03 Feb 2020

Low cost, low power NAS

Some of my contracts don't allow me to store data outside of the country, and Dropbox has started doing some fucking weird shit. I needed a low cost (and ideally low power) Dropbox replacement. Here's how I did it:


  1. Chassis: Inter-Tech 88887085 1U K-125L IPC Server Case - £66.60
  2. Motherboard: ASUS J1800I-A - £60.00
  3. Memory: Samsung 4Gb DDR3 - £25.00
  4. Storage: 2x ADATA 256Gb SSD - £18.00
  5. PSU: picoPSU 90 - £25.79
  6. Power: FSKE 60W 12V 5A Transformer Charger - £13.49
  7. Glue: Sugru

Total: £221.18

I've listed amazon links here - the motherboard, memory and drives were purchased from the hardware store I'm lucky enough to live near, and listed the prices paid. I'm not entirely happy with the front panel on the chassis (a front facing ethernet port would have been useful) - but it was surprisingly difficult to find a short depth 1U rack in the UK that didn't come with a PSU and fans.


As it's low power I wanted to try using a Pico PSU, which meant I had room inside to house the power adapter, which i keep secure with some Sugru. As I'm using SSDs, a Celeron and the servers usage is sporadic - I should be safe without any fans. Keeping an eye on the core temperature, it hasn't breached 27ºC yet.


OpenBSD - installed that after fighting with UEFI for some hours on the ASUS motherboard, set up the drives as RAID and use rsync on a cron to keep production folders backed up. Development projects run a private git.

Next steps

I need some way of accessing remotely without jumping through DNS puzzles, and I'm waiting for a good deal to bring the storage up to 1Tb. If anyone has any ideas HMU


Chancee is a designer who codes from London Town.

They have worked for the likes of Nike, Vodafone, Sky, Disney and Pearsons. Won awards from Promax, BAFTAs, the Appys and The Drum. Spoken at The Waldorf and Southampton University - despite swearing like a sailor. Available for hire to draw pretty curves and code clever things.