NAS Part 1: Theorize

New Project, phase one: Theorize.

I want to build a NAS server to store a bunch of data on. Current problem is lack of a computer to accept multiple SATA connections.

Problem 1: SATA connectors

This can be solved by an HBE card. Although they tend to be quite expensive (250+). One decent model that isn’t that much is the LSI 9211-8I. This is ideal for future expansion.

A cheaper option is a PCIe multi-SATA connector like this.

Either work, but one is cheaper and the other is more expandable. The 9211-8I uses two SAS ports, which can be expanded indefinetely. SAS supports splitting. SATA can be connected in a 4:1 ratio to SAS connectors with some cheap cables.

Problem 2: Drives

I do not have enough drives to make this work right now. For the setup I want it would require 5 or 6 drives. I will get 4-5 drives worth of space as one drive worth of space is dedicated to “parity”, making you able to:

  1. Verify data integrity. If anything goes wrong with a write, it will be fixed automatically.
  2. If one drive dies, the system can stay online with no problem. Two drives and I’m eff-you-see-kay-ed-dee.

My other option is to use two drives worth of space for partiy. This would only have me 3-4 drives of space, but this system can withstand the failure of two drives.

Problem 3: Computer System

I currently have 5 computers.

  1. Celery Stick. An old grey HP laptop with a Braille stickered keyboard. Does not work right now; bad thermal paste job.
  2. A Dell laptop lent to me by my school during my studies.
  3. Houston. A 21-inch 2011 iMac for which the screen does not work under Linux (excep with the nomodeset kernel option enabled).
  4. An Old Toshiba laptop (circa 2010) that I got for $50 to test with OpenBSD (works….sometimes).
  5. Main Rig. My main laptop is an ASUS-705 TUF gaming laptop.

None of these have PCIe expansion slots with a case that can handle the new drives.

I think it’s reasonable to say that for hard-drives and low-end tower PCs, I will likely have luck on a place like Kijiji (Canadian Craigslist).

The search continues :)

I’m in for a fun ride…. and a few monnies.