I am looking for a NAS or motherboard with the following features:
- It should hold 4 or 5 SATA 3.5" disks
- 10 Gigabit Ethernet support
- I want to use ZFS. The NAS should perform well with this file system. ECC memory is needed (8GB RAM should be enough I believe)
- I want to install an Operating System manually, Debian for instance. My aim is to have more flexibility and freedom when I need to install new software.
- I want to wake up the device remotely when it is on stand-by or powered off. I don't know if powering off the NAS is a good idea since NAS HDDs are thought to work all the time. I say this because synchronize my data once a week should be enough for me. If there is something very important that I want to backup I would wake the device remotely as I said before.
- Low power consumption. I think less than 50W would be convenient
- The computer's case should evacuate the heat efficiently and keep all the disks cold (30ºC). Passive cooling would be nice, but it's not a must.
- I would like to spend around 100-150€ (or $) without disks. I can also take into account more expensive options if it's not enough
Solutions I considered
Synology and Qnap are good NAS brands, but they have their own operating system. I don't know if I can erase that system and install some Linux distribution in any of their devices, but I don't think so. I have checked that VMs or dockers can be used, but due to the tight resources I don't think that's a good idea.
- QNAP + Debian. There are some models where Debian can be installed, but they are old and with limited resources.
I believe that if I build it like a normal desktop computer with an ATX or Micro ATX board, the power consumption will be very high. I don't know if a Mini-ITX would fit my needs. Boxes for these kinds of boards are tiny and closed, but I would need one where all the disks can stay cool.
I found some options with Raspberry, but they didn't convince me. I don't know if it's going to perform well with ZFS. Anyway, what I like about Raspberry is that its power consumption is very low:
Raspberry Pi 4 + Quad SATA Hat Board. A YT reviewer says that the box is not breathing well and the disks reach 50ºC of temperature, which I think it's too much. That could be solved by creating a new box with holes where all the 3.5" disks can be placed. They use USB 3.0 to plug the hat board and convert them to SATA ports, I don't like that solution because it's not very clean.
Raspberry CM4 + PCI Express Board + PCI Express to SATA Board. I think this would be more expensive because I would need to buy two boards and the performance would be similar to the previous one.
Raspberry CM4 + SATA Board. Wiretrustee is developing a new SATA board to work directly on the CM4. But it's not available yet.
Raspberry Pi 4 + 2-bay DAS with USB 3.0 (there is a 5-bay DAS as well) + SSD (for de Operating System, SD cards are quite slow). I could take a 4-bay DAS, but I don't know if 4 HDD would be much for just one USB 3.0 port.