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Thread: Making a NAS Server

  1. #1
    Metier9
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    Making a NAS Server

    So any ideas what i need, ive been looking but i wish for some other input. Aiming to get a 1 TB set and will load a linux distro, then later a windows 2003 installation. Want to get this for under £500 (excluding windows 2003), any help wanted

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    If you are doing it from scratch then investigate the compatibility of your hardware for linux. I used an old P4 board I had and a Promise SATA300 4 port card. No problems with linux compatibility with the new kernels (2.6.15 and above which just about came out when I built it so was a bit touch and go at the time). Currently have 3 400Gb drives in - non raid as the data is replaceable (DVD backups and ripped cds). Linux does the job via Samba and I have no need to use Windows at all for the task.

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    Have a look at FreeNAS, it's based off FreeBSD and m0n0wall, quite stable and easy to setup and there's some implementation of software RAID5 although I've not used that.
    You could use fairly old hardware, I've had good results with stuff like a PII 350 with 128MB ram, although you'd be wanting a bit better if you'll be going for 1TB. Everything is configured from the web interface with it and the OS can run off a compact flash card or USB - I had to use CF>IDE but depending on bios you could boot from USB.

  4. #4
    Metier9
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    I had a look at FreeNAS and recogisned it from what a colleague was using for some testing purposes. My biggest 'iffy' part is what motherboard to get, I want RAID 0 i think, the one where you have by example 4 * 320GB drives but 3 are for data and 1 backups up the rest of the drives. That or its raid 5.

    Basically i want to find a motherboard with 4 - 8 SATA interfaces which can be RAID'ed up or a controller card for under £200 lol... i like the £50 - £75 number.

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    I've been looking at this, really need to get some drives out of my main machine as 6 hard drives and 1.6tb is waaaay too much, was thinking something that preferably has a small spec requirement but uses NTFS so I can just stick my current drives straight into it.

  6. #6
    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    • nichomach's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DR3
      • Storage:
      • 1x250GB Maxtor SATAII, 1x 400GB Hitachi SATAII
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Zotac GTX 1060 3GB
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 500W
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Elite 430
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 20" TFT
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media Cable
    That'd be RAID5 - striping with parity. FreeNAS supports RAID5 in software, so no worries there. Don't know why you'd want server 2003 if the box is only there for storage.

  7. #7
    Metier9
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    Im sticking server 2003 on for learning purposes later on. A.k.a MCSE 2003.

    Any ideas on a cheap motherboard with 8 SATA connections? that i can use for RAID 5 and does windows server 2003 support RAID 5 in software?

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nichomach View Post
    That'd be RAID5 - striping with parity. FreeNAS supports RAID5 in software, so no worries there. Don't know why you'd want server 2003 if the box is only there for storage.
    volume shadow copy ? - agreed that 2k3 is overkill for most home use
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

  9. #9
    Metier9
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    Well im going to play in the Land of AD... then make it a proxy, then install exchange to play about, then sql... etc. etc. etc.. well you get the idea anyway.

    But for the most part at the moment its going to be a download machine.

  10. #10
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    you want a motherboard with 0 sata interfaces, and a hardware raid controller card
    much better than software raid

  11. #11
    Metier9
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    My bank account would die if i did that

  12. #12
    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    not really, any old motherboard will do. try to get one with PCI-X so you can use a PCI-X based sata controller, much more bandwidth, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

    you can get them on pci-e 4x now, but they're expensive, just like any good raid card
    Last edited by Steve B; 02-02-2007 at 12:29 PM.

  13. #13
    Metier9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    not really, any old motherboard will do. try to get one with PCI-X so you can use a PCI-X based sata controller, much more bandwidth.
    how much are we talking for the controller card?

    edit:

    Ok, seeing prices of like £250 for the cards.... but thats with 8 SATA interfaces

    an example:

    http://www.pricegrabber.co.uk/search...terid=16848840
    Last edited by Metier9; 02-02-2007 at 12:42 PM.

  14. #14
    Metier9
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    Ok so ive had a look around and came up with this... its got some upgradability in it for future use, but just wondered what you lot think.

    320 Gb Seagate ST3320620AS Barracuda 7200.10, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.5 ms, NCQ £54.11 £254.30 (4 of these)

    64Mb XFX 6500 Turbo Cache Mem 400 MHz, GPU 333 MHz, 4 Pipes, D-Sub DVI-I S-Video/TV Out £17.99 £21.14

    NZXT Zero Aluminum BLACK Full Tower Case w/o PSU £67.99 £79.89

    Foxconn P9657AA-8EKRS2H i965, S775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX £62.99 £74.01

    Intel Celeron D 336 Socket 775, 2.8GHz, 256KB Cache, Retail £25.49 £29.95

    1Gb (2X512Mb) Corsair Value Select, DDR2 PC5300 (667), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15 £46.99 £55.21

    330W Seasonic S12-330 Silent aPFC Hi-End Dual +12v 12cm Fan 20/24Pin 80% Eff' SATA/PCI-E Ready £32.00 £37.60

    Highpoint RocketRaid 2320 PCI-E 8Ch Raid5 SATAII Controller £159.95 £187.94

    I need to do some power calculations though... bit hard to do that at work.

  15. #15
    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    • nichomach's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DR3
      • Storage:
      • 1x250GB Maxtor SATAII, 1x 400GB Hitachi SATAII
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Zotac GTX 1060 3GB
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 500W
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Elite 430
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 20" TFT
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media Cable
    If it's going to be a server, and it's only going to be running a 775 Celeron-D, a discrete graphics card is probably overkill. If you're getting a RAID controller, then the onboard RAID is probably irrelevant also. I'd consider a board with integrated video, like http://www.dabs.com/ProductView.aspx?Quicklinx=48V9. Saves a few quid. Specs: http://www.intel.com/products/mother...65RY/index.htm

  16. #16
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    You may want to buy another controller - or depends how confident you are with the controller you are going to buy. The problem may arise when the card goes belly up and you need the data - your drives are fine but your RAID interface isn't. You probably need the exact same card or you maybe lucky and find one that is 'backward' compatible.

    Thats one reason if performance is not the ultimate criteria to use software raid - you can save some money and buy a bettwer spec CPU.

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