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Date:      Sat, 26 Jul 2014 23:14:32 -0400
From:      Paul Kraus <>
To:        "" <>
Subject:   Re: affordable NAS
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <>

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On Jul 26, 2014, at 14:40, Littlefield, Tyler <> =

> 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 have been running 9.2 on an HP Proliant Micro Server N36L (the =
original not the Gen 8) ever since 9.2 came out with 8GB RAM. I am =
currently building it=92s replacement, a Micro Proliant N54L with 16GB =
RAM and FreeBSD 10.

> 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.

My current disk layout is:

2 drives for OS (mirrored with ZFS): originally 250GB, now 500GB as the =
Seagate 250GB drives died.
6 drives for Data, all 1 TB, configured as a 5 disk RAIDz2 and 1 hot =
3 of the Data drives are internal, 1 of the OS drives is internal
2 of the data drives, the data hot spare, the second OS drive are in an =
external StarTech 4 drive enclosure connected via a Marvell chipset =
eSATA card

The problem with the above is that the external enclose puts those 4 =
drive behind a port expander / multiplier and those are know causes of =
trouble. I have twice had a single drive in the enclosure fail and take =
all four drives offline with it.

My new server has:

In the Optical bay a 4 x 2.5=94 adapter
A 4 port Marvell based SATA card (2 internal, 2 external)
2 of the 2.5=94 bays are contacted to the internal ports on the Marvell =
2 120GB SSD in the 2.5=94 bays for:
	 4GB swap (gpt partitions handed to the OS)
	16GB OS (ZFS mirror)
	24GB for future ZFS L2ARC=20
	24GB for future ZFS ZIL (mirrored)
The SSD is underutilized on purpose to (hopefully) improve life, they =
are Kingston V300 series because I got them on sale :-)

The layout of the data drives remains the same but I have an external =
chassis that is just a power supply and SATA cables. 4 of the data =
drives will go in the internal 3.5=94 bays, the other two in the =
external exclosure and attached to the 2 external eSATA ports. So one =
drive per SATA port.

I plan to add a second Marvell based 4 port SATA card, two for the other =
two 2.5=94 bays and two more eSATA ports for future expansion.

I have stayed with 1TB drives for data because I want to keep my =
resilver times relatively short to reduce my chance of a double failure =
at once.=20

My old hardware is being repurposed as my backup server with 4 x 2TB =
drive internal. OS will be a 4 way mirror across them occupying 16GB =
(plus another 2GB per drive for swap) with try remainder of the drives =
in a RAIDz2. I=92ll be using zfs snapshots and then zfs send /recv to =
synchronize the backup system. Since it is for backups, I am less =
concerned with resilver times when a failure occurs. Also note that =
since all the data on it will be from a zfs stream, resilver times =
*should* be much shorter than the production system where there are =
random writes join on all the time.

Paul Kraus

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