1

My personal NAS

I built a personal NAS[1] solution back in November of 2015 and it is a “budget solution” mostly based on hardware I already had lying around here at home.

It consists of the following hardware:

  • CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8B75-MLE
  • Memory: 8GB Kingston HyperX
  • Disks: 1 WD Red 2TB for the OS and 4 WD Red 2TB for my pools
  • Cooling: Custom water cooling
  • Case: Corsair C70

k0nsl-nas-motherboard01_k0nsl

That is practically it when it comes to the hardware powering my NAS. The custom water cooling is a overkill as it could have been cooled by a cheap heat sink coupled with a quiet fan…but what fun is that?
I also have one add-in PCIe SATA III controller card as the motherboard itself has very few SATA III ports, some cheap generic brand I bought via Ebay and which was made in China; it cost me $13.00 with shipping included in the price.

rockstor01_k0nsl rockstor02_k0nsl

As for the operating system. I was very unsure what to go with at the time of assembling the system. My friend “M. Wynn” suggested that I should use NAS4Free, as he was satisfied with it himself. However, I wanted to check out something entirely new which wasn’t very widely used.
rockstor03_k0nsl rockstor03_k0nsl
So, what did I pick? Well, it’s called Rockstor[2] and it truly was something brand spanking new at the time. The first ever public release was pushed to GitHub in July 2015, so at the time I installed it one could say it wasn’t a particularly widely used operating system. In fact, I suspect it still isn’t a widely used operating system. However, I could be wrong on that count.
I am running version 3.8-14.22 and I’m pulling new releases from their test channel rather than the stable one. Yes, I like to live on the edge. The test channel, or branch, features new releases every five days (if there is one available). The stable release channel once every month. My system runs on kernel 4.6.
The four Western Digital enterprise hard disk drives which makes up my btrfs-based pool is configured in RAID 10 because that is the best option for me out of the available raid levels; there is RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 and finally the one I’m using — RAID 10. There are five hard disk drives in total but only four are used for my pool; I honestly cannot afford any more at the moment as it’s over $500 already for the current amount of disks. Keep in mind, this is supposed to be a super budget NAS build and nothing spectacular or mind-blowing.

The web interface of Rockstor has a rather pleasant design based on Bootstrap 3 with a wide variety of features. You can for example create customized storage pools and you can enable their so-called “Rock-on”-feature which is just a fancy front-end for Docker; this will allow you to install various applications such as Deluge, EmbyServer, GitLab, OwnCloud, Sickrage and many more.

Thanks to my water cooling solution the NAS itself is running both cool and quiet. The temperature inside of my house is 16 C and as of this moment the NAS is reporting the following readings:

[root@nas01 ~]# uptime && sensors
 23:18:52 up 29 days,  8:04,  3 users,  load average: 0.27, 0.20, 0.16
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +27.8°C  (crit = +99.0°C)
temp2:        +29.8°C  (crit = +99.0°C)

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +32.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 0:         +32.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 1:         +28.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 2:         +28.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)
Core 3:         +22.0°C  (high = +80.0°C, crit = +98.0°C)

That’s with just one fan on the absolute lowest RPM on the dual radiator.

I have to say, despite this being a so-called “curry solution” I’m satisfied with it. I have had zero issues to speak of, none that would warrant mentioning anyway!

References

[1] A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is a storage device connected to a network that allows storage and retrieval of data from a centralized location for authorized network users and heterogeneous clients. NAS devices are flexible and scale-out, meaning that as you need additional storage, you can add on to what you already have. A NAS is like having a private cloud right in your home. It’s faster, less expensive and provides all the benefits of a public cloud, giving you absolute control.

[2] Rockstor is a Linux/BTRFS based Network Attached Storage (NAS) and private cloud solution. It is distributed as a CentOS flavored Linux operating system with a newer kernel and Rockstor application software bundled together to easily install a system and manage your data. You can find more information about Rockstor, here.

I hope this might post might be useful to someone else. I certainly would recommend Rockstor for anyone looking to build a personal NAS; it is a solid product and it is 100% open source.

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New system up & running!

Video Description

Combobulated is the keyword (is that even a word?)

At any rate, this is a system I pulled together from bits and pieces and a CPU which was sent to me from Hong Kong. The CPU is a E8400, socket 775.

Motherboard? Asus Maximus Extreme, see: http://k0nsl.org/bag/hardware/Asus_Maximus_Extreme/

Cooling? It’s passively cooled by a Thermochill PA120.3.

Temperatures? It idles at about 45 °C so heat is not much of an issue. If it becomes one I’ll just slap on a fan or three ;-)

OS? Jewbuntu ;-/

I’m still not entirely sure what purpose the system will serve nor am I fully decided on what type of OS to run. Only time will tell.

Overclocking? At the moment it’s running at 4960MhZ (9 ratio @ 440 FSB): so out of the box I’ve gained almost two gigahertz from it. It’s currently undergoing stress testing at this speed. The only worries I have is with the northbridge heat. It’s a bit toasty

Sorry about the crappy video: I’m not very good at filming, or even putting together a clip. I rush it and it comes out as a confabulated mess. Plus, Sony is not really helping out much in lieu of the horrendous focus-problem they have with their cameras. Blergh.

Specs

CPU: Intel E8400
Motherboard: Asus Maximus Extreme (X38), never used.
Memory: Kingston Hyperx 16 GiB
PSU: OCZ 600W
GPU: AMD 280X
HDD: Seagate 1TB (only one for now)
Pump: Laing DDCv1
Waterblock: Swiftech Storm
Radiator: Thermochill PA120.3
Reservoir: EK Dual Bay

…alas, a whole system which only cost me about $18 bucks, excluding the costs for the already available hardware. Oh, and don’t fret: Ah’ll put the stuff in a case, very soon. This is only for testing purposes

Pictures
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My Next “Big Upgrade”..

I am almost 100% decided on the next upgrade for the box, which will be used mainly for gaming and a bit of development work, decided to keep the current case instead of spending extra bucks on some fancy pantsy solution, for no real purpose. The case which I currently got is sufficient for what I’ll do, it’s a H70 from Corsair:
k0nsl-box01
my-workstation01_k0nsl

Right now, it looks a bit different inside, but that’s the case I’ll reuse for my next “big upgrade”. I was tempted to get the Corsair Carbide Air 540 Cube Case or a Lian-Li case, but I honestly don’t need a new case. So I will rather save those bucks and put them to use for something else…

So as of today the current list of critical components that I will be buying looks like this:

  • Intel Core i7-4770K
  • Kingston DDR3 HyperX Beast 32GB
  • ASUS Radeon R9 290X 4GB GDDR5
  • Asus Maximus VI Extreme, Socket-1150

That’s pretty much the only things I need, so far. I don’t count the miscellaneous accessories, such as the NZXT Kraken G10 and watercooler for the GPU, but yeah, things like that eat up the bucknicks too. I have most of the other stuff, like SSDs and regular mechanical 3,5 inch HDDs, in surplus. A new monitor will be bought in early January, had my eyes on a 29″ inch from Asus — the Asus 29″ LED MX299Q:

Very nice bezel too. I like that kind
It appears to be a pretty good monitor all-around. I’ve almost made up my mind about buying it.

stm asked me in #taunet:

no broadwell?

I didn’t know when Broadwell was due and don’t have the patience to wait for it, either…

I might post another update if things change, but this is pretty much final.

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Planned system-upgrade

My new, planned system-upgrade, will consist of these items:

CPU: Intel i7-3820 (4 cores is enough for what I do)

Motherboard:Asus Rampage IV Extreme

ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME

ASUS RAMPAGE IV EXTREME

Memory: Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz 24GB CL9

 

The exact product may change but I will definitively get these from Corsair as they have been great for me in the past and I’ve heard some good stuff about their Vengeance-series. 24GB should keep me aloof for what I do (I’ve started doing some RAM-intense work now so the amount is certainly justified).

 

That’s it for now, I might add something more – most likely a new generation graphics card: either the already released AMD solution or the upcoming Kepler from Nvidia. We’ll see.

 

-k0nsl