As I post this in June of 2013, current prices for systems without disks are:
NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 6 (6-bay, diskless) RNDU6000 : $638.99 ($1,323.99 with 6TB (3*2TB))
Synology DiskStation 12-Bay (Diskless) DS2413+ : $1,699.99 (12-Bay, no disks option -- and nice false advertising (you can connect another one, to get that 96TB))
Qnap Network Storage Server (TS-1079-PRO-US) : $2,545.00 (10-bay, no disks)
And for something with disks, how about:
Drobo® B1200I 12-Bay Storage Area Networking, 12 TB : $14,410.99
Definitely a bargain --- why, it's even got free shipping!
Sarcasm aside, pre-built NASes seem pretty overpriced. On the one hand, you get support, hardware someone's vetted as being compatible, and some of the specs (read/write speed) are impressive.
However, you also get troublesome technology.
Here's what worked for me, to build a NAS on the cheap.
First, the system, without disks, for under $500.
Disclaimer: These prices are what I paid Black Friday, 2012. I've noted the retail prices (then) in addition to the sale price, and the current price as of this blog, where applicable, for comparison. (Prices were either Newegg shell shockers/Black Friday eBlast specials/etc, or Amazon Lightning deals, or bought full price.) (Everything with free shipping/Prime shipping, except where noted.)
- Chassis: Fractal Design Define XL Black Pearl w/ USB 3.0 ATX Full Tower Silent PC Computer Case - $109.99 ( $149.99 then, ??? now)
- Power Supply: NZXT Hale82N 550W 80 Plus Non-modular Power Supply, Black np-1bn-0550a-us - $19.99 ($89.99 then, $69.99 now)
- Motherboard: ASUS C60M1-I AMD Fusion APU C-60 (1.0GHz, dual core) Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo - $79.99 ( $79.99 then, $79.99 now)
- Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 (PC3 10600) Model BLS2KIT4G3D1339DS1S00 - $27.99 ( $29.99 then, $49.99 now)
- Hot Swap Cage: iStarUSA BPU-350SATA-SILVER 3x5.25" to 5x3.5" SAS/SATA 6.0 Gb/s Hot-Swap Cage - OEM - $115.99 + $15.97 s/h
- RAID Card: IBM ServeRaid M1015 PCI-e RAID Controller - $64.95 + $13.33 s/h
- Breakout Cables: 3WARE Cable Multi-lane Internal Cable (SFF-8087) - $14.28 * 2
|Case / PSU / Motherboard|
|3x5.25" to 5x3.5" Cage|
. For a total of 16 bays, one would need a more expensive RAID card (allowing 12 devices) and a 5 1/4 <-> 3 1/2 bay adapter.
|M1015 Raid Controller|
The mobo/cpu are severely under-powered, and I needn't have gone with the ITX form factor, with my choice of case. However, since this is on all the time, I wanted the lowest power consumption I could get. (With 8 disks, power consumption is ~40w idle, ~85w copying).
|It's always nice when the|
BIOS detects your drives.
|Hot Swap Cage Populated|
For storage, I'm using 5 3TB drives, in a RAIDZ2, which gives me ~8TB. With RAIDZ1, it'd be ~11TB. And, of course, JBOD would be ~14TB. Also, I'm using a 120gb SSD for L2ARC cache, (wouldn't be worthwhile as ZIL for me) and 3*500gb in a ZFS mirror, to hold my most important stuff. While I can still add 5 more drives, the next upgrade'll be just 4 4TBs, put in a vdev as a 2x2 mirror. (Redundancy being far more important than capacity, for my needs.)
- 3 * Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $89.99 ($179.99 then, $134.99 now)
- 2 * Seagate Barracuda 3 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 7200 RPM 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST3000DM001 - $99.99 ($109.99 then, $124.99 now)
- Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal SSD - $59.99 ($104.99 then $119.99 now)
- 3 * SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $44.99 (on September 08, 2009)
The Seagate drives are the same model, but apparently whatever the difference is, is enough for the price variation from Amazon and Newegg last November; oddly, it's reversed now.
|FreeNAS loaded on a 4gb|
flash drive, mounted internally.
|The End Result|
StarTech USB A to USB Motherboard 4-Pin Header F/F 2.0 Cable, 6" (USBMBADAPT) - $3.75
For a grand total of: $1145.42
For my ultra-important data, I can lose 2 500gb drives, without losing a byte, and for storing my fellow primates coupling in varied and interesting ways (aka 'youtube') I can also lose 2 3TB disks without losing a byte. (Of course, that third one'll fail the second I start the resilver...)
Recommended SATA/SAS controllers
IBM M1015 Firmware - What to flash with
How-to Flash LSI SAS 2008 Controller with LSI IT Firmware
1 That link is completely not safe for work. At all. This message is only here to caution people until I figure out how to get affiliate links with Amazon. ;-)
2 Despite what Rule 34 has told you, I'm afraid that no, your search will be futile. There doesn't exist such porn as you are looking for, but try these droids, instead.