Running a single-board-computer as a NAS - which system to use?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by ealltech, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. ealltech

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 11, 2016
    Hello dear experts - good day,

    I've been musing bout the question of using a single-board-computer (sbc). I might be able to put a single board computer to good use around the home, and so far I'm predicting I'm going to need at least half a dozen of them! Sounds like a few fun weekends ahead...
    Does anyone know if there is the ability/opportunity to use a single board computer to run a small NAS operating system (and connect it up to a few USB hard drives)? Or is this not a good use-case, perhaps because a SATA connection is needed?
    The other idea I had was to run samba Server on a single board computer as a back-end (and of course use another single board computer for a front-end) - does anyone know if that would be possible?

    some musings: As far as the front-end, purely from a speed POV and not hardware/driver capabilities POV - the network speed will likely might be the bottleneck. But speed does not matter - i do not need a high-speed system here.

    Depending on which software we use to render our streaming media, it may not even use the local storage to "cache" the streamed data. It might stream to an area in RAM and then be retrieved from there. We can also do things like NFS mounting, in which case it will render directly from the NAS drive(s). Would USB be too slow on the backend... probably? Again, depends on how we ve encoded, bitrates, what else will be using the drives at the same time, etc.
    USB drives make for nice, cheap, decent backup (but of course not mission critical data - RAID does that) on a NAS setup, because they're big and cheap and nobody cares that they're relatively slow.

    The question is: which system should i take: i think i want to use a powerful Single board computer - (SBC)
    - which system is the most powerful today... with a little powerconsumption....
  2. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    I would try to centralize the NAS system into one server quality computer. You can replace the front-end SBC machines easily but not your valuable data. With proper server (Intel makes fairly cheap MB's for this) with SATA hardware raid, dual NICS, offline backup, UPS power, and ECC memory this server will be the one thing you can trust on the network.
  3. rainsee

    New Member

    Oct 12, 2016
    My view, is the biggest downfall with any of the SBC single board computer's I have looked at or played with, is when your dealing with USB storage, they are all on USB 2.0. I see the networking as less of the bottleneck.

    I would think the raspberry pi's, which (if I remember correctly), both have SATA connectors. You might consider some sort of write too drive, if you need to write quite a bit. (or put the USB drives on a faster system and then pull data from them, via the SBC's)
  4. ealltech

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 11, 2016
    hello dear rainsee many many thanks for sharing your ideas.