Suggestions on NAS hardware

  • Hey,

    I'm trying to built my first NAS and would therefore appreciate your suggestions regarding the hardware. I have built some PCs before, but building a NAS is new to me. Till now I am running a Raspi 3 with OMV 4, which does well, but limits me mainly because of the 100 Mbit Ethernet. Also I would like to connect the hard drives directly via SATA and not via the USB port. For my NAS I'd like something scalable, so if I need more resources I have room to upgrade it. Also it shouldn't be to big (mini ITX) and look decent as it will be standing in my living room (I have a small city apartment). Therefore it should also be somewhat quite and have a decent energy consumption. The NAS will be used as a file storage, for backups (no RAID required yet, I will occasionally clone the important files to an external hard drive), media server (for Kodi) and maybe running some dockers (homeassistant, influxdb, grafana, etc., which are running fine on the Raspi 3 right now and till now I have no reason to change that).


    After going through some built suggestions (mainly elefacts and ct) I chose the following hardware:

    Fractal Design Node 304 (about € 80.00)

    ASRock B460M-ITX/ac (about € 100.00)

    Intel Celeron G5905 (about € 35.00)

    Arctic Alpine 12 Passive (about € 10.00)

    Kingston ValueRAM DIMM 8GB, DDR4-2400 (about € 30.00)

    be quiet! System Power B9 300W (about € 35.00)

    Kingston A2000 NVMe PCIe SSD 250GB (about € 35.00)

    Total: € 325.00


    What would you say about that build? Any suggestions about improvements? Thanks a lot!


    Edit: I found a similar recent build on this forum: Hardware thoughts, however I don't like the mainboard with only 2 SATA ports and I feel like the CPU is a bit of an overkill for me. I'd rather go for more RAM in my setup. I like the idea of the smaller PSU and in the elefacts article they also suggest a picoPSU. However, I don't have any experience with these PSUs and I'm not sure how well they can handle a lot of HDDs. Any experiences?


    Just a thought from my side: I don't feel like ECC RAM is necessary for me at that point, especially because server mainboards are about 100 € more expensive. However, it might be a thing to consider for an upgrade in the future. Therefore, it might be an idea to go for an ECC ready CPU and RAM, because they are not significantly more expensive and wouldn't have to be upgraded then. I can't find ECC ready CPUs on the LGA 1200 socket right now, so I would have to switch to LGA 1151v2 then. What are your thoughts about that?

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  • running a Raspi 3 with OMV 4, which does well, but limits me mainly because of the 100 Mbit Ethernet. Also I would like to connect the hard drives directly via SATA and not via the USB port.

    May I ask for the reasons to rule out an RPi4 or RK3399-based ARM with 4-port SATA hat?

    omv 6.0.8 (Shaitan) on RPi CM4/4GB with 64bit Kernel 5.10.63

    2x 6TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 via 2port PCIe SATA card with ASM1061R chipset providing hardware supported RAID1


    omv 5.6.21-1 (usul) on RPi4/4GB with Kernel 5.10.63 and WittyPi 3 V2 RTC HAT

    2x 3TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 in Icy Box IB-RD3662-C31 / hardware supported RAID1

    For Read/Write performance of SMB shares hosted on this hardware see forum here

    Edited once, last by mi-hol ().

  • The build makes sense. Cost effective yet powerful (x86-64) if you want to run some stuff.


    I would not buy a passive cooler, I recommend the one I used in my build, it's pretty effective and silent.


    Small PSU don't make sense if you want to use many drives, which this case can have. Check how many SATA ports has the BeQuiet.


    ECC is very expensive and is not worth for a home user IMHO.


    If you'd like to use SnapRAID instead of standard RAID, you can take advantage of two technologies which mitigate the lack of ECC: periodic check of existing parity data and re-hash of the data during parity calculations. Additionally don't forget to make backups and keep them offline.

    ECC is unofficially supported by AMD systems. I really like AMD CPUs but based on motherboard/CPU availability you'd might be better stick with Intel and no ECC.

    OMV BUILD - MY NAS KILLER - OMV 5.x + omvextrasorg


    Core i3-8300 - ASRock H370M-ITX/ac - 8GB RAM - Sandisk Ultra Flair 32GB (OMV), 256GB NVME SSD (Docker), 3x4TB HDD (Data) - Fractal Design Node 304 - Be quiet! Pure Power 11 350W

  • May I ask for the reasons to rule out an RPi4 or RK8899-based ARM with 4-port SATA hat?

    I am definitely not ruling it out. I guess I just lack knowledge about how to set this up.


    First of all: What about the housing? I just found the Icy Box and as far as I saw them they work with via USB. Doesn't that limit the transfer speed quite much?


    With the SATA hat the transfer speed is not limited by USB, I guess, but are there housings for this kind of setup?


    Considering the price, I estimated about 60 € for a Raspi 4 with 4 GB RAM or 80 € for 8 GB RAM. Including the housing, which I estimated with at least 100 € (considering Icy Box), and the additional smaller parts (PSU, adapter, etc.) I don't expect the system to be below 200 €.


    My main concern, however, is the lack of scalability.

  • I managed to get my hands on an old Dell Optiplex 9010 with i5 processor and 16gb ram (non-ecc). With this hardware I can build a cheap nas with better performance then commercial ones for less then half the price. Regarding RPi, I've actually tested OMV5 on RPi4 8 GB RAM and used it to run some database servers and I found its performance degrade within 1 week of continuous operation. On the other hand Old computer hardware has been behaving much better with all those applications + plex media which would've added a lot of load on the computer. Cost wise, old hardware will still beat Rpi4 as accessories for computers are cheaper compared to RPi.

  • Thanks for your reply!

    Have to take a look into SnapRAID. So far I haven't seen the need for RAID, but maybe that is something for me.


    I have no experience with AMD at all, so I'd rather stick to Intel tbh. But if you can suggest some hardware from AMD I'm open to everything.


    What is your opinion about the motherboards with onboard CPU (like the ASRock J5040-ITX)? On the one hand I don't like the lack of scalability. On the other hand, however, I like the really low power consumption. But I have no experience on how that affects the power consumption of the whole system during "normal" operation.

  • Onboard and dedicated Intel CPU use virtually the same power when idle, which is most of the time of a home server. The difference would be seen under heavy load.


    I don't like the lack of expandability as well, but Intel is bad and changes CPU socket every generation or so, so when you will want to upgrade you'll have to change the motherboard anyway.


    I would still buy a separate CPU and motherboard, because you have more freedom on the features you need.


    RAID might not be necessary, but redundancy is!!!

    OMV BUILD - MY NAS KILLER - OMV 5.x + omvextrasorg


    Core i3-8300 - ASRock H370M-ITX/ac - 8GB RAM - Sandisk Ultra Flair 32GB (OMV), 256GB NVME SSD (Docker), 3x4TB HDD (Data) - Fractal Design Node 304 - Be quiet! Pure Power 11 350W

  • omv 6.0.8 (Shaitan) on RPi CM4/4GB with 64bit Kernel 5.10.63

    2x 6TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 via 2port PCIe SATA card with ASM1061R chipset providing hardware supported RAID1


    omv 5.6.21-1 (usul) on RPi4/4GB with Kernel 5.10.63 and WittyPi 3 V2 RTC HAT

    2x 3TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 in Icy Box IB-RD3662-C31 / hardware supported RAID1

    For Read/Write performance of SMB shares hosted on this hardware see forum here

    Edited once, last by mi-hol ().

  • OMV5 on RPi4 8 GB RAM and used it to run some database servers and I found its performance degrade within 1 week of continuous operation

    Please tell us a bit more about the storage hardware used to host the databases

    omv 6.0.8 (Shaitan) on RPi CM4/4GB with 64bit Kernel 5.10.63

    2x 6TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 via 2port PCIe SATA card with ASM1061R chipset providing hardware supported RAID1


    omv 5.6.21-1 (usul) on RPi4/4GB with Kernel 5.10.63 and WittyPi 3 V2 RTC HAT

    2x 3TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 in Icy Box IB-RD3662-C31 / hardware supported RAID1

    For Read/Write performance of SMB shares hosted on this hardware see forum here

  • Thanks for your answer.


    I still have to think about how to set up a proper redundancy for data safety. SnapRAID sounds really interesting. However it still occupies a full hard drive. As most of my data is not backup-worthy I feel like this might still exceed my needs. I was thinking about occasionally copying the important files (private photos & documents) to an external hard drive, which could then be unmounted (or powered off via a smart plug). This would reduce power consumption and make it save against a theoretical total system failure, am I right?

  • Thanks for your answer.


    I still have to think about how to set up a proper redundancy for data safety. SnapRAID sounds really interesting. However it still occupies a full hard drive. As most of my data is not backup-worthy I feel like this might still exceed my needs. I was thinking about occasionally copying the important files (private photos & documents) to an external hard drive, which could then be unmounted (or powered off via a smart plug). This would reduce power consumption and make it save against a theoretical total system failure, am I right?

    This is what you always think at the beginning, but you can't predict hardware failures, you can only prevent them.


    An external hard drive is a good backup solution, this is what I use to make my first backup and manually connect it once a week.

    OMV BUILD - MY NAS KILLER - OMV 5.x + omvextrasorg


    Core i3-8300 - ASRock H370M-ITX/ac - 8GB RAM - Sandisk Ultra Flair 32GB (OMV), 256GB NVME SSD (Docker), 3x4TB HDD (Data) - Fractal Design Node 304 - Be quiet! Pure Power 11 350W

  • First of all: What about the housing?

    > standard RPi case for ~ 5Euro

    >> I was more talking about the housing for the hard drives, but that was answered by your side later on, thanks!


    I just found the Icy Box and as far as I saw them they work with via USB.

    > Did you read the datasheet? Do you know the data transfer rate of the different USB Standards?
    >> Honestly, no I didn't. However, I did now.


    Doesn't that limit the transfer speed quite much?

    > The really relevant bottleneck for every NAS is the network connection to the user's computer accessing the shared data (see the SMB benchmark result linked in my signature). While the NAS's internal data transfer rate can be way faster, what is the benefit for user?

    What speed does your network have?

    >> That's true. The most relevant devices are connected via 1 Gbit. Naturally, I will also use WiFi to access the NAS. So the real bottleneck is the network speed anyways.


    With the SATA hat the transfer speed is not limited by USB, I guess, but are there housings for this kind of setup?

    > yes, any PC ITX case (50 - 80 Euro) or https://www.electronicsweekly.…tion-raspberrypi-2020-03/

    >> The setup in the article sounds really nice and looks cool. I like that they put both the Raspi and the drives inside a single housing. I'd like not to use 2,5" HDDs though (again, because of their price point), so I prefer the IcyBox + Raspi setup.


    Considering the price, I estimated about 60 € for a Raspi 4 with 4 GB RAM or 80 € for 8 GB RAM. Including the housing, which I estimated with at least 100 € (considering Icy Box), and the additional smaller parts (PSU, adapter, etc.) I don't expect the system to be below 200 €.

    > if price is the concern, use the lower performance Icy Box IB-RD3620SU3 RAID/JBOD exactly matching the RPi USB3 transfer rate. This should bring it to the 120-130 Euro range with the exact same performance

    >> Price ain't the main concern. Naturally, I'd like to get the most out of my money though.


    My main concern, however, is the lack of scalability.

    > please elaborate, for how many users or other task the NAS should scale to
    >> Right now only my girlfriend and me. The inability to increase RAM or CPU power without changing the whole system still worries me. I don't use a lot of dockers yet, nor do I feel the need to run any VM. But you know: Appetite comes with eating.



    All in all, I really have to take a deeper look into that kind of setup. It sounds like a really promising idea in regards to price and power consumption. Thanks for your input! I'll have to come back to you when I took a deeper look into it, I guess!

  • The inability to increase RAM or CPU power without changing the whole system still worries me

    I have a 4GB Pi, Memory used with 3 docker containers is less than 50%. Cpu used on average 10% so buy the 8GB now and you'll have RAM capacity for the next 3-5 years :)

    omv 6.0.8 (Shaitan) on RPi CM4/4GB with 64bit Kernel 5.10.63

    2x 6TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 via 2port PCIe SATA card with ASM1061R chipset providing hardware supported RAID1


    omv 5.6.21-1 (usul) on RPi4/4GB with Kernel 5.10.63 and WittyPi 3 V2 RTC HAT

    2x 3TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 in Icy Box IB-RD3662-C31 / hardware supported RAID1

    For Read/Write performance of SMB shares hosted on this hardware see forum here

  • looks cool. I like that they put both the Raspi and the drives inside a single housing. I'd like not to use 2,5" HDDs though

    the special very small case is limited to 2,5 HDDS, but if a ITX/ATX case gets used that limit goes away. Needed are SATA Data Extentions Cable M / F 22P 7 + 15P see the section:

    "For 3.5 inch HDD, a standard ATX PSU is required to power the HDD and the Raspberry PI itself. With 4 3.5inch HDDs, the PSU should be 60W or more.


    Quad sata hat 35 hdd.jpg

    omv 6.0.8 (Shaitan) on RPi CM4/4GB with 64bit Kernel 5.10.63

    2x 6TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 via 2port PCIe SATA card with ASM1061R chipset providing hardware supported RAID1


    omv 5.6.21-1 (usul) on RPi4/4GB with Kernel 5.10.63 and WittyPi 3 V2 RTC HAT

    2x 3TB 3.5'' HDDs formatted with ext4 in Icy Box IB-RD3662-C31 / hardware supported RAID1

    For Read/Write performance of SMB shares hosted on this hardware see forum here

  • the special very small case is limited to 2,5 HDDS, but if a ITX/ATX case gets used that limit goes away. Needed are SATA Data Extentions Cable M / F 22P 7 + 15P see the section:

    "For 3.5 inch HDD, a standard ATX PSU is required to power the HDD and the Raspberry PI itself. With 4 3.5inch HDDs, the PSU should be 60W or more.


    Quad sata hat 35 hdd.jpg

    I've seen this before.. and it is very intriguing. Is there an adapter to plug the Pi into the ATX PSU, or do you essentially have to run 2 power supplies? Or do I have to break out my knife and soldering iron? I've not been able to find an answer to this.

    Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.


  • 've seen this before.. and it is very intriguing. Is there an adapter to plug the Pi into the ATX PSU, or do you essentially have to run 2 power supplies? Or do I have to break out my knife and soldering iron? I've not been able to find an answer to this.

    Yep, the yellow/red/black cable is the floppy connector from a PSU. you could wire that to a 5V/12V power supply instead and power. Then you could power the pi with that as well. The hat has a barrel connector to power the RPI, hat and 2.5" drives.


    But until raxda makes this hat work without the stupid script and non-linuxy way of detecting the hat and drivers, I won't recommend it. NanoPiM4 is better (and not usb).

    omv 6.0.8-1 Shaitan | 64 bit | 5.15 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 6.0.5 | kvm plugin 6.0.3
    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github


    Please read this before posting a question.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • Yep, the yellow/red/black cable is the floppy connector from a PSU. you could wire that to a 5V/12V power supply instead and power. Then you could power the pi with that as well. The hat has a barrel connector to power the RPI, hat and 2.5" drives.


    But until raxda makes this hat work without the stupid script and non-linuxy way of detecting the hat and drivers, I won't recommend it. NanoPiM4 is better (and not usb).

    hmm.. i've seen the nanopi mentioned before... i'll take a look at it.

    Air Conditioners are a lot like PC's... They work great until you open Windows.


  • hmm.. i've seen the nanopi mentioned before... i'll take a look at it.

    While I've only had it for about a week, the odroid-hc4 is very good if you only need two drives.

    omv 6.0.8-1 Shaitan | 64 bit | 5.15 proxmox kernel | omvextrasorg 6.0.5 | kvm plugin 6.0.3
    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github


    Please read this before posting a question.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • The NanoPi M4 (v. 1 with 4 meg ram) with the sata hat is my backup server. It’s mounted atop a 5-bay drive cage with a Mean Well power supply sitting in the bottom of the cage and three 3.5” disks in the top of the cage. Too tight IMO for the fourth disk. Makes a nice conversation piece. Works well for me. I have pics in a post somewhere. Yes, you will need to pull your soldering iron and knife out.

    Easy data backup: In a Scheduled Job: rsync -av --delete /srv/dev-disk-by-label-SOURCE/ /srv/dev-disk-by-label-DESTINATION/ (HT: Getting Started with OMV5)
    OMV 5 (current) - Thinkserver TS140, Nextcloud, Plex, Airsonic, Navidrome, Ubooquity, Digikam, Wetty, & Heimdall - NanoPi M4 (v.1): backups using Rsync and Rsnapshot - Odroid XU4 (Using DietPi): PiHole - hc2, xu4, Pi 3B+, Odroid H2, and VirtualBox: Testing and playing - Mac user converting to Linux, Debian 10 KDE.

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