Use a NAS to Plot and Farm Chia Currency
Chia Farming is not showing any signs of a slowdown and is driving the hard drive shortage further than anticipated. Since both Plotting and Farming Chia are storage-intensive, we are asked this a lot - Can I use a NAS to farm Chia. The answer is Yes, you can. But in the longer term, you would probably be plotting on a server and farming on a NAS. But Yes, both Plotting and Farming can be done on NAS
Plotting on NAS
Plotting needs a high-speed temporary space. The higher the speed of the Media, the more Plots can be plotted in Parallel so SSDs are used instead of spinning drives. You keep exhausting your SSD's P/E cycles due to high write volumes, but so far we have only seen SSDs being used. Someone may be trying a RAM disk somewhere we are sure.
Plotting also takes some computing resources, the consensus seems to be 2 threads and 4GB RAM per plot. So if you want to plot in parallel, you would need a hardware capable NAS, that can run those many threads. Hardware-wise, you need to look at a NAS which can have NVME slots for plotting, Enough HDD slots for storing your Plots, and easily expandable when required.
Then there is the software to run. While the Chia GUI software is the easiest to RUN, it would need Windows or Linux installation ( Linux GUI is experimental but it works and some reported better performance on Linux), which would mean running a full OS on your NAS. This can be achieved via Virtualization station on QNAP, Virtual Box on ASUSTOR, and Virtual machine manager on Synology.
Another way to run the software is to deploy Chia-Network/chia-docker , If you are ok with the Command line. QNAP has a container station, Synology has Docker and Asustor has Portainer, all of which make docker containers easy on NAS.
The advantage of Plotting on NAS is that you can move the plots to the final destination on the NAS itself very quickly, and you have all the space available. However, you need to be technically inclined to do this and your parallel plotting will be limited by the NAS hardware
Farming on NAS
Farming is where NAS is easy to use, cheap to deploy, and quick to scale up. Farming doesn't take much processing power also so you don't need to think of a NAS which has impressive hardware, just count the number of bays and see how much scalability you need in the future if you want to expand.
12 bay and above NAS are a wise investment to make for storing your plots as you can start with a few Hard drives now, and keep adding more as you plot more and need more space to store your plots.
Most of the implementations of Chia mining with NAS would be to use a Desktop machine with SSD to Plot, and a Large NAS to store your Plots and Farm.