Managing Terabytes in your local office

Storage space became cheap, hardware is getting faster and smaller. It was time for me to update my local development setup and integrate some of the fine new technology out there. This was the plan:

  • Enough local storage space for WORK and PLAY
  • A new development server with Linux, Databases, Webserver, PHP, etc.
  • Low energy footprint
  • Seamless integration with Windows, Mac OS X and my local network
  • Easy remote access for work and sharing of files with friends and family

The play part might not be interesting for the business user, but it is the dual usage of the setup, that is really nice. If you just use it for business it is still amazing and the right choice.

Here is, what I have bought and setup:

  1. Synology DS1513+
  2. 5 Western Digital 3 TB Red (24/7 operations)
  3. Intel NUC with a Dual Core i5, 16 GB of RAM and a 480 GB SSD drive

and the setup looks like this:

Synology and Intel NUC

In this setup, the Synology NAS is connected with 2 Cat6 network cables to a Gigabit switch, which is the center of my home network. The Synology comes with its own Linux-based operating system (DSM5.1) and a Dual Core Atom – a box you could already develop on with smaller projects, but with the large Tradebit database and all the SVN operations from my colleagues AND the media server running internally, I thought it is best to add the NUC for the real coding backbone tasks like database and PHP…

Nonetheless: the Synology is cool and if you have a small team or just need a lot of Timecapsule space the right choice. It is very quiet, by the way, even with 5 drives offering 11 Terabytes of storage on the net. For bigger teams: there is also the 8 slot variant available. The bigger NAS’es of Synology also offer “hot spare” RAID configurations out of the box, by the way… WOOT!

Synology NAS GUI

That all setup and done, I installed CentOS7 on the NUC, which can be a hassle because you need to create an USB bootable device. There is a Windows tool, that is handling that for you, because the standard ISO to USB tools fail with the new CentOS7 images!

Intel NUC booting from USB

After a little bit of patience, the setup is ready to rock and will replace the old Linux box under my desk. The older tower with 450 Watt is taking more power than the new setup for much less steam and space!

I am very satisfied with the hardware and setup process this time. All worked perfectly, is lower on power consumption, faster than the 1+ year old setup and I have a RAID system for all my work and personal files with pretty nice user administration.

Edit:┬ámy friend Michael just posted me a link, what he has done with his Raspberry PI.. a full blown video phone system at home… also a pretty nice read! Time to record those calls on the Synology, Michael!

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