Products > Embedded Computing

NAS, Raspberry or Synology.

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luiHS:

Is there any advantage in building a NAS with a Raspberry instead of buying a commercial NAS?

I am going to use it to share movies between a PC and a mobile phone.

As a commercial NAS I have seen a single bay Synology. I don't like RAID systems, I find them unreliable, from experience I prefer to make differential backups on another disk.

If I used a Raspberry, I had thought about using a Raspberry 4 that I have or buying the new Raspberry 5. And the question I have is whether to buy an adapter board to be able to connect SATA hard drives or connect the hard drive with a SATA to USB adapter. I will also need a box to place both the raspberry and the hard drive.

Nominal Animal:
You do know there are well-supported Linux SBCs for exactly this purpose available already?

As an example, I have an Odroid-HC1 (old, current is Odroid HC4 with two vertical SATA bays).

For a backup or media storage type NAS, I would consider Odroid M1 with at least OS on the PCIe M.2 SSD (PCIe 3.0, 2 lanes).  It has one SATA connector, but you can use USB3-to-SATA for additional ones.  It also consumes only about 1.3 watts when idle.  Putting the OS on the PCIe means that you can use huge spinny SATA drives for backups, automatically spun down until actually accessed (although I'd also run smartd on them, scanning them periodically about once a month, to detect data and disk deterioration hopefully in time).
Of course, if you use a large PCIe SSD for the OS, you'll have ample room for storing often-accessed data as a separate NAS volume.

Standard JMicron JMS578 etc. USB 3 to SATA bridges (that cost < USD $10) work quite well in Linux, so you can use basically any Linux SBC with gigabit ethernet or better, and one or more USB 3 host ports, to build your NAS.  (For example, look at Odroid C4 or Odroid N2+.  N2+ in particular has about twice the CPU power a Raspberry Pi 4 has, in case you need that.  For a NAS, you do not.  Note their low idle power consumption, on the order of two to three watts.  Standby is typically less than one watt, and on a NAS, you can safely use the powersave governor.)

For a NAS box that is in heavy use, I'd consider an Intel/AMD -based box with support for three or more PCIe SSDs, and only use SATA for spinny-disk-type long-term backup storage (with the same smartd config as for a Linux SBC NAS).  However, the power consumption tends to grow by an order of magnitude.

As I build my own solutions, I am not up to date on specialized NAS distributions and such.  I also do not use RPis myself, for various technical (problematic USB hardware) and nontechnical (foundation) reasons.

DiTBho:

--- Quote from: luiHS on October 08, 2023, 01:08:06 pm ---Is there any advantage in building a NAS with a Raspberry instead of buying a commercial NAS?

--- End quote ---

Short answer: no, Synology has support, and a team working on it.
RPI and customs solutions need *YOU* to fix and develop stuff.

DiTBho:

--- Quote from: Nominal Animal on October 08, 2023, 06:24:32 pm ---Intel/AMD

--- End quote ---

I say this with regret, because I personally HATE Intel as a company and x86 as an architecture, however I have to say that Zimaboards are not bad.

At least they have a lot of support, including propietary stuff that only works on x86.

DiTBho:
Another very important aspect that is never considered: the case, the sleds (this for HDDs), the airflow, the power supply part, the heat shield, all things that with an RPI are your responsibility (and are often underestimated), whereas with products like Synology they have been well designed and tested.

It may seem like a contract that suggests using a Synology when I designed my own multi node NAS with GNU/Linux PowerPC-40x modules, but I must say that I got into troubles precisely because of the aspects I mentioned, in particular the power unit occasionally caused glitches which I perceived as software bugs while they were problems with the power section.

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