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Old 28-10-2019, 10:51 AM   #1
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[NAS] DIY FreeNAS Storage Projects

Have been using FreeNAS for the past 12 years and never looked back. Why? My reason as below:

1) Recycle and repurpose your old hardware
2) ZFS is a business class storage system with reliability, and kept my data safe since day 1.
3) Can use it to host your personal cloud system such as Owncloud or Nextcloud
4) RAIDZ is better than conventional RAID. You do not need any RAID hardware card to run, just let FreeNAS OS manage your zpools. During any hardware failure, just replace the parts like a normal computer.
5) OS is free of charge
6) Has all the function compared to OTS NAS, and more. Yet, you really pay for what you get!
7) You get to choose the hardware specs and tune the NAS to your liking
8) Mature NAS OS system with regular updates and patch
9) Nice interface and dashboard
10) Much easier to use than you think
11) The excitement and accomplishment when building your own NAS!

In this thread, i will be sharing a simplified guide to building a FreeNAS box. Why I want to do that?. Reason is because I find the OTS NAS charging premiums for mediocre performance and low reliability when it comes to recovering from a data disaster. And for some which i have advocate the shift to FreeNAS to build their own NAS, none looked back. Reason why some goes down the OTS NAS route is because they thought there iis no other options or just by setting up a FreeNAS could be troublesome, but actually, it is the same as building your own PC. The OS has matured and made simple for amateur users.

I will use this thread to share one simple instance which i used to create my own FreeNAS build at home. I am running FreeNAS 11.2, with an APC Back-UPS, nextcloud and using as a home file server and data library.

*DISCLAIMER: I will keep this as simple as possible since I am no experts. Just sharing my 2 cents. I myself is a user and has no affiliation with FreeNAS.

I am using the FreeNAS 11.2-U6 stable build. This is a purpose build DIY NAS to replace a home file server which has been running for the past 8 years.

The hardware list (all hardware easily gotten from Amazon and SLS):
1) 8x 4TB WD Red NAS drives
2) Pentium Gold G5400, at dual-core at 3.7GHz
3) ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac with dual intel GbE
4) Kingston DDR4 Value RAM 2x 16GB
5) Corsair SFX 450W PSU
6) APC Back-UPS CS series at 650VA
7) IO crest 4 Port SATA3 PCIe card
8) Silverstone DS380 NAS casing
9) Sandisk Cruzer Fit 64GB with FreeNAS 11.2-U6 installed

Build Purpose
1) store and back up all my precious files, lossless music and family photos
2) run my personal “Nextcloud” to sync my work desktop automatically
3) file server to my media boxes
4) Plex server-optional
5) able to run 24/7 with minimal troubleshooting and link to an UPS. Able to shut down safely on its own during power trip, lightning strike or deliberate or accidental power outage
6) redundancy to withstand hardware failure and file corruption
7) data roll back using snapshots








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Last edited by TanKianW; 30-10-2019 at 08:40 PM..
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3700X with Noctua NH-D15
Mainboard
Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming AM4 Motherboard
Graphics Card
Palit Nvidia GTX 1080 Super JetStream
Memory
Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 32GB at 3200MHz
Display
LG 4K 27 Display
Storage
Adata 8200 Pro at 1TB
Optical Storage
Asus USB Optical Drive
Casing
Corsair Carbide Quiet 400Q
PSU
Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W
Audio
External Sound Blaster X7 + KRK Rokit P5
OS
Windows 10 Pro

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Old 28-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #2
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Step by Step guide:

Step 1: Hardware Selection and Start Building your DIY NAS
Get all the hardware you need and put them together just like a regular PC. Below are my recommendations for hardware selection (for reference only). This is an important step since it also manage your risk of data loss in the future. Redundancy is key in every small or big data centre.

Hardware recommendation as below:
A) Get a mobo with "Intel" GbE which has better compatibility and lesser issues. Marvell chipset is fine too but I do have issue with some of them during some of my build. Do check the compatibility list.
B) Get a cheap UPS. Even though SG has very rare power outage. I do get oven trips when my wife cook once in a blue moon. Take note that you will need to get a UPS with power management over usb, using the common UPS management code which could communicate to the NAS to shut down during low batt or switch to batt scenarios.
C) If possible, get a motherboard with 2x GbE. Just in case one fails along the way.
D) Get a PCI-e SATA card with >4 ports. Just in case your SATA port dies on the 5-8 years
E) Get a low powered CPU or those with ultra low voltage design. Dual-core will be sufficient unless you running a Plex server.
F) You can get ECC to increase the reliability of the NAS unit, but then the mobo will cost more. If not, Non-ECC will do just fine. I have been using non-ECC without much problem.
G) If you are getting numerous HDD, try to get different batches with the same capacity. For my case, I got 4 HDD from a single batch, another 4 HDD from another batch.
H) When building new systems, I recommend getting a m-itx board. You can also consider those NAS build mobo with intel atom/celeron CPU build in which you can still find on Amazon or taobao.
I) Recommend using multiple 12cm Noctua fans to cool the HDD. The NAS will be very quiet and cool.

DIY NAS building:
Not going to teach the veterans here how to build a PC from scratch. Key things to note is that the build going to be tight and small.


Step 2: Installing the FreeNAS OS and Booting into it
A) Prepare the separate USB drive/SATA drive/M2 drive to install the FreeNAS OS. One to contain the FreeNAS iso burn into it, another for installing the working FreeNAS OS. You can also choose to use a DVD to burn the FreeNAS iso image file.

NOTE: You should have 2 drives, one for containing the FreeNAS install file, one for installing the FreeNAS OS. I recommend the SanDisk Cruzer Fit 64GB which will have come really cheap nowadays. Do use the "stable" build, not the "beta" builds.

FreeNAS 11.2 - How to install (a video speaks a thousand words)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=8Da_5yIJFrw

B) Take note that to boot the FreeNAS OS for the first time, you need to set the boot device to be able to boot from USB drive with the installed FreeNAS OS through the BIOS. The video should be very clear and provide sufficient instruction to get it boot up. Another thing to note is that the USB drive should only contain the FreeNAS OS and nothing else!

Yes, it is as simple as that!

The dashboard should look like this:



Step 3: Configuring the FreeNAS

3.1 Configuring the UPS:
One Simple function of FreeNAS is connecting it to a compatible UPS and allowing the system to shut down when switch to back up battery or when the UPS battery is running Low. This is extremely useful for 24/7 system and if you running a personal home hosted cloud, or you do want to seriously protect the data precious to you. UPS can be easily configured on the “Services” tab on the left hand side. I have tested with 2 OTS APC UPS sold in Singapore and both worked well, they are:
(I) APC Back-UPS CS series at 650VA with USB
(II) APC Back-UPS with AVR at 700VA with USB
I will recommend option II for the silent operation without the light humming noise.

Below are my configuration:

Last edited by TanKianW; 01-11-2019 at 06:44 PM..
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3700X with Noctua NH-D15
Mainboard
Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming AM4 Motherboard
Graphics Card
Palit Nvidia GTX 1080 Super JetStream
Memory
Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 32GB at 3200MHz
Display
LG 4K 27 Display
Storage
Adata 8200 Pro at 1TB
Optical Storage
Asus USB Optical Drive
Casing
Corsair Carbide Quiet 400Q
PSU
Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W
Audio
External Sound Blaster X7 + KRK Rokit P5
OS
Windows 10 Pro

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Old 28-10-2019, 10:55 AM   #3
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For future Posting..........

Last edited by TanKianW; 30-10-2019 at 08:36 PM..
Processor
AMD Ryzen 3700X with Noctua NH-D15
Mainboard
Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming AM4 Motherboard
Graphics Card
Palit Nvidia GTX 1080 Super JetStream
Memory
Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 32GB at 3200MHz
Display
LG 4K 27 Display
Storage
Adata 8200 Pro at 1TB
Optical Storage
Asus USB Optical Drive
Casing
Corsair Carbide Quiet 400Q
PSU
Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W
Audio
External Sound Blaster X7 + KRK Rokit P5
OS
Windows 10 Pro

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Old 28-10-2019, 11:08 AM   #4
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I suggest making comparisons to other os/similar nas software like snapraid + mergefs. Pooled vs raid/raidz etc.
Processor
Ryzen R5 1600 @ 3.8Ghz + Noctua NH-D15s
Mainboard
asrock AB350m Pro4
Graphics Card
Palit GTX 1070 Super JetStream
Memory
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 2666MHZ
Display
Qnix qx2710 evolution ii Glossy
Storage
WD 1TB Black + WD2TB Black + Samsung evo 840 256GB + Crucial 750GB SSD
Optical Storage
???
Casing
Fractal Design Define S
PSU
EVGA G2 Gold 80+ 650W
Audio
Creative T3
OS
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Old 28-10-2019, 07:36 PM   #5
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I used to contemplate doing something like what TS is doing but due to time constraint and productivity now I rather pay US$12/month to Google GSuite Business (/w unlimited storage) then backup to BackBlaze Business backup to eliminate all these hassles.

But then it still a pleasure to watch how others are doing it, maybe when opportunity arises, I will relook and attempt this kind of setup. Thread subscribed.
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Old 28-10-2019, 08:04 PM   #6
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If prawn.... OK la...Else cloud is the better way
Processor
r7 2700
Graphics Card
R7 200
Memory
32gb
Display
Philips BDM4065UC 40" 4K Monitor
Storage
few SSDs...
Optical Storage
bluray
Casing
cheena case
PSU
Super Flower Leadex Gold 750w
Audio
onboard
OS
Windows 10

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Old 28-10-2019, 08:50 PM   #7
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It is much cheaper to get diy nas from taobao. Infact the hardware is overkill for a nas. UPS also overkill and good to have only, never encounter a power trip that causes data loss or damage to NAS for both enterprise and consumer nas as well as DIY nas.

Only drawback for nas are hdd failure due to aging, and power supply faulty. Motherboard seldom fail within 5yrs period.
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Old 28-10-2019, 10:25 PM   #8
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It is much cheaper to get diy nas from taobao. Infact the hardware is overkill for a nas. UPS also overkill and good to have only, never encounter a power trip that causes data loss or damage to NAS for both enterprise and consumer nas as well as DIY nas.

Only drawback for nas are hdd failure due to aging, and power supply faulty. Motherboard seldom fail within 5yrs period.

What's the search term for DIY NAS from taobao? Will like to have a look.
Processor
Intel i7 4770k @ Stock
Mainboard
Asrock Z87 Killer
Graphics Card
Palit GTX 580 3GB
Memory
Crucial 1866 8GBx2
Display
Achieva Shimian 27"
Storage
Intel 530 240GB, 2 x Samsung F3 1TB @ Raid 0, Hitachi 7200RPM 1TB, WD Black 1TB
Casing
NZXT Phantom
PSU
FSP Aurum 650W
Audio
Creative SoundBlaster Z, Audioengine A5
OS
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Old 28-10-2019, 11:29 PM   #9
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It is much cheaper to get diy nas from taobao. Infact the hardware is overkill for a nas. UPS also overkill and good to have only, never encounter a power trip that causes data loss or damage to NAS for both enterprise and consumer nas as well as DIY nas.

Only drawback for nas are hdd failure due to aging, and power supply faulty. Motherboard seldom fail within 5yrs period.
is it possible to omit hardwares like motherboard, PSU, ram, cpu with just a hdd cage and the freeNAS software just load & run from a USB drive?

I think UPS is important like buying an insurance cos you'll never know when it will be triggered on unexpected event. Best is to standby with one since they cost like under $200 for 650VA.

Last edited by Hafi; 28-10-2019 at 11:32 PM..
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Old 29-10-2019, 12:17 AM   #10
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looks interesting, I can always repurpose some older hardware I have lying around.
Processor
Ryzen 3700X
Mainboard
Gigabyte AX370 Aorus Gaming K7
Graphics Card
Galax GTX 1070Ti EX-SNPR
Memory
Team T-Force Night Hawk 2X8GB DDR4-3200@3600 16-17-19-36 1.36V
Display
Acer Predator Z35
Storage
Adata 2TB SX8200 Pro + Sandisk 480GB Extreme Pro + 2X4TB HGST NAS + 8TB Seagate Barracuda
Casing
Phanteks P400S
PSU
Corsair AX1200i
OS
Windows 10 Pro

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Old 29-10-2019, 10:08 AM   #11
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If prawn.... OK la...Else cloud is the better way
Hahahahahah. Now I learned one more reason for setting up a Home NAS.
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Processor
AMD Ryzen 3700X with Noctua NH-D15
Mainboard
Asus ROG Strix X570-F Gaming AM4 Motherboard
Graphics Card
Palit Nvidia GTX 1080 Super JetStream
Memory
Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 32GB at 3200MHz
Display
LG 4K 27 Display
Storage
Adata 8200 Pro at 1TB
Optical Storage
Asus USB Optical Drive
Casing
Corsair Carbide Quiet 400Q
PSU
Thermaltake Toughpower 1500W
Audio
External Sound Blaster X7 + KRK Rokit P5
OS
Windows 10 Pro

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Old 29-10-2019, 10:38 AM   #12
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Problem with re-purpose old hardware is power consumption. Don't forget majority of the time, your nas will be on idling which will consumer quite alot of power. I rather have my nas on 24/7 and sip like 10-15watts for cpu on idle vs something like 60 watts on idle.
Processor
Ryzen R5 1600 @ 3.8Ghz + Noctua NH-D15s
Mainboard
asrock AB350m Pro4
Graphics Card
Palit GTX 1070 Super JetStream
Memory
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 2666MHZ
Display
Qnix qx2710 evolution ii Glossy
Storage
WD 1TB Black + WD2TB Black + Samsung evo 840 256GB + Crucial 750GB SSD
Optical Storage
???
Casing
Fractal Design Define S
PSU
EVGA G2 Gold 80+ 650W
Audio
Creative T3
OS
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

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Old 29-10-2019, 10:48 AM   #13
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Hello, thanks for sharing. I am also interested in setting up this but also lost at some of the terminology involved. Possible to share the software setup?
Processor
Intel i5-2500, Ryzen 5 2600X
Mainboard
Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3, Gigabyte X470 Aorus Ultra Gaming
Graphics Card
MSI RX580 8GB Gaming X, Zotac GTX 1080 Amp Edition 8GB
Memory
2x 4GB Kingston ram DDR3 PC1333, 2x 8GB GEIL EVO SPEAR 3000Mhz
Display
Viewsonic VX3209-2k, Acer G277HL
Storage
Samsung 840 EVO 256GB, Samsung 850 EVO 500GB, Transcend SSD370S 256GB, ZOTAC 480GB SSD
Optical Storage
Samsung DVD Optical drive
Casing
Sharkoon BW9000-W, TECWARE VXR
PSU
Superflower Leadex 600W, EVGA SuperNOVA 650W G3
Audio
Onkyo TX-SR608 5.1 set-up
OS
Windows 10 Pro 64bit

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Old 29-10-2019, 11:05 AM   #14
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Hahahahahah. Now I learned one more reason for setting up a Home NAS.
Is only when u want to hoard all your anime...Drama... Prawn... Iso Blu-ray movies

Else the upkeep for and is pretty high

I know some uncles ... Crash Liao.. replace HDD.. very hard pain one
Processor
r7 2700
Graphics Card
R7 200
Memory
32gb
Display
Philips BDM4065UC 40" 4K Monitor
Storage
few SSDs...
Optical Storage
bluray
Casing
cheena case
PSU
Super Flower Leadex Gold 750w
Audio
onboard
OS
Windows 10

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Old 29-10-2019, 08:40 PM   #15
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Unfortunately usb drive is just a drive that store data and does not have any cpu, ram or physical connection to hdd. You can buy a hdd cage but still require the basic pc component such as the motherboard, cpu, ram to setup a nas. Just treat the nas as a very low power pc with a small case to connect to many hdd as a file server. You can try raspberry pi that is relative small, but not sure whether it got the horse power to setup as a nas.

I rather spend $70 to buy another diy nas from taobao as redundancy and backup nas instead of a UPS. The 2 diy nas total power consumption are still much lower than 1 small UPS. Also the UPS might need to change the battery after 1 or 2 years or so and proper disposing the old battery will be expensive.

is it possible to omit hardwares like motherboard, PSU, ram, cpu with just a hdd cage and the freeNAS software just load & run from a USB drive?

I think UPS is important like buying an insurance cos you'll never know when it will be triggered on unexpected event. Best is to standby with one since they cost like under $200 for 650VA.
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