Discussion Smallest all SSD NAS possible

DrLeroy

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I have a dream. . .
that dream is the smallest NAS possible using all SSD based storage, not the Synology DS620slim hits the mark pretty close, albeit expensive and still larger than I would like, and the DS419slim is essentially useless.
now an ITX board is much larger than I would want my Nas anyway, however, if i could get an ITX board with 4 M.2 slots I could build essentially a all m.2 NAS into a super slim case, basically just the size of the board, no other space required.
ive looked around and cannot find anything like this, anything around?

other options I have looked at are a rockpro64 which has a pci slot, and using a 4 port sata card, but you end up with essentially a DS419slim again underpowered ARM, there are a few SBC's with x86 cpu's but none with 4 sata ports, or 4 nvme/m.2 slots etc.

My dream is really a NAS, the size of a DS419slim (preferably smaller) that is x86 based, and costs less than a DS419slim, and can actually handle the throughput of 4 ssds. an impossible ask.

so what options are there out there? I have zero interest in spinning drives, my preferences is for all m.2 but 2.5" ssds is okay, but it needs to be stupid small, perform well enough to host one virtual machine (windows server 2016, 2 cores and 4gb ram) and to also run Plex either in another linux vm, or via the OS itself as an app.
the Synology DS620slim is essentially exactly what I want, but I want it smaller, cheaper would be good too, but i don't see that happening.

as i type this, perhaps a DS620slim, but a custom enclosure, so strip it from its plastics and 3D print a smaller enclosure and use some sata to m.2 sata adaptors to make it even smaller?

oh, also I know Qnap did a 4x m.2 nas, it was pretty big, ludicrously expensive, and impossible to buy.

roast me for my silly dream
 
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Gehringerj

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you could get a cheap b550 /b450 AM4 board with bifurcation support, a cheap amd cpu and a quad nvme pcie x16 card
that could fit in a m itx case like the velka 3...
 

DrLeroy

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Isn't there that ASROCK STX board with 4 m.2 ports?
Ill look into this. . .
you could get a cheap b550 /b450 AM4 board with bifurcation support, a cheap amd cpu and a quad nvme pcie x16 card
that could fit in a m itx case like the velka 3...
Velka 3 is still bigger than I would like, its then bigger than a DS620slim, so may aswell get the 620 slim. but . . . if i combine the ideas, and go for an x86 sbc, with single NVME and x86 cpu, then use an nvme to pcix cable and put a 4x m.3 car into that in a custom mini sandwich case that might work. . .
 

DrLeroy

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IF the Lone L5 was still available I would probably go ITX, and rebuild almost my old server (Ryzen 7 based) perhaps I should just go ITX and track down an L5 case, bigger than I want, but i like the styling, and instead of hiding it away I would actually put i on my office desk beside my T1.
 

DrLeroy

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Isn't there that ASROCK STX board with 4 m.2 ports?
so the Asrock STX board are dual m.2 and dual Sata, which isnt too mad, the whole Desk mini system isnt too bad, still getting a little big for what i was after though, its not that much smaller than a DS620Slim, although much more powerfull at the expense of 2 less drives overall.

From what it looks like so far, the smallest option is a rockpro64 and a 4x sata card, or 4x m.2 card in custom enclosure and pci rised cable, next smallest is the Odroid H2+ using an nvme m.2 to pci slot with a 4x m.4 card.

On the same train though, if we say that 2 drives is sufficient, and spring for dual 4tb ssds's instead of 4-6 2tb ssds, then it can be done with an Odroid H2+ with custom enclosure as it has dual sata ports, can even use a 3rd drive via nvme. this is quite a tempting solution, however i had intended to use 4 500gb 2.5" or 4 500gb m.2 ssds that i have at hand already swapping out one at a time for larger capacity in a hybrid raid as i need the space, going the odroid and dual 2.5" ssd path requires purchasing two larger capacity ssd's up front, and requiring replacement of both together if i want to bump storage again.(redundant raid)

am I overthinking this? i have no legitimate reason for wanting a tiny tiny nas, i have reason for wanting all SSD, but not for the size, I just like things to be as small as they possibly can.
I have a spare 2014 mac mini with nvme boot drive and 1tb 2.5" hdd i could swap for a 4tb ssd, and run a usb ssd for daily backups to instead of raid, also gives me decent power for a home server, will run plex, etc. . . hmmm
 

DrLeroy

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So I ended up ordering an older Skull Canyon NUC, I got a good deal on one, so 6770HQ processor, dual NVME slots, and I have 32gb ram (2x16GB) to load into it
It has a thunderbolt 3 port, so Ill sell off my 2.5" ssd's and buy a 2tb NVME for now, and use my spare 512NVME as the boot drive, the intent will be to expand storage using a TB3 NVME enclosure, I've seen a couple around, OWC make a 4xNVME tb3 enclosure which is pretty big, but inside its casing its small so I could re case it, but for now ill go with a 2tb nvme for storage, 512nvme for boot, and use a 2TB external ssd (2.5) for backups until I can get a TB3 enclosure and justify the cost of 4tb nvme drives to populate it.

Plan is to use the VESA mount kit to under mount it on my desk so it doesn't take up desk space, and the reason for getting the skull canyon NUC instead of say a Hyades canyon which is loads more powerful was actually size, the skull canyon nuc is whilst looking near identical much smaller, especially slimmer so will have a lower profile when mounted under my desk, I am hopeful I can reduce the TDP on the CPU further in the bios to reduce the amount the fan will need to ramp up to keep it quiet also.

now just trying to decide if I go for an Xpenology build, or go for proxmox and create an OMV VM and an ubuntu server VM for plex, or say, stuff it and run server 2016 essentials, that way i can also use it for testing some of my work functions on rather than the VM's I run on my main rig. .
 
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DrLeroy

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Nuc has arrived, got it loaded with windows 10 for some testing of performance and things whilst I wait on new SSD's, which I placed the order for now too, dual 2TB Samsung Barracuda Q5's not the highest spec NVME drives, but seem to have decent performance and still come in as one of the cheaper options.
first impressions of the nuc and its performance is good, i like the size as well, and looks like it till mount really well under my desk to be nice and hidden.

Still not settled on a final OS/OS's for this one yet though, open to suggestions.
 

DrLeroy

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Looks like your biggest issue is the mb size. There is a raspberry pi adaptor for sata, which allows for what you are thinking: https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/business/nas-solution-raspberrypi-2020-03/
Ive seen these, they still ended up rather large once built.

Ive purchased the skull canyon nuc, which is quite small and slim, and have 2, 2tb nvme drives on the way for now, if it works and performs well enough ill save the pennies for some large capacity nvme drives, might still hook a large volume 2.5" ssd up via USB as the backup solution rather than raiding the nvme drives, though its mostly for media that i honestly do not care if i loose, it can all be gained again, albeit over lots of hours of ripping my blurays. . .
 

hallu

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Mar 1, 2019
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i came to this board today to build the same exact project.

I am going to be building a freeNAS system, using NextCloud to host files outward to other people and then having a second partition for the home domain which you access with your OS’s file management.

My question is if SSD make sense for a local NAS. We’re both not building large commercial data centers but I know SSD has a smaller limited write tolerance to HDD. Has SSD tech improved the last few years to make this viable for the sort of projects we have in mind?
 

DrLeroy

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i came to this board today to build the same exact project.

I am going to be building a freeNAS system, using NextCloud to host files outward to other people and then having a second partition for the home domain which you access with your OS’s file management.

My question is if SSD make sense for a local NAS. We’re both not building large commercial data centers but I know SSD has a smaller limited write tolerance to HDD. Has SSD tech improved the last few years to make this viable for the sort of projects we have in mind?
I am looking at more of a static storage solution here where I will write a large volume of data once, and add to it rarely, but read from it often.
If I was looking for a frequent write option I would likely still consider hard drives, but for those types of tasks I now use cloud storage instead.
SSD's write endurance has improved, probably more than enough for the average home power user, and as they get cheaper and larger its not the end of the world if they need replacing in 2 years or something, from my experience when running all my storage locally on HDD in my nas and servers was that the hdd failure rate is quite high on consumer grade drives anyway.