Looking for new NAS hardware

I will be moving soon and would like to replace my current NAS with something smaller, quieter and less power-hungry. Currently my NAS is dorei with an AMD Athlon II X2 240e and two 3.5" SATA2 disks. It's a nice machine, but I do not use its whole power and it's too bulky for the new place.

So, what do I really need?

  • Debian, obvioulsy
  • 2 (or more) SATA ports
  • 1 GigE port
  • preferably hardware crypto support (Intel AES-NI, VIA PadLock, etc)
  • enough power (CPU, RAM) to run the two disks in RAID-1 with dmcrypt and LVM (I do not need 200MiB/s, but 60-80 would be nice)
  • still enough power to run some mutt, irssi, mpd, icecast2 while idling

And what could I get?

  • VIA LN10000EG, x86, 1GHz VIA C7, only 2xSATA1, only FastEthernet, "only" 1GiB RAM possible, fanless, has hardware crypto, pretty old, I could get one used from a friend almost free
  • Qnap Turbo Station TS-219P II (or other TS-219...), ARM, 2GHz Kirkwood, 2xSATA2 + 2xeSATA, 1GigE, 512MiB RAM, 3xUSB2.0, not fanless, seems to have hardware crypto, about 280€ at Amazon
  • Synology DiskStation DS213 (or other DS21x), ARM, 2GHz Kirkwood, 2xSATA2 + sometimes eSATA, USB3.0, not fanless, seems to have hardware crypto, about 270€ at Amazon
  • ASUS NAS-M25, ARM, 1.2GHz Kirkwood, 2xSATA2, 3xUSB2.0, GigE, not fanless, no idea whether hackable enough to run Debian, about 150€ at Amazon
  • (update) HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L, x86, 1.5GHz AMD Turion II Neo, USB2.0, GigE, not fanless, seems to run crypto at about 60MB/s, about 200€ at Amazon
  • (update2) excito B3, ARM, 1.2GHz Kirkwood, 1xSATA2, 1xeSATA, 2xGigE, fanless, would love to see some crypto information, about 300€ at Amazon
  • (update3Zotac ZBOX nano VD01, x86, 1.2GHz VIA Nano X2, 1xSATA2, 1xeSATA, GigE, not fanless, VIA hw crypto, about 140€ at Amazon

What shouldn't I get?

  • something self-built would be expensive (about 200€ for CPU and board only, meh)
  • all those nice CuBoxes, CubieBoards, PandaBoard,Trim-Sliceand what else is out there seem to have either only one (e)SATA or only FastEthernet or even both
  • the (really nice) Mele A1000 has also only one SATA and only FastEthernet

So, dear Lazyweb, tell me where to spend my money, please! Are the Kirkwoods capable of doing LVM-on-DMCrypt-on-RAID1? Are there new Atoms that are capable of such a setup (my old Atom 330 stops at about 20MB/s)? Or should I stop worrying and switch to punch cards?


Stefano Rivera wrote on 2012-09-15 19:37:

HP MicroServers are my current favourite cheap NAS box. When on specials they are about €150.

spky wrote on 2012-09-15 19:56:

Recently I got myself a HP Pro Liant Micro Nas and I’m quite satisfied with it. It has 4 sata drive bays and enough power to run enough services while consuming low energy. The best thing is, you can get it very cheap from eBay, it’s much better than any self made NAS, the case is awesome.

Johannes Berg wrote on 2012-09-15 20:06:

the qnap hardware crypto is so slow … don’t get it

Philipp Kern wrote on 2012-09-15 21:00:

If you find a nice German source for the microserver I’d be interested, too. I didn’t find any cashback offers for Germany yet (the UK seems to have them). But they are at ~185 € at Amazon (and for ridiculous prices in various HP web shops).

oxtan wrote on 2012-09-16 08:51:

+1 for the microserver, but if you really want a nice file server, use an opensolaris derivative instead of debian. Do not get me wrong, I love debian, but for a NAS zfs, nfs and cifs are way better than what you get with any linux distribution.

Stappers wrote on 2012-09-16 10:42:

To have more to choose: http://www.excito.com/node/9 it is an ARM at 1.2GHz with 2 gigabitEthernet interfaces, 1 eSATA, 1 internal disk and is fanless.

SEBO wrote on 2012-09-16 15:20:

do these hp servers have hardware crypto accellerators?

evgeni wrote on 2012-09-16 15:23:

nope, but the Internet and Stefano Rivera say that 60MB/s is possible

Anonymous wrote on 2012-09-16 15:50:

Try mini-box.com; you could build a nice fanless Core i3 with two drives.

nion wrote on 2012-09-17 12:43:

i’m currently considering to get a ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD01 (VIA) + 5-bay raid station from sharkoon. a little bit more expensive (around the price of the raid case), but with hardware crypto!

Send your comments to evgeni+blogcomments@golov.de and I will publish them here (if you want).