Building a NAS Server for the home

With devices such as tablets, laptops and desktops being so cheap these days you might want to keep all your files in one location. The simplest solution is to use cloud storage but where’s the fun in that? Especially when you have to wait for your files to sync to your devices.

I decided that the best way forward was to invest in a NAS Server. The only trouble is that NAS servers are expensive especially if you’re a Student. Since I’m studying Computing at University, I thought that the best way forward was to build my own Nas Server. After doing some research, I found that NAS servers don’t need a high spec to run. You can actually build one on a Raspberry Pi! In fact, that’s where I began my journey. You can read more about the project in the below article…

There was an issue that I initially faced which included the hard drive constantly spinning. I have researched the issue but haven’t found a suitable solution so I connected a small 120 GB SSD attached via SATA to USB adapter. This enabled me to continue testing.

I watched many YouTube videos which gave me loads of ideas, the main one including purchasing a second-hand ex-business PC and converting it into a server. But I decided to purchase second-hand hardware so that I can build the server myself. I had a spare case from my old gaming rig. That, including the hard drives, was the only thing I kept from that PC. I later purchased an Intel Motherboard with a second gen Intel i5 and 8 GB of RAM in the 4 x2 configurations. I had a spare PSU and as mentioned before I kept my old hard drives.

I first tried Open Media Vault but found FreeNAS to be a better alternative as I had experience with it before. But since FreeNAS requires a more beefed up PC I did some changes…

PartOriginalReplacement
RAM:9 GB DDR312 GB DDR3
System Drive:40 GB Hard Drive120 GB SSD
Storage Drives:1 TB Hard Drive1 TB Hard Drive x2 (Raid 1), 640GB Hard Drive

I know that the upgrade wasn’t big but it’s more than enough for what I will be using the server for which mainly is storage. I decided to choose Raid 1 as Raid 1 mirrors everything which is ideal for backup purposes.

I didn’t put any unnecessary hardware in such as expansion cards or a DVD drive as there is no point. In fact, there is no need for a keyboard, mouse or monitor as everything is done in the browser interface. You only need a monitor and keyboard during the setup.

Photos