Building a NAS?

My movie and media collection keeps growing, and I’m growing uneasy knowing it’s all one a single drive, so I figured it’s about time to look into a NAS. The only user is going to be me, streaming to either my PC or Roku. The only content is movies, TV shows, pictures, and the game collection I’m currently not playing; I don’t game directly off the storage drive, rather just move whatever game I’m going to play onto the SSD. Once I finish, it gets put back on the drive for long term storage.

I’m looking for long term reliability as I’ve put too much time into the collection to see it get lost. I’ve compiled a build with what I think might work, but I’m new to this whole NAS / server thing, so I definitely am seeking input!

Last question: what software should this be running? I hear zfs and freenas, but I’m a little confused on everything. Do I need a HBA? I see guides, but I’m not sure if the guide is oriented towards enterprise of home use. Knowing my use, what guide could you point me towards?

How many drives?
You already have 6 sata ports. You should only look into HBAs if you’re lacking ports, I’m assuming since you picked a node304 you’re probably aiming for 5x12T or similar in raidz1 in which case you’re good for ports.

If you don’t need that much space (need 15T or less), you can maybe look at odroid hc4 and go with a btrfs mirror - it’s cheaper per byte, and cheaper and simpler to run.

(You can transplant the mirror of drives from hc4 to a bigger case down the road and expand the mirror with a third/fourth when you start filling it up).

First question is do you have an old computer you aren’t using that can idle at an acceptable cost per day? (You can also have it on and off during certain hours) If not have you checked out thrift stores, Craigslist, or eBay?

How many TB of data do you have, and what is your current disk size?

It’s best to have a larger motherboard, so you can have as many pcie slots as possible, which allows for future expandability when your needs and wants change. You may end up with an HBA, a 10G nic, a gpu for transcoding or even some nvme drives in an adapter if the motherboard supports bifurcation. Out of those having a 10G connection from the nas to your computer is going to be the single biggest quality of life improvement for the money. Even a single hard drive (~160-220mb/s) can saturate a 1G connection (about 125mb/s max)

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Right now I have 1 4TB drive that is just about full, and a 1TB SSD that is also full. Ideally I’m thinking 12TB? I do want to make sure if a drive fails I don’t loose anything, but I’m not sure what setup that would require.

Again, my main motivation behind this is reliable, long term usable storage for movies / pictures that can be streamed to my PC and Roku.

Not sure about the hardware yet, but I think more important, is a strategy.

All drives.devices die, and it really is a good idea to make arrangements Before your disk is dead, so Well done on that!

Now, with strategy, do you need the backup device to always be on?

Because you might be okay with just two external USB disks, and rotate them every week or so?

Do you have a backup software in mind? There are a ton of free software, and paid, and a built in Windows one to use.

So even if you build SuperNAS900 with hardware suggested by the big brain guys here, you still need to decide how much data you can loose.

And that the backup will die, but probably not at the same time as the main machine?

But simply asking the question is an Awesome start, and glad you are pro-active!!!

Motherboard/cpu reliability isn’t really a major concern these days. What you want to avoid is burning paychecks on hardware you outgrow. If you’re set on that particular board/cpu, have a look at the ASUS P11C-M/4Lm which will be better for future upgrades.

For hard drives, your 4TB drive is small enough that you don’t really want to buy a bunch more 4TB drives and raid them. I would recommend moving up double (8TB+), or preferably triple if you can stomach the cost, your current space. For the best space to cost efficacy, you’ll want to shuck bestbuy easystores or WD essentials when they go on sale is a good resource for that. You can also look up historic wd essentials sales on amazon via camelcamelcamel. Finally, /r/datahoarder routinely posts sales. Do be aware that if you shuck a drive, put it into a sata port, and it doesn’t even turn on, then you need to deal with 3.3v pin. Kapton/clear tape also work.

You’ll basically want 3 drives. 2 in a mirror, and one for a backup (ideally you’d also have the backup in a mirror, otherwise it can only detect, not correct errors)
The single biggest cause of data issues I see are from bad sas/sata cables and controllers overheating.

With ZFS you create datasets, and can quickly take snapshots at arbitrary points in time, and send those snapshots elsewhere. It can allow you to very quickly revert your data if a crytolocker gets to it over the network, and it allows you to do things like have one backup of less important data, and 2 backups of your precious data (using your 4TB disk). Ultimately you need to play with it to get your head around it.

Or like a two bay synology/qnap style appliance can stream media, while still being relatively low powered, always on, and user friendly.

It is no where as powerful as SuperDuperNasStorinator9000, but might be just enough

Not interested in shucking, I’d rather just buy the drives. Currently my drive is a WD Red Plus from 2014. Old enough that I figure it’s time to replace anyways for data integrity, and while I’m at it may as well have fun. I figured I’d just buy whatever drives I need for 12TB, which will cover my current 5 TB with some room to grow.

The parts list I sent is just to give an idea of what I was looking into, as well as general cost. I don’t care what the brand or whatever it ends up being, so long as it meets me needs.

I want this to be a stand alone unit that will be low power, quiet, with measures in place to maintain data integrity for the next 10+ years. I don’t want to really even have to think about it, just let it sit quietly in the corner of my room. I’m not sure exactly what hardware I need for this, whether I even need a GPU, integrated graphics, or neither for streaming video. I don’t know what software this requires, though I do NOT want any subscription based service. I do not want to run Windows, and part of the reason for this build is that I’d like to keep the data separate from my PC for the times I wish to load a different OS on it

A single 16T Seagate Exos X is around $250 - $300. (Fairly cheap per terabyte).

Run them in ZFS mirror on HC-4 have regular snapshots and you’re done.

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