I've an idea to build a high performance, low power, quiet home NAS.
The NAS would need to be very quiet, and draw as little power as possible. SSDs are perfect for filling both of these requirements, as well as not having any spin up time.
I also don't want to burn a hole in my pocket so I've done a bit of research and found the MB + CPU combo by ASRock: QC5000M-ITX/PH, at a cost of 58GBP on Amazon. This has 2 SATA ports connected directly to the APU and 4 PCI-E 2.0 lanes. There is also an on-board Realtek GbE controller, but I'm hoping to be able to saturate more than 1 Gigabit link with this setup.
I've also recently purchased a retired HP server, in which lives an HP Smart Array 410i controller card. The same server has an expander/backplane to support 25 x 2.5" SCSI drives. A nice feature I've recently discovered is that SATA is a subset of SCSI so most SATA drives will work with SCSI backplanes. The plan is to create a custom enclosure to house this 25 disk array along with the other components of the build.
I plan to add Disks to this setup as my requirements increase. I'm starting with a single 240GB SSD connected to the motherboard SATA port as I would like to test the performance of the configuration as is.
I'm also planning on building a custom/hacked UPS for this system. As I'm aiming for low power, and I've an electronics degree to make use of, I'm going to try to build a UPS using a mixture of off the shelf and custom hardware. I've found some very nice small <200W ATX power converters that have a 12V input and only occupy slightly more room than the 24 pin ATX power connector. My first step would be to utilise one of those units along with a 12V SLA battery to provide continuous battery backup to the system. I'm looking at using a 15V SMPS to charge the battery and power the application normally.
This kind of setup should achieve fairly high efficiency, but would lack some features I'd like:
- Ability to initiate a safe shut-down
- Battery health monitoring
- Higher integration(whole UPS in a single 5.25" bay or 2 3.5" bays would be end goal
Ideas and suggestions are welcome