Thoughts on building your own NAS device

In a previous post I shared the research I did on the various NAS solutions that are available. I’ve been experimenting with the software solutions I described in that post, and have decided to forego a pre-built solution in favor of a DIY project. There were a couple of reasons for this:

1. The hardware costs were significantly less than the pre built solutions.

2. I have quite a bit more flexibility rolling my own box.

3. The commercial solutions come with a ton of bells and whistles that I don’t really need.

4. There are functional streaming solutions that run on top of Linux and FreeBSD.

5. I don’t have to worry about my NAS being EOL’ed or the company that sells it going under.

I’m not sure if I’m going to run FreeNSD or openfiler, but I have settled on my hardware. Based on a recommendation from a reader named Dave, I ordered a HP micro server along with 4 2TB Samsung disk drives. The server cost me $300, and I got the disk drives on sale for $80 each. That puts the total price tag for a NAS device with 8TB of RAW disk at just over $600. Not bad! I’m planning to do a thorough evaluation of freenas and openfiler, and will post my thoughts on the two as I start digging into them further. Also planning to do some serious performance benchmarks to see which performs better. Viva la NAS!!

*** UPDATE ***

Part two of this series is available here.