[nSLUG] Home NAS recommendations $400-$600?

D G Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Thu Sep 11 14:19:53 ADT 2008

On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 12:08 PM, Stephen Gregory <nslug at kernelpanic.ca> wrote:
> With these requirements I recommend the Intel Atom board discussed
> last month on this list:
> http://nslug.ns.ca/pipermail/nslug/2008-August/thread.html
> http://nslug.ns.ca/pipermail/nslug/2008-August/011674.html
> The board costs about $80 and it can run a full distro of your
> choice. It sounds like you have enough of the other parts already that
> all you would need to buy is the Atom board and ram. Out of the box
> the atom board only has two SATA ports, but the pci slot can be used
> to add more.
> The Atom board has been tested to consume 40w of power. This is not
> great, but it is not bad either. There are lower power options, but
> they cost more. One review of the Synology box lists the power
> consumption as 16w to 32w[1]. Assuming 7.5cents per kwh of electricity
> the 25w difference is going to cost $16.50 a year. A full Atom system
> with a GB of ram, case, and 80+ power supply can be bought for about
> $180 (+ tax etc). The Synology box lists for $325. It is going to take
> years to make up that price difference. If you can find a dedicated
> NAS for $250 it is going to take about 4 years before you see a
> savings from the lower power consumption of the dedicated NAS.
> An Atom box is cheaper, more flexible, and can run a full Linux distro
> without any hacking. If you want don't want a full Linux distro and
> easy NAS only management there are projects like Openfiler. Apart from
> the small size I don't see any advantage to a dedicated NAS.

I am still waiting to get the parts for my network storage + apache +
mail server.  The first SKU for the Atom proc + motherboard
I ordered under from NCIX was discontinued.  The Atom proc+mobo
are on sale for $69 (or you can price match and get the same).

I will add that picking an efficient power supply to match this is
worth some thought.

Generally the peak efficiency is around 50% load, so it would
be nice to find an 80plus rated supply at something like 120 watts.
I could not, so I got the lowest wattage cheap model I could find with
some reputation for reliability and hints it would run quietly.

At NCIX, 80plus is a category for power supplies.  Nice for searching.
I ordered the Seasonic 330W.

I have been running my web server on a Sun Ultra 1 running Solaris
and run email and file storage on dual PIII Linux system, which had been
running 5 IDE disks.  I'm coming down from something like
240 watts (on the kill-a-watt) to about 40 watts.  The system cost will be
covered by power savings in 3 to 4 years.  Maybe sooner - the price
of electricity never falls as today's headlines remind us.

I will not be running any more ancient equipment at home
(e.g. old Sun hardware) 24 hours a day.

I'll follow up here with actual power results on the atom system
when I get it built - maybe sometime next week.

There is a newer Atom model coming into retail in the next few weeks under
BOXD945GCLF2 part number.  It will have dual core, giga lan and probably
some other little thrills.  I don't know the wattage rating.  I imagine it might
be hard to get.  I'm not really interested in the performance
for my application - it will already be blazing fast compared to what
I'm coming from - I'm mainly after low power computing.

I'm also curious about the potential for this to be the start of a
new wave of power saving hardware we are about to see.
For server rooms, blade systems constructed from this type
of thing would save a lot of money.  The power bill would be
lower to run the server, but also to run the A/C with the
reduced BTU footprint.


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