NAS help

EndersShadow

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Currently I have a WD Live TV. It works great to stream my MKV's from a 3TB Seagate HDD. But I'm running out of space fast so I want to look for a better solution. So I'm looking to build a small NAS that can also run XBMC (if needed).

I'm looking to build something to store and stream my MKV files to other rooms and devices. I DO NOT compress my video files so they are large in size, but storage is decently cheap. I also currently have 1 TB of music I'd like to move to this device from my main rig so I can sell some of the smaller HDD's it has to move to one larger one there.

I'm thinking I want to go with RAID 0 as I have the physical discs and plan to have the computer on a battery backup to help mitigate the likelyhood of a brownout or power failure resulting in a bad sector (more on that later).

I'm planning to run Windows 7 + XBMC + PLEX server + Logitech Media Server and some other apps on this device. I dont "plan" to use it as a HTPC but wire it direct to my router to feed a Roku (Purchase Plex channel) and a WD Live TV (already own) or a Chromebox running OpenELEC for Kodi downstairs. Downstairs is wireless via a Asus N66 network bridge running off 2.4 wireless N signal from my router.

Here is what I'm looking at hardware wise and would love thoughts on. I'm trying to do this as low cost as possible while making sure I dont buy utter junk.

CPU:
Intel G3220 (30 from a friend) - integrated graphics​
Mobo:
Option 1: GIGABYTE GA-H97N-WIFI (110)
I like the dual LAN as an option to help load balance, but is this overkill? 6 SATA ports v 5​
Option 2: ASRock H97M-ITX/ac (80-100)​
Memory:
PSU:
Corsair CX430 (30 after Rebate)
Chosen due to the modular part and I have the non modular in my current computer for 3 years worry free so I like Corsair​
HDD (Video):
HGST Deskstar 7k4000 2TB (70 per drive)
Chosen due to their low failure rate and the fact this one has a 64MG cache. Also because the 3 & 4 TB drives are pricey when you start buying more than 1 at a time. I hope to start with 2 and move to 4 as I need the extra space. If I start to max that out, then I will move to 3 or 4 TB drives.​
HDD (OS):
SSD of some sort, likely in the 128 - 250 gig. I like Corsair, Crucial, Samsung as options
Case:
Fractal Design Node 304
Chosen due to the fact it has just the right amount of space and it will allow me to use a larger cooler that I already have that I think can work
If needed I do have a Antec P182 case I can initially use if the money isnt there to buy this case, however I'd prefer to use it so I can hide it easier in plain sight.​
CPU Cooler:
Noctua HN-U12P - free already own
I am NOT sure if this cooler is able to fit on this socket so if you know its possible or not, please let me know.
**edit** Appears Noctua is offering a free socket 1150 upgrade to folks with coolers like this one (link). You have to provide proof of purchase of the cooler and also a 1150 motherboard and boom, done. I have to say, this company just continues to impress me. The 120mm case fans I own are still running 4 years later and the CPU cooler is a dream as well​

Thats kinda what I'm thinking part wise. I'd love some thoughts on this build and if its going to be decent or if I am missing something major.
 
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Dangman

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First and foremost: BUY THAT CASE TONIGHT! That $60 price-tag is a sales only price. Its normal pricing is $90.

I'll comment on the rest of your plan later but wanted to get the ball rolling on the case as it's a fantastic limited time deal.
 
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Dangman

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Well don't use RAID 0. That's ridiculously unsafe for your data. Really no reason whatsoever to run a RAID 0 array for a FILE SERVER/NAS. Since you're running Windows and have existing data, you should check out SnapRAID:
http://snapraid.sourceforge.net/

Seriously get the case if you haven't already done so. It'd a damn good deal. As for the other parts:

That CPU should be more than enough power for your planned use. However, it is cheap enough to "throw away" should you do a future CPU upgrade due to increased CPU performance requirements.

As for the motherboard, the Gigabyte is the cheapest six-SATA port having motherboard available at the moment. Luckily, it's actually a good motherboard. Plus its Intel NIC makes it a tad more suitable for NAS work than the AsRock's Realtek NIC. So no, it's not overkill.

That RAM is a poor choice for the money. It limits you to 8GB of RAM max with that NAS. I recommend getting this Crucial 8GB RAM instead since it allows you to upgrade to 16GB of RAM later on without having to replace any RAM set, it's lower profile so it won't interfere with your Noctua HSF, and uses slightly less power:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148655&ignorebbr=1

You're not really saving all that much space with that Corsair PSU. If you eventually plan on using six of the SATA ports on that motherboard (which you should be if you're buying it), you're going to have to connect the two modular SATA cables to power four of those drives and the modular molex cable to power the other two drives + any other ancillary device in the case. So you're really only saving one whole cable by going with the CX430M over the CX430. The Node 304 is a relatively cramped case but not that cramped where a single cable makes a huge difference. So if the regular CX430 is cheaper by $5 or more, go for the regular CX430 then.

HDD wise, when I was building my file server, I had the same thought as you: Maybe I should do a smaller drive instead? But once you do the GB per price math, you're generally better off buying the larger drives. Also, cachce size isn't quite that big of a deal unless you're constantly doing massive file transfers 24/7. For $20 (or 28%) more that will get you a 50% increase in space, you can get this Toshiba 3TB drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149396&ignorebbr=1

For the OS SSD, generally 120 to 128GB sized SSDs have significantly poorer bang for the buck value compared to their larger 250GB to 256GB brothers. Not to mention the lower performance. Hence why I'm recommending this:
$90 - Crucial BX100 250GB SSD

Finally the HSF: As is, that Noctua HSF isn't compatible with newer platforms However, after you buy the motherboard and if you still have the receipt or invoice for that Noctua HSF, you can actually request a free mounting kit that allows your NH-u12P to be compatible with current generation platforms:
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=productview&products_id=58&lng=en

Alternatively, you can just buy the kit outright for $9:
http://www.amazon.com/noctua-NM-I115X-Noctua-NM-i115x-Mounting/dp/B00BLS3YYO
 

EndersShadow

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Well don't use RAID 0. That's ridiculously unsafe for your data. Really no reason whatsoever to run a RAID 0 array for a FILE SERVER/NAS. Since you're running Windows and have existing data, you should check out SnapRAID:
http://snapraid.sourceforge.net/

Will take a look, main thing is I dont want to have a entire drive (or pair) that cant be used to store data on, however I'd be OK with if I have to lose a single disc as my library isnt going to grow super fast blu-ray wise just likey 12 or so a year as I'm picky about what I rip.

Lots of Disney DVD's will be added but those are small file size wise.

That RAM is a poor choice for the money. It limits you to 8GB of RAM max with that NAS. I recommend getting this Crucial 8GB RAM instead since it allows you to upgrade to 16GB of RAM later on without having to replace any RAM set, it's lower profile so it won't interfere with your Noctua HSF, and uses slightly less power:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148655&ignorebbr=1

Why would I need MORE than 8 gigs of RAM? Right now the "thought" is to stream it to 2 devices max. A Chromebox that just streams the MKV rips straight without transcoding them using XBMC, and a Roku in my bedroom that would need to trascode them down to what the Roku could handle.

Thats about it, so I was figuring 8 gigs of RAM would be more than enough. What would I need the extra 8 gigs for?

You're not really saving all that much space with that Corsair PSU. If you eventually plan on using six of the SATA ports on that motherboard (which you should be if you're buying it), you're going to have to connect the two modular SATA cables to power four of those drives and the modular molex cable to power the other two drives + any other ancillary device in the case. So you're really only saving one whole cable by going with the CX430M over the CX430. The Node 304 is a relatively cramped case but not that cramped where a single cable makes a huge difference. So if the regular CX430 is cheaper by $5 or more, go for the regular CX430 then.

Yeah the modular and non modular were both options, the modular had a mail in rebate dropping the price down to 30 total, but I'm ok with either. I use the non modular in my current build which is in a HTPC case and it works fine.

HDD wise, when I was building my file server, I had the same thought as you: Maybe I should do a smaller drive instead? But once you do the GB per price math, you're generally better off buying the larger drives. Also, cachce size isn't quite that big of a deal unless you're constantly doing massive file transfers 24/7. For $20 (or 28%) more that will get you a 50% increase in space, you can get this Toshiba 3TB drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822149396&ignorebbr=1

I was told/implored to ONLY use HGST drives due to the BlackBlaze stats. I have a buddy who works as a IT Architect for the US Gov and they ONLY use the HGST drives. Thats kinda why I went with them over say Seagate or Western Digital.

I was also told that my buddy at least noticed that the odd numbered sized drives tended to fail a bit more (3, 6, etc) so he suggested sticking with even numbers.

blog-drive-failure-by-manufacturer1.jpg



For the OS SSD, generally 120 to 128GB sized SSDs have significantly poorer bang for the buck value compared to their larger 250GB to 256GB brothers. Not to mention the lower performance. Hence why I'm recommending this:
$90 - Crucial BX100 250GB SSD

Sure no real problem there, the 250's I can see making more sense anyway given the fact their prices have dropped quite a bit.


Regarding the Noctua, yeah I'd simply get the free part as why not right?

Any more thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

Dangman

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Will take a look, main thing is I dont want to have a entire drive (or pair) that cant be used to store data on, however I'd be OK with if I have to lose a single disc as my library isnt going to grow super fast blu-ray wise just likey 12 or so a year as I'm picky about what I rip.

Lots of Disney DVD's will be added but those are small file size wise.
With any solid and safe storage solution, you're going to end up losing space and/or disks in order to better protect the data.

Why would I need MORE than 8 gigs of RAM? Right now the "thought" is to stream it to 2 devices max. A Chromebox that just streams the MKV rips straight without transcoding them using XBMC, and a Roku in my bedroom that would need to trascode them down to what the Roku could handle.

Thats about it, so I was figuring 8 gigs of RAM would be more than enough. What would I need the extra 8 gigs for?
Because people tend to use their server for more and more intensive tasks as time goes on? In addition, should you go for a more robust and reliable storage setup using ZFS or BTFRS or whatever Windows 10 comes with, the extra RAM is going to be needed for that.
I was told/implored to ONLY use HGST drives due to the BlackBlaze stats. I have a buddy who works as a IT Architect for the US Gov and they ONLY use the HGST drives. Thats kinda why I went with them over say Seagate or Western Digital.

I was also told that my buddy at least noticed that the odd numbered sized drives tended to fail a bit more (3, 6, etc) so he suggested sticking with even numbers.

blog-drive-failure-by-manufacturer1.jpg
The Backblaze stats don't really show HGST drives that were actually manufacturered under Western Digital leadership. Remember that Western Digital bought Hitachi's hard drive section a few years ago. Most of the drives listed in the HGST report were made while under Hitachi control. As such, we don't know for sure if Western Digital has been maintaining HGST's previous reputation in regards to HDD reliability.

6 is an even number FYI. There is one piece of data in the BackBlaze report that kinda supports your friend's suggestion but A) that's one piece of data and not enough to draw a solid conclusion from for a wide range of drives and B) the increased failure rate isn't that much higher to worry about. Not to mention that not all others factors have been ruled out that could have influenced drive failure.
 

EndersShadow

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With any solid and safe storage solution, you're going to end up losing space and/or disks in order to better protect the data.


Because people tend to use their server for more and more intensive tasks as time goes on? In addition, should you go for a more robust and reliable storage setup using ZFS or BTFRS or whatever Windows 10 comes with, the extra RAM is going to be needed for that.

The Backblaze stats don't really show HGST drives that were actually manufacturered under Western Digital leadership. Remember that Western Digital bought Hitachi's hard drive section a few years ago. Most of the drives listed in the HGST report were made while under Hitachi control. As such, we don't know for sure if Western Digital has been maintaining HGST's previous reputation in regards to HDD reliability.

6 is an even number FYI. There is one piece of data in the BackBlaze report that kinda supports your friend's suggestion but A) that's one piece of data and not enough to draw a solid conclusion from for a wide range of drives and B) the increased failure rate isn't that much higher to worry about. Not to mention that not all others factors have been ruled out that could have influenced drive failure.

Yeah 6 is even lol.... Long day but pointless as 6 TB drives are way outside my budget. I will read up on other options hard drive wise. I'm not against WD but Seagate is off the list for sure lol...

I don't anticipate needing more than 8 gigs of RAM so I'm going to go with that and if needed go with more. Just like the CPU.

I think I'm ok with RAID 5 as with 6 SATA connections I can use RAID 5 to use 4 drives + parity + OS drive and still be ok.

I've got enough to purchase the parts minus the hard drives so I will likely do that shortly and wait for my stereo gear to sell so I can get at least 3 drives since that's the minimum for RAID 5.

Is there some other RAID I should use or is RAID 5 likely the best choice for me?
 

Dangman

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I don't anticipate needing more than 8 gigs of RAM so I'm going to go with that and if needed go with more. Just like the CPU.
Still though, don't get that GeIL RAM. The Crucial RAM I recommended still offers two other benefits besides the 16GB RAM ability over that Geil RAM whereas there's really no reason to get that GeIL RAM.
I think I'm ok with RAID 5 as with 6 SATA connections I can use RAID 5 to use 4 drives + parity + OS drive and still be ok.

I've got enough to purchase the parts minus the hard drives so I will likely do that shortly and wait for my stereo gear to sell so I can get at least 3 drives since that's the minimum for RAID 5.

Is there some other RAID I should use or is RAID 5 likely the best choice for me?
It's not the best choice since you're using Windows. The motherboard's onboard RAID chip in Windows or the built-in Windows RAID are notoriously extremely slow. Not to mention that slight performance hit. You'd generally need a $200 to $300 true hardware RAID card to get good performance in RAID with Windows. In addition, depending on the size of your final RAID 5 array, it's actually better to go RAID 6 since the larger the array nowadays, the greater the chance of failure. Better and faster RAID solutions involves ZFS and/or some form of Linux/BSD. Finally, you'd still need four drives: Three to start the array and the fourth to hold any copies of data you may want to move over to the RAID array as creating a new RAID array destroys/erases any data on the included drives. So start with the three, move data over from the fourth, and add the fourth to the RAID array afterwards.

That's why I was recommending SnapRAID to you: It's a free RAID-like solution for Windows that's actually good. Now right now SourceForge seems to be having some issues with their site, so I'm going to quote some pages around the web about SnapRAID so that you can get a better idea of what it is:

http://assassinhtpcblog.com/server-snapraid/
What is SnapRAID?

SnapRAID is a free backup program for disk arrays. It stores redundancy information in the disk array and allows recovering from up to two disk failures. This means you can have up two hard drives fail at the same time and still recover all of your data. SnapRAID is targeted at the home theater pc or media server audience where you have large files that rarely change.

Like Flexraid (but unlike Unraid) you will need an operating system like WHS 2011 installed.

Features of SnapRAID are:

You can start using SnapRAID with already filled disks.
The disks of the array can be different sizes.
You can add additional disks at any time.
If you accidentally delete some files in a disk, you can recover them.
If more than two disks fail, you lose the data only on the failed disks. All the data on the other disks is safe.
It doesn’t lock-in your data. You can stop using SnapRAID at any time without the need to reformat or move data.
All your data is hashed to ensure data integrity and to avoid silent corruption

http://flawless-server.com/2-0-setup/snapraid
SnapRAID is a hybrid between a snapshot RAID and a data backup. The software creates a paroty snapshot at regular intervals that can be used to restore and entire drive or simply and individual file that was accedentally deleated. It does not provide realtime redundancy like RAID-5(6), but is that really needed when you primarily have a lot of big files that rarely change? And in addition, SnapRAID protects against data rot, which is the silent killer that will foul-up your RAID-5 (and even RAID-6) rebuild, leaving you at a total loss. SnapRAID also supports up to 2 paroty disks for additional redundancy and can be setup and configured even if your disks already contain data.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/SnapRAID
SnapRAID is a folder-based backup tool that behaves like a software or hardware Raid5/6 disk raid, but is not a disk raid itself. There is no realtime recovery, free space between disks cannot be combined and manual excution of backup is needed.

Because of the nature of folder-based backup, SnapRAID is more flexible and simpler than software raids. Although disk raids have advantages such as realtime backup, increased complexity or reduced performance are the drawback. Not to mention a two-disk failure or a sata URE happening to Raid5 could damage all data, which is not the case with SnapRAID. Thus the use of SnapRAID is logical when backup is the main goal rather than preventing a system from going offline due to disk failure.

SnapRAID works by storing parity of all folders to another disk. The destination disk which the parity file is stored on should be the largest. Other disks do not have this restriction and can be of any size. Summing up, SnapRAID is suitable for media centers where files are usually large and rarely changed. SnapRAID is highly flexible and can be configured to add/remove disk at any time. Also, more than one redundant disks are supported.
 

EndersShadow

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^Thanks for that info. I will do some more research.

SnapRaid sounds VERY similar to UnRaid which was also recommended to me. I dont need to worry about existing data because its all on an external HDD and I would not be adding that drive to this to start with. Are they basically the same or is one better than the other?

I may also pass on the Node 304 as I have an older Antec P182 case which if I'm reading this right I could use a SATA controller through the PCI E lane on the itx board later on to increase the amount of HDD's I need from the 6 I have to more.

The Node 304 doesnt handle more than 6 drives, whereas my Antec is a full sized tower with sound dampening material already in it, then I added more Acoustimat Foam to it as well, so it should be very quiet. Its just going to be interesting to find a spot to put it hehehe....

Doing that also saves me 40 bucks on the case, and saves me potential headache later on.
 

Dangman

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^Thanks for that info. I will do some more research.

SnapRaid sounds VERY similar to UnRaid which was also recommended to me. I dont need to worry about existing data because its all on an external HDD and I would not be adding that drive to this to start with. Are they basically the same or is one better than the other?
Both have their pros and cons. Though IMO only, unRAID is the worse option in this situation: You actually have to pay for unRAID, $60 for 6 drives or less or $90 for 12 drives or less. In addition, it's a separate OS as well so you can't really use it with your Windows OS. SnapRAID is free and works in Windows.
I may also pass on the Node 304 as I have an older Antec P182 case which if I'm reading this right I could use a SATA controller through the PCI E lane on the itx board later on to increase the amount of HDD's I need from the 6 I have to more. .

The Node 304 doesnt handle more than 6 drives, whereas my Antec is a full sized tower with sound dampening material already in it, then I added more Acoustimat Foam to it as well, so it should be very quiet. Its just going to be interesting to find a spot to put it hehehe....

Doing that also saves me 40 bucks on the case, and saves me potential headache later on.
Yes you can just add in a HBA and get more supported hard drives that way. I'm doing exactly that with my current file server: My Gigabyte GA-890GPA-D3H motherboard only has 8 SATA ports so I added a Dell M1015 HBA bought off the forums to add an additional 8 SATA connections to the server.

As for your planned passing, if you're not going for the Node 304, no reason to get that Gigabyte mITX motherboard. THe whole point of getting a mITX motrherboard is that you can use it in a mITX case. If you're no longer going the mITX route and going for your P182, I recommend this cheaper AsRock motherboard instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157510&ignorebbr=1

WIth that said, your P182 plan has some flaws in it. It's a mid-tower, not a full tower case. As is, the P182 only supports six drives, same as the Fractal Design Node 304. Maybe 7 if you ghetto rig a hard drive into the external 3.5" bay. In order to add more drives to the P182, you basically have to get a hard drive cage or hot-swap bay. Those can range from $50 to as much as $100. Obviously, the lower in price, the less drives you can add. This Rosewill $50 hot-swap cage apparently only costs $50 at the moment so it does have good bang for the buck value. However, it can support up to 4 hard drives.

Not to mention that I barely trust the CX430 to power your planned six drive setup. For more than six drives, I highly recommend a better PSU like this:
$66 - XFX TS Series 550W PSU

So your P280 plan will end up costing you a bit more money than you'd think. We' haven't even touched upon the cost of another HBA/storage controller to add more drives to that P280. It is well within the $100 price range...
 

EndersShadow

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I agree but it's got a bunch of 5.25 bays I could fill with drives. If nothing else each bay could hol another drive for a total of 4 more + 6 initially plus 1 3.5 external bay for a total of 11....

But I think your right and that is likely too much. I will sleep on it and decide tomorrow.

Either way I only have enough for the parts minus the hard drives so it's a moot point right now on which file system I go with.
 
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