How To Build Your Own NAS Server in 3 Steps
The compatibility of the best cloud backup service providers to Network-Attached Storage (NAS) backups is one of the most important factors that customers and clients should look into. As a matter of fact, it should be an integral part of the selection process of the best online backup service. But certain things remain unclear. What is the most efficient and effective way on how to build your own NAS server? This question must be answered comprehensively in order for us to really understand what we are really dealing with. This is the reason why we are creating an ultimate guide on how to build your own NAS server at your own pace and at your own time.
Process #1 On How To Build Your Own NAS Server: Decide whether to buy your own NAS server or to build from scratch.
Before you think about how to build your own NAS server, you must first decide whether or not to buy a pre-built NAS server. This is the most logical thing to do. If you ask me, the main issue that we need to resolve here is the affordability of a NAS backup or the NAS sever we want to acquire. We all know for a fact that buying a pre-assembled NAS server directly can cost you a whole lot more than just building and manually creating the system piece by piece.
If you can set aside a lot of money for a NAS server then you can just buy it and follow the instructions on how to set up the system. However, most of us are after the value we can get after shelling out a substantial amount of cash for any type of backup system or computer data storage system. If you want to get better specifications of a NAS server while saving a huge amount of money, then you should now be mentally ready to face the challenges of creating your own NAS server manually from scratch.
Process #2 On How To Build Your Own NAS Server: Manually select the individual components of the NAS server.
After deciding to manually build your own NAS server, then it is now the time to manually select the individual parts of the NAS server carefully. To learn how to build your own NAS server, you must first be fully aware of the different components and the relevance of each of the individual hardware parts used in a NAS server.
First and foremost, you need to select the kind of case you will be using to enclose all the individual parts of the NAS server. Second, you need to carefully select the power supply you will be using to make your own NAS server running 100% of the time.
Third, you need to select the right kind of Central Processing Unit (CPU) that will give your NAS server enough data processing power. Fourth, we will also need to consider the specific kind of Motherboard that we will be using in a NAS server that we are trying to build. Aside from that, we will need to manually select the amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) we will need to make the NAS server function properly. Furthermore, we should be able to select the best storage device or hard disk for own customized build of a NAS server.
On top of all of that, there are certain cases when a thermal paste is needed to complete the hardware portion of the NAS server. You also need to choose the right kind of cables in order to connect certain parts of the NAS server to the individual components.
There are lots of things to consider with regards to the individual hardware parts of a NAS server. This is the reason why we will discuss in great detail the relevance of each of the individual NAS server components mentions above.
- NAS server Case
The case is one of the most important parts of a NAS server since it will ultimately determine the design of the system you want to build. In fact, some experts say that it is the most crucial component that you should be looked into. And for me, this is also entirely true. If you think about it, the specific case that you choose actually determines how many hard disk drives you can use for a NAS server. The sizes of the hard disk drives that can fit it should also be taken into consideration. There is no reason for you to buy lots of hard disk drives if it can’t fit in the design on the NAS server casing.
Second, you need to understand that the NAS server case that you choose determines the compatibility of the sizes of all the other NAS server components. Third, you should also inspect the NAS server case if it is already equipped with or supports the integration of cooling fans into the NAS server. Cooling options for a NAS server is very important since running it for a very long period of time causes a tremendous amount of heat to pass through the system.
- NAS server power supply
Since the objective of creating a NAS server backup is to make data available at all times, then we have to make sure that the system runs efficiently and effectively 24/7. This means that the power supply that you have integrated into the NAS server must have enough wattage to power up the entire system. It must also be equipped with an automatic voltage regulator in order to protect the NAS server against the harmful effects of over-voltage and under-voltage during power outages and power restoration after a power outage. It must also have advanced features such as short circuit protection. On top of that, we must make sure that the NAS server power supply does not make any unnecessary noise while it is running.
- CPU of a NAS Server
Based on actual observation, most of the CPUs that are available for sale in the market have too much processing power compared to what a NAS server built for home use actually needs. This is the reason why you just have to select the most affordable CPU available provided that the CPU chosen must also be compatible with the motherboard and RAM of the NAS server.
- The Motherboard of a NAS server
The selection of a motherboard for a NAS server is also very important since it ultimately determines how much RAM you can use, how many hard disk drives can be supported depending on the number of bays available as well as the compatibility of a particular CPU.
- RAM of a NAS server
Technically speaking, you only need to use approximately 8 GB RAM on the average for a NAS server built for home use. However, there is nothing wrong with upgrading the RAM capacity of your NAS server to 16 GB if the need arises. We just have to be practical and economical about it. There is no use upgrading the RAM if it is not needed since it can affect your budget in creating the NAS server.
- Hard Drives of a NAS server
The amount of budget you have and the concept of affordability is one of the main considerations in the selection of hard drives for a NAS server. Since it is more economical to use and more affordable to buy SATA hard disk drives than Solid State Drives (SSDs), most NAS server systems run on SATA HDDs. While it is true that SSD performs better than HDD, there are limited NAS server suppliers that have the right kind of technical specifications that will allow SSD to work efficiently in a NAS server configuration.
What we can actually do is to buy at least 2 pieces of SATA hard disk drives with a capacity of 2 TB each and implement the RAID data redundancy system. This is needed in order to take into consideration the possible data loss as a result of a possible mechanical failure of the hard disk drives. We can also integrate a Solid State Drive (SSD) in a NAS server with a 250 GB capacity in order to serve as a caching system for more efficient operations.
Process #3 on How To Build Your Own NAS Server: Select the right kind of Operating System
You need to select the right kind of operating system after assembling all the hardware components of the NAS server. There are actually lots of operating systems that can be used in a NAS server such as FreeNAS, TrueNAS, and Widows Home Server. Based on information gathered, it is the FreeNAS operating system that is mostly being installed in a NAS server because of a lot of good reasons. Since FreeNAS is open source, it is publicly available and is accessible to anyone without having to pay the additional cost. FreeNAS is also known for its versatility and flexibility with regards to the concept of compatibility of most NAS server hardware created. This means that you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues that might potentially arise in your customized NAS server hardware design since it can be easily supported by FreeNAS.