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Any Thoughts About Network Attached Storage (NAS)?

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Sat, 11 Oct 2014 11:28 am

Brah wrote:Though I have yet to have the time to deal with this drive, I can't for the life of me remember why I said they were Seagates in the enclosure, they are WD Green drives.

x9200 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:It's possible they artificially limit it to specific models of drives in the enclosure's firmware.

Yes, I know but it would be utterly stupid IMHO.

And they are, even more stupid than me thinking I had Seagates (which I think are in my D-Link NAS).


Good to know. Considering hard drives as consumables, this is definitely a big no for any WD NAS enclosure.

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Postby Brah » Sun, 12 Oct 2014 12:21 am

x9200 wrote:
Brah wrote:Though I have yet to have the time to deal with this drive, I can't for the life of me remember why I said they were Seagates in the enclosure, they are WD Green drives.

x9200 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:It's possible they artificially limit it to specific models of drives in the enclosure's firmware.

Yes, I know but it would be utterly stupid IMHO.

And they are, even more stupid than me thinking I had Seagates (which I think are in my D-Link NAS).


Good to know. Considering hard drives as consumables, this is definitely a big no for any WD NAS enclosure.

So I'm starting from scratch next round - what would you recommend for a scalable, maintainable storage solution that accepts a variety of drives that does not go ESOL after a couple of years? The overall solution, not the drives, I expect them to come and go.

If this means a more home-built enclosure solution, I'll take that step - I just have not done any research on this yet. I am not going to buy any more WD-anything if their planned obsolesce is so short.

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Postby QRM » Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:47 am

I have a synology diskstation and it seems able to handle all sorts of different combination of hard disk thrown in, it has a hybrid raid software that smart enough to figure out how to spread the info across various sized hd.

It's been running for a few years now, and the only hiccup was caused by me for not following the instructions.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 13 Oct 2014 9:54 am

Brah wrote:So I'm starting from scratch next round - what would you recommend for a scalable, maintainable storage solution that accepts a variety of drives that does not go ESOL after a couple of years? The overall solution, not the drives, I expect them to come and go.

If this means a more home-built enclosure solution, I'll take that step - I just have not done any research on this yet. I am not going to buy any more WD-anything if their planned obsolesce is so short.

Home-bulit, although probably best option requires some experience. Without, you will waste a lot of time.
Clearly it's better to avoid any enclosure that comes from the hard drive manufacturers. Other than this, I would stay open. First thing would be to decide what, in terms of "architecture" you would like to have.
For example, a complete solution could be like this (all below I to IV together is a single solution):

I) NAS with RAID (all the files stored)
II) NAS or external hard drive with or without RAID (a full copy of "I")
III) optical drive (a full copy of everything that can not be restored any other
way - i.e. your personal photographs, videos, documents etc.
IV) any storage (hard drive, optical) outside your living place with at least one full copy of "III"

For "I" I would probably buy a 4 bay NAS RAID enclosure. At this point the pricing kicks in so you have to decide if you prefer:
a) mirroring raid (safer, slightly slower, 50% of the capacity of the hard drives you put in is gone)
b) RAID5 (faster, less safe, with 4 same cap. hard drives, capacity of 1 is gone.

If you implement also II to IV, RAID5 is IMO safe enough.

To look for a specific enclosure I would suggest to start from here:
http://pricewatch.vr-zone.com/sim-lim-s ... ricelists/

These are some price-lists from SLS. Almost ever single one has a section on NAS. Just get familiar with what is available around and how much it costs.

Some of the outlets have also web pages:
http://www.videopro.com.sg/products/ind ... 9c5l39sgi7
(I used to buy from them but they p**d me off one time too many. Still good enough for checking prices etc.)

http://www.storagestudio.com.sg/
(good storage choice but on the expensive side)

Once you shortlist some enclosures just start googling what people say about them.

Some things to consider:
- Check what is the maximum capacity of the individual hard drives the enclosure is able to handle. For example, with the current hdd choice it would be good if they could handle hdds up to 4TB.
- While googling look for potential problems for our climate (overheating, humidity)

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Postby Brah » Tue, 14 Oct 2014 8:37 pm

Thanks very much for this, I clearly have some homework (and spending) to do.

BTW - do most homegrown solution have universal power supplies, is this hard to find or the standard?

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:01 pm

A typical homegrown NAS solution is just an old PC. It's completely standard, with all the standard components.

The hardware problems only start when there is not enough SATA ports available. Typical motherboard has them 2 to 6. More than 6, it gets expensive. 6 may seem more than enough but if you build something like this you would also like to add an optical drive (to have all in one solution) and you need a drive to boot the system from (also possible from the array but safer to keep it separated). You can add a pci(e) sata card (2-4 ports) but adding yet another one, especially cheap and of similar chipset is usually a challenge.

Power supply is also a standard ATX PSU but has to survive the power drained by the whole setup together and hard drives when they start (spin-up) may take 2-3x more power than at the idle/read/write states.

My old NAS was:
- some old MB with a Duron 1.2GHz and 768MB RAM
- 2 PATA ports on the MB (boot hdd and OD)
- 4 SATA ports on a HighPoint pci controler
- 4 SATA ports on a cheappo ebay SIL based pci controller
- 7x 1TB hdds (a mix of hitachi and WDs), software RAID5
- PSU, 650W, Corsair (low end)
- OS: Ubuntu
- all in an old mini ATX casing

My current:
- MB: MSI C847MS-E33, fanless low power cpu and 2GB RAM
- 4 SATA ports on MB (boot: ssd, OD - bluray)
- 8 SATA ports on an LSI pci-e low-end controller
- 6x 2TB WD green hdds, software RAID5
- psu as above
- OS as above
- midi ATX casing

It is mostly used as a backup/archive storage.
Cost without hdds ~SGD550

Why I prefer low power cpu solutions is mostly the heat. 4 or more hard drives generate a substantial heat and it has to removed (fans). Having on top of it a powerful cpu would make the whole thing overheated or noisy. On the other hand a NAS for basic functionality does not need any significant computational power. Even running a media server on the same NAS at the same time does not require any.

If you have an old PC, generic (whitebox) that has at least 2-3 pci or pci-e slots, any RAM 512MB or more you can convert it to a NAS for roughly S$130 (a 4x SATA card, ~S$30 ebay, PSU 500-650W ~S$100 (branded).
if there is no internal GbE controller on MB it would be S$10-20 more.
Bluray internal drive (writer) can be bought from amazon for ~S$70-90.

It does not need to be under Linux (ubuntu) but Linux (comparing to Windows) is much less demanding on the hardware requirements, extremely flexible and with all what may be needed and for free of course. For windows it may be more easy to get it configured but I have no experience with it.

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Postby bgd » Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:26 pm

http://lifehacker.com/consumer-drives-m ... 1650338754

Interesting link. Real world experience on HD reliability.


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