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Taking suggestions on new home server hardware

TechnoJunky

Active Member
I want to setup a Linux NAS server for my home. I have an old case with power supply, so that's taken care of. I of course want it to run Linux, thinking Fedora because I really like it and it can help me stay on my enterprise server game, since it's basically RHEL(ish). What I learn at work I can directly use here. Since it's for home though, I don't want to spend a lot of money, so I was thinking built in video (no gaming will be done here) and I was thinking AMD. But I don't know much about AMD, what's good, what's bad, or how the speeds are determined. I've only used Intel, except for a Cyrix processor I once had. Anyway, another thing I'd like to do is to have the hard drives setup in a RAID config (software RAID). Do you guys think 2 x 2 TB for RAID 1 or 3 x 1 TB for RAID 5 would be better? Either way I'd end up with 2 TB of usable space. I'd be storing files there so I would think write speeds shouldn't be too important, read speed would be more important. So what do you think would be a good mobo/cpu combo and what do you think about RAID level?
 


dos2unix

Member
Fedora makes a great NAS server. I've been using it since about 2005. You get previous kernel roll-back capability from the grub menu (which you don't get with most other linux's).
You can do clustering, NIC teaming, and get more packages than anyone else. I use an Intel box for my NAS server, but I think AMD would work great. I am running AMD on my primary
"work" sever. 2nd Gen, Ryzen Threadripper 2950X. They are a little spendy, but much cheaper than the Intel equivalent. You didn't really mention what kind of drives you are using.
SSD vs SATA will make a huge difference in speed. If your hardware supports 2 M2 NVME drives that's also a plus. (my mother board supports 3) That gives you another option.
But old spindle type drives are really cheap these days. You can get 6TB enterprise drives now for like $160.00. For a NAS server you don't need lots a cores and threads, just lots
of drives. RAID 5 is good general purpose. If you really need speed and redundancy, I would go RAID 10. (but you lose 50% of your capacity).

The motherboard and CPU really come down to what you can afford. My most expensive MB is a ASRock X399 Taichi sTR4 AMD, ATX. I bought it because it supports 128 GB of DDR4 3600.
(I don't have it fully populated yet). But again for a NAS you won't need a lot of memory really. This MB does have 8 (eight! count em) SATA 6GB connectors, and like I said earlier 3 M2 SSD
slots. That gives me 9 drives. (I only use the M2 slots right now). If you need more you can always add a SATA RAID controller.
 

jwrenx

New Member
I use a 2011 intel i5 with 8GB of ram, you do not need sophisticated hardware for a NAS.

Look at WD red drives if your budget isn't to constrained.

The positive thing about intel over AMD here is that your NAS will likely see a lot of use and AMD tech typically uses more power.
 

TechnoJunky

Active Member
I'm looking to not spend a lot of money on this but at the same time, I don't want to need upgrades in 1 to 2 years either. I don't have any hard drives purchased for this, but was looking for HDDs (spindle). It will be storage for Flac music, web server serving up PDFs (not much CPU needed), movies, etc. Right now I have some movies and music on my laptop, as well as the web server, so when it's offline so are those things. I have most of my other stuff on my desktop computer, but it's a dual boot and when it's not booted to Linux, those things aren't available. So I want a new computer that will always be on and in the house. I'm looking to spend only a couple hundred or less on the CPU/Mobo/Mem. Hard drives, probably around $150. Since it'll be nothing more than a server I don't want to go broke on it like I would a gaming rig.
 

jwrenx

New Member
I always start new builds with extra parts that I just have laying around. You can get by with some inexpensive disks for a while.

I would back up the data to some other medium if you aren't using quality drives. (I keep an encrypted back up in the "cloud")
 

TechnoJunky

Active Member
I'm not saying I wouldn't backup the data, but the main reason for the Raid config is to prevent lose of data. A drive goes down, you just replace it and your data is still safe. That way if you forget to backup, you're covered from a lost hardware perspective.
 

jwrenx

New Member
I'm not saying I wouldn't backup the data, but the main reason for the Raid config is to prevent lose of data. A drive goes down, you just replace it and your data is still safe. That way if you forget to backup, you're covered from a lost hardware perspective.
I get that the main reason for a NAS is to store data and RAID helps if a drive fails.

If you aren't using quality drives you have a greater chance of multiple drives failing and not being able to rebuild your data. Your configuration dictates your fault tolerance..

Encrypting and backing up data you don't want to lose to some cloud platform mitigates much of the risk associated with a multi-disk failure. I personally haven't experienced more than one disk failing at a time but I have a friend who had a few drives from the same manufacturing batch go bad at the same time.
 

TechnoJunky

Active Member
Ok, 1 more ask here. I have an old Core Duo 3 GHz CPU, Mobo with 2 GB RAM, bought in 2008. I don't think I can find any additional RAM, so it's stuck at 2 GB. I'd need to buy a new video card and new hard drives, but it only supports SATA II (3 Gb/s). For $100 more I can get a Pent Gold (Coffee Lake), 8 GB RAM and SATA III (6Gb/s). For a NAS server, do you think I'd see that much difference to justify the additional $100?
 

Peer

Active Member
Why don't you use a raspberrypi?
OK no fedora but raspbian and Debian is also very popular in the Server-bis.
 

atanere

Moderator
Gold Supporter
OK no fedora
Fedora too. https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Architectures/ARM/Raspberry_Pi

I'm sorry, but I don't really have any good recommendations. I'm always on the cheap side and know little about recent hardware. If you aren't gaming, I don't think a server (or NAS) needs high end resources for home use. I'm also not a fan of RAID, but that's just me.... I'd rather do regular backups, either manual or automated. (A bad RAID experience, long ago, has left me bitter. :mad:)

Good luck!
 

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