I'm looking for a small server to act as the central node in a cheap high-capacity NAS/SAN. The expected setup will be: central node running ZFS and providing a NAS interface to the outside; multiple cheap NAS nodes running AoE and presenting their attached disks to the central node over a dedicated Ethernet segment. I'm planning on GnuBee PC2 for the disk hosts. However, those have insufficient CPU and memory to run the ZFS process itself.

The requirements for the central node are thus:

  • at least two Ethernet interfaces (one for the external network, one for the private segment with the disk hosts)
  • as much memory as possible (ideally 16 or 32 GB)
  • enough CPU to run encryption algorithms faster than disk access
  • good Linux support
  • no need for real storage on-device
  • lowest price available, given above requirements

I've considered a Raspberry Pi clone, but they have less memory than I want; currently something in a mini-PC form factor seems good, but if there exists a single-board computer with enough memory it would be great.

Any recommendations?

  • look at FreeNAS
    – ron
    Dec 9, 2019 at 22:20
  • The FreeNAS hardware would be sufficient, but overkill; I particularly don't need actual disk slots on the central node. In terms of software, I'd rather run Linux than a BSD derivative; it seems Linux has better AoE support.
    – Tom Hunt
    Dec 10, 2019 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


Take a look at the Udoo Bolt or their other products. Basically that's an x86 SBC with proper RAM slots.

Edit: I forgot about dual Ethernet requirement. You could possibly go for a USB 3.0 adapter if it's acceptable.

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