Part 3 – Finding a disk expansion module
A key element of our new NAS project is to find a disk expansion module with the following design requirements: linked via eSATA and using an internal SATA multiplier chip. We also have the following hopes for this unit: elegant, economical, minimal power consumption, silent, reliable, high performance.
In our scenario, this unit will take on the equivalent role of the Synology DX510 expansion unit which costs $500. At first glance, it seemed like a tall order unlikely to find as an off the shelf unit.
As luck would have it, a little research online shows that there are a number of such units available on the market. The main ones I could find at Newegg are from Rosewill and from SANS DIGITAL (TowerRAID). Continue reading
Part 2 – Chipset Selection
For my first NAS box, I just went with what I knew. I had built a Linux desktop based on a core2 duo Asus mobo and I just got the same hardware for my NAS because it worked well. Times have changed, Linux is now compatible with a wider selection of modern hardware and this project has a “energy efficiency” that influences the processor architecture selection.
My only limited experience with the all too popular Atom processor was unsatisfying (a short lived purchase of a netbook who’s anemic performance prompted a rapid return to Costco). Yet looking at the commercial NAS offering, the vendor I looked at (Qnap/Synology) used the Atom processor for their high end boxes.
I also had very little experience considering low power consumption or what components contributed to it the most. A little research was in order. Continue reading