There have been several discussions regarding becoming independent of cloud storage. At the end of the day, the cloud is someone else’s hardware.
Up to today, I’ve been utilizing personal, and business network storage managed via an Ubuntu Server and a Synology NAS. However, what if I told you that you could create massive network storage at home without having to rely on monthly or yearly subscriptions (or someone else’s hardware)?
As it seems, you can build a small server that looks great in your living room and have access to cached storage of up to 100TB. If you tried that capacity on Dropbox, you’d have to pay a bit more than $6,500USD every year (or $660 per month).
This server will cost you approximately $700 to build. From there on, you have the choice of what drives you’d like to add. The computer case can host up to 5 drives. If you go for the maximum, NAS-oriented capacity, this will add $3,000USD, which is still less than half of a Dropbox yearly subscription. Of course, it will be prudent to dedicate at least one drive for redundancy purposes so that you do not lose files in case of a hardware failure.
It all begins with the small and slick case:
And the process - as well as the additional components - is shown below:
This system will run a Debian-based distro dedicated to data storage, called TrueNAS. You can download the free Core version for a simple network for home or business. If you also want to add virtual machines, then the Scale will work for you.
@vasileios I cannot wait to dive into this topic - as you know that is my next project. I am still waaaaaay behind with updating the church congregation after stewardship calls (they have been waiting since I was taken by the COVID monster in November, followed by something that kept from keeping anything down after COVID recovery. I am finally feeling like myself again. I am concentrating on finishing up my spreadsheet of updates before I can actualy go in to the church office to update the church system. I wish they had Remote Access that would make this easier. Oh well, I am rambling, but this (NAS Privately) is my my next focus. Cheers!
I’m glad you overcame the COVID monstrosity! And don’t worry. Everything will come, in time. Remember, every obstacle serves a good cause.
Good morning Vasileios and a shout out to Big Dave. The enclosure looks promising. I poked around with TruNAS a bit. I installed it on one of the HPs and put in my 2 largest drives. A 2Tb and a 4Tb with a ssd to run the system. I found out in a hurry that the drives have to be identical. Like RAID.
Short story on my TruNAS education…I had sold one each of the Dell and HP towers to a guy up the valley a few weeks ago. A few days went by and I was curious if he was going to be using them with the installed Linux systems. He said no, he was using TruNAS and went on telling me how he liked the HP better for its 4 SATA connections over the Dell’s 3. So I had to try it. Now saving up for NAS drives. I still have about 25 of those HPs.
I have dealt with the same concerns. As a technologist, I have a few spare computers laying around at all times, and even a server or two. I took a case which held multiple drives within the chassis, purchased a sata raid controller to connect them, and installed Unraid (www.unraid.net). It runs off of a USB stick in the back of the machine, provides you with many variations of apps (most built on serverless instances) to facilitate things such as SAN storage, Media servers, firewall config and control, VPNs, and even VMs. I encourage you to check it out. Prices are great, and allows you to run what you have without having to make a large investment. I have been running it for a while, and really enjoy the freedom.
That’s great info!
This right here is why we’re here. Some are new, some are experienced, then there are those of us who have had experience but need a little bumpstart to bring it back.
So, that said…do you have a “go-to” for hardware, such as RAID controllers?
Thanks for the welcome! The beauty of Unraid is that its pretty hardware agnostic. My first managed SAN I set up was with 6 + year old hardware. I used the PCI slots for the SATA Raid Controller where you can get 2 or 4 SATA ports (your needs will vary depending on the amount of drives you are supporting and the amount of SATA ports you have on your mainboard. I would suggest using at least 16 gigs of RAM so you have plenty of room to process multiple functions. One of the functions of mine is as a media center, so it transcodes video files - So I have 32 gigs of RAM on my board. I used these guys and their YouTube videos for a lot of help setting up Unraid -https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7aW7chIafJG6ECYAd3N5uQ - They have a discord channel too which the guys who make the videos also help users when they are available. Any other questions I can try to help.
@cloudgeek and @vasileios - does this mean that I can get 2 new NAS SATA drives (both the same) and put them in a desktop box and setup a NAS without buying a NAS box, like synology? I am pretty software savvy but I am a hardware newb - do you need a RAID controller (HW) or is there a software solution? I imagine I will need to install ubuntu server first. I follow directions well (but I don’t follow orders - lol) but I have had strokes so it is difficult sometimes for me to put what for most people is a logical step-by-step process and I will rearrange them in my head. Would it be possible, if it is possible in my desired configuration, to get a basic step-by-step for this. [literally, 1. install server (setting up RAID?), 2. install zfs or ??, 3. ??] I should hopefully be able to “know” how to complete a basic step - but I will ask if I don’t. Thanks Guys and Cheers!
Try TruNAS. Its free and bad to the bone
@GrillerMiller - Thanks. I will look at it Cheers!
After the current behemoth (3-part LMS) is up, I’ll go through the Samba Server & NextCloud setup for the next course. That could be a good alternative, though I am getting intrigued about TrueNAS now.
By the way, speaking of the trilogy, part 1 is up. Second part will be up by tomorrow and the third part by Monday.
Alas, I dropped out of the LMS last month. Had to make a hard(ware) decision. Class or hardware. I’m starting with memory upgrades.
TruNAS. I had sold one each of the pile of HPs and Dells to one guy and contacted him through OfferUp to ask if he was going to be using them with the Linux systems I had installed. He replied, no, but he was using TruNAS and liked the HP board better because it has a msata slot. So I had downloaded it to try. And that’s where my journey ended, for now. I found that like most RAID, the drives have to be the same, not mixed. So the largest drives I have at the moment are 1T. 3 of those won’t make much of an array so it’s on the middle burner until I get memory (ordered this morning) and hard drives. Let us know how your experiments come along.
One quick question…how do we post pictures in here, the Forum?
No worries! You can catch up later. Hardware is a one-time investment and will last you a while.
As for pictures, you can either drag and drop them inside your response window, or hit the middle button in the toolbar, to the left of the “bullet list”.