JJJL

Newbie: aiming to build a fast NAS that can occasionally run some computational stuff

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Hi all!

I liked my previous Synology NAS / DSM a lot! For the things it was meant for, that is. However, occasionally I think of something crazy, build a script and have it run for days. (The other day I was trying to run complex queries on a > 100GB database; I failed completely :) )

 

Hence, I was looking for a new NAS that could double as a server that could do some hobby computational work, but couldn’t really find what I was looking for. Hence I got to the idea to build something myself.

 

i was thinking of something like the following:

Xeon processor, e.g. Intel Xeon E3-1230 sounds like good value for money, but may opt to go for E5

Large RAM (at least 32GB) and/or NVME capable (although I understand from this forum that this is not supported yet?)

ITX form factor

4 times 2 TB in RAID 10

ready for 10GbE

 

Does this his make sense? What should I look for as a motherboard? Are all (recent) chipsets supported? Would this even fit in ITX cases?

 

My usual NAS tasks:

- storing photos and editing them in Photoshop

- multiple background scripts for home automation 

- recording for few cameras

- this occassional computational stuff

- VPN server

 

Thank you all for your help!

J

 

Edited by JJJL

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I'm running almost everything you're inquiring about.

  • 8-bay U-NAS 810A (8 hot swap drive chassis, MicroATX)
  • SuperMicro X11SSH-F (MicroATX)
  • E3-1230V6
  • 64GB RAM
  • 8x 4TB in RAID 10
  • Mellanox Connect-X 3 dual 10Gbe
  • 2x Intel P3500 2TB NVMe (these are U.2 drives)

A few items of note.  XPenology is running as a VM under ESXi.  This allows the NVMe drives to be RDM'd as SCSI, which works fine.  NVMe native doesn't work as DSM doesn't currently support it for regular storage.  The NVMe drives are attached via PCIe U.2 adapters since I don't need the slots.  I'm using the motherboard M.2 slot for the ESXi scratch/VM drive.   The SATA controller and Mellanox are passed through to the VM so DSM is using mostly native drivers, which work fine baremetal or VM with Mellanox and the C236 chipset.

 

So all this in a package in the footprint of, and just a bit taller than a DS1817.  I'm pretty happy with it, except that case was the hardest to set up of any server I've ever built.

 

I'm also running another XPenology server on an ITX board in a U-NAS 410, which is a 4-bay ITX chassis.  Works fine but it is running a low-power embedded chip. I'd pay a lot of attention to cooling and cooler compatibility if you want to run a 95W chip in an ITX case.

 

You should know that DSM code bases that work with XPenology only support 8 threads total (including hyperthreading) so most E5s might not be a fit.

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Great!! Thanks. This helps a lot. Micro ATx it is then :)

 

Quote

I'm pretty happy with it, except that case was the hardest to set up of any server I've ever built.

 

Because of the case itself, right? Not the VM part. What was the difficult part? (I do not necessarily need the hot-swapping feature. Hence I could do with a 'simpler' case.)

 

Thanks again!

 

 

 

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My comment does refer to the case. The case assembly/disassembly is a bit intricate and requires some careful cable routing for airflow.  And I made it somewhat more complicated by adding in the U.2 drives and doing a custom power supply.

 

That said, my ESXi environment has a lot of tweaks in it as well - you can find the ESXi/NVMe thread on here with a little searching.

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