NOTE : The below in way out of date now...check out the later posts for more recent info...ie. I am now running Solaris 11 Express under ESXi. See here for the new setup....http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showpost.php?p=13492597&postcount=544 Hi guys, After reading myself into confusion, I though I'd ask my question here. Yes, I know there have been other threads on a home NAS, but as they say in the army, there may be many like it, but this one is mine. So, my requirements are for a "pure" NAS with the following attributes: * Build it myself from appropriate "old" parts - I have a number of "spare PC's" about and will augment the 6 onboard SATA ports with PCI cards + operate on a Gigabit LAN * Fault tolerant - I need a level of redundancy where I can sustain a single HDD failure (I think that's raid 5) * Dynamically grow the volumes - either by swapping larger HDD's (2TB) or adding an extra HDD (I can accept downtime during this operation) I will initially use 5 x 1.5TB drives and dynamically grow from there. * Software Raid (cards are too expensive for my needs) * Serving 6+PC MS Windows PC environment (XP + 7) for media + HDD backup images etc. (Potentially at some later stage IP security cams. although they may remain local to that server due to volume of data?) * Operation will be 24x7 - but as it's a home NAS, some downtime for maintenance is acceptable. * Real time alerting/reporting on disk issues (eg. SNMP or email via SMTP) * Will be serviced by an appropriate UPS * Do not require hot standby HDD. * Prefer a web interface to a CLI interface - My experience with linux is limited but it gets me by so I guess a user friendly linux is ok...but Solaris may be stretching it. *Set and forget solution although I do want a strong support community. * Free Having seen some other threads degrade, I feel I need to add please be kind and no thread crapping. Suggestions for solution welcome. EDIT: And here is the final outcome. Click to view full size! OpenSolaris 2009.6 I now have a new LianLi case (PC-A71A), 8G ECC ram on an Intel S3210SHLC mobo. Q6600Xeon 3370 (3Ghz Quad) 2 x 8-Port SUPERMICRO AOC-USASLP-L8I UIO SAS Corsair HX-850 2 x 250G laptop drives in a mirrored rpool (ie. boot disks) 8 x 1.5TB WD Green EADS in raidz2 1 x 1TB WD Green for dvr duties. 14 x 1.5 TB HDD's in 2 x 7 disk raidz2 vdev's. 2 x 40Gb OCZ Vertex 2 in mirror as ZIL and L2ARC If you have ever used any sort of linux/unix, you'll find OpenSolaris easy to use and actually very friendly...heck most of the time I do not notice any real diff. between this and Ubuntu or CentOS etc. after all it uses Gnome so looks and feels the same. Click to view full size! The only requirement I had to compromise on was the dynamic growth...I can certainly swap out the HDD"s with 2TB drives, but need to do all 8 to get the increase...In reality, i would not want the single array to be larger than 8 drives, so I'm happy with this compromise. Here are some links I used to help me install and config. opensolaris....again, they may not be of much relevance to you...but they were to me SETTING UP AN OPENSOLARIS NAS BOX: FATHER-SON BONDING - a very simple/easy guide..but was all I needed to get a ZFS server up and running. A Home Fileserver using ZFS - A comprehensive guide to building an opensolaris nas. Highly recommend this one. zfs tutorial part 1 Setting up a static network configuration with NWAM How do you configure OpenSolaris to automatically login a user? How to Set Up Samba in the OpenSolaris 2009.06 Release - Information Resources - wikis.sun.com Getting Started With the Solaris CIFS Service Mount NTFS / Ext2 / Ext3 / FAT 16 / FAT 32 in Solaris and also here - note 2G limit. Seven Useful OpenSolaris ZFS Home Server/NAS Tips <--- highly recommend looking at this.