...stuff I do and things I like...

Wednesday, January 14 2009

New NAS Box

Yesterday the parts for my new NAS/backup box arrived. As you can see I've stopped looking for an off-the-shelf (embedded) NAS box and decided to build one based on standard PC components.

This is mainly because of cypto acceleration which is not easy to find in embedded NAS boxes. Also many embedded NAS boxes such as the NAS-4220B from RaidSonic (based on gemini design by storelink) or the devices based on the Orion design have crypto acceleration hardware but lack driver support. The gemini crypto driver is designed for ipsec but works with loop AES but no dm_crypt support. The orion kernels don't have crypto support at all.

Back to my new NAS box. I choose a VIA C7-based board since it supports PadLock. PadLock is supported on Linux and FreeBSD (and possible other OSes).

Hardware list: The total price of 161 Euro is really good for a small home NAS without disks. In this configuration it can hold two SATA disks (and two PATA disks). If you want four SATA disks you will need to buy a PCIe SATA controller (costs between 20-30 Euros). The only drawback is that the device only has 100Mbit Ethernet. Mini-itx boards with Gbit Ethernet cost about double the price (about 120 Euros).

Software wise I will just install a minimal Ubuntu server to a USB flash disk that will server as the system disk. This is so it can spin down the storage disks while this thing is in idle.

About power consumption, the case has a 220W power supply that will, of course, eat more energy then an embedded box but this is the price you have to pay I guess. Also I guess you can find mini-itx cases that have smaller power supplies (tips are welcome).