Is it possible to make a high performance NAS with a Raspberry Pi cluster (2 to 4 pis)? With high performance I mean able to handle streaming of 2 full HD movies at the same time.

Let's say I have 4 RPis, each with 100 MBit LAN and a 1 TB USB disk attached. I would love to have a "virtual drive" of 2 TB (redundancy and speed)... Is that possible?


2 Answers 2


I really hate to be a ball buster here, but at what point did you associate Raspberry Pis and "high performance NAS." Although it'd be a cool project like this, Raspberry Pis just aren't that powerful. They're low cost for fully functioning computer, but they are by no means cheap for their computing power.

I would recommend a device more adequately designed for the purpose you have in mind. A typical consumer NAS wouldn't cost much more than the 4 RPis ($140 + S/H), the HUB you'd need to interface them, and the 4 power supplies (or one bigger power supply) you'd need. In addition, you'd need the 4 x 1 TB drives you mentioned, all with USB enclosures (RPi doesn't have SATA). All these together would run over $450 easily.

Personally I use an Apple Time Capsule, as it acts as a wireless NAS, printer server, 4 port ethernet hub and dual-band wireless N router all in one. It's $300 for the 1TB model or $500 for a 3TB model, although you can easily swap out the drive of the $300 model to your own 3TB drive for less than the $200 cost difference that they charge.

If you require a RAID array for data security/safety, something like a Drobo might be worth looking into.

  • thank you for your reply. I think you are right. I think it's better to buy a itx mainboard + 2 core prosessor + ram + 4 sata disks. that'll do it much better, and not more expensive. Thanks for your insight!
    – otmezger
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 6:43
  • I think that may be over the top. A dedicated windows computer brings along downsides such as higher power consumption and security, whilst not offering any extra functionality to contribute to your goal as described in the question
    – Alexander
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 0:30

USB 2.0 would be a bottleneck in your case, raspberry connected HDD can hardly achieve 25-30MB/sec throughput, however the same HDD connected using USB 3.0 can give you 2x-3x speed improvement into the 90+MB/sec. Therefore it would be much cheaper and faster with a different dedicated NAS hardware.

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