November 14, 2023•702 words
Just wanted to share my latest project: building a custom NAS from scratch. It's been quite a journey, turning a pile of parts into a fully functioning storage beast. Here's a rundown of how it all came together.
🛒 The Hardware List
- Base Machine: Acer Aspire XC XC-1660G-UW91 (-94 or simiar) x1
- Memory Upgrade: Crucial RAM 64GB Kit (2x32GB) DDR4 3200MHz CL22 Desktop Memory CT2K32G4DFD832A x1
- SAS to SATA Cables: OIKWAN Mini SAS to 4 SATA Cable x2
- Power Splitter Cables: SDTC Tech 4 Pin Male IDE Molex to 15 Pin Female Dual SATA Power Splitter Adapter Cable x4
- Cooling Fans: ANEXT 120mm USB Computer Fan Black x1
- Hard Drive Cage: Hard Drive Cage Galvanized Steel Plate + ABS Plastic Cage Hard Drive Tray Rack x2
- SAS Card: LSI 9210-8i 8 Port 6Gbps PCIe x8 SAS-2 ZFS JBOD IT-Mode HBA x1
- External Hard Drives: WD - easystore 18TB External USB 3.0 Hard Drive - Black x3
- Old NAS Drives: Mixed 8TB drives x5
- SSD for Cache: Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 1TB x1
- Server Case: WEBTB 4U Server Cabinet Case x1
- Power Supply Jumper Tool: 24-Pin ATX Power Supply Jumper Bridge Tool x1 (Optional)
🔰 The Starting Point
It all began with an Acer Aspire XC – a neat little machine I snagged off eBay. I thought, "Why not give this guy a major boost?" So, I popped in a 64GB Crucial RAM kit. You know, just to make sure it can handle whatever I throw at it.
⚙️ Getting Technical
Next up, I needed to sort out the connections. I got my hands on some OIKWAN Mini SAS to SATA cables and a bunch of SDTC Tech power splitter cables. It's like giving your NAS a superhighway for data to zoom through.
❄️ Cooling Matters
Can't let our setup get too hot, right? So, I added a pair of ANEXT USB fans. These little guys are quiet yet powerful – perfect for keeping everything chill.
📚 The Storage Setup
Here's where it gets exciting. I used two sturdy Hard Drive Cages to house a mix of drives – a few 18TB WD Easystores (shucked, of course) and some 8TB drives from my old NAS. The cages fit snugly in a WEBTB 4U Server Case – it's like a cozy home for all my data.
💖 The Heart of the System
The real MVP here is the LSI 9210-8i SAS card. It's like the maestro, orchestrating all the data across the drives. Got it pre-configured in IT-Mode off eBay – a real steal.
🔌 Powering Up
Hooking up all these drives needed some finesse. After some rearranging to manage the load, I jumpstarted the 600w PSU with a jumper wire.
🌐 Bringing It All Together
I routed the cables from the server case to the SAS card in the Acer. It was a tight squeeze, but hey, it worked!
💻 The Software Side
I went with unRaid for the OS – installed it on a USB drive. Had to fiddle around in the BIOS a bit, but nothing too crazy.
🐳 Docker and Beyond
I added the Community Marketplace plugin. With Docker up and running, Portainer came next, making it a breeze to manage my custom stacks.
🌟 The Grand Plan
This setup isn't just for kicks. It'll eventually take over from my old NAS, which, bless its soul, is older than my kids. I'm talking serious data migration here.
🤔 Why I Did This
Honestly? I was bored. Had these parts lying around and thought, "Why not?" It's amazing what you can build with a bit of spare time and a lot of curiosity.
🚀 What's Next?
Once I get all my services up and running, it's goodbye to the old NAS. This new setup will also sync up with my family's remote servers – gotta keep those precious memories safe and sound.
That's my NAS-building story, folks. Hope it inspires some of you to try your hand at creating your own custom storage solution. Who knows what you can come up with!