Low-cost RAID NAS for home use?

  • gravyface

    I have a noisy, power-hungry Pentium 4 based Ubuntu server that I want to replace with a nice, low-power mini-ITX/Intel Atom-based machine to do my network services (DHCP, DNS, IPSec, Web/mail, FTP, etc.) and am thinking of a (hopefully) equally low-powered NAS using NFS over GbE with at least 1 TB space and a RAID 5 (preferred) or RAID 1 (likely) configuration for redundancy with a couple of spare disks I can swap in as needed down the road.

    Would I be better off getting a full sized ATX mobo/case and configuring the RAID internally? I really want to keep power consumption down as much as possible as I leave my home server up 24/7.

  • Answers
  • Peter Carrero

    A while back I was where you are, I had played with openfiler, freenas, etc... but then I got a couple of dlink dns-321: -22-155-009--Product">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822155009&cm_re=Dns-321--22-155-009--Product running at home. They are relatively inexpensive (I paid $89 for each) and run Linux on an ARM processor. Oh, each takes like 21watts to run. I could not build a system for $89 or less.

    I use the 2tb one as a media server for my home (pcs, macs and xboxes) and the 4tb one as a backup server.

    While the dlink will handle dhcp, nfs and even use dyndns, it won't give you IPSec or real dns at home. To complement it you can use the sheevaplug: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SheevaPlug we got a couple of these at work and they are pretty nifty!

  • Peter Mortensen

    Perhaps get the ITX style pc and add some external drives and an eSATA card.

    USB will not be as fast as eSata, especially if you're using raid and it's writing/reading from/to multiple drives at the same time, you can very quickly hit the limit of your usb controllers.

    Install linux and use lvm and mdadm for raid/volume management.

    Edit: if you're not comfortable with mdadm or lvm, pass the drives through to a virtualbox vm and install openfiler or freenas.

  • Peter Mortensen

    I think I'm going to buy some 2.5" 1 TB drives and setup a local RAID 1 on the mini-ITX box. There is no sense in adding another mini-ITX-based box just to host drives when a slightly larger case could easily accommodate a couple of extra 2.5" drives.

  • Cry Havok

    One option, that I have, is the Tranqil PC BBS2 server. As it's a standard mini-ITX (Atom) board in a custom case you can do pretty much anything you want with it. Couple it with some low power SATA drives and you have a cool, quiet, low-power server.

  • Related Question

    A good solution for home backups and file/print sharing
  • Leonardo

    I’m looking for a cheap and reliable solution that allows me to share files and a printer in me home network. Raid support and very low power consumption would be nice extras. Should I go with a NAS or a hand-built home server? What about the software? Is Windows Home Server worth the price (compared against freely available open source alternatives)?

  • Related Answers
  • hyperslug

    I use a DLink DNS-323 for this. It's a 2-drive NAS enclosure so you can buy your own hard drives. It's low power: it spins down when idle. And it has a USB port you can use as a print server. It can also act as a DHCP server if you need that for some reason. As of writing, I'm seeing it on Amazon for $128 AR.

    It also has RAID but I vaguely recall reading a few odd things with it. Something like you have to reformat both drives just to enable RAID-1.

  • Auchtung

    I myself am in the running for a QNAP system, as they are highly configurable and very low power. The TS-219 Pro will get you more than you need.

    My Criterion were (in order from most important to least):

    1. RAID 1 for full backup between drives
    2. Low Power (so I can shut everything at home down, but maintain low power access)
    3. All OS Support (many are only W2k/XP/Vista compatible)
    4. Server of SSH, SFTP, HTTPS
    5. Low Cost
    6. iTunes Server

    One place I found that was helpful for evaluation of OTS NAS's for the home was here

  • splattne

    I would go with one of these Windows Home Server, either from HP or Fujitsu. The configuration is very easy and straightforward. The backup procedure is fast and copies whole hard disk partitions.

    It's very easy to exend the data storage, because WHS has its own mechanism for keeping data redundant. I recently bought one and added two 1.5 TB "green" hard disk for low power consumption and was able to use them after minutes. I also tried to restore two partitions from a backup and it worked very well.

  • amorfis

    Check this: http://www.lime-technology.com/joomla/

    I don't know if it meets all your requirements, but for 3 disks it's free, so you can try it. It is system you install on any PC, and it changes your PC into NAS.

  • jtimberman

    I've used a Samba server on my home network for almost 15 years, so I'm pretty comfortable with that, and would recommend it from a reliability perspective, as well as a learning opportunity.

  • chrish

    I have a HP MediaSmart Server, specifically the HP EX475 (replaced by the HP EX485) and really like it. It is quiet, small, and green. I like the fact that I can use it to remote desktop into any of my machine when away. It also has 4 hot swapable drive bays.

    If I didn't need the remote desktop proxy feature, I might consider the HP Media Vault 2120, but it only has one drive bay.