So now i have a correct network back-bone at home, the next obvious step is to attach it some storage: the well-known NAS (Network Attached Storage).

I personnaly choose to build my own NAS instead of buying a Qnap, Synology or Asustor one.

I wanted to be based on ARM hardware, essentially for power consumption and … for fun.

Given this direction, one has several choices. I studied the following solutions:

So i decided to try FriendlyArm stuff… I ordered it directly from their website. After 6 weeks travel from China, it arrives on my mailbox.

After a moment in the workshop to put all that stuff with hard drive on a plexiglass sheet, here is the result:

Huge heatsink! The RockChip can get very hot!

I agree, this isn’t the most beautifull NAS you will see. But it fits perfectly on top of my patch panel:

Sorry for the poor quality picture… Smartphone in the dark…

Good surprise, the board and its hat are totally supported using the latest Armbian image: i choose the Buster Server image as i didn’t need it to run a desktop. It comes with a 5.4.49 kernel and the Debian Buster ecosystem.

Even if i didn’t make an intensive use of the NAS for the moment, it looks to run quite fine since 20 days.

For the moment, it only exports 2 NFS mountpoints:

  • /data/ssd_raid0 : a SSD based 256GB RAID 0 array to store virtual machine images and run them directly from the NAS. Later, will be also used to run Nextcloud …
  • /data/hdd_raid1: a HDD based 1TB RAID 1 array, to store regular data.

The performances are good enought, as you can see:

The next steps now are:

  • Export using Samba (for my wife’s windows laptop).
  • Manage to backup all my important stuff to a remote server. (I’ll probably use duplicity which achieve “Encrypted bandwidth-efficient backup using the rsync algorithm”.
  • Make it run my Nextcloud instance: currently ~300GiB of data hosted on a Xeon server on a datacenter: 30€/month… yes, this is a challenge.?

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