A home NAS of the future


I dream about weird things. Last week it was a pool party where everyone was playing pool in a pool, only the pool was badminton. The week before that I was haggling with someone for train tickets to get to a flower nursery next door, because I wanted to buy groceries.

Last night’s dream was both cruel and unusual. I’d come into some money, and proceeded to spend a chunk of it on a home NAS that only used a stack of SSDs for bulk storage. They were installed into a tiny DAN A4 case with an SFX power supply, a Mini-ITX board with ECC, and FreeBSD with OpenZFS to handle the storage. I could lift and spin the whole ensemble with one hand.

I woke up, and went into our loungeroom to look at the heavy Antec 300 loaded to the gills with heavy, slow, hot spinning rust in OpenZFS arrays. It looked so antiquated, like I’d stepped back in time and built a cupboard full of punch cards or ticker tape.

One day I’ll have a cute little FreeBSD hypervisor and storage NAS that I could fit in a small case. Silicon shortages notwithstanding, here’s hoping SSD prices keep dropping over time. Spinning disks have been (mostly!) my loyal servants until now, but I feel like they deserve a retirement.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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