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NAS or build a home server?

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#1
My WD Green 1TB is getting full of musics and movies and I only have about 100 GB left. I was just wondering go with a NAS storage or just build a home server. NAS look cheaper to me but I don't know which one to pick. My family does watch a lot of movies and we stream movies from my computer to the xbox 360, and etc.
 
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#2
My WD Green 1TB is getting full of musics and movies and I only have about 100 GB left. I was just wondering go with a NAS storage or just build a home server. NAS look cheaper to me but I don't know which one to pick. My family does watch a lot of movies and we stream movies from my computer to the xbox 360, and etc.
NAS is an interesting beast. If you want something cheaper, with real networking access, build a media server.

NAS generally have price tags at $300 or more. Add on glitchy support (at the low price end), difficult setup, and poor interaction between multiple device types and you've got a problem.


On the other hand, $300 buys an Atom 525 (soldered onto motherboard), power supply, hard drive, dvd drive, RAM, and low end case. No OS, but Linux is free. No compatibility issues, update friendly support, and capable of being updated in the future.



My money, NAS at low pricing is foolish. Most packaged NAS solutions use either an Atom or ARM processor, so why not cut out the middle man?
 
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#3
I'd lean that way as well.

I've seen this board recommended a couple times for file serving duties: ASUS C60M1-I AMD Fusion APU C-60 (1.0GHz, dual cor...

$80, 6 SATA ports, and sips power. Not a very beastly CPU, but neither are the CPU's in most NAS units. Price for price, no NAS is going to match the value of a DIY build.

Even if you wanted more performance and/or expandability, i.e. an FM2 board (8 SATA ports) + Trinity, prices start around $145 for that combo.
 

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#4
Inexpensive NAS is notoriously slow. I vote DIY server too.
 
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#5
I just want something that has low power and has a lot of storage like 6TB+. Well, like you guys said DIY Home Server. So in a Home Server, can I stream my musics, pictures, and movies thru another computer/devices(like tablets, xbox 360, & etc)?
 
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#6
Sure, you can do whatever you want with it generally. Though it's too bad MS has dumped Windows Home Server with 8/2012 but there are lots of good (and free) alternatives, of course.

Could always roll your own NAS too and even build something that is kinda like a mix between a general purpose server and a simpler "network attached storage" device. Yeah these new little Atom combos are great...

Check out freenas.org and google napp-it for more info. ZFS filesystem on Linux can do some awesome, powerful stuff.
 
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#7
Sure, you can do whatever you want with it generally. Though it's too bad MS has dumped Windows Home Server with 8/2012 but there are lots of good (and free) alternatives, of course.

Could always roll your own NAS too and even build something that is kinda like a mix between a general purpose server and a simpler "network attached storage" device. Yeah these new little Atom combos are great...

Check out freenas.org and google napp-it for more info. ZFS filesystem on Linux can do some awesome, powerful stuff.
thanks
 
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#8
I'd go with unraid, especially with a home server as hard drive sizes are usually going to be mixed. ZFS is powerful and faster but it's pretty annoying to administrate unless you max out your server from the start (you can't add drives to a ZFS array, you have to rebuild it). UnRAID costs money but the basic version (1-3 drives) is free. You'd be looking at a 6TB pool if you go with 3TB HDDs (one drive is used for parity and has to be the biggest of the lot).
 
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#9

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#10
Personally, I think that having a home server is better than having a NAS for the simple reason that if you ever decide you want it to have more functionality (say a game server) in the future you can do so.
Also, there is no real reason that you need a server OS for a home file server.
 

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#11
DIY server if you already have the machine then blow the money on more drives. It is far more efficent then the budget NAS solutions
 
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#12
I just want a file storage because my 1TB only have 100GB left and I don't want to use the 100Gb and I just want to stream my musics, pictures and movies to my devices. So a NAS, can I still stream my media?
 

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#13
There is another consideration also ...

Friend : "What's that?"
You : "It's a NAS."
Friend : "Oh, cool."
e-peen +1

Vs.

Friend : "What's that?"
You : "It's my home server that allows file transfers, QOS, acts as a remote access server to my network, I can set up game services and manage access through group policy, it's a web server and will sync all my mobile devices through it's wireless interface."
Friend : "WOW!"
e-peen + 50


On topic : Yes you can stream media from almost any NAS.
 
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#14
I guess it comes down to what you want to do beyond streaming media really.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned here is that you can't take your 1TB drive and bung it into a NAS, as the NAS would have to initialize the drive which means wiping all the data, so just a little heads up here.
A modern NAS from the likes of Synology, QNAP and Thecus as well as a couple of other companies have easy to configure UI's and some even offer HDMI connectivity so that they can do double duties as media player as well as streamer.
Most also allows you do run a wide range of programs on there ranging from simple media servers to mail servers and wordpress and what not. Sadly a decent NAS doesn't come cheap, as anything with a Marvell processor or similar performs pretty bad when it comes to file copying to/from the NAS itself, despite the NAS having Gigabit Ethernet interface.
Apparently the thing to get is HP's ProLiant MicroServer, as it's got an AMD processor and it looks like a NAS rather than some cheesy second rate PC - http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/15351-15351-4237916-4237918-4237917-4248009.html?dnr=1
 
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#15
I also had the same choice to make some time ago.
If you want a good NAS, you need to spend a lot, those entry-level NAS aren't very fast. Some are also very picky about the drives for example. The NAS would be a simple, easy, choice. I would recommand a DIY server if you can build it yourself, really the best choice, because you can customize it 100%.
 
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#16
All good advice.
 
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#17
Apparently the thing to get is HP's ProLiant MicroServer, as it's got an AMD processor and it looks like a NAS rather than some cheesy second rate PC - http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/15351-15351-4237916-4237918-4237917-4248009.html?dnr=1

If you want a DIY version this case would look pretty sexy as a home server: LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Comp...

Has 6 drive bays and you could install this in the 5.25" bay to put more hard drives in: http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/produc...dex=527&cl_index=2&sc_index=5&ss_index=17&g=f
 
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#18
thanks for all the help, I guess I'll build a home media server. 3 x 2 TB, 1 for parity
 
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#19
Ok, but RAID 5 kinda blows, especially with the "Fake RAID" onboard controller.
 
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#20
Personally, I think that having a home server is better than having a NAS for the simple reason that if you ever decide you want it to have more functionality (say a game server) in the future you can do so.
Also, there is no real reason that you need a server OS for a home file server.
Some NAS do support game server capabilities, and with the majority being hot swappable expanding can be easy.

While transfer speeds will take a hit, power savings will be a recognizable difference over a separate build.
Think about you electricity bill, if that matters.

I've has a 2 bay Synology NAS for two years now and its been great. I paid $350 including 2 640GB drives. Lots of support for raid, DDNS has been great, and streaming is a breeze. Super quiet and never hear a peep out of it. Been on for weeks at a time, never an

That being said, transfer speeds are fair. Definately could be better, but it is two year old tech.
Check out smallbuilder.net. It helped me decide.
 

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#21
I too have a NAS here at home, mlee. 2 x 320GB drives in RAID0
I only use it for backup so performance is not that big of a deal (yes, it's slow).
If it dies I would probably just go with an external USB drive to accomplish the same thing.

I would love to build a massive, 16 core server with 64GB or so of RAM and terabytes of space, but I don't have any use for it. :laugh:
 
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#22
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#23
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#24
Anything at newegg cheaper than like $350 is really not worth a crap over Intel onboard. Get something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-ServeRa...sk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item1c2d5be818

Rebranded LSI (can be flashed with LSI firmware, killer deal. Though it needs an add on chip to do RAID 5. Bracket $11. There is also the IBM M5015 but the great deals on those are gone at present.
I did my research and I found out that LSI has some good raid card.
 
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#25
FYI, you can flash those cards http://www.servethehome.com/ibm-serveraid-m1015-part-4/

I've been trying out some of the various "free" NAS programs with varying luck.
FreeNAS is a pita to configure and as far as the Ubuntu based ones, I can't even get them to boot, nor Ubuntu for that matter, as it appears there's some issue with booting from a USB drive or something and I can't seem to find a solution for it, which is really frustrating.
None of the OSes I've tried come close to a dedicated NAS in terms of ease of use, so there's at least something for going for a pre-built box.
 
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