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I want to create a private cloud on my home, and for this I want to know a good NAS device that performs the following:

  1. Put two or more hard drives on RAID 1.
  2. As cheap as possible.
  3. Allow to install software to manage NAS from cloud.
  4. Energy efficient
  5. Reliable, in the sense that this will be probably running 24/7.

Optional:

  1. Allows to be accessed as a media server.
  2. Option for data encryption.
13

QNAP TS-231

I've been using a TS-212 just about 24/7 for two years. I was happy enough with it that I recently bought a second QNAP device, albeit one that has 4 drive bays (TS-451). It appears that the TS-212 has been phased out in favor of the TS-231, but the specifications appear to be very similar. I think it will meet your requirements.

  1. Put two or more hard drives on RAID 1.
    • There are two hot-swappable drive bays, both RAID 0 and 1 are supported
  2. As cheap as possible.
    • It's currently available for $179.00 on Amazon. Admittedly, it's not the cheapest dual bay NAS available, Synology's DS214se is currently $149.00.
  3. Allow to install software to manage NAS from cloud.
    • The NAS comes with QNAP's custom web interface. That includes myQNAPcloud Connect which "helps you access the published services of the Turbo NAS quickly and securely on the Internet."
  4. Energy efficient
    • Power consumption is listed at 9.78W in standby, 20.56W in operation
  5. Reliable, in the sense that this will be probably running 24/7.
    • As I already mentioned, mine has run 24/7 for two years without disruptions. The only time it goes down is when I lose power, and I can always rely on it to boot back up and launch the services I have configured.
  6. Allows to be accessed as a media server.
    • There are a few options here. The "QNAP Ecosystem" has apps; there are many media server utilities available. I just use it as a file server to connect from Windows machines, that works well enough for me needs when accessing media.
  7. Option for data encryption.
    • Supported, but I have never used it so I cannot speak personally to that.

Potential Disadvantages

  • The RAM is soldered and not upgradeable. Other QNAP models allow you to upgrade the RAM, but you're stuck with 512MB for this one.
  • It's an ARM processor. The OS is a custom QNAP flavor of Linux so it's easily customizable if you need to do something beyond the user friendly web UI, but any custom utilities you install need to support ARM processors.
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  • This is a great answer! Very detailed and has everything I need. – scubaFun Sep 10 '15 at 12:51
1

I tend to splurge a bit on NAS type components (Drobo, Icy Box) so I can't make a personal recommendation when it comes to the cheaper end of the scale, but I can make a general recommendation when it comes to buying the drives you are going to populate your chosen NAS with: don't buy them from the same place.

Do buy the same model, from the same manufacturer, for RAID purposes. But always try to source each drive from a different place (one from Amazon, one from Newegg for example) even if you have to pay a small premium to do so.

Why? Well, when manufacturing defects occur they tend to occur in batches (get detected, potentially fixed in a later batch). If you get all your drives from the same batch (which is more likely when you order 2 from one place) you may end up with the same flaw in both drives.

That then leads to the "when will my drive fail?" question - if you get different batches you will get slightly different MTBF rates so that unless you are massively unlucky you won't have 2 drives fail at the same time (hopefully giving you time to replace and repair your RAID array in the event of a drive failure).

You can also achieve this by staggering your drive purchases by a few weeks (though be careful of warranty coverage differences), but usually it is relatively easy to find two sellers with similar pricing for a particular model.

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-1

Have a look at SimpleNAS Pro. It is based on Banana Pi, costs under $100, has a SATA controller and it allows 2 HDD in RAID0/1 configuration.

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  • The problem with simplenas is, that it is not something you can buy. Sure, you can 3d-print the case (some beta versions seem to be on thingiverse) and put in all the components, install the OS image, but all that requires some expertise and considerable time. Also, printing the case will not be cheap, even though the board is. – P.Péter Feb 16 '16 at 10:03

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