Recently I was lucky enough to be a crew member on a sailboat that was making passage through the Caribbean. The Captain of the vessel, who lived aboard, was speaking to me about data storage and how difficult of an equation it was. Sailboats have very little power available to them when they’re underway as most don’t run their engine which is the only source to power the limited batteries kept onboard. He was thinking about picking up a Drobo-Mini and using SSDs to reduce the amount of draw on his system, however this solution is DAS based and doesn’t allow him access to the data unless he plugs directly into the box which means, you need a computer as well. Which is even more draw on the electrical system.
After a quick think and a look around the Internet I decided that the best way to address this issue would be to use a Raspberry Pi 3, a four port USB hub, multi-SD card reader, and mdadm, with smb, nfs, and upnp. I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty of how to setup a raspberry pi as there are many tutorials available online already. However I will touch on some performance metrics that I was able to pull.