Sorry for the long post. tl;dr: I’ve already got a small home server and need more storage. Do I replace an existing server with one that has more hard drive bays, or do I get a separate NAS device?


I’ve got some storage VPSes “in the cloud”:

  • 10TB disk / 2GB RAM with HostHatch in LA
  • 100GB NVMe / 16GB RAM with HostHatch in LA
  • 3.5TB disk / 2GB RAM with Servarica in Canada

The 10TB VPS has various files on it - offsite storage of alert clips from my cameras, photos, music (which I use with Plex on the NVMe VPS via NFS), other miscellaneous files (using Seafile), backups from all my other VPSes, etc. The 3.5TB one is for a backup of the most important files from that.

The issue I have with the VPSes is that since they’re shared servers, there’s limits in terms of how much CPU I can use. For example, I want to run PhotoStructure for all my photos, but it needs to analyze all the files initially. I limit Plex to maximum 50% of one CPU, but limiting things like PhotoStructure would make them way slower.

I’ve had these for a few years. I got them when I had an apartment with no space for a NAS, expensive power, and unreliable Comcast internet. Times change… Now I’ve got a house with space for home servers, solar panels so running a server is “free”, and 10Gbps symmetric internet thanks to a local ISP, Sonic.

Currently, at home I’ve got one server: A HP ProDesk SFF PC with a Core i5-9500, 32GB RAM, 1TB NVMe, and a single 14TB WD Purple Pro drive. It records my security cameras (using Blue Iris) and runs home automation stuff (Home Assistant, etc). It pulls around 41 watts with its regular load: 3 VMs, ~12% CPU usage, constant ~34Mbps traffic from the security cameras, all being written to disk.

So, I want to move a lot of these files from the 10TB VPS into my house. 10TB is a good amount of space for me, maybe in RAID5 or whatever is recommended instead these days. I’d keep the 10TB VPS for offsite backups and camera alerts, and cancel the other two.

Trying to work out the best approach:

  1. Buy a NAS. Something like a QNAP TS-464 or Synology DS923+. Ideally 10GbE since my network and internet connection are both 10Gbps.
  2. Replace my current server with a bigger one. I’m happy with my current one; all I really need is something with more hard drive bays. The SFF PC only has a single drive bay, its motherboard only has a single 6Gbps SATA port, and the only PCIe slots are taken by a 10Gbps network adapter and a Google Coral TPU.
  3. Build a NAS PC and use it alongside my current server. TrueNAS seems interesting now that they have a Linux version (TrueNAS Scale). Unraid looks nice too.

Any thoughts? I’m leaning towards option 2 since it’ll use less space and power compared to having two separate systems, but maybe I should keep security camera stuff separate? Not sure.

  • Greyscale@lemmy.sdf.org
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    11 months ago

    Don’t buy a synology. For less money you can make a better system. I use a cheap itx board, a used 6600k, Silverstone DS380 and 8x4TB disks of spinning rust and a 256G NVME as my current iteration of my NAS. its basically silent, and runs ubuntu + zfs + shit in containers. Its excellent.

    I am however considering 10G ethernet cards for it and my desktop and just doing point-to-point. Not that 1G is too slow for my needs, but because it’d be fun.

    • danOPA
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      11 months ago

      Thanks for the input. Would you recommend having a separate NAS system, or replacing my current server with it?

      • Greyscale@lemmy.sdf.org
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        11 months ago

        I’d consolidate to let it pay for itself over the longer term in electricity savings.

        My single NAS runs everything I could ever want, though I regret not finding a used 6700k, finding out teh 6600k didn’t have HT.

        Also, I run frigate on it inside a container and use a Google Coral Accellerator to people-detection from 4x2k camera streams. Its pretty swish, though it took some fiddling to get the kernel to be groovy with it and do container-device passthru from PCI-e.

        In total, my single NAS runs the following in containers:

        • Personal projects
        • Home Assistant
        • MQTT for Tasmota
        • Game servers
        • Deluge for yarr harr fiddly dee
        • Frigate NVR

        The whole shebang, NAS with permanently spinning rust, UPS, ISP Modem and Ubiquity Dream Machine run ~100W.

        Edit: I’ve noticed ZFS is twitchier than most about disks failing. It fails disks about once or twice a year, which are getting cheaper every year. Most of the time the disk still works as far as SMART is concerned, but I’m not gonna question the ZFS gods.

        • danOPA
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          11 months ago

          Are you running something like Unraid or TrueNAS, or are you just running a ‘regular’ Linux distro?

          Also, I run frigate on it inside a container and use a Google Coral Accellerator to people-detection from 4x2k camera streams.

          I’m doing something similar, except using Blue Iris and CodeProject.AI instead of Frigate. Works pretty well! CodeProject AI just added Coral support recently.

          The whole shebang, NAS with permanently spinning rust, UPS, ISP Modem and Ubiquity Dream Machine run ~100W.

          How much power does just the NAS use?

          • Greyscale@lemmy.sdf.org
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            11 months ago

            How much power does just the NAS use?

            the NAS is the bulk of the 100W.

            Are you running something like Unraid or TrueNAS, or are you just running a ‘regular’ Linux distro?

            Ubuntu + ZFS. I don’t see the appeal of running a non-mainline distribution. All I did was set it up so ZFS sends me emails and a crontab to run a ZFS resilver weekly.

      • DontTakeMySky@lemmy.world
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        11 months ago

        Personally I like to keep my data on a separate system because it helps me keep it stable and secure compared to my more “fun” servers.

        That said, being able to run compute on the same server as storage removes a bit of hassle.

    • thomcat@midwest.social
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      11 months ago

      What’s your power utilization with the 6600k? I have a spare one of those lying around and would convert my Ryzen 3950X AIO to just a server w/ a 6600k NAS if it doesn’t cost you too much.

      • Greyscale@lemmy.sdf.org
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        11 months ago

        It and some other network appliance bits draw ~ 100W continuous.

        I think a good chunk of that is the disks, but I could be wrong.

    • danOPA
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      11 months ago

      Do you use ECC RAM? The Synology comes with ECC RAM, whereas it’s hard to find consumer motherboards that support ECC :/

      • Greyscale@lemmy.sdf.org
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        11 months ago

        Another reason to avoid a Synology. I had a HP Microserver gen 8 that I ditched due to CPU constraints and ECC ram. Just got 32G of cheap DDR4.

      • TheHolm@aussie.zone
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        11 months ago

        I use QNAPs for literary decades. I’m now in my 3d one. I love that they supports their devices for long time. But their software is getting more features, but quality IMHO is going down. I would now build NAS myself and not buy QNAP. Not having option with ECC RAM is also disappointing, but probably ok for home usage.

      • Greyscale@lemmy.sdf.org
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        11 months ago

        Can you just put stock ubuntu on it? Is the CPU worth a damn?

        If it can’t do either of those, it is manufactured ewaste, imo.