Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1TB mirrored NAS for $377

I wanted to see how cheaply I could build a mirrored Network Attached Storage (NAS) server, yet keep a balance of quality with the build price. Using all Newegg components, I came up with this list:

Wish List

This gets you a decent looking, quiet system with mirrored storage. After formatting, usable space should come in a little under 1TB, as you would expect with 1TB drives. As for OS, I would recommend Solaris 10 and ZFS. All free and very easy to setup a pool of disks with no hardware RAID required (JBOD). Since there are only two drives in this configuration, I'd opt for mirroring. If you add 3 or more drives, then RAIDZ1 would be the better choice (similar to RAID5, 1 drive for parity.)

My basic specs are:

* 4GB RAM (ZFS likes lots of RAM for optimal speed)
* SATA 3.0Gb/s
* GB ethernet
* Firewire

The power supply I chose has 2x12v rails for plenty of power to the hardware. The AMD X2 CPU is very inexpensive, and more than adequate for a file server. Everything in this package has decent prices and overall good reviews from newegg customers.

The system is easily expandable, and it is trivial to setup Samba for network sharing, or NFS, or even plug in Firewire for direct data access. See here for a detailed walk through of the process.

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