Making an NAS from Mac Pro 1,1 Pointers?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Jacquesson, May 1, 2018.

  1. Jacquesson macrumors newbie

    Jacquesson

    Joined:
    May 1, 2018
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Hello!

    Long term lurker, first time poster here!

    I would like to draw on the collective knowledge here to help me realise my current project to the highest spec.

    I am looking to use my old Mac Pro 1,1 as a network-attached storage solution.
    Unfortunately the old girl can't run the latest photographic editing software, and so has been retired.
    With a growing storage requirement within the household, I started to think about getting an NAS, then I noticed my old MP sitting there, with 4 hard drive bays sitting empty.

    So, I thought it would be as simple as chucking a few WD Red drives in there, in a RAID arrangement, then swapping out one of the optical drives for a boot drive, and sticking it all on the network and bobs your uncle.

    My questions to you, dear Rumorers, are as follows:

    -Is it as simple as that?
    -What are the biggest drives that the MP can work with?
    -Should I just get a normal NAS enclosure from Synology or whoever?
    -If it were up to you, with a fairly big budget (assuming I am saving £600 on the price of an enclosure) what would be the ideal way of doing this for maximum storage and access.

    Thanks for your help!

    TL;DR - How can I make a good NAS from an old Mac Pro 1,1?

    Ta,

    Jackson
     
  2. meanmean macrumors newbie

    meanmean

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #2
    Before you go down the mac pro path I would check the price of electricity in your area. I had similar thoughts a while ago, and decided to just retire the mac pro. When on (idle), the mac pro will be consuming close to 200 watts. You can wake on lan, but then you will have to wait 10-30 seconds for everything to spin up before you can use it (assuming that it works, my experience varies). You could always remove a few dimms and take out one of the CPUs to lower power consumption to 120w or so; however, you are stuck with el captain w/o any of the new security updates unless you are copying over a new kernel. Even then, security updates are likely to end in about a year or so.

    I don't think it is worth the headache, I would just get a consumer NAS or build a file server with a more modern CPU that idles at 30w.
     
  3. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #3
    Yes.

    Also, be sure to use disk drives that are qualified by the enclosure vendor.
     
  4. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #4
  5. orph, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018

    orph macrumors 68000

    orph

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    this is worth a look http://www.freenas.org/
    you can just stick some drives in the macpro
    or pick up an cheep i3 system (or even a pentium) or Ryzen 3 system

    if you just buy a NAS it will be simpler to set up which can be nice, check reviews some have been drooped from the 'support' list to soon with bugs not fixed.

    the advantage of a Linux box is you can use a low power (cheep cpu) and just add drives as needed (pci cards once the mobo run's out of sata ports) so you have a tad more flexibility but it may also take more time to setup.

    also if you did use your old macpro while it may use more power than you want it may not need to be on 24/7 if it's only when needed then power use is less of a problem so comes down to use case.
     
  6. Zeke D macrumors 6502a

    Zeke D

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    I'll chime in and say that my cMP1,1 when idling consumes 140w of power. My D-Link DNS-323 uses less than 30w. Heck, even a time capsule uses less than 15w. If you go the TC route, you should do it soon since apple discontinued them. You can do some neat stuff with partitions on the TC drive, like allocating only 500gb for TC backups, and 1.5TB for NAS.
     
  7. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #7
    Average electrical cost is ~15¢/kWh in my area.
    140w power for 24/7 usage is around $185/year (1226 Annual kWh)
    30w power for 24/7 usage is around $40/year (263 Annual kWh)
    15w power for 24/7 usage is around $20/year (131 Annual kWh)

    Depending on your requirement for the cMP1,1 server repurpose, it could almost pay for itself to get a WD My Cloud style network drive. Quick search of reported power specs shows they use up to about 12w during active use and less than 5w during standby.

    If you're running your own solar farm or have substantially lower electrical costs, this might change your situation.
     
  8. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a

    ssgbryan

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #8
    You could always dump the current CPUs and replace them with low power Clovertowns. The 1.86Gb (L5318) run at 40 Watts. A pair of those runs around the same wattage as the Ryzen 3 mentioned above.
     
  9. Jacquesson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jacquesson

    Joined:
    May 1, 2018
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Ooh, good updates everyone, many thanks!
    OK, so, power consumption considerations aside, are there any other reasons NOT to do this?
    Also, wouldnt it be nice to have a house server? The whole project is giving me network palpitations.
     
  10. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #10
    Unsupported machine (vintage/obsolete) with unsupported OS means lack of the latest security updates, which can leave you/your data vulnerable to attack. Lack of advanced network hardware means lower read/write network speeds for devices accessing data. Lack of data prioritization features for multiple connections, especially if not upgrading your router and/or switches. If you move ahead, you may want to install a modern hardware firewall device to help mitigate some of the risk.
     
  11. MacDann macrumors 6502a

    MacDann

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Can see the end of the Earth from here
    #11
    A relatively old and inexpensive Intel based PC that supports or has an on-board RAID controller coupled with an installation of FreeNAS 9.x will do a much better job for a lot less as far as resources.

    I was in a similar situation with an aging 1,1 that I wanted to utilize in the same way. It just didn't make sense as far as limitations for drive space and power consumption.

    I bought a cheap MB package, scrounged some RAM, bought a halfway decent case and power supply and had at it. For probably $300 or slightly more with a bunch of salvaged drives I was able to put together a really nice FreeNAS box that has served me well for a number of years. It has 12 GB RAM, an early i7 processor I scrounged (you don't need that much processor power, however) and six 2TB drives of various flavors. I run a large 5TB ZFS volume for all of my Mac TimeMachine instances and smaller 2TB ZFS volume for archiving security camera video for a location I monitor.

    Some things to note:

    I suggest finding a copy of FreeNAS 9.x. It's their legacy OS, but it's very, very robust and quite easy to work with both in the CLI and GUI.

    There are a number of very good How-Tos on setting up a FreeNAS server. If you can't find one you're comfortable with, PM me and I'll give you some links.

    Good luck!

    MacDann
     
  12. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #12
    One question - are you really considering basing your critical infrastructure on a power hungry, twelve year old, unsupported system?

    Really?

    Get a NAS.
     
  13. meanmean macrumors newbie

    meanmean

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #13
    If you do go for FreeNAS on the 2006 Mac Pro, you will not get the disks in AHCI mode unless you do some actual kernel programming with the FreeBSD equivalent of pci quirks (Linux). This is because FreeBSD does not currently have a 32-bit EFI/UEFI to 64-bit kernel boot loader, so you will be running under BIOS emulation. This will also mean that you will only have access to four SATA ports.

    Ultimately, it's your call. Give it go, watch your power bill, and see if it works for you. But be smart about it, if you are just trying to find a use for the machine, that's not using your head (your smarter than that!); sell it, e-cycle it, or put it in storage (far away in storage).
     
  14. Dr. Stealth macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal-Surf City USA
    #14
    I'm running a Synology NAS DS1813+ (24TB WD Reds). Couldn't be happier. It's a great solution and is rock-solid.
     
  15. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    the 1.1 has an extra two sata ports on the mobo so id gess at least 6 drives but cant see why you wont be able to use pci cards for extra drives (pci cards for sata ports or just drive to pci cards).

    there's nothing wrong with using the 1.1 as a home server, same problems you have with the 1.1 as using any 10+ year computer (PSU getting old etc).
    and power wise if you live some where cold like me it's the same as using a heater but dose work :D, got my 3.1 as my bedroom heater.

    RAID always gives me some fear as if it ever fails you may have a problem, always been a fan of independent drives and just clone the same data on to both drives to keep redundancy (less likely to loose all dater in a failure) and do recommend to have at least two copes of your data if it's important.
    (but if it's just a plex server or something with films/music then it's less important)

    FreeNAS dose have the bonus that it is supported and id assume it will be easier if you ever move on to a different server computer it may be simpler to migrate the drives (not shore not used it).

    and a simple security thing is just dont let the computer online, just have it on the local network if your router will let you set that up.

    if possible do use RAID drives like WD red or black, try not to use something like the WD green (or WD blue 2TB+ as there the green drives with a new label the WD blue 7200rpm 1TB is the old blue so id assume that will work to but it's low on space) as aggressive head parking may give RAID failures.

    iv been eyeing a cheep ryzen (with APU) system for a home server, the cost wont be to far of a Synology and allow for more flexibility.

    Synology setups are worth a look tho

    (o may be worth thinking about geting something like a GT610/620 or similar low power GPU if you do want to cut on power use)
     
  16. frou macrumors 6502

    frou

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #16
    Use it as a stand for a real NAS and just pretend that the switched off MP is doing the work.

    I've used both a PowerMac G5 and clamshell'd ThinkPads as home Unix servers and preferred the latter.
     
  17. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    well im going to gut my G5 or 3.1 and use that as my case :D when the day comes for me to do it
     
  18. AidenShaw, May 3, 2018
    Last edited: May 3, 2018

    AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #18
    Here in Silicon Valley my rate is up to $0.534 per kWh - perhaps that's why we tend to focus a bit more on power consumption. ;)

    ...and also why we worry that the heat generated by an inefficient computer will make the air conditioning work harder - costing even more.
     
  19. bsbeamer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #19
    That rate does not include the delivery charges and all the other junk thrown on top, but still...

    At your rates, it's even more illogical to use a MP1,1 for this purpose and even more of a reason to know the true costs to operate these machines. I'm rendering video on a MP5,1 right now and UPS says I'm pulling about 525W. At your rates that is about $1250/year based on 12-hour per day usage. #freelancingisntfree
     

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