U-NAS NSC-800 Server Chassis

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kyle9600 Offline
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Post: #1
Hi,

Been researching NAS for a long time but have finally bit the bullet and going to spend some $$$ on getting one. I was almost sold on a QNAP 8 bay NAS but then discovered the U-nas NSC-800 enclosure.

This is currently perfect for my situation as I will be using 8 3TB drives or 4TB depending how much I want to unload in the end, I basically want to run in RAID 6 or similar from NAS software such as freenas etc but looking for advice in relation to this. The perfect situation for me would be the ability run a NAS software aswell as XBMC so i can just plug it directly into the TV rather then using a dedicated HTPC aswell as this new build. I don't require a TV tuner etc or anything like that.

Is anybody able to assist and point me in the right direction to run XBMC from one of these free NAS OS's? If its not possible I can easily run Windows 7 and use NAS software in a virtual enviroment

Any inputs on hardware would be greatly appreciated aswell , most likely going go run with AMD on 8GB RAM so there should be no issues with 1080p (:
(This post was last modified: 2013-09-20 15:02 by kyle9600.)
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Dougie Fresh Offline
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Post: #2
Windows 7 + Flexraid? That gives you the OS for running XBMC + the NAS software. It's not free though.
(This post was last modified: 2013-09-20 17:01 by Dougie Fresh.)
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Drae Offline
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Post: #3
I have one of those cases, built a NAS recently with it using FreeBSD and ZFS. Mine is purely for storage so I can't really comment on its use as an HTPC. Do keep in mind there is very little working space above the motherboard. Here's the hardware I went with:

Motherboard: Intel DBS1200KPR
CPU: Pentium G2120
Heatsink: Noctua NH-L9i
Memory: 2 * 8GB Kingston DDR3 Value ECC
SDD: existing Intel 320
HBA: LSI SAS 9211-8i
PSU: Seasonic SS-300M1U + a flex to 1U mounting plate from Ebay

Things to keep in mind ... be careful which PSU you go with. I did a decent amount of research before buying everything and the general gist of it was that standard 1U PSUs were just too loud. I went with this particular seasonic based on a recommendation. It's a flex ATX sized PSU but the bracket allows it to fit to the standard 1U mounting points on the case. Below 50% load the fan doesn't even spin - which means it never spins since my setup never pulls > 70W after startup (about 120W at start with all drives spinning up).

The heatsink just clears the drive cages - it really is about as "tall" a a heatsink as you would want. Anything two or three mm taller will cause you problems.

You will probably need (regardless of PSU) an ATX extension cable - I had a bitfenix one handy. You may also need a 12V ATX extension - mine didn't, it was close to needing one but I got away with it.

If you do end up going with a BSD based OS be careful which HBA you select (unless your motherboard has >= 8 SATA sockets). I chose the LSI card because it's essentially the same as the generally recommended HBA - an IBM M1015 (reflashed with the LSI's IT firmware). I didn't get the IBM because I couldn't find one cheap enough (they usually sell on Ebay for £50-£70 ... but not when I wanted one Big Grin). If you go with Windows then the choice is ofc wider. One guy used a Highpoint RocketRAID under windows with great success.

My case came fitted with 8 SATA to 2 mini-SAS cables. Some report theirs came with standard SATA cables, some like me with the SAS cabling. I suspect you'll receive SAS so something to keep in mind when buying the HBA.

The expansion port sits very close to the top of the case - so you'll not likely fit a GPU or anything, even with a low heatsink. Though not likely an issue in your situation but still thought I'd mention it.

My operating temps are ~40-50C for the CPU idling and 70C under load. I suspect I could lower this by re-applying the thermal paste once more but it's quite an effort putting it all together so unless the temps get worse I'm just leaving it as is. Other temperatures are all fine - the two rear Gelid fans provide decent overall air flow (I did consider replacing them with Noctua PF-12's for greater airflow but the extra cost just doesn't seem worth it right now).

I'm really happy with the setup. It's small, very quiet and does its job superbly. And all at a cost comparable to and actually less than commercial 8 bay units while having significantly more power and flexibility.

EDIT: Oh another thing to remember if you go with the same/similar PSU as mine is that it'll likely not have enough Molex adapters (unless you place all the drives on the same rail which I tried to avoid). I got a cheap SATA to Molex adapter which did the trick nicely.

When you build - don't be in a hurry to fit stuff within the case - get the motherboard and PSU sorted first. Leave the HBA and what not till last. The way my SATA/SAS cables came tied to the case was a little daft. I snipped the tie wraps and re-routed them in a more sensible fashion.
(This post was last modified: 2013-09-20 16:16 by Drae.)
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kyle9600 Offline
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Post: #4
(2013-09-20 15:31)Dougie Fresh Wrote:  Windows 7 + Flexraid? That gives you the OS for running XBMC + the NAS software. It's not free though.

thanks i will have a look at it, ill give it a trial run and see if it's worth it

anything similar for free?
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hilljd00 Offline
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Post: #5
What's the temps like?
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kyle9600 Offline
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Post: #6
what about unraid and plex :/

what other NAS software can go with plex?

it's tempting
(This post was last modified: 2013-09-29 11:36 by kyle9600.)
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edge06 Offline
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Post: #7
(2013-09-29 11:31)kyle9600 Wrote:  what about unraid and plex :/

what other NAS software can go with plex?

it's tempting

Plex Server will run on linux and windows.
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