Nas or Das or External HDD with an Nvidia Shield running Plex.

Aziz Ismail

Novice Member
Hi Guys,

I was wondering if someone could shine some light on what i am trying to achieve please.

I basically have an external 4TB HDD connected directly into my Nvidia Shield Pro and run a Plex as a server on it. Unfortunately one of my HDD's took a tumble and no longer works so i have had to re-rip the majority of my 4k Blu Ray discs. I was wondering if i should invest in something like a DAS or Nas to store all my content. I have watched a few videos on You Tube to try to get a better understanding of what route i want to go down but i'm not 100% sure what is the best route to take.

Do i invest in a Drobo or Synology type NAS and store all my content on there and then connect the NAS directly into the shield or purchase another WD 4TB hard drive and add my content on a new HDD as keep that as a backup in case the current HDD fails.

I have the shield hard wired via a home plug and hardly have any issues when watching 4k content via plex. I'm assuming this is due to the hdd being directly connected to the shield?

Is upgrading to a NAS worth doing or even maybe a DAS just for my movies and tv shows?
Am i better off just buying another HDD and backing all my content up and leaving that HDD to one side. I do tend to add content regularly so the HDD may fill up over the year.

Thanks in advance.
 

rpr

Active Member
Regardless of which route you end up going down I would still strongly back up content to an external hard drive which you then keep elsewhere
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
NAS == "Network Attached Storage." It's a file server attached to a network that anything can access.

DAS == "Direct Attached Storage." Storage that can only be accessed by the "thing" it's attached to. A USB stick attached to a laptop is an example.

The only way anything else can access DAS across a network is if the "thing" the DAS is attached to implements networked file sharing for it.

Generally, if you want NAS functionality, buy a NAS rather than lash it up from something else. Plenty of "lash up" options are possible, (Windows has been able to serve files over a network since the 1990's for example, or you could build your own if you have hardware lying around,) but if you were starting from scratch, you wouldn't start out planning a lash up.

Don't get too fixated on the hype of "NAS" - it's just a computer like any other, but it's been stripped down to the bare minimum of hardware and software functionality to just "serve files onto a network" which makes them cheap and simple to administer. Often they are designed to run "headless" (without a screen and keyboard) and you administer them using a web browser over the network (like your router) and they run a "different" operating system - usually a version on Linux/Unix.

There's been a lot of "function creep" in the NAS market over the last ten years as vendors have increasingly "added back in" lots of functionality that was originally omitted to make them cheap. (E.G. media servers, data scrapers, backup agents, virtualisation platforms, etc. etc.) This has impacted the hardware requirements, especially if you want to do real time media transcoding (which needs fast processors) and thusly the cost. But if you just want a basic file server without all the fancy stuff, they can still be pretty cheap.

There is an FAQ about NAS pinned in this forum.
 

Aziz Ismail

Novice Member
I have read that a few NAS products have Plex built in but i do not require that feature as i wish for the shield to do all the trans coding etc.

Looking at some of the features such as Raid isn't really "backing" up my content or is it? If i was to buy a 4Bay NAS for instance, 1 of the drives would basically copy all my movies and tv shows etc but from what i have read, it's doing some form of backup in case one of the drives fails and then can transfer the data across to the new drive. It's not like having a separate HDD with all my content on is it?

I don't wish to share any other content so using a NAS isn't really something i would use to it's full potential.
Am i better of just investing in say something like x2 6TB external HDD and use one to backup my content?

Thanks for the above replies.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
I have read that a few NAS products have Plex built in but i do not require that feature as i wish for the shield to do all the trans coding etc.

Looking at some of the features such as Raid isn't really "backing" up my content or is it? If i was to buy a 4Bay NAS for instance, 1 of the drives would basically copy all my movies and tv shows etc but from what i have read, it's doing some form of backup in case one of the drives fails and then can transfer the data across to the new drive. It's not like having a separate HDD with all my content on is it?

I don't wish to share any other content so using a NAS isn't really something i would use to it's full potential.
Am i better of just investing in say something like x2 6TB external HDD and use one to backup my content?

Thanks for the above replies.

Yes RAID is fault tolerance, something could still happen to the raid array or device itself and you might still be in trouble.

Something to watch out for is that commercial set top boxes like the Nvidia Shield (& game consoles) don't always recognise USB HDD RAID enclosures, why this is I do not know but some work and others do not (Icybox enclosures are reported to work with Shield).

So yeah buying two standalone USB HDD's might be the simple path, do a backup of the media HDD once a year, several months or something if your not too pushed about it being up to date.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
As stated above, RAID in NOT backup. RAID is a mechanism that (usually) is used to avail continued access to data in the event of a disc failure. Some RAID versions don't even do that. If you write a corrupt file to (say) a RAID 1 array, then the file will be corrupt on all discs (as then are kept lock step identical to each other) and RAID won't give you anything "restore" from.

Continues access to data is important for a commercial organisation. For example a company would not want to send everyone home for day because the "data is not available" whilst IT are restoring from a backup. Such continuous access to data is of less (arguable no) importance in a domestic scenario.

Backup means making a separate replicas of the data at a point in time "somewhere else." How often to make a backup, how long to keep it, how many generations to keep, where to keep them and so on are informed by the importance of the data and how much time and money we are prepared to expend managing them.

In business, even when we use RAID technologies, we still make backups too.
 

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