FreeNas Hardware Build Need advice

so we already have D-Link L320 NAS like three of them… Is it much helpful if we do a redundant option for all our D-link NAS to a FreeNas server?
So all D-link Nas data can be stored or backup to a FreeNAS server?
For now the needed storage size is 8TB as working… maybe a 10TB FreeNas server is the soft spot for all our backup for redundancy. Components and existing build is much appreaciated! Thanks!

What is the budget for the build? Are you looking for a used enterprise server or new parts?

For now we want New Parts but not sure what specific parts…
For budget maybe 2k?

The wonderful thing about FreeNAS is that it will run on most anything from the last 7ish years just fine. Plan on allocating more of your funds to HD’s or SSD’s for the Storage pool.

I had my original FreeNAS running on a AMD FX-1090T and booting from Two USB2.0 drives that were mirrored. It ran my unencrypted 12x2TB Z3 pool just peachy.

They now all run on Ryzen5 1600’s, 32GB ECC Memory (donated from my threadripper rig) and boot from USB3 mirrors, and are fully encrypted without any hassles.

Tom has an older (i can’t believe that) and fun video showcasing how durable FreeNAS/ZFS is by trying to kill a running system with electricity. My take away from that video is that consumer hardware is just fine, and to spend money on memory and storage drives.

No mater what you build with, it should be better than the D-Link units your replacing/supplementing imho.

Always overbuild storage is my advise though, the heat from my frenas boxes are no joke. :roll_eyes:

Summary, figure out how much total storage you want, add an additional 20% as ZFS should be run at 80% max for best practices, add 2 drives for parity, and 16gb memory minimum, then pick everything else based on cost and/or what you like aesthetics wise.


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Is network card an issue? Thanks for the tips…
Should we go 1U server like Dell R230 maybe or CPU is not an issue? assuming RAM is maxed?

I think you’ll need a 2U for storage, that will usually get you 8 3.5" bays. Something more like a Dell R730 with a Xeon E5-2609v4 and 32GB RAM. I personally wouldn’t pay the insane prices Dell wants for RAM and drives and get those elsewhere. 8x 2TB drives in raidz2 should get you the storage you need. That should be pretty close to your budget even if you use enterprise drives like a WD Gold. If you don’t need the speed and need to save a couple bucks, a NAS drive like a WD Red is almost half the price.

FreeNAS likes Intel NICs. I always find the lists on STH helpful. Also, any time you are wondering about hardware compatibility with FreeNAS you can search for the compatibility/driver issues on BSD since that is the underlying OS.

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Network cards typically aren’t an issue on FreeNAS, as long as it’s supported in FreeBSD, which for most home users, isn’t an issue. I believe there’s actually more supported NIC’s in FreeNAS than there is in pfSense.

CPU isn’t much of an issue imho, as I stated, my 1090T was an original AMD 6-Core from many moons ago. I’d say any modern quad-core or better, will be just fine. I wanted to run a fully encrypted setup that did more, and bought new hard drives for my second NAS, so I went ahead and used Black Friday as an excuse to spend money on Ryzen version 1 parts as they were cost effective, and I’m an very old AMD fan. I built an identical rig, and updated my original one. I’m a fan of the Fractal Node 804, and run them in those. Easy to build, keep cool, and load up with 8-10 drives easily.

The memory rule is typically 1GB per 1TB, so, in reality, 32GB is fine for most home users imho. 8-10 Drives, gets expensive… :stuck_out_tongue:

ECC Memory, is recommended, so says IX and many people, however I had zero issues running non ecc in my original set up, and as Tom’s video proves, to me anyhow, that ZFS is resilient enough to not require it. I only used it with the new set ups as I pillaged my threadripper system for free memory, as everything now is ddr4, cost savings and all, lol.

I say build it to your own tastes, and don’t worry too much about anything except storage drives and memory. Tom has many great videos on FreeNAS, comparing different systems and options, and end of the day, unless you have a real need for something, a standard build will do you just fine.

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Thank you for the detailed response… especially on memory rule,
I’m newbie on Setting up FreeNAS and my try to build using spare… then propose it on our production…

If it’s not to late, please consider Synology.

I am supporting about 60 different locations and I use this for shares & backups.

Synology has some great apps that just work.

Synology has some great hybrid raids as well.

You wont be disappointed.

@in_a_jeep Until it breaks, then you’re up a creek. GamersNexus and a few other tech channels on YT have reviewed them, used them, then realized when they break, and GN’s had several come across their way as such, that you’re up a creak unless you buy another one and pray the data is still good as it’s a proprietary’ish set up.

foss ftw imho

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@faust Stick with FreeNAS suitsable for most home and home labs Smaller end of the SMB marketspace. TrueNAS for mission critical applications “When failure is not an option.”

@g-aitc I think you meant, in_a_jeep, as I’m an avid fan of FreeNAS/ixSystems :+1:

Yup, I sure did get that wrong and agree with your post. Stick with tried and true.

Had a similar situation with my first NAS device, a Drobo. The power adapter went on it, and from that point onward, I always said I was going to build my own NAS device with off-the-shelf hardware, so I wouldn’t be left stranded. Plus I know exactly what specs are in my server, and where any bottlenecks would be.

Yes… and we really need that redundancy…