TrueNAS setup recommendations

Hello, I am looking at moving from synology NAS to TrueNAS for many reasons, and will be utilizing the old synology NAS for off-site backups, aswell as camera surveillance footage.

My use cases for the TrueNAS build would be for:

  • Immich (Photos)
  • Data & device backups.

Aswell as trying out some awesome self-hosted apps I found from this forum.

  • Mealie (Recipe manager)
  • Navidrone (Music)
  • Actual Budget (Finances)
  • Paperless-NGX (Documents / writing)

I would also be interested in proxmox for running a few VM’s mostly for pen-testing reasons. (Not necesseary, but would be nice to have)

I’m at the moment looking at what hardware I should acquire for my build, and came across a used Dell Poweredge T320 on sale for 150€.

Build specs:

  • Dell Poweredge T320
  • Xeon E5 2403 V2
  • 8GB ECC RAM (DDR3)
  • 8 LFF Hotswap (SAS/SATA)
  • iDRAC express

Have already laying around:

  • NVME SSD 960 EVO (250GB) (From synology NAS)
  • 8 x 2TB SATA HDD (64MB Cache)

I will atleast be upgrading the RAM to 32GB. And should also upgrade the CPU, but which one should I buy?

Since I’m new to TrueNAS, could I get any perspective on how capable this setup would be & In what ways should I upgrade this setup, or if at all?

Thank you in advance for all the replies!

Hey @R4Y - welcome to the forums!

That T320 looks pretty similar hardware-wise to a Lenovo tower system I was using before, but you’ve got the benefit of being able to use much cheaper and larger DDR3 RDIMM memory modules. Since it’s triple-channel, buy your memory in 3-packs - I’d suggest 3x16G as a minimum for 48GB.

As you’ll be making use of quite a few apps, you might want to look at a method to rig up some additional SSDs internally (if it has a SAS controller for the hotswap bays, see if you can use the onboard SATA ports perhaps) to give yourself a high-performance SSD pool for your apps.

(On the note of the SAS controller - check to see what model it is. You’re likely to need to “cross-flash” it into “IT Mode” for best results, especially if it’s an H700 or H710.)

Finally, on the CPU front, those chips should be cheap these days. I’m seeing plenty of E5-2450v2’s and 2470v2’s which will give you 8/10 cores at nearly double the clock speeds. Either will be fine and only be a minor bump in TDP from 80W to 95W.

For reference, I used that old Lenovo as a datastore for VMware hosts (with an Optane device as SLOG) and it would merrily saturate 2x1Gbps iSCSI all day long.

Thank you for your quick & informative reply.

The same T320 dude is conviniently selling the E5-2450v2 aswell, so I will buy it at the same time.

I can’t seem to find any 16gb DDR3 RAM for sale at the moment, just <8GB ones. I will keep on the look out for the 16gb ones.

  • If I were to only upgrade to 24gb before that, how would it affect the overall performance of the NAS, would it even be usable with so many apps, or should I wait on the extra dockers before I’ve upgraded to 48GB?

I could add another NVME SSD from my pc, for a total of 500gb NVME SSD space, and will consider additional SSD’s if the storage controller is correct.

Last question:

  • At what point would the hardware start to cap, and I would have to upgrade. At what point did you realize you needed a new system to replace to Lenovo?

The T320 had H310. I found Dell PERC H710 (5CT6D/05CT6D) for sale for 15€. This was compatible right?

24G of RAM should be enough for containers and Apps, but you could potentially notice some performance impact on your VMs (if you’re consuming TrueNAS as storage from Proxmox)

Do note that you’ll need a separate boot device for TrueNAS - your boot disk can’t be a member of a data pool.

If your VMs are going to be used for more than “throw-away” testing, then you may want to look at making a slot available for a high-speed SLOG device (such as an Intel Optane card) to hold your synchronous write workload. This will let you retain your speed of writes while making them power-failure safe.

As far as “when would you have to upgrade” - that system with 96GB of RAM would be perfectly capable of handling a fairly decent workload. My Lenovo is still in use, it’s just not the primary system anymore. :slight_smile:

Re: the storage controller, the Dell H310 is actually what you want - it will still need to be flashed to LSI firmware (as the OEM firmware has a cripplingly low default queue depth for operations) but there’s no need to buy an H710.

Thank you for your reply once again!

I got almost everything figured out. I also found someone selling 16gb ECC registered for 10€/each. They were by model: 2Rx4 PC3L-12800R

I will probably max out to 96gb, since I might aswell future proof the NAS more.

Should I dedicate 1 x NVME SSD as boot device & other SSD’s for speeding up indexing, dockers etc.?