Low power NAS

Hey All,

I’m in Germany so electricity is expensive. Somewhat unfortunately, I’m not short of hardware. But most of it is expensive to run. I can run all my services on a m900 Lenovo PC, but I want to expand storage. One solution is a USB hub. But I would like a legit NAS. What is known for low power consumption?

I run everything CLI ON Debian, Arch and CentOS at work. I’m fine with headless solutions. I just want something that’s not power heavy.

You could get a FreeNAS mini.

They use low-power Intel processors for low wattage of 8.5 W. However, hard disk drives do have a power requirement so you will want to go with 5400 RPM drives as they consume significantly less power.


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I’m actually cool and familiar with the 5400 RPM requirement if I want to keep this quite low. My main concern is exactly what you’re pointing to. Thanks!!

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If you want to save power instead of money, a couple of SSDs like the Seagate Ironwolf 110 SSDs could be a good idea. Drives like that use almost zero power when idle.

And of course, they would be very fast. Not very big for the cost though.

One or more Odroid HC2 / HC1.
HC2 + large HDD
HC1 + large SSD
In the context of electricity, nothing x86 based on even comes close to such a set.

As OS Armbian(debian) and optionally openmediavault if it is to be a typical webui NAS.
And the expansion is something like that


x2 vote for the odroid SBC … I’ve been running one for years, trouble free.

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Interesting subject & solutions, I shall keep this for future reference :wink:



Oh that looks very interesting! Thanks

Funny you mention the GlusterFS. I can get my hands on some more m900s and considered clustering them with Ceph or Gluster, but I really don’t need extra compute. So my idea was to keep it as minimal as possible, but what I am lacking is some more SATA ports. If I run over USB, I just lave myself with a more and more chaotic mess. If I do cluster, I’ll share it though.

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There are (fairly cheap) PCIe cards that offer SATA ports in various quantities. Alternatively, use a HBA (host bus adapter) but these cost more.

I was ready to purchase this, but it appears out of stock for their first batch :sob:

I used the Radxa Quad-SATA for my Pi4.

Paid extra and got the kit with enclosure. I use Crucial MX500 2TiB drives.

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Oh nice! Thank you for this.

I’ve been looking for a lost cost NAS for some time now. This seems like the best solution I’ve come across. I just grabbed two of them with two 10TB NAS drives. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to set it up.

As soon as you have them, check what firmware version they have and if necessary… https://wiki.odroid.com/odroid-xu4/software/jms578_fw_update

Personally, I use HC with Spin-down timer -t 0 and do sleep controls with hdparm.
Older versions of fw can aggressively treat hdd almost every several seconds, parking the head and putting it to sleep.
In general, I also recommend starting with kernel 4.14.200, while 5.x more as an experiment, there was a problem with it some time ago and boot on HC.

Overall, Armbian works stably and with no problem on HC.

It is also good to use an sd card of class A1 or A2.

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Similar solution to Nanopi M4 and sata hat. :wink:

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Thanks for that information. There are some great choices here and this information may help even if we don’t go Period.

Thanks for the heads up and information, I really appreciate it. I’ll definitely be sure to check the firmware version and the sleep controls. Luckily the SD card i purchased is a class A1 so I should be good on that front. I’m kind of experienceing buyers remorse though. I think i should have went with the H2+. I could have hooked up both drives and did a RAID 1 config to follow GlusterFS’s recommendations. Oh well, I guess the beauty of it is that I can always add it later if I want to. When you set yours up did you go with a distributed volume or replicated? if replicated, have you experienced a drive failure or any issues with data loss? I think the person who originally made that reddit post you linked said he had issues maintaining power to the USB sata bridge. Which resulted in failed IO to the drives and the filesystem going read-only.

Well … It depends how you look at it. H2+ is x86 and consumes more electricity. And RAM must be purchased separately.
It’s all a matter of what goal you want to achieve. Stronger one unit based on x86, or two weaker ones based on ARM.

Personally, I have not noticed any problems with the power. For HC2 and 3.5 HDD, the power supply is important. If there are power outages, it is rather on the entire unit. A decent and efficient PSU, otherwise there will be problems.
I have not noticed any problems with the sata-usb3 bridge. And I pushed a whole lot of TB through.

Personally, I do not use GlusterFS now, I usually have two units, master and slave, at my clients. Slave does 1:1 backup if master fails, no data loss. If there are technical conditions such as additional physical location and broad link, the master and slave have additional physical separation.

The advantage of two HCs over one H2 is physical separation. But this obviously does not have to be an advantage for everyone.

With two units, you can also separate services or make them HA. like your own dns1, dns2.
Contrary to many opinions and preferences, RAID is not a backup. For soho, two units as mirrored copies may be a better solution than one unit and some RAID1. But it also depends on the specific application of the given user.
I have one user who owns 5 HC2 units in different locations and they all work as 1:1 copy. Such was his request :slight_smile:
Resistant to anything, fire, water, theft, earthquake … of course hdd encrypted without key locally. In addition, the HC is compact in size, in the event of an emergency at home, like a fire, you can literally grab it in one hand and run away with the data. Or take it on vacation as a mobile NAS with your favorite movies / music. :slight_smile:

Just think of it as an experiment, and a platform for getting familiar with ARM as a break from x86.
In the worst case, you can always sell or give someone a gift.

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Yeah, I think the appeal for me was the fact that I could pack the H2+ with a M.2 SSD and always have the option to upgrade the RAM/HD if I should decide to do so in the future. You make a good point about the portability, it definitely would be nice to be able to take it on the go or quickly grab it in the event of an emergency. Plus, I don’t like the fact that the H2+ does not have an enclosure for the drives included.

Glad to know there weren’t any issues with power or the sata-usb3 bridge for you. I think the reason they suggested using hardware RAID over relying on GlusterFS replication was that you’d rather deal with HD failure on the hardware level rather than through GlusterFS, which I kind of agree with. Although, I would only be able to do software RAID with the H2+ (not that it would matter). I definitely wouldn’t rely on RAID as a backup. I’ve dealt with too many issues with it at work to know that you should always keep your data backed up in three different locations lol. Either way, I’m excited to play with the H2 and GlusterFS. It should be a fun side project to see what I can come up with and what I can do with it. Thanks again for all your help and suggestions. I really do appreciate it.