Upgrade Freenas mini or start from scratch?

Hi hopefully this is the right place dor this question,

I am Developer and founder of a devops oriented startup in the blockchain space. I have recently installed Truenas Scale on my older Freenas mini with the following specs:

Intel(R) Atom™ CPU C2750 @ 2.40GHz
32gb ram
4*2tb WD red HDD

This hardware had been laying dormant for a few years but Truenas has really opened up some workflow possibilities and I have really enjoyed it. I am not sure Scale was the right choice as I like using Docker AND Kubernetes and Scale seems to be set up in such a way that natively using docker is broken and fixing it breaks their k8s cluster but leaving that aside I see a lot of areas where having a local server could improve my workflow vs using cloud hosted.

After a little research it seems to me like I am a little hamstrung with how much I can upgrade this freenas though. Am I right in saying that there really arent any cpus that fit the socket on my motherboard that perform better than the c2750?

If my goal is to be able to run a wide variety of k8s and Docker development workflows on my local network plus run some blockchain testnet nodes locally what form factor and hardware should I be looking at with a budget of say $5k (somewhat flexible)?

I think 10TB of redundant storage, 64gb of RAM and16 cores would get me a very long way with what I want to run but I would like to be able to continue to upgrade over time from there.

I am Partial to AMD for some reason but don’t have a strong bias.

On the networking side I have Unifi dream machine pro sitting all alone in a small rack, should I try and upgrade into the Freenas mini form factor or just start from scratch with a rack mount form factor and use the freenas mini as just a place for backups?

Thanks in advance,


You cannot change that CPU, it is built into the board

What I would do is keep that as your dedicated NAS, and build a separate server for your other work

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I’d go for a new build too but I’d use the new server as the main NAS, and the old FreeNAS Mini as a dedicated second backup of my / the data on the main server. That way, with an online backup of the most precious data (or some HDDs that are kept at a family member’s house), you’re pretty covered for the 3-2-1 backup rule.

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:rofl: ah great so even more limited than I thought

Thank you both.

I would love some hardware / spec suggestions that would fit into my budget and usecase if anyone has the time

My recommendation would be to get a separate system for running k8s and VMs and keep the current FreeNAS Mini for storage only, but preferably upgrade that too.

BUT, if you really want to run stuff of TrueNAS, if you are based in the US and want something similar to your FreeNAS Mini, give iXsystems sales (they make TrueNAS after all) a poke and see what they can offer you.

I’ve gotten a TrueNAS R20 system for my company and it was a good experience even when I had the first chassis have DoA NIC. If I remember correctly, the quote I got for a diskless R20 with 64GB of RAM and Xeon Bronze system it was around the 4.1k mark.

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BUT, if you really want to run stuff of TrueNAS,

I am not that sold on it. I think I like that Scal let me get a debian server that could do all the nas stuff, imported my old dataset automatically and has a nice UI for nas admin so easily but now I kind of just want to use it as a normal debian box.

So maybe the plan should be:

  1. do minor upgrades to freenas mini like increasing storage capacity and adding a read and write cache
  2. figure out how to build a rack mounted server that can run Docker, docker-compose and virtualized or containerized k8s clusters

What hardware / brands should I be looking at for the latter? how much server can you get these days for $5,000?

This is a suggestion as opposed to a recommendation, so bare that in mind.

ASRock do AMD Ryzen server motherboards with IPMI. I have an Ryzen 2700x running in an ASRock Rack X470D4U, in my primary server. The board has some rough edges and quirks that mean that I can’t give it (or the successor X570D4U and their 10G variants) an unqualified recommendation (in my case, it’s mainly the issues with fan control) but at the time I bought my board, it was the only game in town.

Each ASRock board has an extensive thread on these forums, which might be worth reading through.

It looks like Gigabyte do a board for 7000 series CPUs too. It’s called the MC13-LE0 but I’ve literally only just found out about it.

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Based on the first post, if you’re buying it for a company use, I’d recommend getting some Dell offerings like R650 or R6515 with the basic warranty due of support IF you’re okay with loud rackmount systems.

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