I thought I’d share my finished project using the BPI-R2 here. I built a tiny NAS/router inside a hot-swap hard drive cage. The dimensions of the BPI-R2 were excellent for this size, it’s basically the size of a 3.5" hard drive and all the I/O ports are on the same edge. Luckily I could position the SD card at the front and it is still accessible.
SATA and network speeds are perfectly fine for a non-SSD NAS. The 300MB/s limit would be a problem for connecting two SSDs though. The CPU is fast enough as a NAS but is a little slow if I want to run other things on it too. I’ll consider an aarch64 board next time, otherwise I may switch to x86_64 boards if I need speed. More RAM and a 64-bit OS are preferred for ZFS, but it I actually got it running on the BPI-R2 anyway (I did have to manually give the kernel more RAM with
vmalloc=496M during boot).
It wasn’t possible to connect an internal power supply so I had to solder the power lines to the pins of the barrel plug. That worked fine, but was kind of weird.
The full build details are on my website: