Need recommendations about low-noise/fanless NAS build

  • Hi All, I want to build a small NAS server for personal use. My main requirements are:

    • To support at least 4 HDD/SSD and be easily expandable to more disks.
    • To consume very little power during standby
    • To be fanless or with a very low noise-level
    • To have at least one Gigabit Ethernet port
    • To have at least one HDMI output and to be able to decode HEVC UHD@60fps video, HDR is not a must but would be nice if the GPU supports decoding of 4K UHD/HDR@60fps (optional)
    • To be able to act as an wireless access point with external antennas and support 2.4GHz and 5GHz and MU-MIMO, 802.11ac (optional)

    So I was thinking eventually to purchase Raspberry Pi 4 and re-purpose it for a NAS and eventually to connect to it an USB-3/USB-3.1 Hard Drive Enclosure with 4-5 bays for HDD/SDD. The problem is that those enclosures are usually quite pricey and have a couple of fans for the disks inside. I was also thinking about NVME PCIe SSD, since their heat dissipation and energy consumption will be minimal, but the downside is that they are also pricey. I was thinking to use ZFS for the data disks, but for me it is very important to be able to increase the size of the NAS pool and as far as I know this is not supported in ZFS. So if you have any recommendations about the data protection, sw/hw RAID, ZFS, other alternatives, recommended RAID levels, etc.

    I would be happy if you can share some links to such builds or the separate HW components.

    My budget is around 300-400 Euro (350-450$) for everything included, is this viable?

  • If you decide to not use the Pi (I wouldn't...but I built my NAS with an older i5 I had not doing anything) I recommend the Fractal Design cases...specifically, you could use a MiniITX build for the Node 304. It can fit up to 6 3.5 inch hard drives and has three fans and superior airflow. 2 x 92 silent fans and a single 140mm fan are quiet and the hard drives all have rubber mounts to absorb vibration.

    I built one with the mATX Node 804 and I couldn't be happier with the way they manage airflow and hard drive mounting.

  • Check this out -Jetway NF9W-2930. Jetway produce a lot of industrial motherboards that could fit what you require (they aren't super expensive like a lot of the server boards from ASRock, SuperMicro etc.).

    HP N54L Microserver, 20Gb Intel SSD, 4Gb RAM runing OMV 4.X
    HP N54L Microserver 20Gb Intel SSD, 8Gb RAM running OMV 4.X
    and loads of other PC's and NAS... OMV by far the best....
    (P.S. I hate Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 Vista, XP, 2K, ME, 98se, 98 and 95 - I have lost hours of my life to this windows virus)

  • I understand the first 4, but the last two don't make much sense for a typical NAS.

    These are my own opinions but, hosting video files in a network share makes sense for a server - rendering and watching videos should be done at a client. If your LAN has a router, that should be the wireless access point. Wireless connectivity is another matter but, for a server, a wired Ethernet connection is best.

  • Each to his own I guess, if that was what was wanted that was what was wanted.

    Plex and some media servers I think can actually do the decode and send to extremely low power screening devices, so maybe because of that.
    OMV has so many great plugins that it has prob got something to do with one of those.

    Personally now that there are so many ridiculously cheap settop boxes / devices that can decode and play crazy resolutions I am sort of with you and running kodi with a remote file store is prob much easier and more efficient.

    rockpi4 prob could do that and act as a hotspot / access point but as a top tip practically any old fibre router using the wan port rather than lan will convert to do the same.

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