Home-built NAS Device
I've recently developed the urge to want regular backups of all my systems (all running some Windows XP or Vista), and need a place to store the files. I've got enough hardware to serve as the basis for a home-made NAS device, and was considering using FreeNAS for the software side of things. Current hardware includes:
Asrock 939 Dual SATA2 motherboard
Netgear FA310 NIC
VGA video card
The system currently contains two IDE drives and a CD ROM drive, all of which will be removed from the system.
In their place, I'll be installing the following:
IDE Flash Drive with a 2gb 266x CF card
Highpoint RocketRaid 2300 SATA2 controller
500gb SATA2 hard drive
In order to reduce heat and power consumption, I was also considering removing 1gb of RAM and the video card, and under-clocking the CPU.
Has anyone here done anything similar that can fill me in on any caveats or gotchas?
Many thanks in advance.
Not sure why you would bother adding the Raid controller if your board already supports Sata2. You will not see any performance increase and just be adding more heat to the system.
Originally Posted by jsimmons
Well, the motherboard only supports two SATA2 drives. If I want to add a 3rd/4th drive, I have to get the add-on controller ANYWAY, and then disable the onboard controller to avoid conflicts. On top of that, the sata controller I'm considering is PCI Express and hopefully won't suffer from the throughput bottleneck seen from your typical on-board controller. I'm assuming that the onboard sata controller is using the PCI bus instead of the PCI Express bus, so there *should be less performance drop-off when adding subsequent drives, right?
Originally Posted by deanjo
I think the SATA2 controller of the Board you use was an extra controller that was attached via a pci express 1x link. So you won't see a real performance benefit. For adding more drives, you of course need an external card and then you are free to use all drives via this one.
I'm a little gunshy where this board is concerned (I don't know if you remember, but I absolutely could not get Linux to install on it). I guess I'm just anticipating that FreeBSD will be equally problematic (FreeNAS is a FreeBSD distro). Not being very tolerant of stuff that doesn't "just work", I'm trying to avoid hardware problems by just using something that is known to be compatible (namely, the RocketRaid card).
Originally Posted by ivanovic
I built a home NAS from an older mainboard with Duron CPU and 512 MB memory by adding 2 S-ATA cards, a Gig Ethernet card and four 500GB S-ATA2 drives.
After evaluating the following three free NAS O.S. options, namely FreeNAS, NasLite and Openfiler,
I chose Openfiler 2.2 plus latest updates because it is the most versatile (there's a very feature rich NasLite version as well but it's a paid license).
Openfiler supports Windows shares, NFS and iSCSI, has different software RAID (0,1,5,6 and 10) and filesystem options, built-in user management server (LDAP) and a very mature web-based management interface that allows you to configure almost anything except regular RAID5/6 parity checks.
I've done a few simulated failures (and am possibly dealing with a real drive failure currently) and my data is still there and available (I formatted my shares as SGI XFS rather than ext3fs or reiserfs since XFS is rather more robust)
I can recommend OpenFiler. See http://www.openfiler.com/
Last edited by Swoopy; 03-08-2008 at 01:16 PM.
I looked at NasLite, but since I don't have a floppy drive in the system, it's impossible to try out before putting money down on it. I like the webGUI they have for it, though. It looks like it's worth the $30 they're asking for it as long as the support is there. Their forums don't seem to be very active.
Originally Posted by Swoopy
Well, I put a 20gb laptop drive in the machine to serve as the boot device, and installed FreeNAS. I'll be getting my storage drive today, and will try using the motherboard's onboard SATA2 controller. If it doesn't work, I'll be forced to get an add-on controller card.