The Cubieboard with a 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM, a SATA port and its low price ($49) is probably one the best available options if you want to make your own ARM based NAS. The hardware is easy to get, most of the software components (Linux, SAMBA/NFS server, Bittorrent client, etc…) are available, but there are no NAS enclosure available for the Cubieboard, so this part may be a little tricky. Cubieforums user Vustus has a pretty neat and cost- effective solution for an enclosure based on off-the-shelf parts.
If you want to try it yourself, you’ll need the following parts:
- 3.5″ USB 2.0 aluminum external dual SATA HDD enclosure ($15) – http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?InvtId=ET-3541S
- 10″ Flat SATA cable ($2.49) – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119365
- SATA Y cable for power ($4.99) – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812198015
- Power cable for th Cubieboard (taken from PSP power supply, as a cable would cost about $7 according to vustus) ($4.29) – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002TK3GH8
- 3.5″ HDD adapter plate for 2.5″ HDD ($6.99) – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009519O48
The total cost (including shipping) is about $52 without Cubieboard nor hard drive. I think you’ll have a hard time finding a cheaper 3.5″ dual HDD enclosure if you live in the US, but you may be able to find cheaper cables, and adapter.
You’ll also need an Ethernet cable, a soldering kit, a power drill, an RJ45 crimp tool, as well as some screws and plugs.
The hard drive is fitted in the adapter plate, and the Cubieboard attached on top as shown below.
The you’ll need to drill holes in the enclosure, as well as cut and solder a few cables to complete the design. You can check the pictures and a few words of explanation on imgur.com.
Vustus says he’s currently running Roman’s headless image (See Wheezy Debian images at http://linux-sunxi.org/More-images) with SAMBA and Transmission BT, but you could just add any software packages / solution supporting the ARM architecture.