Feasibility of using Raspberry Pi as NAS

I decided to write this article because the absence of such an article outweighed my desire to purchase a Raspberry Pi and use it as a NAS. Below we will consider the feasibility of such an application with the numbers of copy speeds, and draw conclusions, each one of its own.


The main goal of the acquisition of the Raspberry Pi was to create a NAS based on it. At home, there is a local network, at the head of which is the TP-LINK TL-WR741ND router , to which the ACER ASPIRE 7520G laptop , the Iconbit XDS73D media player and SAMSUNG UE32C5100QW TV (connected just in case, because the router is underneath it, are connected by cable) poor network functionality is not used). Plus, a Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman phone , SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab 7.0 plus tablet , G-Box Dyno Android 4.0 Mini PC and the experimental 3G TP-LINK TL-MR3020 router are periodically connected via Wi-FiTo which a number of articles is devoted to the Habré.

All this economy needs network storage in order to have access to the necessary files from any device. At the moment, I am working as a NAS media player, the above, it is also a torrent-rocking chair in combination, but this is a separate issue. A 500GB Western Digital hard drive is connected to the player via e-sata, ejected from My Passport Essential due to the lack of an e-sata port, and inserted into the AgeStar SCB2A8 container. But I do not like the speed of this bunch when it is necessary to transfer a large amount of data, it's just a torment. With the release of Raspberry Pi, I got the idea to make a simple network storage out of it with the hope of higher speeds than my player allows. As a result, the poet’s soul could not stand it and the raspberry was ordered in one of the domestic online stores at the appropriate price, because I really did not want to wait long. At the moment I have a Raspberry Pi model “B” with 512 MB RAM with a SanDisk Ultra SDHC UHS-I 8GB card , Raspbian “wheezy” with a Samba server is spinning on it , the configuration of which was carried out, including following the instructions from the Habr. As a USB drive, a 160GB hard drive is plugged out of the laptop and inserted into the box from the same My Passport Essential. The drive is connected via USB-HUB which says gembird uhb-c345 , but is missing from the manufacturer’s catalog. The USB splitter model was written for a reason, it is not listed in the list of working and non-working equipment , it can come in handy. Malinka is connected to the network mainly via Wi-Fi via the NETGEAR WNA1100 USB adapter , but at the time of tests it was also connected via LAN. Visual connection with raspberry occurs via VNC.

The first test is large-scale.

After assembling and configuring this whole farm, I decided to check the speed of work, and at the first copy of the files I was very disappointed, after which I decided to conduct a full-scale test of the speed of copying in all directions and, after analyzing the result, decide on the advisability of using raspberries as a network drive. A lot of time was spent chasing data on the main corners of the network, which I determined for myself as a laptop, player and, accordingly, Raspberry Pi. The routes were as follows:

• Laptop-LAN <--> Player
• Laptop-Wi-Fi <--> Player
• Laptop-LAN <--> Raspberry Pi-LAN
• Laptop-Wi-Fi <--> Raspberry Pi- Wi-Fi
• Raspberry Pi-LAN <--> Player
• Raspberry Pi-Wi-Fi <--> Player

Where "Notebook-LAN" is a laptop connected to the router via LAN, etc. respectively.
Copying was carried out using Total Commander on a laptop and using Nautilus on a raspberry.

For the test, I used a folder with photos in 276MB with 65 files and a cartoon in mkv format weighing 220MB. As a result, 56 screenshots were taken, from which the results were subsequently rewritten for compiling tablets and graphs. The result of this work was a tablet, which I was extremely unsatisfied with.

It’s quite difficult to understand it, although if you look closely, it becomes clear that the Raspberry Pi in numbers has a very weak result and loses to the media player, but maybe someone can catch useful data from this disgrace.

The second test is truncated.

Such an obscure picture does not suit me, and I think you too, so I decided to cut the test program, leaving only those areas of copying that really can be used on my network. They turned out to be much smaller:

• Notebook-LAN <--> Player
• Notebook-LAN <--> Raspberry Pi-LAN
• Notebook-LAN <--> Raspberry Pi-Wi-Fi

The same files were used for the test as in the first test. As a result, only 12 measurements of copy speed were made, and the results were driven into a tablet and a more visual diagram was drawn up.

The result is approximately the same as the first test, but this table more clearly describes the state of affairs with copying over the network from / to Raspberry Pi. By means of not tricky mathematical calculations, I found out that when connecting a raspberry over LAN, the speed of copying data differs from the speed of my solution on average from 1.5 to 2.5 times. And when I connected it via Wi-Fi, as I originally planned, the difference grew and became from 3.6 to 4.0

Instead of a conclusion.

For myself, I conclude that for now, as a NAS, I leave my media player and will think about buying a full-fledged household network drive. For the price this venture cost me, the Raspberry Pi + USB-HUB + memory card (not including the available hardware) is comparable to Western Digita My Book Live 1TB , and this is already with the hard drive. At the moment, Malinka is engaged in measuring its own temperature and the temperature of the room, set up according to the article from Habrbut it's from a cannon over sparrows. Maybe I’ll experiment with her, but I don’t know yet in which direction. I don’t see the point of using Raspberry Pi as a NAS at all, especially if I buy it specifically for this. He himself bought it with good intentions as an amateur of all kinds of gadgets, but as I usually do, he played with a new toy on the table. I hope this article will be at least useful to someone and everyone will draw their own conclusions, but I have already made my own conclusions and voiced them above.

Request to readers.

This is my entry fee to the Habr, for this I ask you not to kick much, but constructive criticism is approved and welcomed.

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