Need some help building a NAS

So my main usage of the NAS is going to be backups of my laptop and media streaming through Emby or something like that (no plex as I want an oss solution). Currently I have my desktop PC running as my NAS which has an extremely janky but functional configuration. I'm planning on using freenas for it's ZFS storage but other solutions can be considered. I have a budget of about $1350CAD or about $1025USD.

My current build idea is as follows:

I am debating between building this new machine with 6TB of uable storage which I cannot see myself filling but those are some famous last words or going for 3x 4TB drives for 8TB usable and building the rest of the machine at a later date so continuing to use my desktop as the NAS but with new properly setup storage.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

If you're interested in my current janky setup I have an external 1TB usb hard drive in a zfs mirror with an internal 1TB drive which contains my backup files and a backup of my media collection which has it at about 90% capacity which is not ideal. For my media streaming I have a 3TB internal HDD so that I touch the backup data as little as possible as to have a lower chance of everything breaking.

I'm going to do a build here in a minute, but I think there is something that needs to be established before I do that. Raid 5, or the ZFS equivalent, ZFS raid Z1, should not be used with disks that are as big as 4TB. You really need to be looking into ZFS raid Z2. The problem is, if a disk fails with a raid 5 or Z1, and your disks are that large, there is a solid percentage chance a second disk will fail during the rebuild process. So, to combat this, you really should be looking at ZFS Raid Z2 (aka raid 6), so that if one disk fails, your rebuilding process is one easier since there are more remaining drives to spread the load of rebuilding the last disk, and two, if a second drive dies during the rebuilding process, you can still rebuild all the remaining data from the last 2 drives. The chance of losing data with a raid 6 or Z2 is substantially lower than raid 5 or Z1, and with 4TB disks, you really need to go Z2. The rebuild process is longer with bigger drives, so the chance of a drive dying during rebuilding gets progressively worse as drive sizes increase.

TLDR; You want ZFS Raid Z2 (aka raid 6)


4TB Z2 would put the seperate NAS build out of my price range as that would be $840CAD. Is Z1 safe if I'm doing a 3x3TB config? as if what you say is true that will likely be my only budget allowing option.

See what I was thinking is something more like this: You have a 6TB ZFS Raid Z2, populated by four WD 3TB Red's. Also, you can buy ram off of ebay and save a good bit of cash:

Something like that ^ Its registered ECC, 8gb per stick, and its Hynix, so good stuff.

I personally think Z1 or Raid 5 should only really be used with 1 or 2 TB drives. I think the risk does not justify the reward.

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has a 250gb ssd for os + cache and 4x3tb drives. money left over to add more drives or a different motherboard that supports ECC ram and for the ECC ram if you want it. if i were you i would think about using multiple cat6 cables with a 4 way gigabit pci express card in both your nas and personal rig so you can get 400~ mb/s transfer speeds in theory and in actuality more like 300 on avg with higher burst.

Mate I hate to break it too you, but he is building in canada, and your build is $1387 CAD when you convert it.

you make me a sad panda
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also i used western digital red which are made for enterprise and nas type things. used the 5400rpm ones which are cheaper but not quiet as fast. my thoughts are the 250 ssd could cache a lot of the files and move them onto the hard drives overtime unless you are moving hundreds of gigabytes you wouldnt see much of a difference on saving the data. you will see a small difference on loading things from the nas. the red pros (7200rpm) are 216$ vs the 5400rpm reds which are 135$. you would be better off going with blacks then red pro's or another brand as far as $/gb.

I like to buy hardware new just because then I can go to the manufacturer should it be defective but I will keep that in mind. so a 4x3TB would be your recommendation?

Yes, Raid 6 / ZFS Z2 is great and 4 x 3TB is a really good selection for it.

From what I've read on ZFS and FreeNAS they want ECC memory which if I'm going to be building a new rig to achieve a NAS then following best practices would be my preferred way to go. Also I'd like to have the NAS be at least in a mini ATX case as a mid tower is a bit much IMHO. Thank you for your input though.

Thoughts on going with 4x4TB wd red 5400RPM for 4x207.88 = $831.52 netting 8TB of Z2 or going 4x3TB hgst deskstar nas 7200rpm for 4x177.60 = $710.40 netting 6TB of Z2?
mini itx but not a lot left over.
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imo not worth it for saving a small amount of space, but it's your money and your space.

At that point its really just a question of if you need the extra 2TB or if you're fine with 6TB. Your going to have good performance from both, good data safety, and good reliability, its just a question of if you want to spend more for the extra 2TB.

Is it possible to add a drive to a Z1 pool to make it a Z2 pool at a later date? if so I'll do that if not I'm back to my dilemma.

Ehh, I'm not quite sure tbh. I wouldn't count on it. I think it may be possible to add a drive, but I'm pretty confident you can't take a Z1 pool and convert it to a Z2 pool.

Which of these would you go for weighing redundency, speed, price and, quality? basically which do you think is the best compromise given those 4 ideas. I'm not expecting a perfect decision just interested in your opinion.

If it was me, I would go for 4X4 cheap Ram and Red. The red drives are cheaper than the Hitachi and will be similarly reliable, I like cheap ram, and I would just go for the 4TB drive and not bother upgrading for a very long time. That is 8TB usable, and I would be hard pressed to use all 8TB anytime soon. 8TB lasts longer than 6TB usable simply, and I would build it, implement it, and forget it. I don't think the extra $15 is worth it per drive for the Hitachi, especially because those are going to spin faster, use more power, and really the performance delta will not be something tangible.

Here's what I would do,

2 Server barebone (Dual 2011) $180
E5-2670 $137.95 per pair
64Gb Kit of RAM $100
SAS Chassis $400 (you can find cheaper)
10GIG NIC for SFP+ to NAS $18
LSI 9211-8i for eSAS on the mobo to the SAS Chassis $90 (you can find cheaper)
Two 8088 to 8087 cables to go from the raid card to the eSAS connector on the JBOD array $26

You'll need a SAS card for drives in the enclosure (I use IT mode cards for most distros for JBOD pools or just normal OS file systems for using in ZFS or OSD for CEPH)

i3 6100>intel atom c2550
the i3 has more cache, higher clock speed, 14nm vs atom 22nm, 9.5gb higher memory bandwidth, and supports a whole lot of features that you probably will never use, but will have none the less.

price wise and performance wise it makes more sense to go with the i3.

If you are wanting to get the Asrock c2550 you need unregistered memory.

Those ram sticks that you have from eBay on your PCpartpicklist are registered memory sticks, not compatible with this motherboard.

I would suggest going with 4x4TB WD reds. I was also in a dilemma deciding between 3 or 4 TB drives,but chose the 4TB route as it was cheaper for GB/$.
Also, i strongly suggest raidz2 as many freenas members recommended that.