Tech Memorandums

Building a Digital Homestead: Chapter 0

Well begun is half done. – Unknown, perhaps Aristotle

We live in interesting times. The internet has settled into a natural oligopoly over the past decade or so. Governments have grasped the surveillance possibilities of the networked world. On the other hand, SBCs have lowered the barrier of entry for a reliable personal “cloud”.

The first task is to setup a scalable storage solution. Commercial NAS offerrings are usually quite expensive. It is not hard to budget upwards of $1000 for just this one component. The favourably reviewed Helios4 is sold out and subject to the realities of crowd funding. My preference is for a extensible setup that I can grow into.

Odroid magazine had an article that resonated with me. Nextcloud seemed perfect for my needs. Then this 200TB glusterfs build was posted on reddit. My basic building block would be a pair of HC2s and they would be tied together with glusterfs. I could add capacity by adding pairs of HC2s in the future. I could survive single disk failures and I didn’t have to complicate my life with RAID, ZFS or special hardware.

Bill of Materials

Item Quantity Price Cost
Odroid HC2 3 $54.00 $162.00
HC2 case 1 $5.00 $5.00
8GB MicroSD 3 $8.00 $24.00
Barrel plugs 3 $1.25 $3.75
USB-UART 1 $9.90 $9.90
12V DC supply 1 $50.04 $50.04
8-port GbE switch 1 $30 $30
2TB HDDs 2 $99 $198
Patch cords 10 $2.12 $21.25
Power strip 1 $63.20 $63.20

This would be the absolute minimum to get started. We have one spare HC2. More disks can be bought at a later stage, along with corresponding HC2s. The disks do not all have to be the same size, just that they should be bought in identical pairs for glusterfs replication.

We do live in an age of wonders that for a capital outlay of $370, we can get 24 cores talking GbE. The power strip is more expensive than a single HC2!