Sharing files at home is easier with a shared network drive. A DIY NAS build can turn an existing server into a multimedia server with automatic backups—accessible from any computer or device on the network.
Why Build Your own NAS?
There are many approaches to configuring a NAS.
NAS stands for “Network Attached Storage Adapter”It’s a generic term for any device that can provide storage on a network.
In many cases, people end up thinking in terms of “NAS vs. server.” In fact, a decent server machine can act as a DIY NAS. It’s even possible to build a Raspberry Pi NAS with the approach described here. Usually, the only reason to invest in dedicated NAS hardware is when extreme performance and redundancy become concerns. For most home uses, this will not be the case.
In our home, a Linux (Ubuntu) server acts as a NAS. We use it for:
- Multimedia Server: perhaps the most popular use of a NAS is to store multimedia (video, audio, and picture) files. This is especially useful in conjunction with software like Kodi (a media player application that can run on many many different devices).
- CCTV (security footage): In the cabin, we have an elaborate DIY IOT setup which uses a combination of motion detection and computer vision to detect people, cars, pets, etc. Suspicious events are automatically saved to the NAS for review.
- Kubernetes: I use the NFS client provisioner storage add-on for Kubernetes. This lets me use the NAS as a single drive which contains all of the configuration files for every single application I run on the network.
This DIY NAS can be accessed from Mac OS, Linux, and Windows machines which are on the network. It has built-in backups and is performant enough to support all of the above common uses.