Project: Building a cheap NAS, part 5

Filed Under (Storage, Windows Networking) by Just An Admin on 28-07-2011

Part 5: Assembly of the parts!

All parts have arrived! Boxes are coming in from different suppliers. I almost feel like a kid at Christmas. After a little break from our NAS project we are ready to get going again.

The Casing

The supplier of our Norco chassis had a little surprise for us. The shipment with chassis did not include our Norco RPC-4220, but to compensate for the long wait and the fact he could not deliver the ordered casing within a reasonable time, we were offered a Norco RPC-4224 unit instead. So we now have the slightly bigger brother of our RPC-4220. This case has 6 backplanes with each 4 disk bays. The top ‘ledge’ which harbors the CD and system disk in a RPC-4220 has been replaced with an additional backplane. So no CD/DVD option and we need to look for another place to mount our SSD disk. But we now have the ability to upgrade up to 24 disks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Project: Building a cheap NAS, part 3

Filed Under (Storage, Windows Networking) by Just An Admin on 23-04-2011

Part 3: The controller and disks

Our server parts are coming together nicely. The chassis, motherboard, memory and processor have been added to our wish list. Now it is time to look at the expansion SATA controller and the disk we would like to use.

The controller

Again the choice of brand is forced by several ‘demands’ we have.

The controller must:

  • support 8 SATA disks
  • be supported by FreeBSD/FreeNAS
  • have a decent throughput / IO’s per second
  • have PCI-E 8x support, but most controllers are
  • be affordable

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Project: Building a cheap NAS, part 1

Filed Under (Storage, VMWare ESXi 4, Windows Networking) by Just An Admin on 14-04-2011

A NAS storage is no longer a luxury for the big companies that are able to spend 5-6 figures. For the last few years NAS storage has become a common product even to be found in small offices and home environments. Most of these products perform pretty good out-of-the-box and do exactly what they where designed to do; Store data and make it accessible through different protocols.

But….. i am looking for more. Most 4 to 6 drive solutions do not offer me the Terra-bytes needed to store my data. I need more and I’m not willing to pay an arm and a leg to get it. So I decided to build my own hardware setup and use FreeNAS to build our own NAS storage.

I’m going to build this unit on borrowed knowledge and good common sense.  There are some pretty decent sources of information on the web, like the FreeNAS community or different public community forums. And a lot of DiY NAS builders that have paved the way.

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