Building a NAS server from scratch: pics

Building a NAS server from scratch: pics

Summary: There are several options to expand your network's storage, but one of the most rewarding learning experiences can be building your own network-attached storage (NAS) server. ZDNet UK walks us through the process.


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  • (Credit: Manek Dubash/ZDNet UK)

    This is the starting point for the build of a new server that's designed to run FreeNAS, an open-source network-attached storage OS, built on top of FreeBSD.

    We specified a rack-mounted case (since we planned to install it into a rack in due course), a quad-core 3.2GHz Intel Xeon E3-1230 (Sandy Bridge) processor plus a suitable server motherboard, 8GB of RAM in a pair of 4GB DIMMs from Crucial Technology and four 3TB Seagate Barracuda XT SATA disks. The case is Antec's 4U22EPS650 4U server box, which includes the power supply.

  • (Credit: Manek Dubash/ZDNet UK)

    Intel's Xeon E3-1230 looks pretty much like every other mainstream chip that it makes these days; it slots into the same LGA 1155 socket as Intel's other Sandy Bridge processors, while cooling systems work across both LGA 1155 and 1156 sockets, as they use the same 75mm distance between screw holes.

    The 32nm E3-1230 offers four cores, eight threads, a maximum clock speed of 3.6GHz in Turbo Boost mode, consumes up to 80W and can address up to 32GB RAM. Other Xeons in this family offer on-chip graphics, although this variant doesn't.

Topics: Cloud, Hardware, Servers, Storage

Manek Dubash

About Manek Dubash

Editor, journalist, analyst, presenter and blogger.

As well as blogging and writing news & features here on ZDNet, I work as a cloud analyst with STL Partners, and write for a number of other news and feature sites.

I also provide research and analysis services, video and audio production, white papers, event photography, voiceovers, event moderation, you name it...

Back story
An IT journalist for 25+ years, I worked for Ziff-Davis UK for almost 10 years on PC Magazine, reaching editor-in-chief. Before that, I worked for a number of other business & technology publications and was published in national and international titles.

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  • Or... buy a HP microserver for under $200.
    Stick in 4 disks (or 5 with a BIOS tweak, or 8 with a 2.5" drive cage). Load FreeNAS on a USB stick on the internal USB slot.
    10 minutes later have the same style of NAS for less cost, that uses less power, and takes up less space.
    • Would love to buy a HP microserver for under $200. but where gr1f?
      • Hmm maybe they aren't as easy to find for the $190 or so I paid not long back. Can still find them on staticice for $225.