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Perscitus

Best option for an at home Cloud Storage setup

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I am looking to setup a cloud storage at my home. The idea is to be able to use FTP to send/receive files to the storage when away from home, and to be able to access the drive via home network while at home on the network.

 

I have looked around a bit and have seen there is a wide range of options but all seem to function a little different. It would be nice to setup a solution that fits the description I've provided. Is such a setup possible? What is the recommended storage unit for this? What type of configuration will I need to do?

 

I would prefer to get at least 2-3TB of storage, that should last a long time. If unit is expandable that would be a bonus. Really want to do this for ~$200 if possible.

 

In case it's needed, I have Verizon Fios and a Verizon router.

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Some steps you'll have to do:

1. Most likely you have a dynamic IP address. Setup an account at something like DynDNS to setup a hostname to link to your IP address.

2. Figure out what computer you're going to use. You can build a dedicated NAS, or your computer, etc.

3. Configure your router to connect to your DDNS server (the one you setup at DynDNS or somewhere else).

4. Enable Port Forwarding, default FTP Server Port is 21, but some ISP's may block that port, so you'd have to assign it another port.

5. Setup your NAS to the Port you're forwarding for FTP service.

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Just to further on what Cappy has already discussed;

 

The DynDNS host service is great and affordable ($1.99 per month).  I've been using it myself for the better part of 3 years now.

 

There are lots of FTP server options, but Filezilla is easy to configure and it's cheap (free)

 

I highly recommend you pick a port other than port 21.  Just assign a random port number (I use a random port number that is above 40,000)

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If possible I would prefer to setup something that connects directly to my router and doesn't need to be installed into my PC. What is involved in building the dedicated NAS? I assume this is not the same as buying one.

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In that case, the things you'll need;

 

Storage box or case

Inexpensive Motherboard (mini-ITX form factor would be a great option)

Inexpensive AMD or Intel CPU - alternatively you could pick a motherboard with an integrated APU; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131843  or a combo like this; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131948&ignorebbr=1

Memory

Power supply

Optical drive (optional)

Hard drives

Software network-attached storage (NAS) system such as FreeNAS

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If you use FreeNAS or anything else with ZFS ECC memory is a must have.

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Sorta sounds like I should be setting up a dedicated Server. I suppose that would be the best for the long term, but a little more costly. What should be the minimum specs I should get as far as cpu, memory, mobo, and psu? Or if someone has a setup they know that works well and isn't to pricey.

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If you use FreeNAS or anything else with ZFS ECC memory is a must have.

 

If total 100% failure proof bit to bit accuracy and data integrity is of utmost importance, this is a valid point.  That would especially be true in the cases of business, enterprise or highly critical/important personal file storage.  However, the NAS and FreeNAS itself will work with non-ECC memory.  The main point here is that there would be a greater than zero percent chance of data corruption caused by faulty RAM.  However, I would counter that for storing personal files (like music, video, movies etc.) I would have a hard time justifying the added cost of ECC memory.  I'd buy reliable brand name memory in the speed and capacity I wanted and then do a comprehensive burn-in, stress test, error check of the memory and total system using tools such as Memtest, Prime95 etc.

 

If the system passed Memtest for 24-36 hours and Prime95 for 8 hours or longer, I'd consider it safe enough for my personal storage needs.  Really no more risk here than using a regular desktop machine to serve your home network.

 

I'm not disagreeing with you Waco as you bring up a very important and critical point, but to me there is always a cost justification argument to be made in cases like this.

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You can find quite a bit of outdated server parts for cheap. Any used server motherboard for LGA 1366 you might be able to find on Craigslist for cheap, if you're lucky. XEON quad core's for $35 and XEON hexacore's for $55. Used DDR3 ECC memory is also cheap to find, since there aren't many buyers for them.

 

The most expensive parts might be storage, but you could probably find a bunch of identical used HDD's and put them in RAID 10 if you find at least 4. Otherwise, RAID 1 should be fine.

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Good point on searching for used Server parts.  Heck, for that matter the OP might even consider checking the Dell or HP outlets for off-lease servers.

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I'm not disagreeing with you Waco as you bring up a very important and critical point, but to me there is always a cost justification argument to be made in cases like this.

The reason I say that is not to combat data corruption - it's that ZFS trusts memory implicitly (and uses it judiciously) and the wrong bit flip at the wrong time can cause you to lose your entire filesystem.

 

Used workstation/server parts are a good way to get ECC for cheap (or you can just use an AMD CPU that supports ECC which I believe is most of them). ECC memory doesn't cost that much more than non-ECC. :cheers:

 

The cost of the drives in my server dwarfs the cost of the server hardware itself so the cost of ECC ended up being negligible.

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I have been using FreeNAS for the past two years and it is VERY dangerous to new users

 

ZFS drives must be manually mounted and dismounted, you cannot just plug and play

the mounting system is called a zpool and is not backwards compatible 

 

people who don't know this can lose all their data from doing something simple like upgrading freeNAS software without first dismounting the drives

for instance, if you have a drive in freeNAS version 9 and remove it without dismounting it might not be recognized in freeNAS 8 and all your data might get lost

you won't have this problem with windows

 

anyway, if you have old computer hardware then go ahead and run a freeware NAS

if you don't actually have the hardware already, you might want to buy a OEM solution like synology or buffalo

Keep in MIND, you are asking for a 3TB drive which is already probably more than half the money you want to spend

you might just consider using leaving your home computer on instead

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