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Date:      Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:22:10 -0600 (MDT)
From:      Warren Block <>
To:        "Littlefield, Tyler" <>
Cc:        "" <>
Subject:   Re: affordable NAS
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Sat, 26 Jul 2014, Littlefield, Tyler wrote:

> Hello all:
> I was looking at the NAS minis, and while they look amazing they're also way 
> expensive. I was interested to see if someone has a good solution for a cheap 
> small NAS system that I could either build or purchase that wouldn't cost 
> nearly as much. I'm looking for freebsd-compatible hardware with at least a 
> gigabit ethernet card. I'll be dropping in the harddrives, I'm thinking raid 
> 10 (though it doesn't have to be--I just wanted the striping for a larger 
> disk space plus redundancy via mirror), with maybe 4 2 tb drives.

I'd suggest RAIDZ2 so it doesn't matter which drives fail, and 3TB 
drives are currently not much more than 2TB.  But either way will work.

As far as hardware, I like the Gigabyte end-user class motherboards. 
Specifically, I've recently used a H87-D3H motherboard with a low-power 
Pentium G3420 from the Haswell line.  Although that one was not for a 
NAS, it would work well.  It has six SATA ports.  Instead of a mediocre 
Realtek Ethernet, it has an Intel i217V.  Console video is fine, no idea 
whether it will work with the current FreeBSD intel driver for X 
(fancier Haswells are not yet supported).  Although that should not 
matter for a NAS anyway.

If you want ECC memory, the Supermicro motherboards are popular.

Depending on the price range, you could also use an existing computer 
that has at least 8G of RAM and enough SATA ports.  Remember to allow 
for extra drive ports for a separate operating system drive or mirror, 
if desired.  The FreeNAS forum has a general hardware recommendation 

> I'll be using stock FreeBSD on this: I have no clue how accessible the 
> FreeNAS web frontend or any of the other software would be for something like 
> this with a screen reader. Any thoughts/ideas would be awesome.

I tried FreeNAS, but ended up using plain FreeBSD.  The commands are 
more familiar to me, and it was quicker than learning the web interface. 
It also gives a full FreeBSD instead of the stripped-down version used 
for FreeNAS.

Accessing a NAS machine through SSH should allow your current 
screen-reading setup to work.

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