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Thread: NAS - self build or buy premade?

  1. #17
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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    This basically @atemporal. Almost no one currently has a 10GigE network at home, and even those who do are unlikely to be shifting data at such volumes, so regularly that it's worth the hefty premium over spinning rust.
    I think you're missing the point I was making. I'm not advocating a full SSD NAS - caching can speed up the day to day performance of your spinning disks without being hideously expensive.

    I'm certainly not suggesting that anyone should spend hundreds of pounds on a 10gig network - it works for me but, as I said, I'm impatient.

    A 2.5GbE network is very affordable and HDDs would still benefit from SSD caching.

    If you're sticking to GbE then I agree, there's no real benefit, outside of port-trunking to a managed switch.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    I am running 1xcat6a f/ftp and 1xcat6 utp to each socket (I was going to use all cat6 but can't get shielded 6 solid-core f/ftp, just u/ftp. A few runs go alongside mains cables and a few sites suggest you want s/ftp or f/ftp for that. So if paying for 6a to get f/ftp I may as well fit 6a keystone connectors too) I figure I may as well just fit a 10Gb network now and be done with it. The lengths involved mean the cat6 should run faster than 1Gb too, possibly even handle 10Gb themselves where there's no interference.

    If I could get short lengths of 6a I'd probably just get another box of cat6 utp and that would be that for the most part, but since I have to order min 300m of the stuff I may as well use it.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Should I build my own and use freeNAS or get off-the-shelf QNAP/another?

    If self build what should I go for? Should I get x570 to load it up with nvme (and expand in future) or would b550 for nvme caching and a mix of sata SSD and HDD be good enough?

    The specs of off-the-shelf seem a bit crappy to me.
    One of my concerns would be power usage at idle (possible 95% of the time).
    Haven't seen any group tests of mobos with power consumption figures (but then I haven't really looked), I remember the Renoir tests over CB where the DeskMini X300 idled at around 13W:
    https://www.computerbase.de/2020-09/...watt_unterwegs
    while their other Renoir review idled at around 23W.
    https://www.computerbase.de/2020-10/..._gross_in_form

    APUs seems to make a big differences anyhow as looking at their Zen3 reviews:
    https://www.computerbase.de/2020-11/...f_bis_volllast
    idle is 40W+.
    APUs also don't need a graphic card.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    I went down the AMD APU route when I shrunk mine, I was waiting for the newer APU's to come out but ran out of patience and grabbed a 3400G, the boards an x570 though so I can upgrade that if needs be.
    If there's any testing you want me to do I don't mind.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spreadie View Post
    They do improve speed, if your network speed is sufficient. There's little point is SSD caching if you're limited to 1 GbE LAN, and upping the speed can be expensive
    SSD caching mitigates RAID5 parity write latency, and head travel latency when accessing lots of small files - Particularly useful in multi-user environments, even with a single 1Gbe interface.

    Long sequential reads by a single user are a different matter entirely. SSD caching provides little benefit and interface throughput becomes more important.

    - 2.5 GbE is only now becoming commonplace on new mid to high end motherboards, but you need a capable NAS or server, so you can expect to cough for a new NIC. Also, unless it's basically running as a DAS unit, you'll need a switch capable of supporting 2.5GbE or Nbase-T to benefit from the improved bandwidth.
    Any decent NAS that supports SSD caching is going to support VLANS, jumbo frames and link aggregation - So quite a few options to improve throughput utilising existing 1Gbe infrastructures before the upgrade to relatively immature 2.5Gbe.

    Every upgrade to LAN speed so far has filtered down from the enterprise, into smaller organisations and finally home users, as interop issues are worked out and prices fall (for a multitude of reasons). Not saying 2.5Gbe can't buck the trend but with the enterprise already invested in 10Gbe and home users focussed on WiFi, I struggle to see a clear market outside of enthusiast bragging rights.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    One thing I have just noticed going over the earlier posts, you mention backup, and then put RAID...

    RAID IS NOT BACKUP

    Sorry to out that bit in caps but you get the point...

    If you run a self build and stick Windows on it, you have the option to use Stablebit Scanner and Drivepool, which is kinda like JBOD, but gives you the option of duplicating folders or entire pools over the disks so that in the event of a disk failure you wont loose data, and the pools use NTFS so if you have a big issue you can just stick your drives into another machine and there's your data, where as with RAID, you are opening a whole can of worms with, most likely, very little benefit..

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    One thing I have just noticed going over the earlier posts, you mention backup, and then put RAID...

    RAID IS NOT BACKUP

    Sorry to out that bit in caps but you get the point...

    If you run a self build and stick Windows on it, you have the option to use Stablebit Scanner and Drivepool, which is kinda like JBOD, but gives you the option of duplicating folders or entire pools over the disks so that in the event of a disk failure you wont loose data, and the pools use NTFS so if you have a big issue you can just stick your drives into another machine and there's your data, where as with RAID, you are opening a whole can of worms with, most likely, very little benefit..
    No. Quite right. I guess in my mind raid=redundancy against single drive failure (in the right configuration). Backup would be on an occasional basis to an air-gapped big volume HDD, photos to long-term MDisc/BDR, and key stuff to cloud too. I may even do a once-a-year copy to a HDD stored off site if it comes to it, but then you have the issue of where.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    ....

    RAID IS NOT BACKUP

    ....
    Absolutely.

    For me, RAID has usually been about keeping the system up, not least 'cos having users sitting twiddling their thumbs is .... Not Good.

    For instance (and not still the case) supermarket checkouts relying on back-office servers for full functionality ... sometimes, any functionality at all. Server goes down, checkouts stop functioning, customers can't buy stuff. That kind of "Not Good".

    RAID gives a kind-of user parachute BUT .... if you ever need to rely on it, you will lose some, or all, redundancy. Then .... no parachute until you fix things. It helps avoid data loss, in many situations, but is no backup substitute.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    No. Quite right. I guess in my mind raid=redundancy against single drive failure (in the right configuration). Backup would be on an occasional basis to an air-gapped big volume HDD, photos to long-term MDisc/BDR, and key stuff to cloud too. I may even do a once-a-year copy to a HDD stored off site if it comes to it, but then you have the issue of where.
    This is why Stablebits stuff works well, you can add any sort of drive to the Pool really easily, and then decide which folders in the pool are duplicated to other drives, you can even tell it how many copies of that important data to duplicate, have 4 drives, you can duplicate that data to all 4 if you require, add to that Scanner, which monitors the SMART on drives, you can even evacuate drives from the pool on the say so of Scanner, but you need to be running Windows, which may or may not be suitable for your usage..

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    Absolutely.

    For me, RAID has usually been about keeping the system up, not least 'cos having users sitting twiddling their thumbs is .... Not Good.

    For instance (and not still the case) supermarket checkouts relying on back-office servers for full functionality ... sometimes, any functionality at all. Server goes down, checkouts stop functioning, customers can't buy stuff. That kind of "Not Good".

    RAID gives a kind-of user parachute BUT .... if you ever need to rely on it, you will lose some, or all, redundancy. Then .... no parachute until you fix things. It helps avoid data loss, in many situations, but is no backup substitute.
    Oh yeah, RAID has its place, but as a replacement for backup it most certainly isn't..

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    I had a tonne of issues with a Qnap device. The disks would drop and rejoin the array constantly, and in the end 2 out of the 6 bays failed which meant we'd have to send back the whole unit to have the board replaced, leaving us with no backup unit at all. Complete waste of time sadly.

    I'd never go back to one, and would continue to self build.
    Finally back to a nice low powered i5, 2x RAID cards mirroring each other + JBOD backup drives & cloud storage.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Hello, thread resurrection time. If I was to try and do a NAS would I better to do NVMe caching with NAS HDD or NAS sata SSD and no nvme caching? What drives would people recommend? Would the cache NVMe need to be enterprise grade, and how big do they need to be (or rather how much is "enough")?

    There are a few (QNAP, Synology etc) NAS chassis that support NVMe caching, I've not found a self-build NAS case that does that. Does anyone know of any? (or would it just be off a motherboard same as usual for a self-build?)

    Edit: Would this be suitable for a DIY build for freeNAS? The case takes 2 SSD inside and 5 hot-swap 3.5" bays and takes ATX motherboard. I'd need to get a motherboard with nvme and ECC support mind... :s
    Last edited by ik9000; 25-02-2021 at 12:19 AM.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Depends on your use case. If it's a basic file store and backup then caching won't make much difference. Equally if most access is going to be done remotely (i.e. Not the local network,) then connection speed will become a limitation long before caching would benefit.

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    Depends on your use case. If it's a basic file store and backup then caching won't make much difference. Equally if most access is going to be done remotely (i.e. Not the local network,) then connection speed will become a limitation long before caching would benefit.
    yeah i was reading an article last night that said it makes a big difference to writes, but not so much to reads, and you get better performance using SSDs instead of HDD, but then bulk storage is much more expensive.

    Trying to find a good NAS option is a pain. The prebuilt ones get mixed reviews (QNAP, Synology etc) but trying to find parts for a self-build is not easy either. It surprises me how low spec the CPUs are in the prebuilt. They all seem to be atom / similar. Are they really good enough?

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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    I'd need to get a motherboard with nvme and ECC support mind... :s
    Just thought I'd mention you don't necessarily need NVME ports on the motherboard as you can get NVME PCIe cards, just in case you find a motherboard that suited your requirements in other areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    They all seem to be atom / similar. Are they really good enough?
    Yes if storage was your only use case and it didnt have Windows as the OS.

    If you have Windows as your OS I'd opt for a mid power (35-65W) mid range i5.

    Storage activities don't really engage the CPU unless you have some sort of scanning on there and even then AV software is pretty effiicient these days.

    I love the principle of pre-made and if I didn't have such an awful experience of our QNAP I'd be looking at them again. They save a lot of setup time and are very convenient. Very much a set & forget.

  17. #32
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    Re: NAS - self build or buy premade?

    Quote Originally Posted by AGTDenton View Post
    Just thought I'd mention you don't necessarily need NVME ports on the motherboard as you can get NVME PCIe cards, just in case you find a motherboard that suited your requirements in other areas.


    Yes if storage was your only use case and it didnt have Windows as the OS.

    If you have Windows as your OS I'd opt for a mid power (35-65W) mid range i5.

    Storage activities don't really engage the CPU unless you have some sort of scanning on there and even then AV software is pretty effiicient these days.

    I love the principle of pre-made and if I didn't have such an awful experience of our QNAP I'd be looking at them again. They save a lot of setup time and are very convenient. Very much a set & forget.
    Set and forget is kind of what I'd default to atm as lots of other things need my time. I need ability to stream music files, to alexa and enabled hifis, store house admin and photos so any other permitted user (mrs ik9000) can log in and access stuff without having to displace me from my machine, and bascially act as a big file store that maintains itself. I'm not too fussed about VPN access, though would prefer to have the option if possible. What I don't want though is an experience like people have mentioned with constantly jittery systems that are forever RMA cases etc, or worse data loss as a result.

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