Question re: TrueNAS Configurations


Is it OK to provide a possible configuration of a proposed TrueNAS server here, for the purpose of soliciting opinions in favor of or against what is being proposed and knowing it is not the best solution possible beforehand? I know some communities shy away from this because of the risks of being blamed for giving “advice” that is misconstrued as “gospel” and suddenly the advice receiver goes Satan on the advice giver.

You have helped me in the past, on the old forums, but this one is…bizarre, and has to be usable until the client can afford better/newer hardware. (Some people’s idea of a backup scheme is unfortunate and deficient in all aspects). I don’t know why I allow myself to get involved, but here I am…

Thank you,

Sure it is, but be aware we will likely sound like a broken disk :grimacing:

1 Like

An i7-5775C with 16GB DDR3 on Mini-ITX with an M.2 slot for the OS and 4 SATA drives for data. For now, the drives would be WD Black 4TB x4. I would much prefer to use a disk controller, bit the only available slot is needed for an Intel NIC because the onboard solution is not acceptable.

This does not have to run 24/7, and (if possible) the entire volume will be backed up to a 16TB external HDD. This would be an intermediate solution between the variety of media currently storing the data and a proper server-grade system. I have spares for the CPU, RAM and MB, so if any should fail, I can recover at least once.

It will run. And you know already that none of that is optimal, save for the Intel NIC, so we can skip the broken record.

Any more modern ITX options worth considering? Space is going to be at a huge premium. Even a Define Nano S is too big…

ITX and server-grade is tough to find, especially at a reasonable price.

The MJ11-EC1 Is a valid option as pointed out to me by @etorix.

With some patience, one can eventually find a used X10SDV board at reasonable price. Occasionally, a used M11SDV or (hooray!) A2SDi…

As for Ram-Köenig’s MJ11-EC1 boards, these are—provided one can live with the many quirks and limitations—such a good deal that I’ve seen US posters on STH searching for ways to order from Germany. Not the usual transatlantic direction… :grinning:

1 Like

They’ve been complete unobtainium on the used market for a while now, but I did get one complete server at a decent price a while back. Goes to show how current they really are, still.

For not-crazy routing needs, there seems to be an endless source of systems based on the A1SRi-2758F, retired from something I haven’t figured out. The LPC clock degradation is a pain, though, and DDR3 ECC SODIMMs are even more painful to get.

I once came across a decent X11SDV board that was pretty cheap, but passed on it because of the lack of an M.2 slot. I just did not want to deal with SATA cables or SATA DOMs or anything like that.

Due to a shipping error, we are currently overstocked on ultra-cheap Epyc Embedded miniITX server motherboards and we’re passing the savings on to yoooooouuuuuuuuu!


Indeed. But there’s a Greek seller on STH/eBay desperately trying to unload a Supermicro system with an A2SDi-2C (you know the thread… 2C is the catch, but, hey! it is a mini-ITX server board with 8 SATA ports, good for a storage-only small home NAS).
And I once snatched an A2SDi-H-TP4F (C3958 with onboard SFP+ and 10GBase-T) from an Irish seller for a very good price.
Not “complete unobtainium”; rather a long hide hunt.

As for Xeon D-2100, I think that micro-ATX boards from AsRock Rack make a better job of exposing PCIe lanes than flex-ATX boards from Supermicro (and mini-ITX should not even be looked at). There are some on eBay as well. But these are not for a basic NAS.

Oh yeah, he needs to drop his price. If he at least had the PSU to go along with it, it might be worth it… But it’s too hard to justify the 2C at that price (no M.2! Single channel of DDR4!)

We found an ITX NAS case (10.63"D x 7.87"W x 7.68"H) and it just barely fits, so whether we like it or not, it’s ITX or bust for now. We’re going with the i7-5775C and Z97E-ITX. This at least solves all immediate problems, and with spares for the critical components, we buy some time until we find a better solution.

New question related to this thread: is he better off with the WD Black 4TB HDD x4 or would a QLC-based 4TB SSD x4 be a reasonable swap if power consumption is a significant factor? The install is off-grid and the lithium battery storage is very limited.

I argue in favor of keeping the HDDs and investing that kind of money in better battery storage or higher-grade components (if we can find some). If the data is relatively static (it’s a media server) will that offset the QLC limited write-cycles issue? Or, perhaps the system-generated / non-data writes could be offloaded to another device? SSD, or maybe a RAM disk?

The total data set is about 8TB, so in RAID-5 (I forgot the ZFS equivalent’s name) we’re at 74%, which is right there at that threshold…


Off-grid on battery? Mobile home? Boat? Anyway, that’s a very special build…
If data is static you’re probably fine with QLC drives for lower power consumption (look for @joeschmuck script for setting power levels), and you can put the system dataset on the boot drive. But raidz1 is not currently expandable, and 74% is indeed where you’d want more space before things go downhill. So this would really need to be 5*4 TB—or maybe skip TrueNAS and use OMV so you can add drives to your RAID5 array.

Sorry for the delay. The temporary solution is up and running.

As for QLC drives? Yes, the content is static - it’s a collection of .mkv and .flac files acting as a centralized “iTunes” server using Strawberry for the music and INNA for the video (for now). The only real ongoing data movement will be uploading into the archive (write) but mostly streaming to devices across the network (read). QLC seems primed for this use.

This will eventually be an off-grid solution as described, but for now it’s on-grid, so I’ll be looking for something lower power than a desktop Ryzen APU moving forward, but for the moment, we’re a lot better off than before!

QLC solution is looking more and more like 8*4TB based upon what is left to upload - data estimate is now 14TB. And we still need to consider appropriate backups of this box, but we’re getting there.


FYI: As you can see from the first post and the most-recent post, things jumped ahead somewhat. We bypassed the i7-5775C solution and went with a Ryzen 7 APU, and made the server 24/7 availability. The i7-5775C is now a temporary import/export box as we get all of this content sorted out. Sorry for the disconnect between posts.