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Thread: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

  1. #11
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    I have a synology DS 213. A very basic NAS I got years ago.
    It's worked great for my needs and you don't need to have an account with synology. There is an account option you can use, I think it's mainly if you want to access it from the internet. I haven't configured that.

    I really can't compare it to other packaged NAS. It's the only one I've owned and runs in a closet in the basement for years.
    It can do a whole lot more than I use it for. I basically just use it as a shared drive and all my PCs/laptops/TV have access to it.
    The only 'app' I use is DsDownload, which helps with downloads so I don't need to have my PC on for it.

  2. #12
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    Raspberry Pi systems are weak at I/O. This is too keep the costs down, but you'll discover whether this method is sufficient or not for your needs only by testing it out. Worst case, you have a nearly silent media playback device that connects into the NAS you end up using.

    Raspberry Pi is fine for ssh, but noticeably slower for full VPN software use. Whether that is too slow for your needs or not would greatly depend on the ISP connection speed in your location. 20 Mbps - probably fine. 100+ Mbps - no way, but if you can live with 20 Mbps VPN, that's fine too. 20 Mbps != 20 MBps

    There are a number of relatively cheap, lower-power using, x64 systems sold in the world today which have SATA3 connectors and run Ubuntu Server (they don't have video). There are many reasons to avoid USB connected primary storage. USB is great for backup storage.

    I did see a 2-disk NAS for $170 yesterday - without disks. Didn't look at it too closely. Definitely on the lower end. I know of an AMD GX-series embedded device (no GPU) for $140 with 1 SATA3 port and 2 USB3 ports and multiple Intel GigE NICs. A GPU cannot be added. There are probably slightly different models that have a GPU, I just don't know about those. The machine is designed to be a router, not a NAS.

  3. #13
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by yaminb View Post
    I have a synology DS 213. A very basic NAS I got years ago.
    It's worked great for my needs and you don't need to have an account with synology. There is an account option you can use, I think it's mainly if you want to access it from the internet. I haven't configured that.

    I really can't compare it to other packaged NAS. It's the only one I've owned and runs in a closet in the basement for years.
    It can do a whole lot more than I use it for. I basically just use it as a shared drive and all my PCs/laptops/TV have access to it.
    The only 'app' I use is DsDownload, which helps with downloads so I don't need to have my PC on for it.
    Thanks. I did look at the Synology options last night. I just need to verify that you can log in locally, even without an internet connection. Sounds like you are saying the answer is yes.

    For various clients (Ubuntu, Windows, and Android) what filesystem is best? Or does the NAS handle all of that when you configure it? As always, I appreciate everyone chiming in and sharing your knowledge.

  4. #14
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by uacnt83982803 View Post
    For various clients (Ubuntu, Windows, and Android) what filesystem is best? Or does the NAS handle all of that when you configure it?
    The filesystem doesn't matter to the client, it's only of interest to the NAS itself. The clients are going to see a network protocol, like NFS, SMB, or whatever. I think my NAS is using btrfs internally, but it was so long ago that I set it up that I'd have to check to know for sure.

  5. #15
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    File system choice is an "it depends" question.

    TL;DR - use ext4.

    Client access over a network connection doesn't force any specific file system to be used. Choosing a non-native Linux file system would be a mistake often.

    It depends on the
    1. type of storage,
    2. how much storage,
    3. whether you want to add storage later and
    4. force it to be included in the same file system or not (dangerous).
    5. It depends on whether this is primary or
    6. backup storage too.

    Primary storage, you may be willing to use a more complex volume management solution, but for backup storage, you don't want to be confused as you restore it.

    I always use LVM + ext4, but I **never** (ok ... maybe that isn't 100% true), but very seldom span file systems across different physical storage devices and only do that if my backup storage for that area 100% **is** on a single device. So, I would span data areas across multiple disks if those were, say 100G, but no way would I span 2x8TB USB3 disks into a single file system. This is because I don't have and don't plan to have (in the next 5 yrs), a 16TB single HDD.

    But in a work situation, I've created 50TB spans for single file systems using 50 1TB HDDs. That was because we had tape backups that would easily deal with 50TB. For file systems over 20TB, I'd change from ext4 to xfs.

    For flash-based data, I'd closely look at f2fs. But I'd need to run some performance tests on my system to see what the truth was. There is always a real-world difference between what the box claims and reality. Sometimes an 80% difference.

    Depending on what you plan to do in the future, ext4 + lvm could be replaced by ZFS. There is much less help with ZFS available due to the complexities and probably 70% of MS-Windows knowledge would be useless with ZFS. It is a different way of managing storage.

    I would never use any Windows-file system. That would be a terrible idea for a Linux-based NAS for many reasons.
    I would never use btrfs either. There seem to always be strange issues and for my needs, btrfs has some faults that require disabling some of the best parts of that file system. Plus btrfs lies to Linux tools df and du. That is unacceptable to me. I want the truth, always.

    Before picking any commercial NAS, beware that you want NFS support, not just CIFS/Samba. Also, the idea of what a "login" means different things to different people. Many commercial NAS devices only provide a web-app interface. Sometimes they do really odd things like running BRTFS on LVM, which makes very little sense to do. LVM is for volume management. BTRFS has volume management built-in. Why have 2 volume managers in the storage SW stack? I can't think of any good reason - except to make things complex so typical home users have to call for support when something bad happens. Billing by time and materials is good work if you can get it.

    IMHO.

  6. #16
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by uacnt83982803 View Post
    Thanks. I did look at the Synology options last night. I just need to verify that you can log in locally, even without an internet connection. Sounds like you are saying the answer is yes.

    For various clients (Ubuntu, Windows, and Android) what filesystem is best? Or does the NAS handle all of that when you configure it? As always, I appreciate everyone chiming in and sharing your knowledge.
    Yep. You don't need a internet connection for the synology NAS.

    I'm not exactly a NAS expert, but I chose the defaults that synology has.
    I used synology hybird RAID. So I use 2 4TB drives, but get 4 TB capacity with backup. I've had 2 drives fail in the years, and it's been a seamless process to replace the drive and not lose anything.
    In terms of formatting, I think it uses ext4 by default, but it really doesn't matter.

    To 'share' it over the network, I enabled both SMB and NFS. Maximum powers!

  7. #17
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    For your consideration: https://category5.tv/feature/mynas/

    The DAS they used is 2x the cost of my Mediasonic ProBox (esata), but supports usb3.1r2 (10 Gbps).
    They are using an odroid SBC, which at the time was a better price/performance than any r-pi.

  8. #18
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    @uacnt83982803

    Late to the party here, but I'm going to lay out my infrastructure and you can pick and choose the pieces that make sense for you (or reject the whole thing altogether).

    I don't believe in paying much for NASes. I've assembled mine from castaways and other people's junk. When it comes to NASes, I'm a cross between Scrooge and WALL‑E. The only thing I'll spring real coin on are good HDDs because they are critical to reliable NASes. The rest of the equipment can be second rate, but the HDDs must be best in class and are worth dropping an extra nickle for.

    1. Main NAS is a rehabilitated My Book Live (now discontinued). As a rule, such "appliances" are a gawdawful investment. The OEMs who make them always drop support for them after three or four years at which point they become malware magnets. There must be hundreds of thousands of these things out there with ignorant/irresponsible owners who have been totally pwned by botnet farms. However, the big saving grace about this specific model—and only this model—is that its firmware can be nuked and completely replaced with OpenWRT. Doing so will not only resurrect the NAS, but convert it into a modern, supported, FOSS‑compliant device that is maintained by a strong and vibrant community. Its other benefits are that it just sips power (mine consumes about 15 watts), is passively cooled (silent) and is so ridiculously simplistic that it is perforce quite reliable. I replaced the original HDD with a 10TB enterprise model. If that's not enough for you, the biggest enterprise‑level HDDs these days are 18TB.
    2. This NAS is so cheap (bought mine used on eBay for US$89) that I bought two. The second has been modified identically to the first. It runs a cron job every night to mirror it to the main NAS. Should the main one go down, I can just switch my network pointers to the "mirror" and Bob's yer Uncle.
    3. Third NAS is another resurrected oldie: an HP Media Vault (again, long discontinued) I had lying around that I gutted and replaced with a cheap used mini ATX board/Celeron CPU combo. Total price with 8GB RAM was under US$100. This one has a small SSD for the OS and a 3TB HDD for Nextcloud, which I run within an unprivileged LXD container for security reasons. It's capable of running with passive cooling, but I don't like the resulting HDD temps (I try not to run them above 40°C) so I added some spare 40mm fans and now it runs around 38°C at full tilt. Power consumption is about 40 watts. The SSD is new but HDD was salvaged from one of the above My Book Lives.
    4. Fourth NAS is an old 32-bit thin client. Ubuntu doesn't even support 32-bit after Bionic, so in a couple of years I guess it'll be moving on to Debian. But for now, it still runs Ubuntu server nicely. This primitive thin client has no HDD, just a small first gen 32GB SSD inside, but it's easily enough to hold an OS. I've attached a number of external USB drives to this puppy for further redundancy and backups. It doesn't have enough oomph to run anything really important, but that's not its purpose: it is for peace of mind. Energy consumption: 25 watts.

    So, hard drives aside (because the sky's the limit when it comes to storage) all four NASes combined come in at about $300. For that, I get quadruple redundancy, high resiliency, decent capacity and my own 3TB cloud. And the most gratifying thing is that all four devices together consume less than 100 watts! Reusing old stuff can be awesome. It does take some planning, research and dedication, and you are buying into a bit of sysadmin, but it needn't be expensive and for those of a certain persuasion, it can even be fun.

    A final word on HDDs. The most expensive part of my NASes was the storage. As mentioned, I didn't skimp on the HDDs. The 10 TB disks are Seagate EXOS Enterprises @ $300 each, so one HDD alone = my entire NAS infrastructure. Since I have two, combined with the USB backups, etc, storage comes to over $1000. If you spring for 18TB HDDs, the cost is even higher, but then, storage is always where the money goes.
    Last edited by DuckHook; February 3rd, 2021 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Correct typo

  9. #19
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    Great discussion thanks but so wide ranging from the minor to major.

    As a mere hobbyist I'm gratified to hear that so many use Nextcloud as it is my NAS of choice, but I do wonder about alternatives. It is relatively simple to set up - even for me, and has one great advantage for those with relatively modest requirements such as photo backup and just a few videos for a Plex box. It also has a good notes/calendar function and there are some Nextcloud apps available for 'phones etc. It seems to run, out of sight, out of mind for the most part, cheaply on RPis.

    Having had 2 Nextcloud instances fail this week (yes unusual, but partially self induced) I do appreciate that all the files are also on my laptop, desktop and another machine, so it is simply backed up.

  10. #20
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    Re: What are you folks doing for self-hosted storage? Recommendations wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by mail-2o View Post
    Great discussion thanks but so wide ranging from the minor to major.

    As a mere hobbyist I'm gratified to hear that so many use Nextcloud as it is my NAS of choice, but I do wonder about alternatives. It is relatively simple to set up - even for me, and has one great advantage for those with relatively modest requirements such as photo backup and just a few videos for a Plex box. It also has a good notes/calendar function and there are some Nextcloud apps available for 'phones etc. It seems to run, out of sight, out of mind for the most part, cheaply on RPis.

    Having had 2 Nextcloud instances fail this week (yes unusual, but partially self induced) I do appreciate that all the files are also on my laptop, desktop and another machine, so it is simply backed up.
    Nextcloud isn't a NAS. It is an access protocol. On your LAN, if you use Nextcloud for system-to-system access for streaming media, you'll be very disappointed. Best to use NFS, if possible. 2nd choice would be SMB/Samba, if the client cannot support NFS. For streaming media, NFS seems to be better and prevent stuttering. It isn't like Plex is going to connect to Nextcloud to stream media. Also, when using NFS, prefer the OS-level mounts, not the NFS access provided by a GUI (Kodi does this). NFS that goes through the Kodi GUI is measurably slower and uses much more system overhead than a normal NFS mount in the /etc/fstab.

    Think of nextcloud for human file access mainly. SeaFile would be another option to keep files copied on a local device and on your remote server. Nextcloud has many more addons than the other options. Please only use nextcloud over a VPN when remote. The calendar and addressbook support in nextcloud is nice for many families. I always found it lacking compared to Zimbra, but nextcloud is 100x easier than Zimbra to setup and run. Zimbra is easier to use, however and supports normal protocols and federated calendars. I connect to a few public calendars through zimbra and my multiple clients all get access to those in addition to my normal, private, calendar. I never miss knowing about any holidays, for example. Tomorrow is George Washington's real b'day. Next Monday is Pulaski Day in Chicago.

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