Software/hardware, who knows?

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Software/hardware, who knows?

Postby Doug Coulter » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:11 pm

About 2 years ago or a little more in the past, I built a NAS based on a raspberry pi, with a 2 tb seagate laptop drive. Slow, yes, but life changing in a few ways, for my weird use cases.
I have a lot of computers (big understatement) and a lot of workstations - I tend to kind of specialize them for a particular job set, but then often ignore that and just work where the chair and view are the most comfortable or the walk to the remote-controlled thing to check it is shortest...
Just the pi nas was life-changing. Having it be smart is a moderately big deal - I can talk to it via VNC and have it do pi stuff. Useless you say in a world with tons of really killer-fast powerful machines? Nope - download a linux image on it. Upload a long video to I care if some build takes all day if I can be asleep for it and not be burning kWh on a big machine? And so on.

So a lot of machines had a lot of duplicated stuff, versions (well, at least I had some backup of older versions...but finding which was newest could be a real pain too), and way to much wasted disk space.

This was good enough, but still kinda scary - no RAID and so on - that I plunked down some cash on a "real" NAS. I got a Synology DS 416 in this case - half a pi but the half is twice as fast it seems, and it will run 4 drives and do all that other stuff with a little prodding. It runs the tightest linux under the hood I've ever seen but you can SSH into it and make it do things they don't have their version of a package for. It will easily saturate a gigabit LAN reading or writing with 3 NAS drives - and because of gain at the margin, I have a 4th coming today...their raid will give me its full capacity in their version of raid 5 so it seemed like a good deal for the $. I'll wind up with 12 terabytes more or less...I have no idea how I'll use that much - backing up a ton of other stuff - around 1 tB for all my accumulated junk (I have a large legit music collection but don't pirate music or this is not fluff, and a tB is a LOT of real stuff).

But you just never know. Being off grid, yeah, I worry about power consumption. I checked drive specs and wound up with seagate NAS 4 tB drives (yes, I'm aware of the backblaze numbers - there was one really bad model of seagate, but these aren't it). Believe it or not, in idle and standby, these are rated at around 1/10th the power use of WD drives, and unlike many I'm aware of, the only drives that have failed here are the IBM "deathstars" and...some WD drives. Going all the way back to MFM as far as history of drives go. Seems everyone makes a lemon at some point, but that doesn't define their average quality. I have 2 gB seagates that still work if you've got an old enough mobo to support them...and then, they were the largest available for any money.

At any rate, the point is that this is fast enough that I can have my machines mount the share or some part of it over some directory under my home, and just use that, or have some rsync shell scripts that move the latest (and only the latest) versions of stuff back and forth, while also having that "I don't have to be there" up and download stuff going on. The net is that now all my other machines don't need ridiculous disk drives which saves money and power. I'm keeping the pi around with a script to update from the big guy around once a month or so, at least till it won't fit or it fails...
Posting as just me, not as the forum owner. Everything I say is "in my opinion" and YMMV -- which should go for everyone without saying.
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Doug Coulter
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Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:05 pm
Location: Floyd county, VA, USA

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