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Solar Junkie
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all,

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Update: here's what I ended up doing:

https://www.overclock.net/forum/221-servers/1752464-quality-nas-just-build-server-pc-4.html#post28592720

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I realize almost every forum on this website is basically dead these days (sigh, what happened)? But maybe a shot in the dark here.

I'm considering either getting a dual disc NAS by Synology to act as a home file sharing NAS basically over my 5G network (wireless). Or, just building a low power PC server (maybe AMD based, Athlon 300G APU is 35 Watt) with an OS drive (7 watt) and two 8TB drives in mirror (14~15 watt). It should idle pretty low. It will be headless after setup. I'm not sure how the APU's function in terms of power consumption when idle or headless compared to doing a non-APU CPU and installing a GPU that is low power and will stay idle. No other components needed, will use the motherboard's gigabite LAN to connect to my router and serve out via WiFi 5G to the other systems and phones/tablets. I don't need a ton of space, just sharing, so 8TB in mirror should be enough space while having a tiny bit of redundancy. Will likely sit on an UPS to keep it from turning off with a power out while doing any activity. Will probably just run Windows on it with basic file sharing (works fine on my home network with my other computers).

Thoughts?

Just get a NAS?

Very best
 

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Or, just building a low power PC server (maybe AMD based, Athlon 300G APU is 35 Watt) with an OS drive (7 watt) and two 8TB drives in mirror (14~15 watt). It should idle pretty low. It will be headless after setup. I'm not sure how the APU's function in terms of power consumption when idle or headless compared to doing a non-APU CPU and installing a GPU that is low power and will stay idle.
Would build using this config if it were me.
I don't like the inability of going under the hood if necessary, and if you get a low profile case you could in theory get a very lower powered setup.

I used an old core duo, using ubuntu server, and samba like 8 years ago and the thing has worked flawlessly since then. You just need to ensure the mobo/cpu combo supports RAID, but other than that you are good.

Transfer speeds were considerably fast, more so than I expected, over the 1GB ethernet I have for the moment, and it barely makes a dent in CPU performance for very large transfers so your athlon will be more than adequate.

You can always use one of the more modern NAS freeware instead so you can get interface and access to your wireless devices, phones, etc - something I never had a need for (using iDrive for those).

Anyway fun project! Hope you enjoy.
 
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Solar Junkie
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Discussion Starter #3
Would build using this config if it were me.
I don't like the inability of going under the hood if necessary, and if you get a low profile case you could in theory get a very lower powered setup.

I used an old core duo, using ubuntu server, and samba like 8 years ago and the thing has worked flawlessly since then. You just need to ensure the mobo/cpu combo supports RAID, but other than that you are good.

Transfer speeds were considerably fast, more so than I expected, over the 1GB ethernet I have for the moment, and it barely makes a dent in CPU performance for very large transfers so your athlon will be more than adequate.

You can always use one of the more modern NAS freeware instead so you can get interface and access to your wireless devices, phones, etc - something I never had a need for (using iDrive for those).

Anyway fun project! Hope you enjoy.
Thanks,

I am more inclined to agree with being able to get under the hood and deal with components over time and replace things as needed or upgrade as needed unlike a pre-build NAS that is untouchable other than use. I'm not even terribly concerned with performance other than decent transfer speed (mostly to stream local media from it, no transcoding though, basic Kodi streaming essentially; also music (FLAC library, some MP3); lastly just to hold some minor video & images that get large over time). I'm thinking of just plugging it wired into my router and then that serves out via wifi at 5G to the other computers. When doing large copies, I'm sure I could saturate the 1Gbit LAN speed, but when serving out it will not matter much most likely at all.

So the main concern is power consumption and reliability. I'm thinking RAID1 or any other implementation of mirroring just so I can serve from one disc while the other disc simply mirrors that one. I'm just not sure if both discs being on a motherboard controller is a good idea, compared to a dedicated RAID card. I'd like to keep it simple. I used to use hardware RAID long ago, but I've not bothered with RAID in a long time due to large capacity drives these days. This time it would be for redundancy only, so a single drive failure can be tolerated. No parity. Just straight mirroring. I'm not sure how bad that would be on a motherboard's implementation of RAID1 and how to repair or recover if software is even needed or if it's literally just adding a drive or accessing the drive that is not at failure to get to the data. I generally use Ultrastar series drives (Western Digital Data Center class). And again, its all about power consumption from there to avoid having a 100+ watt heater going 24/7. I don't care what it does while in use. I'm more interested in what it does when idling in terms of power draw.

Lastly, I'm just not sure if I should use Windows as I am, or do something like you described, setting up a SAMBA server with Linux or running FreeNAS or similar options. I used FreeNAS long ago when it was command line only. I've used Ubuntu a bit over the years but I've never ran a server with it. Again mostly just Windows environment sharing (nothing fancy, just sharing over my network for Kodi streaming and that's about it).

So if building this machine from parts, I have several things to make it from, my last consideration is whether I need a dedicated NIC installed or if the motherboard's implementation (RealTek) of gigabit lan is suffient and then of course whether or not the motherboard's implementation of RAID is ok for RAID1 or if I should get a dedicated controller for that.

Very best,
 

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look into the Asustor products. if you're looking for 10GbE then specifically look at the AS4004T. for ~$300 and 4 bays and 10 GbE it's pretty unbeatable and the 1 GbE stuff is even cheaper.

If you're happy with 1 GbE look at the Intel NUCs. You can get an older 8th gen for cheap now that 10th gen is out, and my (8th gen) NUC barely pulls more power than my Raspberry Pi when it's idle. Firestrike only barely pushes it over 50w and watching 1080p content it hovers between 9-13w measured from a Kill-A-Watt.

the main issue with the NUCs are the internal storage options, you'd need to grab a Thunderbolt 3 to x bay external enclosure and that removes any possibility of 10 GbE unless you go for a janky M.2 to PCI-E to 10 GbE NIC route.
 

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So the main concern is power consumption and reliability. I'm thinking RAID1 or any other implementation of mirroring just so I can serve from one disc while the other disc simply mirrors that one. I'm just not sure if both discs being on a motherboard controller is a good idea, compared to a dedicated RAID card. I'd like to keep it simple. I used to use hardware RAID long ago, but I've not bothered with RAID in a long time due to large capacity drives these days. This time it would be for redundancy only, so a single drive failure can be tolerated. No parity. Just straight mirroring. I'm not sure how bad that would be on a motherboard's implementation of RAID1 and how to repair or recover if software is even needed or if it's literally just adding a drive or accessing the drive that is not at failure to get to the data. I generally use Ultrastar series drives (Western Digital Data Center class). And again, its all about power consumption from there to avoid having a 100+ watt heater going 24/7. I don't care what it does while in use. I'm more interested in what it does when idling in terms of power draw.

Lastly, I'm just not sure if I should use Windows as I am, or do something like you described, setting up a SAMBA server with Linux or running FreeNAS or similar options. I used FreeNAS long ago when it was command line only. I've used Ubuntu a bit over the years but I've never ran a server with it. Again mostly just Windows environment sharing (nothing fancy, just sharing over my network for Kodi streaming and that's about it).
Yup, I think you are thinking the right way. Ultrastar drives? LOL, you don't mess around do you? I used WD Greens.

Would be surprised if you could saturate a 1GB ethernet port with a 600MB/sec HDD (Ultrastar) in RAID1, but if you moving some of your storage to SSD, sure. Overall you should be good, XBMC-Kodi never comes close to that either and that's the only part where you'd notice.

Well based on what you are saying then I would definitely go headless on your installation. Windows is too much of a memory and resource hog that I can't believe it will idle as effectively as a linux/samba/freenas option. Command line all the way, as often you don't need to recall, learn much in setup, and then it runs pretty much worry free.

Likewise on the reliability aspect, as long as you are mirroring drives, I can't see how a windows or off the shelf solution can beat it. Much less to your point is when things go wrong instead of throwing the whole thing curbside. Besides, you have the hardware already, not confident from a watts/day side how an Athlon would like Windows in any incarnation to be lightweight other than XP, and you're clearly 10 levels beyond on the geek scale to do this on your own versus the average Joe/Jane who just wants a NAS.

Only part I have not done yet is hook that up to a UPS however, and those that I do are to my main rigs and I admit use the provided Windows SW to cover those scenarios. Not entirely sure of the linux support / drivers for that, so that would require a bit of investigating.

Do it. Do it. :D

If you're happy with 1 GbE look at the Intel NUCs. You can get an older 8th gen for cheap now that 10th gen is out, and my (8th gen) NUC barely pulls more power than my Raspberry Pi when it's idle. Firestrike only barely pushes it over 50w and watching 1080p content it hovers between 9-13w measured from a Kill-A-Watt.

the main issue with the NUCs are the internal storage options, you'd need to grab a Thunderbolt 3 to x bay external enclosure and that removes any possibility of 10 GbE unless you go for a janky M.2 to PCI-E to 10 GbE NIC route.
Wow, never realized the NUCs are that power efficient at idle. I think the storage options are what would take it off the table for me, but am a fan of using the old school hardware, revitalizing it, and also have the option of ease of upgradability versus having a NUC in a case or some custom setup. I'd still use spare parts option.

Will have to remember that power efficiency of the NUC however for other projects. Cool stuff.
 
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Wow, never realized the NUCs are that power efficient at idle. I think the storage options are what would take it off the table for me, but am a fan of using the old school hardware, revitalizing it, and also have the option of ease of upgradability versus having a NUC in a case or some custom setup. I'd still use spare parts option.

Will have to remember that power efficiency of the NUC however for other projects. Cool stuff.

Intel lets the U SKUs drop to 400mhz vs the 800mhz minimum in the mobile/desktop chips, they can do that with less than 0.3v. No idea why they don't open it up on the desktop SKUs, it's pretty nice.

I've got growing pains too tbh, just a thought :D
 

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Solar Junkie
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all very much for the dialog, I feared this forum would be uber quiet!

look into the Asustor products. if you're looking for 10GbE then specifically look at the AS4004T. for ~$300 and 4 bays and 10 GbE it's pretty unbeatable and the 1 GbE stuff is even cheaper.

If you're happy with 1 GbE look at the Intel NUCs. You can get an older 8th gen for cheap now that 10th gen is out, and my (8th gen) NUC barely pulls more power than my Raspberry Pi when it's idle. Firestrike only barely pushes it over 50w and watching 1080p content it hovers between 9-13w measured from a Kill-A-Watt.

the main issue with the NUCs are the internal storage options, you'd need to grab a Thunderbolt 3 to x bay external enclosure and that removes any possibility of 10 GbE unless you go for a janky M.2 to PCI-E to 10 GbE NIC route.
Thanks, I think that will exceed what I'm looking to do... the purpose is merely streaming local content over my 5G wifi from a file sharing server essentially. Currently nothing else planned (no transcoding, no VPN, none of that stuff and nothing from over the internet remotely, just local network between my machines).

I currently share from my office PC that is on 24/7. The other machines (3 in total) access shared files over the network. I'm looking to simply offload that work to a dedicated machine and add redundancy as I don't have automated redundancy currently. Currently I just physically copy data to two drives to back up and unplug it.

I like the idea of speed, but I think in reality I don't need much speed for this application. Mostly just redundancy in the form of RAID1 and a file sharing system over a network that is simple and low power consumption when idle.

Yup, I think you are thinking the right way. Ultrastar drives? LOL, you don't mess around do you? I used WD Greens.

Would be surprised if you could saturate a 1GB ethernet port with a 550MB HDD (Ultrastar) in RAID1, but if you moving some of your storage to SSD, sure. Overall you should be good, XBMC-Kodi never comes close to that either and that's the only part where you'd notice.

Well based on what you are saying then I would definitely go headless on your installation. Windows is too much of a memory and resource hog that I can't believe it will idle as effectively as a linux/samba/freenas option. Command line all the way, as often you don't need to recall, learn much in setup, and then it runs pretty much worry free.

Likewise on the reliability aspect, as long as you are mirroring drives, I can't see how a windows or off the shelf solution can beat it. Much less to your point is when things go wrong instead of throwing the whole thing curbside. Besides, you have the hardware already, not confident from a watts/day side how an Athlon would like Windows in any incarnation to be lightweight other than XP, and you're clearly 10 levels beyond on the geek scale to do this on your own versus the average Joe/Jane who just wants a NAS.

Only part I have not done yet is hook that up to a UPS however, and those that I do are to my main rigs and I admit use the provided Windows SW to cover those scenarios. Not entirely sure of the linux support / drivers for that, so that would require a bit of investigating.

Do it. Do it. :D



Wow, never realized the NUCs are that power efficient at idle. I think the storage options are what would take it off the table for me, but am a fan of using the old school hardware, revitalizing it, and also have the option of ease of upgradability versus having a NUC in a case or some custom setup. I'd still use spare parts option.

Will have to remember that power efficiency of the NUC however for other projects. Cool stuff.
I have used FreeNAS and had a network in the past and ran a few RAID machines, but we're talking late 90's and into the 2000's. It's been nearly two decades. I've been doing file sharing across a network but it's been from my office PC which is a work station. I think I'd like to offload this function to a dedicated box again. I really don't want to do command line again as doing any work or repairs on something 6 months or longer later, I will likely not be in practice on what to even do a foreign environment. I have not looked yet, but if FreeNAS has a GUI now and isn't just a command line OS booted from a flash stick or CD that would be worth looking into. I would totally be willing to learn a little Ubuntu server if it's a GUI and not strictly command line (this is likely too complicated for my casual level use).

I pick up Ultrastar drives for fairly cheap so I use them. It's not retail price. They've been rock solid for a long time. However at this point, I have about 8 years of data that I'd rather not attempt to recover. So I think it's time to do a little better job at redundancy. I've just used 2Tb and 4Tb drives, external and accessed via USB3 to physically copy a 2nd copy of all my data and then they sit in storage. So I always have two living copies of the physical data. I cannot do online cloud stuff for this purpose due to the sheer amount of data and my weak internet connection (I live in the boonies of west coast Florida swamps, internet is a luxury here if it can stream low quality stuff). I used to use Green drives, but I've had several fail over the years. The Red (NAS) and Ultrastar (Data Center) drives have been fantastic. I think worth the few extra beans to get that higher base reliability factor and then mirror it to get even more redundancy.

Agreed on Windows; it's just what I'm used to using both at home and at work (Win 7 currently; I've not updated to 10 and used XP forever until I had to switch to 7). I have a few low power machines that stay well under 100 watts during casual use and idle lower. I just don't know how much lower I could get it, I think the base idling while on will easily still be over 45~65 watts I imagine. I really should explore a more efficient platform for this server, I just would like it to be a GUI with command line added, instead of purely command line (just so I don't have to re-learn it each time I use it, a few months apart at a time). The main things to know how to do in the new OS/platform would be to setup file sharing network access to the local physical media over a wired NIC (I'm ok with generic users or specific user names & passwords), and redundant RAID1 handling for the local media (starting with two 8TB Ultrastars, in RAID1). I will only be storing the most significant data there at first. I will expand to two separate mirrors later, one for storage of infrequently accessed data (our pictures, some video, unique data I've generated, etc), and one for frequently accessed data (the media that is streamed such as my DVD library and FLAC library). And of course whatever GUI is used to handle the RAID and any maintenance including recovery so that I'm not trying to re-learn it when it's failed.

I will start looking into the options described again from an OS standpoint to see if I can brave away from Windows.

As for UPS, I don't think I need software necessarily to handle it. If the power went out, whatever was accessing or writing to the server would go down with the power out. The main thing would be so that the hard drives do not stop spinning while writing data or experiencing catastrophic failure due to loss of power during a critical moment in its cycling (by chance). So the UPS would be there just to give it a minute or two of power to essentially stop writing (as the source is gone, power out) and allow the drives to stop writing and await instrunction (then if the power went off on the server, so what, it wasn't writing). That's the basic thought process though. It would be nice if it were automated to the point of detecting power out, on battery for greater than 1 minute, and therefore safely powering down to wait it out. But I don't know if that's possible outside of Windows.

Very best,
 

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Intel lets the U SKUs drop to 400mhz vs the 800mhz minimum in the mobile/desktop chips, they can do that with less than 0.3v. No idea why they don't open it up on the desktop SKUs, it's pretty nice.
You know you would have come in handy when I was looking at some low powered and efficient points/watt wcg rig that I was planning to setup to run quietly, crunch way better than my dedicated prehistoric i7920 rig, and I almost went with Intel then as well but found getting those low powered chips seemed less fun and a configuration dead end. I convinced myself I would better off getting AMD, then eventually upgrading with the 4000 series (not APU of course) and set those to eco mode. Really the reason was I wanted an excuse to tinker more with AMD. LOL.

Thanks all very much for the dialog, I feared this forum would be uber quiet!
Sure. It's a much more lax topic too. I'm not getting much response on my asks either, so know what you mean.

Agreed on Windows; it's just what I'm used to using both at home and at work (Win 7 currently; I've not updated to 10 and used XP forever until I had to switch to 7). I have a few low power machines that stay well under 100 watts during casual use and idle lower. I just don't know how much lower I could get it, I think the base idling while on will easily still be over 45~65 watts I imagine. I really should explore a more efficient platform for this server, I just would like it to be a GUI with command line added, instead of purely command line (just so I don't have to re-learn it each time I use it, a few months apart at a time). The main things to know how to do in the new OS/platform would be to setup file sharing network access to the local physical media over a wired NIC (I'm ok with generic users or specific user names & passwords), and redundant RAID1 handling for the local media (starting with two 8TB Ultrastars, in RAID1). I will only be storing the most significant data there at first. I will expand to two separate mirrors later, one for storage of infrequently accessed data (our pictures, some video, unique data I've generated, etc), and one for frequently accessed data (the media that is streamed such as my DVD library and FLAC library). And of course whatever GUI is used to handle the RAID and any maintenance including recovery so that I'm not trying to re-learn it when it's failed.
Idle in windows has been repeatedly proven to be higher than linux, something to do how they handle interrupts and other aspects - although linux spikes higher than windows when starting up. For your use case and the little that you'd need it, you probable be more idle than anything. Not sure exactly what the wattage difference would be, but woudl be the way to go.

I think Ubuntu server, by default is purely command line. But like anything else that is entirely configurable, and I think the linux server route is best as you can set it up so you initiate the UI only from the command line - a la DOS and Win3.1 days. :) That I think would be a cool way to manage it given you can essentially have a low overhead boot, but you can always pull up the UI when you want to configure. Then reboot and you have your headless config again.

Never used FreeNAS, as you can probably tell, but depending on your level of adventure go with what you think is best.

I like this project, I may go back and see how to redo my setup as well as it hasn't been refreshed in ages. Envious that you have access to drives on the cheap like that, pretty nice.
 

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Solar Junkie
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Discussion Starter #9
I think Ubuntu server, by default is purely command line. But like anything else that is entirely configurable, and I think the linux server route is best as you can set it up so you initiate the UI only from the command line - a la DOS and Win3.1 days. :) That I think would be a cool way to manage it given you can essentially have a low overhead boot, but you can always pull up the UI when you want to configure. Then reboot and you have your headless config again.

Never used FreeNAS, as you can probably tell, but depending on your level of adventure go with what you think is best.

I like this project, I may go back and see how to redo my setup as well as it hasn't been refreshed in ages. Envious that you have access to drives on the cheap like that, pretty nice.
I was just looking over FreeNAS and Ubuntu Server. FreeNAS looks like it could be setup fairly easy and then it's accessed via a GUI over the network as a website. Kind of like how a router is typically. I'm not terribly excited fof what FreeNAS has going on though in terms of pools, mirroring, etc with the idea of a rebuilt. I need to learn more before I do that. Mainly, can I take a drive out of FreeNAS that is mirrored and use it on another machine and be able to get to that data in case the FreeNAS box burned up or something. Ubuntu Server, I was just seeing that it's command line up front, but you can install a GUI that is low power and light on resources to get that kind of control and that was comforting. I've used Linux and specifically used Ubuntu a bit, so it's more familiar. I just don't know how well it can do software RAID mirroring, or if I can do that with the hardware (ie, motherboard) and not worry about doing it via the OS (like FreeNAS). If it were done via the motherboard, I assume it would report a fault, and I could always access the drive out of the RAID configuration if it were built that way. Not entirely sure.

Very best,
 

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I'd just throw a comment in that the Ryzen-generation AMD boards all have really bad RAID implementations which basically don't work with Linux (the array is invisible during install, so you can't install) - although mdadm "software" RAID still works internally of Linux. I've had mixed experiences of mdadm controlled RAID, though, with the array occasionally failing to build on a reboot (not difficult to fix, but heart-stopping every time it happens).

So, basically, if using AMD, get a decent RAID card. It will save you a great deal of pain.

That said, I picked up a Synology 2419+, which can have 10GbE added, even an Infiniband connected extra 12-bay, RAM upgradable... it's not going to set the earth on fire, but its capable and well behaved. It depends on how much you want total control (or not). :)
 
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I'd just throw a comment in that the Ryzen-generation AMD boards all have really bad RAID implementations which basically don't work with Linux (the array is invisible during install, so you can't install) - although mdadm "software" RAID still works internally of Linux. I've had mixed experiences of mdadm controlled RAID, though, with the array occasionally failing to build on a reboot (not difficult to fix, but heart-stopping every time it happens).

So, basically, if using AMD, get a decent RAID card. It will save you a great deal of pain.

That said, I picked up a Synology 2419+, which can have 10GbE added, even an Infiniband connected extra 12-bay, RAM upgradable... it's not going to set the earth on fire, but its capable and well behaved. It depends on how much you want total control (or not). :)
Thanks, that's odd. Is there data behind this or just user experiences? I couldn't find anything on search. Just asking as it would be interesting to learn more about this.

My use would be mirroring only. I'm not sure if that matters. Nothing to rebuild, just redundancy.

That said, after doing more combing of information, FreeNAS doesn't look so scary with ZFS and doing mirror pools. I like the idea of doing a pool of 3 drives even for one mirror to have even more redundancy. Doesn't look to hard to setup basic mirror pools and file sharing which is all I require.

I suppose I could try both and see what power consumption each one uses on similar hardware.

Very best,
 

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I just don't know how well it can do software RAID mirroring, or if I can do that with the hardware (ie, motherboard) and not worry about doing it via the OS (like FreeNAS). If it were done via the motherboard, I assume it would report a fault, and I could always access the drive out of the RAID configuration if it were built that way. Not entirely sure.
So, basically, if using AMD, get a decent RAID card. It will save you a great deal of pain.
Yeah, I would never use SW for RAID mirroring, always hardware. So if either the Mobo/CPU combo cannot handle it (it's old AMD, so maybe could work?) or as Paradigm Shifter said - would rather get a RAID card.

EDIT of course I didn't see the next page before I replied.

That said, after doing more combing of information, FreeNAS doesn't look so scary with ZFS and doing mirror pools. I like the idea of doing a pool of 3 drives even for one mirror to have even more redundancy. Doesn't look to hard to setup basic mirror pools and file sharing which is all I require.
Again not an expert on FreeNAS, but if you mean using a RAID5 approach for the 3 pools instead, will grant that you may have more flexibily SW wise. Although there is nothing out there that talks about reliability differences, if you want the lowest power one, then perhaps SW is the way to go.

At this point it's preference, for me it remains HW if possible.
 

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One thing that might interest you is that a good chunk of AM4 boards can now boot without a GPU at all, so you might not even need an APU. Asus and Asrock generally support headless boot, MSI added headless boot support across the AM4 range on pair with the AGESA 1.0.0.6 update, and only Gigabyte is a bit hit or miss with this. You only need a GPU for the initial setup, and from there on out you can just yank it out and it will still boot.
 

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Yeah, I would never use SW for RAID mirroring, always hardware. So if either the Mobo/CPU combo cannot handle it (it's old AMD, so maybe could work?) or as Paradigm Shifter said - would rather get a RAID card.

EDIT of course I didn't see the next page before I replied.



Again not an expert on FreeNAS, but if you mean using a RAID5 approach for the 3 pools instead, will grant that you may have more flexibily SW wise. Although there is nothing out there that talks about reliability differences, if you want the lowest power one, then perhaps SW is the way to go.

At this point it's preference, for me it remains HW if possible.
Thanks,

It looks like ZFS with FreeNAS suggests not to use controller cards and that the ZFS system does it all. Seeing the mountain of support both ways, ZFS may be worth exploring to avoid adding more cost to the system if it's not needed, for simple mirroring.

Not looking to do RAID5 or anything. The ZFS pools for mirroring can do any number of discs mirrored (so a 3 way mirror would have the data on all three drives so you could lose two drives and still have the data, no parity or anything for rebuild, just total replacement).

So far, from what I'm reading and the videos I've watched on both ZFS (FreeNAS) and Ubuntu Server, both seem to do the job. But FreeNAS looks a bit more and more like it would be useful for my purposes. Ubuntu Server with a GUI would work, but it's a lot of complexity and I would have to change the hardware to do mirroring, rather than simply run ZFS and FreeNAS has a GUI these days instead of purely command line.

That said, I think I may just try both on a random machine and tinker around and see what feels comfortable and see if I can do some fake failure tests to see how a rebuild/resilver/rescue would be like.

One thing that might interest you is that a good chunk of AM4 boards can now boot without a GPU at all, so you might not even need an APU. Asus and Asrock generally support headless boot, MSI added headless boot support across the AM4 range on pair with the AGESA 1.0.0.6 update, and only Gigabyte is a bit hit or miss with this. You only need a GPU for the initial setup, and from there on out you can just yank it out and it will still boot.
Thanks, that's good to know! I have GPU's laying around for all kinds of things like this, I was just thinking of getting a modern CPU with APU for the architecture for memory and all that; a modern Athlon 3000G is only $49 and is a dual core and an APU on the Zen architecture. $50 is just dirt cheap!

Very best,
 

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That said, I think I may just try both on a random machine and tinker around and see what feels comfortable and see if I can do some fake failure tests to see how a rebuild/resilver/rescue would be like.
Ah I see, when I saw a pool of 3 was thinking you went another direction. LOL. No need to stick with the Ubuntu server for my benefit, sounds like the FreeNAS will be more efficient and something you're comfortable using already. :)

Thanks, that's good to know! I have GPU's laying around for all kinds of things like this, I was just thinking of getting a modern CPU with APU for the architecture for memory and all that; a modern Athlon 3000G is only $49 and is a dual core and an APU on the Zen architecture. $50 is just dirt cheap!
Can't argue with that route, and can always convert it to something else later.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Ah I see, when I saw a pool of 3 was thinking you went another direction. LOL. No need to stick with the Ubuntu server for my benefit, sounds like the FreeNAS will be more efficient and something you're comfortable using already. :)


Can't argue with that route, and can always convert it to something else later.

Good luck!
I can't decide if I want to just use an old HDD I have laying around as the boot drive, or if I want to get a $20 120Gb SSD (Crucial or SanDisk maybe?) since they're dirt cheap, low power, dead silent. I'm thinking 8Gb of RAM to start, but may just do 16Gb to end that pathway so that if I expand I'm not adding RAM later on and it will solve any issue with 2 slot motherboards. The rest is software really. I just need to figure out if there's any reason that is worth while to getting a dedicated NIC (PCIe) versus just using the motherboard's Gigabit LAN connection and wire it to my router and serve out wirelessly over 5G. The 5G will limit things more than anything. So likely no reason to bother doing a higher quality NIC I imagine? Especially since we are talking about 2 or 3 machines being served at a time, likely ever.

I will dig a bit more into whether or not AMD/Intel is preferred for ZFS/FreeNAS and whether an architecture matters or not and maybe a bit on whether onboard LAN is ok.

Edit: Oh god, I just started reading more into whether ECC RAM is important or not. Sigh. While I like the idea of ECC RAM, I've yet to have an issue in 30 years as long as I have two physical copies of things. Ugh. I could either increase redundancy with more drives and physical copies of data, or balance it with ECC RAM. Bleh. Meh, looks like getting a server class chipset motherobard, CPU that supports ECC, ECC RAM, etc, is just not in the cards for this. Not that any prebuilt NAS has ECC. I shouldn't have even read about it. Just needless anxiety. Will keep it simple and just get another redundant disc on standby.

Edit II: Ok, maybe I jumped the gun. I don't need a modern anything. I could get an old XEON and old DDR3 ECC RAM for nearly the same price, for something that's meant to be headless and just file share. Duh. Looking at XEON E5-2650 and some DDR3 ECC Registered RAM (will go for 16Gb if I can get all of it). Finding a motherboard however....

Very best,
 

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Thanks, that's odd. Is there data behind this or just user experiences? I couldn't find anything on search. Just asking as it would be interesting to learn more about this.

My use would be mirroring only. I'm not sure if that matters. Nothing to rebuild, just redundancy.

That said, after doing more combing of information, FreeNAS doesn't look so scary with ZFS and doing mirror pools. I like the idea of doing a pool of 3 drives even for one mirror to have even more redundancy. Doesn't look to hard to setup basic mirror pools and file sharing which is all I require.

I suppose I could try both and see what power consumption each one uses on similar hardware.

Very best,
Things seem to have changed slightly since I suffered through trying to get X470 RAID working on Linux, but it still appears rather less reliable than I would like a RAID implementation to be. RAID (well, storage in general) is one of the things I absolutely want to "just work" - always - with no messing around.

Google "amd linux raid driver" (or similar) to get swamped with a lot of forum talk on troubles finding the driver (because AMD pulled it due to licensing or something crazy?) a few github repos for getting stuff working - depending on the OS you pick you'll have to compile the driver etc yourself. If you add "x470" or "x570" to that search, you'll see that AMD still don't have the X470/X570 Linux RAID driver available for official download. X370, to my understanding, used a different chipset RAID implementation - although I might be mis-remembering that.

Yeah, I would never use SW for RAID mirroring, always hardware. So if either the Mobo/CPU combo cannot handle it (it's old AMD, so maybe could work?) or as Paradigm Shifter said - would rather get a RAID card.
Most consumer motherboard RAID is software RAID anyway, just with some fancy manipulation to make it look like hardware RAID to the OS.

Even Intel's motherboard (software) RAID implementation can be touchy. For example, I can't get Debian/Ubuntu distros to see the full capacity of a 32TB RAID array hooked up to one system, but RedHat, Arch or Gentoo see it fine.

If I had the PCI-E slots, I'd always go with the dedicated RAID card.
 
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Things seem to have changed slightly since I suffered through trying to get X470 RAID working on Linux, but it still appears rather less reliable than I would like a RAID implementation to be. RAID (well, storage in general) is one of the things I absolutely want to "just work" - always - with no messing around.

Google "amd linux raid driver" (or similar) to get swamped with a lot of forum talk on troubles finding the driver (because AMD pulled it due to licensing or something crazy?) a few github repos for getting stuff working - depending on the OS you pick you'll have to compile the driver etc yourself. If you add "x470" or "x570" to that search, you'll see that AMD still don't have the X470/X570 Linux RAID driver available for official download. X370, to my understanding, used a different chipset RAID implementation - although I might be mis-remembering that.


Most consumer motherboard RAID is software RAID anyway, just with some fancy manipulation to make it look like hardware RAID to the OS.

Even Intel's motherboard (software) RAID implementation can be touchy. For example, I can't get Debian/Ubuntu distros to see the full capacity of a 32TB RAID array hooked up to one system, but RedHat, Arch or Gentoo see it fine.

If I had the PCI-E slots, I'd always go with the dedicated RAID card.
Thanks for the info, very good to know. I will start looking at ZFS mirroring performance and reliability on AMD motherboards, not using RAID, just plain old SATA on the motherboard and let ZFS handle the management. If it's a bust, I'm not opposed to Intel at all. I would take an Intel right now if I could just find an affordable intel LGA2011 motherboard with ECC DDR3 ready to go, but everything is really expensive even for old stuff and the affordable stuff looks to be piece-together jobs out of China (weird mess on Newegg).

Very best,
 

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Thanks for the info, very good to know. I will start looking at ZFS mirroring performance and reliability on AMD motherboards, not using RAID, just plain old SATA on the motherboard and let ZFS handle the management. If it's a bust, I'm not opposed to Intel at all. I would take an Intel right now if I could just find an affordable intel LGA2011 motherboard with ECC DDR3 ready to go, but everything is really expensive even for old stuff and the affordable stuff looks to be piece-together jobs out of China (weird mess on Newegg).

Very best,

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32801792705.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.10.4bfd64b9QHefry

there's a bunch of different ones but they're (generally) really C602 or C606, not X79/X99. There's no OCing support at all for them but they're usable.



:laughings
 

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https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32801792705.html?spm=2114.12010612.8148356.10.4bfd64b9QHefry

there's a bunch of different ones but they're (generally) really C602 or C606, not X79/X99. There's no OCing support at all for them but they're usable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ylep98JgrbM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH7-FVpWHhM

:laughings
Yikes,

Those are what I saw on a few different things and they're terrifying. No specs, no listings of what is compatible, total crap shoot. I see some reviews out there, but its hard to trust a review on a website these days, especially overseas at least for me. I saw a few things on Aliexpress but I'm not sure I would even buy from there. The time and hassle of dealing with faulty stuff compared to a bullet proof return policy here in the States isn't worth saving a few dollars I think. But hey I could be wrong. Maybe these things are ok?

Maybe its worth a risk on those boards for a budget gaming PC.

But I don't think its worth the risk for a server aiming at redundancy and some reliabilty..... ?

Very best,
 
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