Keith C. Perry on 10 Nov 2014 15:49:20 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Restructuring home network and building a storage server

I wouldn't say using an SBC "fancy".  Its nothing more than the "motherboard" or "brains" of the system.  Same Linux operating system.  I haven't blown a power supply in a very long time but something to consider is that the SBC is going to be about the same price as a power supply.  Also many or them use 5V/2A or 5V/4A units with a micro-usb or barrel plug configuration.  That's not exotic stuff by today's standards so I don't think there should be a concern from that point of view.

If your mobo or a component on your mobo goes and you have to replace then an SBC solution has a benefit.

For the record.  Two of the docks I was looking at if I did an SBC implementation (or in general for external storage) were:

ICY Dock -
Mediasonic -

Consider a USB 3.0 solution:
ODroid XU3 Lite - $99 (btw, a power supply separately is $10)
Mediasonic - $99

You're looking at about $200 before you add items miscellaneous items (i.e. cables) and the drives.  Building or buying a new off the shelf system is going to be more than that.  An openbox, refurb or off-lease product might get you there but then what happens when those proprietary builds die?  On a new build, depending on what you are talking about, replacement can get costly.  Spare components for the SBC are not only cheaper but because its Linux even if you couldn't get a spare sometime in the future, you could get a different board and rebuild the system.  The LVM would be intact since any LVM capable system would recognize what you previously set up.

In my case my storage system is also my media server.  When you consider the ability to stack multiple services into such a small power requirement, I think this becomes something worth consideration.

I do admit, I am torn.  I'm very much looking forward to my next server build. :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Keith C. Perry, MS E.E.
Owner, DAO Technologies LLC
(O) +1.215.525.4165 x2033
(M) +1.215.432.5167

From: "David Colon" <>
To: "Philadelphia Linux User's Group Discussion List" <>
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2014 4:45:56 PM
Subject: Re: [PLUG] Restructuring home network and building a storage server

On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 4:20 PM, Keith C. Perry <> wrote:
Personally, I'm a big fan of using Linux to build LVMs of JBODs.  Its the most flexible and extensible solution.  You can even add md to the mix and do raid configs but the point is that you'll get growth out of such a configuration.

I see two type of deployments which I'm also considering for myself since I'm at a crossroads too.  You could either built this as a traditional "box" or do something more interesting by using an SBC like a Banana Pi (onboard sata port) or ODROID XU3 lite (usb 3.0).  There are plenty usb 2.0 option as well.  For SBCs the issue is the enclosure but there are quite a few 4 bay units about there.  2Tb are getting pretty cheap so a 8Tb system is not out of the realm of possibility but you can certainly grow into it slowly.  On the other hand, an advantage to going the traditional route is that a mini-ATX or full-ATX case will give you more bays.  Its a more self-contained solutions and allows more JBOD options since you could have a mix of technologies.  In this scenario you're back to worrying about fans and noise levels as well as a typical server power consumption.

Here's my .02. I always recommend against using a fancy NAS/DAS box and instead use a standard PC case with lots of bays. Besides the drives themselves, the next most common component to fail is the power supply. For the most part, those devices all use non standard power supplies. Good luck finding a replacement in the middle of the night or weekend when it fails and you need to get your fileserver back online. You can even add hot swap SATA bays to a standard PC case with something like this:

Good luck and don't forget to factor in offsite backups. RAID != backup


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