DIY NAS feedback and tips

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kdssoftware

New Member
Sep 20, 2023
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Greetings,
I am currently in a thought process of redesigning my home network into a much better system and wanted to get some feedback on this forum.
There may be better ways or better tools out there that I don't know yet.
Main things I wanted to focus one: plex as media server, nextcloud as file server ( pictures mainly ) and home assistant.
I wanted to redesign my server because currenlty its getting complex and a lot of data, for example I have around 90TB of movies, tv-shows, music and pictures.
I dont want to buy any pre-designed NAS, like TrueNAS, QNAP or Synology. Because its much for fun to do it the DIY-way and cheaper.

This is the current design of the ideal NAS:
- the disk allocation: I wanted to use JBOD ( just a bunch of disks ) for movies, tv-shows ( everyting in yellow). Because its not necessary to use RAID for this.
photos, videos and ebooks ( in blue ), I will use in RAID for, because I dont want to lose these. And for extra backup i will use Backblaze B2, because its the cheapest I have found. ( will use rclone to mount it on the server probably )
- User sofware:
Plex: its the biggest part of this server, I have about 15 users, local and remote. So I have every movie in 720p, 1080p and 2048p, So transcoding shouldnt be a thing. The upload speed of my server is 1Mb/s ( without vpn)
- Servarr: using prowlarr, sonarr and radarr to manage my movies and tv-shows downloads. I only use torrent to do this, and qbit-torrent is my current download client that I am happy with.
- Next cloud: will probably use the AIO docker version, since this is the easiest to setup.

Server software I plan to use:
- UnRaid: to use RAID for the pictures and videos. I have never used it before, but heard good things. I just wanted to use RAID so I dont lose anything because of disk (sector) failures.
- vpn: using a vpn to download from ( torrenting ) for obvious reasons. I will use probably use TorGuard since it has port forwarding, so seeding goes better. ( I want to seed all torrents in 1:1 ratio )
Wireguard vpn: a good vpn I heard about, so I can connect to the network remotely.
- reverse proxy: Nginx Proxy manager, its nginx but more easly managed and does automatic certifcate handling from lets encrypt for you.
- as backup: using backblaze b2 to periodically save snapshots of the server.


Screenshot 2023-09-20 at 22.40.07.png

Currently I am just researching on wants the best DIY NAS is best for my use case, If anyone knows any good guides or things to learn. Please share it, thanks!
TLDR; I want to create a home NAS where I can host my 90TB disk, use plex extensively, servarr, backup the stuff I find imporant ( pics, ... ) and downloading and seeding torrents. Its just a draft, I wanted to get some feedback, tips, ...
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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You want suggestions on chassis\case or opinions on your plan + suggestions on chassis\case?

I'm not an unraid user, so nothing I can contribute...

For cases and chassis:

My favorite DIY home NAS case is the SIlverStone DS380B if 8x 3.5" drives is enough... you can fit more 2.5" inside.
If you want a bigger NAS then I would use the SuperMicro 846 chassis for 24x 3.5" drives.
If you want a bigger NAS then I would use the SuperMicro 847 chassis 36x 3.5" drives.
If you need even more you can use the SuperMicro 847 JBOD Chassis that will not fit a motherboard but will give you 45x 3.5" drives, then use another tower or chassis for the motherobard\etc\ .

Beyond this there are specialty chassis you can buy :)

I would buy them all on ebay used to save a lot $$
 

kdssoftware

New Member
Sep 20, 2023
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You want suggestions on chassis\case or opinions on your plan + suggestions on chassis\case?
Currently I am planning out more of the software side of things, taking a top-down approach, since I am more familiar with the software-side.
But I wanted to feedback on everything software and also hardware yes.

Those Supermicro JBOD's are great match on what I was looking for, thanks! I will be using 3.5" drives, since those are the ones I am already using.
Seeing online I can use unraid on a Supermicro JBOD, is a nice thing to know. I will probably use unraid for the whole server. But then again, it sounds nice, I am not that familliar with hardware-side of things.
 
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T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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Got it! I don't have much to offer in terms of unRaid or software side :) I've been using freenas\truenas or Napp-IT and never unraid.
 
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TType85

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Dec 22, 2014
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Garden Grove, CA
I used Unraid for many years here. Currently I am on a Proxmox/ZFS setup because it is much better interface for working with virtual machines and I am only running 4x16TB drives for my data.

You should be able to do everything you have in your software stack with Unraid using docker containers and VMs but remember RAID; including Unraids parity setup is not for backup it is for uptime. You will need a good backup of anything you can't loose. I back up important stuff to multiple places including B2.

Unriad is nice because it will allow you to add drives of different sizes one at a time vs traditional raid or ZFS; just make sure the parity drive is the larger or as large as the largest data disk. This comes at the cost of speed as your access is only the speed of the disk that data is on.
 
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Marsh

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May 12, 2013
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There is no BEST NAS , it is a very personal choice.
It really depend on your workflow, from acquiring contents to populate media library.

UNRAID offer 60 days trail. Ubuntu is free so is trunenas.

I started using Unix since early 1980, CLI is in my DNA.
2023, I turn 68 years old, my mind , typing skill , eye sight is slowly fading.
Few years back, I noticed that I made quite a few fatal typing mistake ( example. disk wrong device ).

I tested drive UNRAID, it started growing on me. UNRAID help me making stupid mistake less frequent.
Today, I owned 4 UNRAID license.
My main file server is not using UNRAID yet. I'll switch when I turn 70.
 

piranha32

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Mar 4, 2023
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A quick comment about planning software deployment:
I delegated all mission-critical software (anything related to home automation, or iot) to a separate server using a micro pc. This allows me to take the NAS server with all software installed on it down, without worrying that lights in the house will stop working. I also plan to convert the small server into a redundant cluster, what will not be possible with the main NAS.
 

Marsh

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May 12, 2013
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I agree with piranha32

TMM machine are so cheap in US EBAY today.
$80 for a Lenovo m80 with I5-10500T and 8gb ram.
HP 600 G6 with I5-10500T for less than $100.

I run vms and docker using a small TMM machine connected to NAS via 2.5GBe network
 

piranha32

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Mar 4, 2023
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It's also worth to mention that the mission-critical services should not rely on storage provided by the NAS. NAS storage is ok for auxiliary tasks, like backups, or installation media storage, but primary storage should be independent, so it won't be affected by NAS' outages.
 

mikegrok

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Feb 26, 2023
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So 90TB. In the grand scheme of things, local storage is nearly free if you are going to be paying $540/month for B2. At the rate you are paying for B2, may as well add a local parity drive so you don't have to perform the 9 day download as often when you lose a drive. Also think that it may be cheaper in less than a year to just make a second NAS, and maybe store it at a friend's house, maybe someone who also uses your plex archive.

It sounds like you want this machine to wear many hats, and have selected one method that you hope is not missing any critical components. Instead how about:

Machine boots into proxmox
First vm you launch is TrueNAS Scale
TrueNAS provides disk services to all of your other projects either via iscsi, nfs, or smb.
Then launch VMs as needed for your other projects, ie a portioner VM, or ubuntu for a full linux environment that is not running other services, so you can experiment there.

What separates a workstation from a nas hardware wise is the ability to address a bunch of drives. This could easily be addressed by adding a SAS card to a computer. For trueNAS this would need to be refleshed into "IT Mode", there are tutorials on youtube. Choose 12gb/s or faster. LSi cards work well with TrueNAS. Most cards have between 8 and 24 channels. You may eventually have more drives than your card has channels, at which point you get a "SAS Expander", to put between them.

There are two things that separate a simple nas hardware wise from a more complex nas, ram and cpu. Often ram more than cpu. Give at least 16GB to truenas if you want it to perform well. Maybe 32GB or more for the rest of your projects, I assume you know their requirements.

Truenas would run the ZFS filesystem. Which would put your hard drives in a raid array. But it is not quite that simple. On top there is a pool, or several pools, These pools contain storage, which are located on devices, but instead of being on devices directly, the data is stored on virtual devices. The virtual devices will usually have redundancy of the physical devices below them, like raid. It is usually a good idea to have the same kind of redundancy amongst all of the VDEVs in a pool. You liked the idea of JBOD. With ZFS you sort of get JBOD, but instead of adding individual disks, you add sets of disks with the same redundancy.

Be warned unless you have a server room, you don't want to run a supermicro disk shelf. They are LOUD.

Take a look at the Fractal Define 7 xl. It has brackets to hold internally 18HDDs plus 5 SSDs, and has baffled sound so that there is not a straight path between your ears any any noise making component, making it significantly quieter.

Say you start with a pool "Tank" (which would have mount points for Movies, VMs, Photos, etc. ). Then you add a VDEV of 8 16TB drives in raidz1, this would give your pool the storage capacity of 7*16, or 112TB. You still have 10 spots to add drives. When you need to in a year, you add a vdev or raidz1 with 5 20TB drives for 80TB giving your pool the capacity of 192TB. The next 5 drives may have a capacity of 30TB, so +120TB for 312TB.

Now all of your HDD slots are full, and you need to start using an external enclosure. That can be consumer hardware like another Fractal Define 7 xl. with SAS Expander instead of a motherboard. The pool can span multiple SAS cards/enclosures, and retain redundancy through it all.
 

unmesh

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Apr 17, 2017
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I agree with piranha32

TMM machine are so cheap in US EBAY today.
$80 for a Lenovo m80 with I5-10500T and 8gb ram.
HP 600 G6 with I5-10500T for less than $100.

I run vms and docker using a small TMM machine connected to NAS via 2.5GBe network
TMMs with i5-10500T sound wonderful but I haven't seen any at those prices :-(
 
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armandh

New Member
Nov 21, 2020
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St louis county mo
I have had great luck with XigmaNAS; a hardware agnostic BSD based ZFS file system. My DIYs are mostly i5 based. also 1 ea atom, celeron, and i3.
like all DIY things it is very easy the second time. it is the most direct fork of the original FreeNAS later NAS4Free. lots of features.
stable and hard to break
 

gea

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2010
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DE
I prefer ESXi (free is ok) as base for virtualisation as it has the lowest resource needs, best performance and support for any guest VM. For storage I prefer Solaris (Unix, mostly the OpenSource variant OmniOS) where ZFS comes from. It has the best of all ZFS integration into the OS (lowest resource needs) and the unique multithreaded OS/kernelbased SMB server that fully supports NFS4 ACL (a superset of fine granular Windows ntfs ACL with inheritance, Posix ACL and classic Unix permissions) It even uses worldwide unique Windows SID in the ZFS Unix filesystem as owner and security reference that preserves AD permissions on backup or copied filesystems without special id mappings that you need otherwise with SAMBA. Combined with local SMB groups (that can contain groups) and ZFS snaps=Windows previous versions without any settings makes this the perfect SMB server.
 

gea

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Dec 31, 2010
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Only via SAMBA. The kernelbased SMB server supports AD member mode only (out of the box).
 
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JNASMAN

New Member
Oct 4, 2023
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You want suggestions on chassis\case or opinions on your plan + suggestions on chassis\case?

I'm not an unraid user, so nothing I can contribute...

For cases and chassis:

My favorite DIY home NAS case is the SIlverStone DS380B if 8x 3.5" drives is enough... you can fit more 2.5" inside.
If you want a bigger NAS then I would use the SuperMicro 846 chassis for 24x 3.5" drives.
If you want a bigger NAS then I would use the SuperMicro 847 chassis 36x 3.5" drives.
If you need even more you can use the SuperMicro 847 JBOD Chassis that will not fit a motherboard but will give you 45x 3.5" drives, then use another tower or chassis for the motherobard\etc\ .

Beyond this there are specialty chassis you can buy :)

I would buy them all on ebay used to save a lot $$
What about a microAtx cases?