Recommend a Motherboard and Case for a DIY Nas

raksasas

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
477
Hello,
I haven't been around these forums in a long while and in need of a little help. My current NAS is sitting at 96% capacity and is 9 years old (2007). I haven't had any issues with it (Knock on wood). So with it currently at 96% full I am looking to build a new one and I also haven't built a system in just as long.

So, Could you point me to a Motherboard and Case that can support 6 drives (1 SSD(OS), 5 Terabyte drives). It would also be a bonus if it supported hot swappable drives.

I plan on using ZFS for this setup if that matters. I am also leaning toward 8gb ram and 5 6TB drives.

Thanks.
 

ZenDragon

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
1,698
I cant speak to the best mobo, but I can def recommend a NAS case that has worked really well for me, a Lian Li PC-Q25B. It has 5 hot swap drive bays with room for 3 more drives at the bottom, and has room for a regular ATX power supply. I've got it running with a LSI raid controller card, in the single pcie on a older fanless ATOM itx board with 5 2tb drives, and an SSD mounted at the bottom. Sorry cant remember the brand of motherboard off the top of my head, I am speaking more for the case here.

The only catch with this case is very limited CPU cooling options because the power supply is right over the CPU, you could certainly find a low profile cooler, but honestly with the PSU fan blowing out ,a fan at the top, and a large fan in the front. I haven't had any issues with heat running this as a NAS, I actually run a AD domain controller off it now too. I wouldn't choose this one as a gaming rig, even though there is room for a full size video card, but given the drive bay features of this case it's obvious that is not the intention. Although it would probably make a good dual purpose HTPC/NAS setup as well. :)
 
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syn0s

Gawd
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
627
If you wanna save a bit of change and need 6 drives/ITX form factor still, I think the Fractal Node 304 is the de-facto choice. It does have a few fans (2x smaller in the front, 1x140mm in the rear), but has room to install 6 drives along with full size ATX PSUs (if you have one laying around) and an ITX setup. You could get creative and velcro mount an SSD or something as well somewhere (some people have mounted one with velcro inside the front panel).

I've got mine in white and absolutely love it, though the white almost never goes on sale. No hot-swapping though :(
 

w1retap

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
13,268
For ZFS you'll want to follow the recommended specifications. That means something that supports ECC RAM.

ZFS checksums the data, then it checksums the metadata used by ZFS, and it checksums those checksums as well. If your data gets corrupted in memory before it is written (using non-ECC), ZFS will write and checksum the corrupted data without even letting you know. This has a very high probability of corrupting your entire array. ZFS doesn't have a pre-mount consistency checker or tool that repairs file system damage. I have seen this happen to people over on the FreeNAS forums, and I have seen it happen in real life to clients who don't follow the ECC recommendation. It is a rare occurrence, but it can happen.

That being said, I would recommend you look further into ZFS since it is quite a bit more complicated than just building a standard Windows/Linux server with a simple data share.

ZFS is very RAM hungry, and the rule of thumb is 1GB of RAM per 1TB of physical disks. Since you want to use 30TB of physical disks, that means you'll need a recommended 30GB of RAM. (32GB per configured DIMM standards) The minimum recommendation for ZFS is 8GB of RAM, and people have run into trouble with using that small of an amount of RAM on large arrays. You could probably get away with 16GB since this is just a home environment, but RAM is pretty cheap, and well worth it if you want to run additional processes on the server.

I would recommend something like a ASRock C2550D4I mini-ITX motherboard, 4x8GB ECC RAM, and a nice mini-ITX case as recommended in the posts above (Fractal Design or Lian-Li).
 
Last edited:

ZenDragon

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 22, 2000
Messages
1,698
For ZFS you'll want to follow the recommended specifications. That means something that supports ECC RAM.

ZFS checksums the data, then it checksums the metadata used by ZFS, and it checksums those checksums as well. If your data gets corrupted in memory before it is written (using non-ECC), ZFS will write and checksum the corrupted data without even letting you know. This has a very high probability of corrupting your entire array. ZFS doesn't have a pre-mount consistency checker or tool that repairs file system damage. I have seen this happen to people over on the FreeNAS forums, and I have seen it happen in real life to clients who don't follow the ECC recommendation. It is a rare occurrence, but it can happen.

That being said, I would recommend you look further into ZFS since it is quite a bit more complicated than just building a standard Windows/Linux server with a simple data share.

ZFS is very RAM hungry, and the rule of thumb is 1GB of RAM per 1TB of physical disks. Since you want to use 30TB of physical disks, that means you'll need a recommended 30GB of RAM. (32GB per configured DIMM standards) The minimum recommendation for ZFS is 8GB of RAM, and people have run into trouble with using that small of an amount of RAM on large arrays. You could probably get away with 16GB since this is just a home environment, but RAM is pretty cheap, and well worth it if you want to run additional processes on the server.

I would recommend something like a ASRock C2550D4I mini-ITX motherboard, 4x8GB ECC RAM, and a nice mini-ITX case as recommended in the posts above (Fractal Design or Lian-Li).

Supermicro has some entry level itx server motherboard that take ECC ram as well. I've used one in the office and never had an issue with it. Most also have built in raid functionality.
 

w1retap

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
13,268
I agree. The new Xeon-D is pretty awesome. The only downside is, DDR4 ECC memory is still pretty expensive compared to DDR3 ECC, and the performance gains per dollar aren't really justifiable for a home NAS which doesn't see the same workload as a corporate server environment.
 

raksasas

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 14, 2002
Messages
477
I just want to thank everyone. I should have posted a few days ago but I went with the ASRock C2550D4I and the LIAN LI PC-Q25B case.
 
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