NAS / Media Server suggestions please.

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by HornetWing, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. HornetWing

    HornetWing
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    Hi all I am sure this question has been asked many times before, in fact I have found threads relevant. I just wanted to make sure I am not throwing away money getting wrong hardware. What I am after is mainly a NAS. I have looked at many options, read countless reviews. I have considered the likes of Synology, Zyxel, Western Digital and Seagate.

    What I would like is:
    Good Speed NAS
    DLNA/UPnP Media Server (stream media to Laptops, TV & Tablets)
    BitTorrent
    Print Server
    FTP server
    iTunes Server

    Nice Extras:
    VPN access
    Web Server? (Possible to use it as a Web Server?)
    Automatic Backup

    While searching for a suitable hardware I have come across the HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L which seems like it could tick all the boxes and more with a little bit of tinkering. I especially like the price with the available cashback. What I would like is to make sure that this is possible with the microserver and with which OS. So far I have seen people use Windows Server 2008 R2, WHS 2011, FreeNAS, XMBC and just plain Windows 7.

    Alternatively, am I barking up the wrong tree here with the HP Microserver?

    Thanks for reading. :thumbsup:


    Some related info I have read:
    Media Server – HP ProLiant Athlon II Neo N36L MicroServer (XBMC) | Darren Watt
    Best os for hp microserver
    Nazca Lines: HP ProLiant Microserver for my new media server
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  2. ukbootlegs

    ukbootlegs
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    I bought one of these ZyXEL NSA310 2TB

    I stream MKV files directly to my Samsung TV, and it also streams to my Xbox Live Mediacentre PC and to my Xbox 360.

    I have a Buffalo NAS too, but the DLNA on it doesn't allow streaming to my TV.
     
  3. HornetWing

    HornetWing
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    Thanks for the suggestion. Only thing I am worried about is how expandable it is and the read and write speeds.

    Taken from:
    Zyxel NSA310 review - PC Advisor

    Where as the Microserver:
    Taken from:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/netw...server-n40l-owners-thread-2.html#post15804091
     
  4. ukbootlegs

    ukbootlegs
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    Those speeds do look slow in comparison, but all I can say is, for me, it performs fine.

    I store all my 3D content on the drive.
     
  5. MikeK

    MikeK
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    I'd be wary of reading too much into performance figures like these - they may indicate what the unit under test is capable of under ideal conditions, but that may not reflect what you can actually achieve in the real world!

    There are many variables so it'd be hard to list them all, but a couple of the main ones might be -

    - antivirus software is a well known performance killer, but you very often have it on a client PC, even if it's not running on the server.

    - client PC performance (it's OK having a NAS which can write at 100MB/s, but if you can only send data to it at 50MB/s, then that's all you'll get)
     
  6. ukbootlegs

    ukbootlegs
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    I was gonna say about network speed and latency affecting write times too.
     
  7. HornetWing

    HornetWing
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    So... by the sounds of it it doesn't really matter if I get a NAS such as the Zyxel NSA310 or if I go for the Microserver. Both should fulfill the requirements? Only major advantage in the Microserver is the expandability (hardware & software), right?
     
  8. springtide

    springtide
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    It comes down to whether you want:

    NAS
    A "black box" that just works out of the box and if anything goes wrong with it you talk to the vendor/seller (NAS)

    Microserver
    Or a system that you may need to configure a little bit more to get what you want working, but has more flexibility (you decide on the OS, plug-ins, etc)

    Although it is depending on the OS of the Microserver, but I would probably say that some of the power management on the consumer NAS solutions (in terms of when they 'sleep' when not in use) are probably better (take less power). But the Microservers are pretty lower power nowadays, so the advantage maybe less than they used to be.
     
  9. ukbootlegs

    ukbootlegs
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    With a microserver you also need to licence an OS assuming you don't go done the Linux route.
     
  10. HornetWing

    HornetWing
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    I am aware of that, and I do have a spare W7 Ultimate license and I have access to Sindows Server 8 R2 (via www.dreamspark.com).
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012

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