What 16TB raw space looks like at home

I’ve been looking for some home backup solutions over the past couple of months. This has led me down both the do-it-yourself route and buying a ready-made solution.

One of my requirements was that I wanted the solution to be more than just storage – otherwise I would have purchased a straight NAS box from the likes of Qnap, Netgear or if feeling rich Drobo. Most of these dedicated NAS boxes can be “rooted” to allow ssh access , however their CPUs are generally underpowered for general purpose use.

Other requirements were that I wanted a reasonably small form factor and to be able to use at least 4 SATA hard drives, preferably with hot swap ability. Hardware raid was not a requirement because I intended on using a Linux distribution with mdadm software raid.

In the end, I ended up building two boxes.
The first, a home build, based on the CFI A7879 chassis CFI_A7879_1with a Gigabyte GA-D525TUD Dual Core Atom Mini-ITX Board.

GA-D525TUD

The second was a off-the-shelf HP ProLiant Microserver which, to be brutally honest, was because HP were offering £100 cashback deal on it. This made the server much cheaper than you could possibly build yourself from components.

HP_Microserver
I added 4GB ram to each box (total 5GB in the HP box because it comes with 1GB).The CFI boot drive is a 8GB (30MB/sec) CompactFlash card mounted as an
IDE drive. The HP boot drive is a 16GB Sandisk Cruzer USB stick.

Finally added 4 x 2TB Samsung F4EG HD204UI drives to each box.

The CFI box has 8TB in RAID5 providing 5.4TB usable. The HP has 8TB in RAID6 providing 3.6TB usable space.

If there is more interest, I’ll write up the build process is more detail with pictures.

For now – here are some shots of my utility shelf.

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