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Computers & Hardware => Networking => Topic started by: Bowdon on March 07, 2017, 07:44:05 PM

Title: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Bowdon on March 07, 2017, 07:44:05 PM
I'm going to take the plunge and buy a nas drive. I might be backing up a lot so I'll need one that can take 2 big volume hard drives. Is it raid 1 that mirrors the 2 drives in the nas?

Any recommendations or experiences with nas drives appreciated.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: BigJ on March 07, 2017, 08:05:08 PM
I've gone home brew running FreeNAS on a HP N54L with 4 drives configured and it's worked flawlessly for 3 years. It uses the ZFS filesystem and I've configured it as RAID-Z2 which is similiar to conventional RAID-6. In my layman's opinion, it's a great low cost option compared to a Synology or QNAP.

I used to run XPEnology (Synology on unofficial hardware) on the HP N54L but the worry of doing major software updates got the better of me.

Check out FreeNAS 10 which is currently in beta and nearing Release Candidate. Looking very nice :)

Yes, RAID-1 is mirroring. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID)

EDIT: corrected name of HP box and for clarity
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: jelv on March 07, 2017, 11:47:52 PM
My first foray in to the world of NAS boxes is a QNAP.

I'm well impressed with what it does over and above being a NAS.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: adrianw on March 08, 2017, 01:52:38 AM
I have 3 FreeNAS boxes - a FreeNAS Mini XL (8 * 6 TB WD Red), a FreeNAS Mini (4 * 6 TB WD Red) and a HP N36L Microserver ( 4 * 2 TB drives). The Microserver served me well, but the small foray I had with it into FreeNAS 10 showed it to be excruciatingly slow.

The PDF available via https://forums.freenas.org/index.php?resources/hardware-recommendations-guide.12/ is a good read, and possibly applicable no matter what 64-bit NAS software you intend to run.

I had been running my FreeBSD workstation as a sort of NAS (NFS and SMB shares), so a FreeBSD NAS appliance made sense to me. Other appliances are available  :cool:
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Chunkers on March 08, 2017, 07:49:54 AM
If it was my first NAS or I wanted max data security I would buy a Synology or QNAP, I have two Synology units.
If I wanted cheap and less secure I would use an old PC and install FreeNAS or Xpenology (Xpenology is very cool but not very polished}. My Xpenology junk build is for non critical stuff like mp3's and security cameras.
My next NAS will be a self build probably with a cheap Ryzen and ECC RAM running FreeNAS or X pen, haven't decided.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: BigJ on March 08, 2017, 06:55:51 PM
Hi adrianw

The Microserver served me well, but the small foray I had with it into FreeNAS 10 showed it to be excruciatingly slow.

They maybe long in the tooth now but the HP G7 Microsevers' are great little boxes and I was planning to keep using mine as a simple NAS for many, many more years. Did you run into performance problems with the Javascript heavy frontend and/or network throughput? N54L has more grunt than the N36L so I'm hoping that it'll suffice for my modest needs.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: adrianw on March 08, 2017, 11:25:54 PM
Did you run into performance problems with the Javascript heavy frontend and/or network throughput?
I had patience problems with the front end starting so did not bother with performance checks.
I was bringing the machine back in to service, and thought I would try FreeNAS 10 on it first.
N54L has more grunt than the N36L so I'm hoping that it'll suffice for my modest needs.
Around 70% more grunt, so I hope so too.
http://cpuboss.com/cpus/AMD-Turion-II-Neo-N54L-vs-AMD-Athlon-II-Neo-N36L

Let us know how you get on with FreeNAS 10.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Chrysalis on March 09, 2017, 03:25:54 AM
HP N54L is low cost?

out of stock on amazon and 750 usd on new egg O_o

I did find this on partpicker which is a much more reasonable cost but pretty high wattage. (bear in mind 600 of it is for hdd's)

https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/guide/Lc48TW/freenas-box-2016

It does seem tho self build is the way to go for a freenas box as the prebuilt stuff is very expensive for what you get.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Bowdon on March 09, 2017, 10:22:47 AM
I'm still weighing up the NAS options. Some of the specialised units are quite expensive, and the hard drives get more expensive when buying 3 or 4TB times 2.

For now I bought a 3TB usb drive just so I can get an image of the computer seen as this system restore bug removes my safety net..

Still looking them up.

I didnt think to go to partpicker.. good idea!
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: tickmike on March 09, 2017, 11:13:34 AM
Just put luckybackup on your computer and you can set it up to back up to your USB drive, also you can recover files from it.
'Loukas' the chap who wrote it is very helpful.   https://sourceforge.net/p/luckybackup/discussion/
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: BigJ on March 09, 2017, 05:26:00 PM
HP N54L is low cost?

I should have said, "it was a low cost option". I think HP stopped manufacturing them roughly two years ago. Back in the day, HP would every now and then offer cashback/rebate up 100. I can't remember how much I paid but it was less than 100. It was such a fantastic price I got two ;D

It does seem tho self build is the way to go for a freenas box as the prebuilt stuff is very expensive for what you get.

I thought similarly when started looking into NAS's
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: BigJ on March 09, 2017, 05:30:55 PM
Around 70% more grunt, so I hope so too.
http://cpuboss.com/cpus/AMD-Turion-II-Neo-N54L-vs-AMD-Athlon-II-Neo-N36L

Ah, there's hope for me yet! Thanks for the info.

Let us know how you get on with FreeNAS 10.

Will do. Was thinking of waiting until the FreeNAS 10 release candidates were out.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Chrysalis on March 09, 2017, 09:50:51 PM
I should have said, "it was a low cost option". I think HP stopped manufacturing them roughly two years ago. Back in the day, HP would every now and then offer cashback/rebate up 100. I can't remember how much I paid but it was less than 100. It was such a fantastic price I got two ;D

I thought similarly when started looking into NAS's

can you find another great deal for us today? :)
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: adrianw on March 09, 2017, 10:25:26 PM
HP N54L is low cost?
out of stock on amazon and 750 usd on new egg O_o
The N54L is the obsolete Gen7.

You can get a current HPE ProLiant Gen8 G1610T 819185-421 4GB RAM MicroServer from Ebuyer for 132.98 after cashback.
Its Celeron G1610T / 2.3 GHz is about 30% faster than a N54L, and more than twice the speed of my N36L.

I sometimes wonder how many people are caught out by obsolete machines being sold at inflated prices, I assume that the vendors take the stance that if you want it you must be desperate, and scarcity costs.

Mainly for my own benefit, if I were getting one I would add:
144 2 * 8GB ECC memory (https://www.mrmemory.co.uk/memory-ram-upgrades/hp/proliant/microserver-gen8-g1610t)
13 2 * Cruzer Fit 16 GB USB Flash (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cruzer-Fit-Flash-Drive-SDCZ33-016G-B35/dp/B005FYNSZA)
57 ILO Essentials licence key (https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Business-Office-Licences/HP-512485-B21-Essentials-Integrated-Lights-Out/B001O5I6ZG)
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: BigJ on March 09, 2017, 10:33:47 PM
Just beat me to it Adrianw :)
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Bowdon on March 10, 2017, 12:46:27 AM
I bought acronis true image 2017 from amazon.

I'm wondering, because I use 2 drives (ssd main, and hdd storage drive).. i usually install most programs to the storage drive except essential programmes.

Would I get any benefit from installing this to the ssd drive?
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Chrysalis on March 10, 2017, 01:14:33 AM
indeed I would say thats much better value than the branded NAS units.

Also looking at the back picture it looks like for future expansion there is room to install a SATA addon card for more slots, although not sure where the drives would be placed with all bays full.

I also have observed there is a massive thing on the FreeNAS forums about ECC been required for ZFS, I personally think non ECC ram on zfs has no real extra downsides compared to when using non ECC ram on other filesystems.  But obviously if people want some peace of mind they can get a ECC system which this unit is for a much better price than other stuff I have found.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: BigJ on March 10, 2017, 07:00:44 PM
I also have observed there is a massive thing on the FreeNAS forums about ECC been required for ZFS, I personally think non ECC ram on zfs has no real extra downsides compared to when using non ECC ram on other filesystems.  But obviously if people want some peace of mind they can get a ECC system which this unit is for a much better price than other stuff I have found.

I found in some cases that dogma ruled the FreeNAS forums. If you weren't going by the 1GB of memory for every TB of storage "rule", you should be cast into a fiery pit ;)
IXsystems (the company behind FreeNAS) eventually chipped in with their opinion and covered some basic configuration topics in a blog post (http://www.freenas.org/blog/a-complete-guide-to-freenas-hardware-design-part-i-purpose-and-best-practices/). The blog post was the 1st in a three part series. Read the forums and read the blog posts then make up your own mind depending on your needs.

EDIT: quote from the blog, "ECC RAM or Not? This is probably the most contested issue surrounding ZFS"

EDIT2: Sorry no idea about the SSD. Been meaning to buy one eventually
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: displaced on March 10, 2017, 10:43:19 PM
I love my 4 (nope, older than that!)6-year old HP Microserver N40L.  If you're willing to do some learning, it's great to build your own NAS.

Mine runs FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE with:


The 8 spinning-rust drives are arranged as a single ZFS 'zpool', consisting of four mirrored-pairs ('vdevs' in ZFS-speak).  So, 32TB of raw storage provides 16TB of actual storage.  This has expanded over the years -- just added a pair of drives every 18 months or so.

The machine's easily able to saturate gigabit Ethernet reading and writing to the ZFS pool.  Plus, it runs a Minecraft server and some other bits and bobs.  FreeBSD 9.x and above are more than capable of automatically tuning ZFS to work with a given amount of RAM.

...and I went for ECC RAM because the server could use it, so why not!
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: BigJ on March 12, 2017, 03:18:50 PM
Well FreeNAS 10 RC1 is out so I've taken it for a quick spin on the HP N54L with two drivers in mirrored configuration. I found the GUI was generally usable, a bit slow every now and then as parts of the page dynamically updated.

My Filemanager program (Nemo) clocked it at 130MB/s copying a 6.4GB file to a NFS share, peaking around 150GB/s. All very unscientific I know :)

EDIT:
Using Rsync to copy to the NAS, it averaged upload at 102 MB/s.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Bowdon on March 13, 2017, 01:23:27 PM
It took me 1 hour 20 minutes to backup and validate the image with acronis to a usb storage device.

Having bought the usb storage device it got me thinking that this is actually the first usb 3.0 device I've bought since usb 3.0 came out! lol.. I'm thinking i might be alone in that. The couple of USB storage devices I have are usb 2 mainly for cheapness..but yea it surprised me. i have all these usb 3 ports and never fully used them lol.
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: BigJ on March 13, 2017, 07:05:27 PM
Ah yes, I still remember my astonishment when I switched from a USB2 external drive to one with USB3. I'd read about the large improvements in speed but seeing it in action was still a surprise :)
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: Bowdon on September 19, 2018, 03:33:43 PM
I'm coming back around to the idea of a NAS drive as I'm getting more in to streaming my files to the tv etc.

So a question I was wondering, does the nas drive have to be directly connected to the router, or can I connect it up to one of my network switches? or will it effect its performance by not connecting it directly to the router?
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: sotonsam on September 19, 2018, 03:46:22 PM
Wouldn't make any difference, unless the switch is only a 10mb switch...! I personally never connect a device directly to a router, I prefer to keep them separate and away on their own VLAN's on separate hardware etc.

You can enable plenty of the fancy cloud sharing bits from anywhere inside your LAN, you would just need to open ports if required on your firewall/router.  I'm actually going to be in the market for a new NAS myself in the coming months. I've had a Qnap device for 10 years and it's still running nicely but I've reached the max it can support. Based on my experience with it, my preference would be another QNAP, so I'll watch this thread with interest to see what you go for...
Title: Re: What NAS drive do you guys use/recommend?
Post by: jelv on September 19, 2018, 05:55:00 PM
There is only one Ethernet cable plugged in to my router and that goes to a 1Gbps switch. My QNAP NAS and other devices are plugged in to that. As the router only has 100Mbps ports, that means that PC to NAS is running 10 times the speed that it would if the NAS was connected to the router.

I'd suggest that connecting the NAS to a switch would be the recommended way as that takes internal traffic away from the router leaving it free to get on with it's primary task of communicating with the internet.