM platform to choose?


    So, what about the difference between the ODROID-HC2 solution, and the ROCKPRO64 with PCI sata board ? Because I found an occasion ROCKPRO64 at a decent price!

  • Price per go of 6To, 8To, 10To disk seems to more expensive than 4To disk, and I have just calculated that for now, I need arround 3To of backup (other data are not critical if I loose them!)

    It depends on how you do the calculations.


    I used the Amazon.com prices of Seagate IronWolf 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 TB, without shipping.


    HDD price/size in TB


    Disk only
    4TB: $30/TB
    6TB: $32/TB
    8TB: $29/TB
    10TB: $30/TB
    12TB: $32/TB
    14TB: $36/TB


    But if you add the cost of the computer and the disk bay where you put the disk, as well as cost for PSU, SD card and cables things becomes different.


    Lets say that one HC2 costs in total $90 plugged in and running, but without HDD. With shipping, PSU, SD-card, network cable, a port in a switch.


    Then the cost per TB online becomes very different for different sizes of HDDs.


    (HDD price + HC2 total price)/size in TB


    Disk with NAS online:
    4TB: $52/TB
    6TB: $47/TB
    8TB: $40/TB
    10TB: $39/TB
    12TB: $39/TB
    14TB: $42/TB


    So the best price per TB online NAS storage with HC2 and IronWolf would be 10-12TB size disk.


    This is assuming you really need that much storage. Now or in the close future. If you don't then a smaller HDD makes more sense, obviously. But the point is that bigger HDDs becomes more cost effective if you include the cost of all the hardware needed to make it available on the network. And, of course, fewer HDDs means less power!


    These calculations are only approximate. If you are curious you should do them yourself for your brand of HDDs and NAS computer hardware and the prices you have. You may also want to plug in other costs like shelf space, power cables, network infrastructure, labor.


    I did this calculation before I decided I liked HC2 with 12TB HDDs.

    Be smart - be lazy. Clone your rootfs.
    OMV 5: 9 x Odroid HC2 + 1 x Odroid HC1 + 1 x Raspberry Pi 4

  • have you some ideas of new ODROID in 2019 ?


    Neither know nor care. They do not develop in the open but just present products when ready (and even if they announce a product it might happen that they cancel it directly afterwards as they did with their N1 or a product like H2 is sold out within 24 hours and is not available again for months due to supply issues). IMO none of their boards except HC2 and HC1 looks appealing for the NAS use case anyway.


    Looking what happens around TL Lim (Pine64 founder) or Olimex is more interesting since they have an open ear for community, announce products in early design stage and do even last minute product iterations based on community feedback. Unfortunately TL Lim's 'Cloudmedia Transformer' is way too expensive. Especially if there would be a 3.5" variant at reasonable costs I wouldn't recommend HC1/HC2 any more.


    Rockpro64 with ASM1061 SATA card... add the NAS enclosure and it already gets quite expensive even if this is something working very reliable with very low idle consumption (especially compared to a Mini-ITX solution using a normal ATX PSU). My take with SBC is single disk setups since if you add more disks both costs and consumption always increase a lot.

  • One HC2 run Armbian and different server software with root filesystem, software, databases and metadata on a SSD. Like Emby and LMS. And mostly use two of the other HC2s for data storage. They are also used for rsync snapshots of clients. Two HC2s are only used for local backups. Typically daily rsync snapshots of important folders on the data storage servers. Two HC2 are new and are not yet in use, they will most likely be set up at a relatives place as NAS/media server, possibly also NextCloud, for them to use and as a remote backup for me. I intend to do some experiments first. Mostly for fun.


    I planned to use one HC2 with SSD and cached NFS as a central server. But unfortunately I can't get FS-cache working on Armbian, so I may reconsider and distribute the server software.


    I may get a more powerful central server and use the HC2s mainly as storage and backup storage servers in the near future. But it seems difficult to find. Nvme ssd, 64 bit, >= 4GB, transcoding, ability to run FS-cache. X86 64 is starting to look attractive...

    Be smart - be lazy. Clone your rootfs.
    OMV 5: 9 x Odroid HC2 + 1 x Odroid HC1 + 1 x Raspberry Pi 4

    Edited 2 times, last by Adoby ().

  • Unfortunately TL Lim's 'Cloudmedia Transformer' is way too expensive. Especially if there would be a 3.5" variant at reasonable costs I wouldn't recommend HC1/HC2 any more.

    OMG! I haven't seen this solution.


    My original quest was a NAS + HTPC in order to have only one device which is doing both things. However, after asking on some forum, they said me that it is hard and expensive to find such device with low power consumption! So they told me to buy a NVIDIA TV Shield and a separate NAS (QNAP, Synology, or HomeMade solution)!


    Is the Popcorn Hour Transformer Media Computer can really do both, NAS and Android TV at the same time ? Is this solution is smooth as NVIDIA TV shield ?


    It is so bad that they do not support 3.5 HDD, they are no solution to adapt 3.5HDD, for example with a higher power supply ? It would be so perfect... But it can still replace the NVIDIA solution as it is less expensive if it has the same performances.


    Thanks for the discovery!

  • Is the Popcorn Hour Transformer Media Computer can really do both, NAS and Android TV at the same time ?

    Unlikely. The 'Transformer' is the same as a Rock64 or a Libre Computer Renegade. Board/device vendors are pretty much irrelevant. Wrt software support it's all about the SoC in question (Rockchip RK3328 here).


    The great advantage of the Transformer just like with the HC1 and HC2 is that they save you from the usual shit show called 'USB3-A cable/connector hassles average users are not willing to accept (same with http://www.kovu.io as well).


    You can use an RK3328 device as Media Center and NAS at the same time but I would do it with Linux then (search Armbian forum for 'RK3328 media testing script').


    If you have no problem using proprietary software you might end up using a device based on RealTek 1295 or 1296. They run Android with an embedded OpenWRT for NAS usage. Hardware is really nice, software is proprietary crap, check review/information on cox-software.com (there's a search bar in the upper right).


    SBC are that freaking inexpensive that I would combine some el cheapo Amlogic S905X box with Android as media player with some other suitable SBC for the NAS use case. But I definitely don't want to use Android so not that much into this stuff anyway...

  • Ok, thanks, I thought that it would be possible to run Android and Linux (OMV) at the same time, but after thinking, it can't be possible! Or maybe with some virtualisation, but I don't want that!


    So, the best solution in my case is still to split the media center and the NAS. Odroid HC-2 for the NAS, and NVIDIA SHIELD TV or other box for my TV.


    Maybe I haven't understood very well your last sentence, are you suggest me to look to another box than the Shield TV ? Everyone seems to say that the Shield TV, released in 2015, is still the best as box TV. But I am wondering to try another box less expensive!

  • Everyone seems to say that the Shield TV, released in 2015, is still the best as box TV


    Watching TV and playing games are two different things. 'TV' means good decoding support in HW (in ARM land called 'VPU') while gaming means great 3D acceleration (in ARM land called 'GPU' -- most common misunderstanding since with x86 GPU means everything display related: the ability to output a high resolution image, 2D/3D acceleration and video acceleration).

  • Hi,


    I have another idea for my installation. I also want to try to automate my home with home assistant (hass.io or hassbian)


    I thought to use a raspberry pi, but I found that we can be limited with this board for home automation. So I thought that maybe I can but a better hard solutions to run openmediavault and home assistant!


    What do you recommend for this use?


    Thanks again, sorry for all my ideas which are crossing my head!

  • OMV has functionality to change the spindown time. But it doesn't seem to work with HC2 and some HDDs. Like Seagate IronWolf or WD RED. In some cases it may even bork the install.


    There are several threads and posts here about this. Check for instance this thread for tips on how to increase the spindown time:


    6TB WD Red in HC2 - am I definitely going to have problems with spindown?

    Be smart - be lazy. Clone your rootfs.
    OMV 5: 9 x Odroid HC2 + 1 x Odroid HC1 + 1 x Raspberry Pi 4

  • HC2 is now $59.50 with the power supply.
    Is there a Synology equivalent in terms of CPU/RAM ?

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