Purchase or Build New NAS Storage Server for Small Nursing Home?

Hello everyone!

After watching the Lawrence’s video about the Super Micro SSG-6019P-ACR12L and my own experience from running FreeNAS on my Home Lab, I am very interested in building a storage server rather than purchase one from a vendor. I work for a small nursing home we have a very small IT footprint compared to other places I have worked. Currently have 2 Hyper-V servers with replication between them for DR. I would love to setup fail over between them but that is currently not possible with the current SAN. The IT support who handled this before have the iSCSI connection directly setup with the file server VM instead of the VM host. My overall goal is to migrate to XCP-NG and have FreeNAS as my storage backbone.

Money is always an issue and getting a quote from a vendor like Dell or HP is going to make heads roll at their prices. My main hesitation for not building my own is that I would not have a vendor support contract but again adding all these things would be very expensive. I have used super micro boards at home and they feel very rock solid to me.

I don’t need a very powerful server or tons of storage but I would like something that has room to grow. I would probably end up trying to get 2 so that I can setup replication between the 2 for DR.

If you guys had to build your own NAS, what parts and drives would you pick? Some of the highlights that I like about the Super Micro SSG-6019P-ACR12L

  • 10 GB NICs
  • 1U - Rack space is very limited.
  • Dedicated IPMI port for management
  • PCI-E 3.0 Expansion cards.
  • 12 Bays

In your shoes I’d buy, you might not always be there and to fix someone else’s build won’t be fun.

I would recommend getting an off lease Dell server such as the one I reviewed here https://youtu.be/yeZujtALYrY

You can get these servers for a much more budget friendly price from places such as Tech Supply Direct, (we do have an offer code for them that get’s you a discount) and it would probably be cheaper than trying to build one.

Why not quote something from ix systems and see what they can do for a server. Freenas mini might be just what you need and the price might fit what you can ask for.

That said, I’ve seen some supermicro x10 based servers on eBay recently, the single processor versions are pretty reasonable. If you don’t want to do eBay, then see what tech supply direct can give you for prices. I’m partial to Supermicro, they have been very good to me for the past 16 years at my current job where I’ve been buying them. Even my third party “appliances” all have Supermicro boards in them.

I have Dell and HP in my home lab, both have oddities that bug me enough that I’d think twice about them before a purchase. Might only be things with the old hardware I bought, but that still leaves me wondering about buying their newer products. Bios hidden behind paywalls, Bios that “doesn’t work” because they were made by a third party but still have Dell on the chassis, things like that make me take pause.

WTF BIOS behind paywall who is doing that ? Is Dell doing it ? If that’s the case I’m surprised it’s not more widely known or maybe it’s just me.

I used FreeNAS and it requires good hands on knowledge of it. I found Synology NAS as good alternate to FreeNAS and its Web Interface is very simple.

It also supports rsync,NFS and other stuff. but I love there Active Backup for Business, I run ESXI and it takes backup of VM’s are per schedule I create and how many versions you want to keep. It also takes backup of Physical PC, Physical Server.

Active Backup for Business Portal can be used to even restore 1 file instead of restoring whole instance, which saves lot of headache.

Check Tom’s Video https://youtu.be/ip_Cn5zqG_I

HP with the DL360 G8, even drivers were restricted. I had to find what I needed from the kindness of others on the web. I had to update to make the controller card work to pass the drives to Freenas. I’d like to hope it was just because the computer was old, but it just kind of sours buying anything else for testing.

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As Tom said, off lease Dell servers can be a good alternative. Some vendors offer extended warranty that are quite reasonable.


I would consider an X-10 Ceritfied hardware from iXsystems or a MiniXL+. Going with the X-10 would make upgrading to TrueNAS Enterprise an easier task should the need arise. Considering this is a medical facility and subject to HIPPA rules I would go with the iXsystems hardware.