Morning. Some good comments already but will throw in some views on specifics that may help you refine. One suggestion, do a search for “home server build” in the build a PC subsection as the usual suspects have covered this a lot and you met get some alternative ideas.
My overriding comment in every NAS thread, and to clients, is to consider your business needs before worrying about hardware. Therefore it is great to see you clearly state the need before asking about hardware. Well done. So let’s explore!
Sorry to hear that. Hopefully we can create a more resilient solution but remember nothing is perfect so building a backup regime as well as a system is key.
Ok so this adds complexity. Normally for a “noob” storage build I’d recommend a low power consumer storage solution like a MyCloud or a cheap QNAP mirrored NAS. However you want it to also be a game server. This means either running a full fat OS (maybe Linux) or a more advanced consumer NAS that allows containers. Just remember that any situation that mixes “production” loads like a game server with storage loads that prefer cool and stable increases the risk to your data.
Whilst this is an option I’d advise against it. In 2020 your boot partition should be considered disposable. Windows or any other OS can be reinstalled in minutes on a new drive and you can recover programs easily if you retain keys and media. Your data on the other hand is precious. The solution is to either setup a backup regime for just the key data elements that you can’t redownload or to move that data to a separate drive array and backup that whole drive array. Full disk images should be done rarely, say when you do a major update or add features. The main reason for this is space. If you clone a huge disk you can’t compress the file. If you instead use backup software to look for data changes you will only copy increments.
Consider Unraid with a dedicated VM for Minecraft and your NAS shares on their own partition. Just heed the point above about the game server adding complexity. If you want to try a full Linux server that can handle both, and you can use ZFS for storage. Windows would be least advisable as storage spaces is not as good as Unraid or ZFS storage. I don’t think freeNAS would work for you given your plan to disk swap. More on that later.
I’m not sure I understand your data model. Could you expand on how much you need to store please? This may help you answer the question:
- Four 12TiB disks can hold either 48TiB of data with no resilience, or 36TiB with one disk resilience. Or you could mirror a pair of striped disks (don’t worry if you don’t know what that means) and get 24TiB of fast storage. In 2020 I no longer recommend stripes for speed as the disks are now faster than the average network speed so it is pointless.
- So do you have 48TiB of data or are you looking for high uptime with one disk redundancy?
- If you are cloning the boot disks rarely just store them on your main pool, deleting the oldest one to keep space down. There is no need for separate disks.
This is getting long so I’ll just add - having a server is not a perfect backup. You still need separate backups. Ideally you would have another large disk to copy all the server data to and store that in the safe or even at a friend’s house. Main reason is if you are using a windows share via SMB and you get a crypto attack, your server is at risk too. Having cold storage of everything is essential.