Answered Thinking about buying-building a NAS

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Barny18, Aug 15, 2018.

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  1. Barny18

    Barny18
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    Hi
    I am beginning the process of trying to make informed choices about a possible storage - sharing solution for our various computers.

    I am would like to have some form of network and online storage-syncing, we currently have 2 Ubuntu Mate, 1 Windows, 1 Linux Lite computers and of course then there are the phones...

    We only need 1-2TB of storage with its own backup. This system will be for data and some music and pictures management-storage-sharing and backup (there are no plans for streaming/storing videos). Our access will be limited by WIFI and internet speeds our internet connection is a huge 2Mbps and 5Mbps up and down respectively.

    At the moment the Mate and windows machines have their own backup strategies and I have set up Syncthing between the two Mate computers. However, I would like to progressively add the other devices to the/a system and I think that without some sort of central hub this will become overly complicated.

    I started looking at off the shelf NAS solutions but of course the Linux people think it is better to build your own box.

    I think something like a Synology 218J or Play should work. I have seen a lot of happy reviews but there are also quite a few used boxes for sale and apparently parts can be quite expensive and difficult to get.

    As for the build your own option there is a lot of info about software installation/configuration but there isn’t much about hardware choices like what is a minimum/entry level CPU, pros/cons of software vs hardware raid, whole system TDP etc.

    As I wrote, I am at the beginning of this process, I have had a quick and very general look some hardware and have seen a number of sub €80 passively cooled CPU motherboard combos with CPUs rated at less than 10w TDP. As an example, this one has 6W CPU, 4 SATA ports and 1 PCIe 2.0 x1 slot.

    Asrock N3150-ITX Mainboard (integr. Quad-Core N3150, Mini ITX, DDR3) Bulkware | eBay

    If we assume equal(ish) costs and that ability/time (perseverance) isn’t a factor then when considering our different Oss, in general terms what do you think is a better route?

    Also, with respect to building my own, what configuration(s) are better (e.g. I am guessing hardware raid is generally preferred) and is there any hardware that should be avoided/sought?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #2 by cjed, Aug 15, 2018 (1 points)
  3. cjed

    cjed
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    Best Answer
    Unless you want to do something out of the ordinary, and it doesn't sound as though you are, I'd strongly recommend a Synology NAS (such as the 218j you mention). You get all the basic features in a relatively easy to configure package, which saves a huge amount of time and grief installing/updating/configuring your own.

    Two features, for example, which are very useful are the VPN Server package and Backup to Cloud package. It also makes adding a UPS straightforward.

    Having said that, I actually run a Windows Server at home, but it's a lot more hassle to maintain than a Synology box.

    Oh, as for CPU specification, almost anything has enough grunt for basic file serving (backup and streaming). You're really only going to want something more powerful if you're going to be transcoding media on-the-fly. Pretty much anything is easily able to saturate a gigabit network.
     
  4. Monty1977

    Monty1977
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    This!! Out of the box NAS is always WAY less of a pain than anything homemade. Been there done that :)
     
  5. brunation

    brunation
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    I use a N3050I-C for my NAS and it's solely used as a file server. An efficient PSU at low power levels was the tricky part of the build - I just bought the best 300W I could afford. Centos 7 + snapraid + NFS. Under load (writing/scrubbing) listing the content via NFS can show delays but actual file reading is fine.

    Edit:

    Data disks are hooked to a SuperMicro AOC-SASLP-MV8.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  6. springtide

    springtide
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    Yep, its what I've done after a long journey..

    Home built 1
    --Windows Home Server
    -- FreeNAS (and tried just about every other NAS solution)

    Home built 2
    -- Windows Home Server
    -- FreeNAS
    -- HW RAID card and both the above

    HP Microserver
    -- Windows Home Server
    -- FreeNAS
    -- HW RAID card and both the above
    - XPEnology

    Synology 4 bay
    Synology 8 bay

    The Synology OS was way better than anything else.

    If you are short of cash, pick up a cheap HP Microserver and run XPEnology (basically 'Synology' on your own box) as they have 4 bays and are less that £100 secondhand.
     
  7. Barny18

    Barny18
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    Hi
    Thanks for the replies, your answers helped a lot.

    It’s getting near decision time... Because we need a reliable solution I guess a Synology unit is a 'responsible' choice. The GUI looks user friendly, they appear to be reliable and they have a nice small(er) footprint.

    On the negative side they are more expensive (around €340 for a Play with two 1TB drives) and there isn’t an opportunity for increased stress induced ageing from trying to install and maintain a DIY system.

    One more question;
    I have been looking at Synology prices and have noticed that when compared to the 218 models, the 216J-Play units are often a little more expensive. What’s happening here, is there something about the 216 model that makes it more desirable?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Darren Heal

    Darren Heal
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    I really can't understand why people use NAS drives at all when you can buy an HP mircoserver on Amazon.co.UK with a 2 gig starter disc for 300 quid or so.

    My wife has been using one of these for her 6 person small business for the past six or seven years and its performed faultlessly.

    Buy one, add three 4 terabye hard discs in a RAID5 array, a cheap 14 inch monitor and keyboard and mouse if you really want to, and Robert's your father's brother.

    Just my 2 cents worth, as they say around here.
     

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