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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2018, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Advice on second hand server gear for a home NAS?

I am toying around with the idea of building a NAS out of retired server gear. In particular, LGA 2011/x79 boards, CPU, and memory are ridiculously cheap. I think I can get a quad core or better CPU, 16gb of memory, and a board for around 150-300 dollars which is bananas.

For example, this HP Z420 Workstation LGA 2011 ATX System Board is 60 bucks:


An Intel Xeon E5-1607 or similar can be found for as little as $14

And 8gb DIMMS of ECC Registered memory can be had for as little as 20$ a piece, while unbuffered generally goes for $60 or more.

I am thinking I can build out an array of 8TB drives over time, up to 8-12 drives. Using ZFS with 2 or 3 drive parity, that would be 42-70 TBs of data and the whole project would cost me maybe 3k?

I am a little worried about some stuff though. Most server boards have four or six SATA III ports on board, but I would need more than that. I could buy PCIE SATA addon cards, but I have read about problems with drivers, stability, and high capacity drives. Trying to do it on the cheap and all, I would be looking to use the 20-50 dollar consumer addon cards, and I would probably be running everything under some version of freeNAS or linux. Does anyone know anything about that? I am also considering using cheap USB 3.0 to SATA adapters and add on cards, but I am not sure how well that would work either. Any advice on how to increase the storage capacity of a board?

I would be looking to run this on gigabit ethernet, and my home internet upload speed is nothing special. Would I still want to invest in some kind of SSD cache? What about CPU requirements. If this is a dedicated NAS only, would an older generation quad core Xeon be enough? Any advice or pointers would be appreciated.
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