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Thomas131

Server & NAS in one Hardware

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Hello!
I want to replace my old "Server" (Pi 1B) with something more powerfull. In the same move, I want to use my server to do a lot more things than it does now. To be future-proof I would like my server to have GbE and 2 GB RAM. I would also love internal storage that I am able to do software RAID 1 with my SD-Card for security (Could I also use an simple USB-Stick instead of onboard flash?).

 

Also I want to have a Home-NAS for Backups. (SATA; GbE)

 

I am wondering if I should combine the two into one ... in this case, the Server-OS would be backed up probably on my workstation. Why using two devices if I could use one ... It would have lots of minor benefits ... saving Power, saving Ethernet-Ports, saving Power Supply Ports, SD-Cards, save buy coasts, I would only need to keep one device up to date

 

But at the moment, I haven't really found a board which I would buy for both in one:

  • Banana Pi M2U: Not supported by armbian, yet
  • Banana Pi M1: just 1 GB RAM
  • Orange Pi+ 2: I assume the USB->SATA-bridge would be a bottleneck for the Backups ... or GbE ... I don't know ...
  • Marvell ESPRESSOBin: seems great, but is very unpopular&unsupported by armbian at the moment

 

Armbian is no "must have" ...

 

Or should I buy an NAS and flash some Linux on it?

 

If I would seperate the two boards, I would take an Banana Pi M1 as NAS and a very cheap SoC with GbE as Server ... I have a Pine64 laying around ... but I would prefer one device ...

 

Do you have any recommendations or would you change something in my requirements?

 

Thanks in advance!
Thomas

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Which H3 for NAS and why:

https://forum.armbian.com/index.php?/topic/1440-h3-devices-as-nas/

Why not any Banana and especially not M2U

https://forum.armbian.com/index.php?/topic/4567-board-bring-up-banana-pi-r2/

With those threads you will find an answer why is not a good idea to go for Pi+2

 

Armbian support gives you some border line - if some board is not supported by Armbian you have to ask WHY? It should raise alerts, unless you want to buy paperweight board with buggy, old and unstable kernel ... which is very easy.

 

If you don't want to throw lot's of money away, go for some H3 USB(SATA implementation on Pi+2 is fail) UAS solution ... it will be way faster than Rpi but still not close to real NAS. If you seek something more real, if you like your data, check Helios4 (supported by Armbian). Espressobin is also cool and runs Armbian, but it's under development and there are still some issues to be solved. In any case it's a better choice than exposed Bananas and Oranges. 

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IHMO it won't take much time to get the ESPRESSObin fully supported (The people from FreeElectrons are actively contributing patches to mainline). Mine is running a slightly modified (dts only) 4.12 mainline kernel and the device support is sufficient for your purpose. The remaining issues are

  • cpu frequency scaling
  • miniPCIe / wireless
  • GPIO(?, I haven't tested it)
  • more to be found

but USB, µSD and SATA are running stable. The Marvell provided BSP kernel (4.4) has issues, it tends to crash after a couple of hours without any further notice.

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Thanks for your answers!

I didn't know, that OrangePi is that bad, too ...

 

I thought that USB -> SATA converters are horrible and a huge bottleneck ...

 

I think I will wait and see if the espressobin gets supported better ... I want a stable OS (Ok, maybe it is one already). And GPIO is essential on my server ... The next question will be how to get one in Austria (I don't know the customs conditions but last time I had to pay a high fee for some Pine64).

 

Thanks and I am still open for recommendations! Especially I am unsure how good RAID1 between USB and SD works ... Write Speed ... Since the Espressobin has no eMMC onboard, too and I don't want to solder one for myself ...

 

Thanks again!

Thomas

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14 hours ago, Thomas131 said:

I didn't know, that OrangePi is that bad, too ...

 

This particular board is not the best choice for NAS I would say since its USB to SATA implementation is not good, but you can find better options. Check H3 devices as NAS topic. H3 devices are stable, we know them good, kernel is in good state and they are cheap. USB UAS implementation help to gain better speed.

 

Mirroring (RAID1) to SD card is bad idea - best SD cards on the planet are still only SD cards - failure rate is much higher than SSD. 

 

14 hours ago, Thomas131 said:

I want a stable OS (Ok, maybe it is one already).

 

If stability would be possible at this moment, Armbian would provide it. The problem is in (unfinished) kernel support ... you can find less stable OS than what we provide (Debian / Ubuntu based) without a problem.

 

14 hours ago, Thomas131 said:

The next question will be how to get one in Austria (I don't know the customs conditions but last time I had to pay a high fee for some Pine64).


Unfortunately you will most likely run into customs problems, since goods are over 22 EUR ... so getting something below this is safer - OrangePi PC with two USB UAS capable external drives would be my recommendation. If you look for native SATA support, you only have two options: slow, old but stable A20 based and expensive Marvell (Clearfog, Espressobin). All others are done via USB2SATA, mostly with cheap bridges.

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On 11/7/2017 at 9:23 PM, Thomas131 said:

I want to replace my old "Server" (Pi 1B)

I don't want to be a moron but ... if you come from using a RPi 1 every piece of cr*p from Orange Pi or NanoPi can be far away from your actual performance. You can't imaging how worst is the combination of slow mono core solution and internal hub sharing bandwidth between network and USB.

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18 hours ago, manuti said:

I don't want to be a moron but ...

Well, people are tend to forget about lot of details in regards to "performance". In case of NAS, usually wifi is your bottleneck limiting you to ~40MB in PERFECT conditions - you man even never get such transfers. So, even if you buy device with so called "crappy usb to sata bridge" which can handle 30MB, it's very likely that it would be "good enough" for small home NAS, where your priority would be low TCO.

 

If you really need fast IO, just don't buy SOC device, simple as that ;]

 

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Just now, adrb said:

If you really need fast IO, just don't buy SOC device, simple as that ;]

 

Marvell based SOC can handle full speed without a problem. At least Armada 38x based, Espressobin should be able to handle too, but software support is not well tuned yet.

 

Just now, adrb said:

In case of NAS, usually wifi

 

If people tend to use WiFi for it's NAS, than game changes but some USB 2 SATA implementation has other, more critical, problems. Not just speed.

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2 hours ago, Igor said:

Marvell based SOC can handle full speed without a problem.

Yes, this is exactly my point. You need to pay for performance.

 

2 hours ago, Igor said:

If people tend to use WiFi for it's NAS, than game changes

It's most common use case today imho.

 

2 hours ago, Igor said:

but some USB 2 SATA implementation has other, more critical, problems

I know about smart problems, what else?

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Hello!

Thanks for all the answers! Sorry, that I am that late ... I was ill and I completely forgot to look for answers ... I miss mail notifications (now I enabled them) ...

On 13.7.2017 at 0:39 PM, Igor said:

This particular board is not the best choice for NAS I would say since its USB to SATA implementation is not good, but you can find better options. Check H3 devices as NAS topic. H3 devices are stable, we know them good, kernel is in good state and they are cheap. USB UAS implementation help to gain better speed.

Ok, you are right! That was the reason, I wrote, that I wouldn't buy it.

 

Just for clarification: UAS has to do with SCSI, has it? What are the relationships with SATA? Sorry for this noob question ... I don't have done anything with SAS/SCSI-Disks ...

 

According to customs ... I don't have a problem to pay some (lets say 20€) taxes, but for example a shipment (another Pine64) of a teacher at our school was sent back by the Customs ... Thats what I want not to happen ...

 

To clarify: I DON'T need WiFi, nor will use it! I want GbE ... Simpler, less power consumption, faster (except of IEEE 802.11ac in very special cases maybe).

 

Since I read some posts, boards with FAST/GOOD USB 2.0 Implimentations or USB 3.0 will get into consideration, too. And *good* USB2SATA bridges.

 

BTW: If I use sshfs to transfer my data, the CPU will probably be the bottleneck (encryption). I can lower the encryption maybe (just@home and VLAN is on my TODO-List) ... or use NFS for my Workstation. But for my Laptop, I will NEVER use NFS since it is to insecure for me when I take it out of home ... What do you suggest?

 

Btw: What do you say about the Cubietruck? For me it seems great, but a bit slow (especially ssh?). I will probably get one from a friend for free if I want ... Now, that is my #1 at the moment.

 

Thanks for all the patience!

Thomas131

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Hello!

And another time sorry for the late reply!

 

To be honest, it has helped less ... Ok, UAS seems to have less to do with SCSI/SAS-Disks. At least the protocol works with normal SATA-Disks, too. (What is the big difference between SAS and SCSI?) Sorry, I have a big hole in my knowledge according to SCSI and SAS!

 

Still thanks for the link!

Thomas

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9 minutes ago, Thomas131 said:

What is the big difference between SAS and SCSI?

SAS is serial type interface (newer), SCSI is parallel.

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15 hours ago, Thomas131 said:

To be honest, it has helped less

OK, TL;DR;

An UAS or UASP capable USB interface like these: http://amzn.to/2vmQVq7 can bring you performance near to the SATA but using USB3 and in most cases USB2. But you need a proper driver or be included in the mainline kernel, as occurs with armbian.

 

more in: 

 

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