My existing setup consists of a Windows Server 2012 R2 ESXi virtual machine running on my Proliant ML350 G6 with DriveBender pooling. The reason for the conversion is to get a dedicated standalone low power box so any future plans / changes don't keep me tied to the ML350.

The New Rig


  • CPU - AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini Quad-Core 2.05 GHz
  • Motherboard - ASRock AM1B-M AM1[^1]
  • RAM - HyperX Fury Series 2x 4GB
  • RAID Card: IBM ServeRaid M1015
  • Hard Disks -
  • 2x 3TB HGST Deskstar NAS
  • 4x 3TB WD Red


  • Rockstor - Linux & BTRFS powered NAS

Some of the reasons why I went with the above hardware are there was a shellshocker for the CPU + Mobo + 4GB RAM for $138.26CDN. The Athlon 5350 has a TDP of just 25W so it was low power enough for me.

I was really debating between FreeNAS & Rockstor and decided not to proceed with DriveBender due to the inherit system requirements for a Windows box. I settled to go with Rockstor due to the flexibility of BTRFS and the inflexibility of ZFS. My storage requirements grow every month and with 4k around the corner that growth could quadruple within the next 2 years and I'm looking for a long term solution. I don't want to invest upfront on the unknown of future storage needs so growing my storage as needed is much more appealing, BTRFS gives me the ability to add disks to the array as needed.

To be continued....

Current Issues:

  • [^1]Possible compatibility issues with the onboard Realtek LAN with the AM1B-M motherboard, speeds are erratic and not constant.