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Re: [LUG] Recommendations for low power proxy/NAS box


On 04/01/17 15:46, Tom via list wrote:
> On 04/01/17 13:15, Joseph Bennie wrote:

>> Tom I've HP Intel Microserver sitting here looking for a new home
>> There are 4 internal bays ( raid 1,0,5 options) + 1 5" CD/DVD bay ).
>> Its got 6 external USB2, 1 internal usb (to boot from), Onboard
>> NIC/VGA , Ram + intel cpu, pcie ATI card.
>> happy to trade or Cash Â50

> Cheers, very tempting but I'm going with USB3 thanks - the idea is to
> have at least two large drives in the device and once a week (Monday)
> take the drive to the shed, bring one back and then as it plugs in it
> shuffles the drives around and on a Sunday it makes sure the device to
> go to the shed is up to date and dismounts it for Monday morning

Well for your price range of ~Â100 you aren't really going to do any
better than Joseph's offer: I only say that reluctantly as I've dealt
with scores of those HP Microservers and unequivocally hate them. But,
saying that, it fits your use case almost perfectly - well within budget
even with a bit extra for a USB3 card.

Check with Joseph that it's going to come with all four disk caddies
though, 'cos you're going to need them to swap disks in and out easily
(keep it in JBOD mode and it will handle them separately, which is what
you want). As long as the Intel part is half decent and it's got 4Gb+
RAM you can attach a small SATA drive for the OS to the internal SATA
header leaving all 4 hot swap bays free (be careful though, in some,
perhaps all, Microserver configurations the internal USB/SATA ports
share bandwidth with some of the bay ports), install a hypervisor such
as Xen on the metal and abstract whatever services you want it to
provide into compartmentalised VMs on top. You probably only want a
basic Linux VM or two - or Docker containers if you're feeling fancy -
for handling backup jobs.

Sniff the device strings of the disks/USB drives you'll be plugging into
it off the bus and plug them into a couple of UDEV rules to automate
whatever scripted procedures you want triggered on insertion/removal for
maximum laziness. It will have plenty of space/power overhead left to
mirror whatever repos you want and will probably still have enough left
over to take over any other boring housework/admin chores you want to
offload to something.

A mini-ITX x64 system such as a J1800 (superseded by the J1900) would be
nicer but won't come even close to budget and most definitely won't have
hot swap disk caddies:


I've built a lot of appliances on both platforms and they're great for
the money but probably not really what you're looking for (they're more
commonly used for network appliances like pfsense). For your budget and
use case you can basically completely forget ARM and anything
contemporary x86/64 so you don't really have any choice except second
hand as I see it. 12-15 hour backup runs (!!) to presumably a USB drive
hanging of a Pi Zero sounds frankly unbearable so can that immediately -
you'd have a much faster result just doing an old fashioned filesystem
dump or even just a DD rather than waiting for rsync to handle a million
tiny files. Sure, it's cruder and obviously not incremental/differential
but damn, 12-15 hours is just not acceptable.

To repeat myself, I detest HP Microservers but in this case I
reluctantly suggest that Joseph's cheap box is probably just about
perfect for your needs.


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