Simple Backup NAS machine

t_andrews

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 13, 2002
Messages
174
I'm looking to making a basic NAS for offsite backups. Something simple that I can leave at someone else's house and use it as backup for the NAS I keep at home. (They could also do the same with me and we'd be colo NAS buddies ;))

Anyways, I already have one of the Synology boxes with a few drives, but I want to try out FreeNAS/napp-it or one of the other roll your own distributions with off the shelf hardware.

I'm currently thinking something along these guidelines:
- No need for resource intensive processing (VMs not required)
- Simple. Passively cooled. Few moving parts aside from the drives.
- Inexpensive but not barebones cheap, ~$300 for the machine (no drives) seems a reasonable target, upwards of that and it looks like I'm in the qnap/synology range
- Usage case would be it gets put somewhere with power and network, probably sleeps most of the time then wakes up and checks/does backups every TBD.

Currently I'm looking at making something like this:
ASRock J3455-ITX - https://www.newegg.com/asrock-j3455-itx-mini-itx/p/N82E16813157728
8GB DDR3 (SO-DIMM) RAM - https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-8gb-204-pin-ddr3-so-dimm/p/N82E16820231704
Seasonic S12III (550W) - https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-s12iii-bronze-series-ssr-550gb3-550w/p/N82E16817151227
Fractal Node 304 - https://www.newegg.com/black-fractal-design-node-304-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811352027

Drives will be standard 3.5" SATA. Starting with 2x in the 8-10TB range but could go up to 4x (waiting for sales).

I looked at boards that support ECC RAM but that quickly priced me out or they were NLA or added too many extra parts. :(

Thoughts, comments, advice or similar builds appreciated.
 

_Gea

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
3,958
If possible, prefer the slightly larger uATX as this will offer much more options, especially

- use a default socket 1151 or 1151v2 mainboard
- with 4-6 standard AHCI Sata 6G ports
- add a cheap Celeron or G4xxx processor

avoid
- Realtek nics, ok they are cheap but this is it (prefer Intel)
- special chipset sata ports

ex https://geizhals.de/?cat=mbp4_1151&sort=p&xf=4400_%B5ATX%7E4771_Intel

Such a solution can be in a similar pricerange, sadly ECC requires expensive serverchipsets with Intel

btw.
If you want to expose a server to the internet, think of Amazon S3 compatible services like minIO. This is a quite secure storage service and extremely fast, https://forums.servethehome.com/index.php?threads/amazon-s3-compatible-zfs-cloud-with-minio.27524/ Within your local LAN you can access the files via SMB and use Windows previous versions for ZFS snaps/versions of your S3 data. For external Internet/ Cloud access use port forwarding on your Internet gateway.

You can use the included web browser access or sync tools see https://proprivacy.com/cloud/comparison/amazon-s3-user-interface-tools
 
Last edited:

t_andrews

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 13, 2002
Messages
174
Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think I'm interested in BackBlaze at the moment. I'd rather not be tied to a service, unless you were thinking of a different use model.

I put together a microATX option with intel lan and 1151 socket board. About 30-40 more but still within budget ballpark.

Asrock B365M-HDV - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RTXH3PG
Intel G5400 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0793BQS3R
Crucial 8GB Single DDR4 2666
- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0734V4SSR
Seasonic S12III (550W) - https://www.newegg.com/seasonic-s12iii-bronze-series-ssr-550gb3-550w/p/N82E16817151227
Fractal Design Node 804 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K6OVG0I

Thanks _Gea for the links to the Amazon S3 information. I hadn't gotten that far as to how the over the internet backup service would work yet but it should help for options when I get there.

I'll think on it a bit more and see if anything interesting comes out.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
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May 7, 2005
Messages
5,302
Too big and too much hassle. Get another Synology or QNAP. Once the fun of putting it together has gone...you have a nuisance on your hands.
 

t_andrews

Limp Gawd
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Sep 13, 2002
Messages
174
Too big and too much hassle. Get another Synology or QNAP. Once the fun of putting it together has gone...you have a nuisance on your hands.

The more I look at some of the pre-built stuff again I'm thinking this might be another viable option. For some reason I had the impression that ~400-500 was the starting point for pre-built enclosures which would make this cheaper but for the simplicity that I'm looking for in this one there are options in the 200-300 range. I suppose the make your own ones are much more appetizing if you already have the hardware or want to put something in a VM on an existing machine.

Thanks all for the insight and information; I think I have enough to make a decision just need to think about it more (and lurk for sales).
 

OFaceSIG

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
2,457
I have been running FreeNAS/NAS4free for over a decade. I ALWAYS use used hardware. Except for the drives, I usually splurge on new drives. I'm currently running the rig in my sig labeled 'bits'. It cost *maybe* 300. It uses 35w max when writing/booting. FreeNAS is worth using because ZFS is a killer file system. My 3TB mirror is encrypted as well. That means if any drives kick the bucket under warranty I can send it back to the manufacturer without worry about my data.

Also, I max out the 1 gig connection. With just two hard drives. If you were to go with 3 or 4 drives, or include an SSD cache you can do even better. My next build will have a have a 10Gbps adapter.

I enable CIFS/SMB and I have a CIFS share on each machine in my house. So the data is always backed up on a mirrored array.

My next build will be serving iSCSI drives to machines on my network.

If you're a DIY guy, you cannot beat FreeNAS.
 

The Lurker

[H]F Junkie
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Jul 1, 2001
Messages
13,557
Good thread. I am also in the process of spec'ing out hardware for a Freenas box. I dont need a ton of storage, 4 x 4 in Raid Z2 and 8 TB would double what I have had the last 10 years and last me easily another 10. Ideally, I need to track down a Pentium Gold T drive and run it passively. An open box mobo from Microcenter and whatever cheap case they offer.
 

Zedicus

Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
693
why not an ASRock ryzen system with ECC ram? we are talking 250$ for the guts, then whatever case and PSU fits your build goals. these make great NAS and FREENAS builds.
 

OFaceSIG

2[H]4U
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Messages
2,457
Good thread. I am also in the process of spec'ing out hardware for a Freenas box. I dont need a ton of storage, 4 x 4 in Raid Z2 and 8 TB would double what I have had the last 10 years and last me easily another 10. Ideally, I need to track down a Pentium Gold T drive and run it passively. An open box mobo from Microcenter and whatever cheap case they offer.

You should consider a PICOpsu as well. My Freenas box runs one of their 120w dc to dc power supplies. You want to hover around 1/2 to 2/3 of the PSUs load to get the best efficiency.
 

The Lurker

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You should consider a PICOpsu as well. My Freenas box runs one of their 120w dc to dc power supplies. You want to hover around 1/2 to 2/3 of the PSUs load to get the best efficiency.

Thats an idea too, drives the cost up a bit though. How did you get enough power connections for all the drives?

Got some pics of your box?
 

t_andrews

Limp Gawd
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Sep 13, 2002
Messages
174
I'm also interested in seeing SATA drive power connections for a system using a PICOpsu or equivalent as I've got several of the ~230W laptop bricks.
I have another machine using a DC-DC power supply from HDplex but I'm not sure how much the 5v SATA is rated for especially with 4+ drives.

I'll need to look into the Ryzen ECC systems. I stopped after it seemed that anything with ECC put you into a server type budget.

I'm now looking at the Synology DS420j (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083HJY9T8) for my original idea. One thing I'm considering is that this might end up with someone not familiar with it and since I already have another Synology box from something else being able to walk through the same menus/lingo with them if needed would be helpful. The drives aren't easily gotten to on this model which might otherwise be a negative but would preclude someone from easily messing with them.
 

Zedicus

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The Lurker

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Apparently all ryzen processors unofficially support ECC.

But what I really want is a low tdp cpu and I frankly don't care much about the box. It's going in the basement.
 

Zedicus

Gawd
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Messages
693
the CPU itself does yes, the MB has to have the features for it open in BIOS. all ASRock ryzen boards do. other manufacturers some do, some do not, some do but are hidden.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
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I really dont understand the attraction of a large ugly cheap cased noisy power hungry box when you can have a simple 2 drive RAID1 Synololgy/QNAP that can be tucked away and mostly forgotten about.
 

kirbyrj

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27,108
I really dont understand the attraction of a large ugly cheap cased noisy power hungry box when you can have a simple 2 drive RAID1 Synololgy/QNAP that can be tucked away and mostly forgotten about.

Anyways, I already have one of the Synology boxes with a few drives, but I want to try out FreeNAS/napp-it or one of the other roll your own distributions with off the shelf hardware.
 

Kardonxt

2[H]4U
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I get wanting a fun project to learn on. If I were in your situation I would just use old parts that are around or you can pickup cheap locally. Off lease 3-4th gen i5 sff PCs should be dirt cheap in most areas.

If you love it you can keep the expensive drives and migrate them to a better pc as needed. If the novelty wears off, you won't be out a bunch of money if you decide to toss in another Synology and use the software it comes with for backing up to other offsite Synology units.

Keep data caps in mind too if your ISP has them. I have Comcast and never had problems hitting datacap until I decided to start backing up to backblaze. 1TB goes real fast once you start uploading servers.
 

The Lurker

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I really dont understand the attraction of a large ugly cheap cased noisy power hungry box when you can have a simple 2 drive RAID1 Synololgy/QNAP that can be tucked away and mostly forgotten about.

It doesnt have to be power hungry or noisy if its spec'd right, and it also can be cheaper and more capable than an out of the box solution. With Synology/QNAP, the bulk of the price is in the software and simplicity. Its box and underlying hardware is cheap. Cheaper and less capable than anything that can be put together with even the cheapest off the shelf components. So if you want a turn key and you need the bare minimum in capability, its an excellent option. Nothing wrong with it.

But if I had corner in my basement I dedicate to all the ugly computer things and I dont care how much noise it makes, why not spend half and make something with a lot more headroom?
 

t_andrews

Limp Gawd
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Sep 13, 2002
Messages
174
But...why?

I might have been looking for an excuse to play with hardware again ;) . If not that then it was for trying something new. If anything this shows TIMTOWTDI and we got some good responses and reasoning for them.

Also I didn't realize it but some similar ideas were also posted in the following thread a week ago. I don't know how I missed it as there always seems to be a NAS thread every month or so.
https://hardforum.com/threads/buyin...cheap-drives-or-cheap-nas-big-drives.1993990/

BTW the bestbuy easystore drives are on sale again:
https://hardforum.com/threads/best-buy-12tb-wd-easy-store-external-hdd-179-99.1988444/page-4

I think if I was going with new off the shelf PC hardware it would be intended for something more like a server that could use the extra compute resources, but I don't have a need for that, yet... ;)
 
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