I have a challenge for you


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Sat here racking my brains

Instead of buying a high end NAS this year I am pricing up the building of one myself using FreeNAS

Ok the problem.

1. I want at least 2.5gb ethernet, ideally 10gbe

2. Do I buy a Ryzen with Vega 11/8 even though access with be available to freeNAS on my main PC
However initially I need to set it up. Maybe install a small gfx card until done?
If I go for a removable GFX card I can then increase the core and thread count to maybe run a VM or two

3. if no 10gbe is available then my only other option would be to use the PCIE slot and fit a third party high speed card using copper SFP+ modules
(more expense)

4. Finding a decent cards add separate modules. Because I would need one for the NAS board and one of each for my PC and one of each for my sons PC in order to connect to the switch. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01C4QL754/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_8?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&psc=1
Only 24port available at this price 16port is over twice the price. GRRRRRRR

5. This is a lot of work. I will have to run all new cable through flat and install a cabinet downstairs. Is it really worth it?
The connectivity between NAS and other PC's has to be right. I only have 100Mb cable so standard cat5e is fine.

Here are a few specs I was thinking of;

Cable

Case

The board has been a major issue for me. Defo Mini-ITX but again specs have to be right. I may have to make some sacrifices I know like the 1gbe/2.5gbe/10gbe speeds

CPUs (heat and core counts will matter in the case) and cabinet)

Memory

Much higher spec than a normal NAS and maybe overkill but it has to last me at least 8years. Drives pending of course.
I may also use a small NVME drive for booting the FreeNAS for fast accessing instead of a USB drive as suggested by some installers

Any thought on Specs, equipment and ideas would be appreciated



Trip
 
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Ian

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Are you going to run VMs regularly on the NAS, or just occasionally? That's a really hefty spec PC for a NAS! I've got a low power Synology unit that is a couple of years old (918+) and that runs as a 24/7 file server, backup server, runs 6 Docker applications and 2 VMs - all at the same time. It's speedy too! The VMs are a little slow, but they are just for testing (even though they run 24/7), so it's fine for me.

I'd be tempted to buy a Synology NAS for ease, as they're so good with 3rd party software integrations. The 918+ is a couple of years old, but there are new models coming out soon. If you will be a heavy VM user, then I'd go down the custom route though.

If you do go down the custom route, getting a small NVME might be a good idea - as you can use this for boot and VM storage, and then spinning disks for cheap mass storage. I'd be tempted to go for normal gigabit network cards for now, as they're so cheap (often integrated - so free). They're fast enough for most requirements at the moment, and then when you come to upgrade in 8 years you can keep the cable and just get 10gbe cards which will be so much cheaper by then. Would cost ~500 for just 3 cards at the moment, never mind the switch :eek:.

If you are running VMs, I'd get the Ryzen 5 3600 instead of the 3400G - then just get a cheap 2nd hand graphics card for the machine, which would only be used for provisioning and troubleshooting. Most of the setup would be done via your main PC over the FreeNAS web interface.

Just my 2p :D. I love my NAS and think they're a great thing to have.
 
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My knowledge on VM's is very very limited tbh. I wont be running more than one I don't think. If anything is will be used for older games that need XP etc?

I have never used a NAS or a VM before. It is very high spec. But I want it to last a loong time. I'm planning on spending excess of £1400
easily just on it. For a prebuilt NAS no where as near spec including HDD etc would quite easily cost that and no where near that high although I understand it is dedicated to the job. I have looked online and seen som NAS and thought with the workloads of today they under spec them and maybe do it on purpose to get people to buy another a few years down the line like most things nowadays.

I find transfers between my PC and media tank slow at times. Especially transferring files so using the newly built NAS with 2.5, 5 or 10gbe will allow access for both me and Lucas, especially if he wants to start streaming and editing his videos. There will also be a DLNA element to it as well as CCTV DVR recording. The spec I propose should deal with all of this without issue? All my machines have 1gbe still I find is bottle necking at times. It winds me up. Lucas has Mains ring adapter for his internet connection at present so that needs to be resolved. 1gbe just would not cope at all
 
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Ian

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If you're running games on a VM running XP, you can definitely get away with a lesser spec CPU if that's any use. My NAS must be 5% of the power of the specs above, but super speedy at transfers and storage. The DS920+ (https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS920+) would be great at storage, docket and a single low power VM (i.e. XP) - especially if you've upgraded it to 8GB ram. My last NAS was in use for about 7/8 years and was still decent until the end :).

There's a review here: https://nascompares.com/2020/05/21/synology-ds920-nas-drive-hardware-review/

I know it's a little different to what you were asking, but I'm sooooooooo glad I switched away from a homebrew NAS I made (using Unraid) to the Synology. The system is less powerful, but it does so much more and performance is just ideal. It's also very good as a CCTV NVR (I use it for this).

You can use port bonding to get 2Gbe as long as your equipment supports it (not quite as nice and simple as 2.5Gbe, but a decent option).

If you do go down the homebrew route, you should definitely make the most of trying out some higher power VMs for Linux, etc... and have a dabble with them. It's a lot of fun :). 2.5Gbe cards are reasonably priced and give decent performance - if you're doing video editing I can see why you want high performance here.
 
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Thanks Ian. Its all very confusing. I am by far an expert. I will let you know when the time is nearer

On a good point I managed to get a Cabinet yesterday on Ebay. It suited my spec perfectly. Not too deep to fit downstairs either.
Only 9u but only a few things going into it so should be fine :)

Included is a tray and it has depth adjustable internal racking.

Including courier delivery it was £63
 

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Had another look around and think I have decided to go with the lower Ryzen 3 3100. Lower TDP and good Cache
Lots cheaper too :D
 
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