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unRaid vs FreeNAS?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So I'm building a media server and I bought this motherboard just to start out with. But my main question is, should I go with unRaid or freeNAS? I would rather go with freeNAS because it is free but if unRaid works better or is much easier to use I would go with that. I am planning to try the free version of unRaid to see how it compares to freeNAS, but I thought I would get your guys' opinions too.
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unRAID Server
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i5-4670k EVGA Z87 Stinger miniITX EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Klevv Urbane 16GB 2400 
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RAID 0 (2x Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 240GB) Windows 10 27'' HP - 2709m Razer Blackwidow Chroma 
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2X8TB Seagate Archive HDD 4X3TB WD Green unRAID 6.2  FSP Group 700W, Kingwin 500W 80 Plus Platinum 
Case
Apple Xserve, Apple Xserve RAID 
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Main System
(12 items)
 
unRAID Server
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-4670k EVGA Z87 Stinger miniITX EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Klevv Urbane 16GB 2400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
RAID 0 (2x Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 240GB) Windows 10 27'' HP - 2709m Razer Blackwidow Chroma 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
500W 80 plus gold (EVGA Hadron Air) EVGA Hadron Air Razer Naga Chroma Rocketfish Dual-Sided Aluminum Mouse Surface 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Xeon E5-2683 V3 ASRock X99 Extreme3 3x4GB ECC Samsung 1x8TB Seagate Archive HDD (Parity) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
2X8TB Seagate Archive HDD 4X3TB WD Green unRAID 6.2  FSP Group 700W, Kingwin 500W 80 Plus Platinum 
Case
Apple Xserve, Apple Xserve RAID 
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post #2 of 10
I am new to the whole NAS server scene, however within the last week, I just got my NAS server put together and up and running. I am currently using FreeNAS and really enjoy it so far. It is really doing everything that I need it to do at this point. The only trouble that I have had is accessing it from my wifes Chromebook, however that may just be a Chromebook limitation and not a freenas limitation.

I do not have any exp with unraid so I cannot comment on that, however can give a +1 to freenas because it has made setting things up for a n00b like me pretty easy..
The Gibson
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The Gibson
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider_2001 View Post

I am new to the whole NAS server scene, however within the last week, I just got my NAS server put together and up and running. I am currently using FreeNAS and really enjoy it so far. It is really doing everything that I need it to do at this point. The only trouble that I have had is accessing it from my wifes Chromebook, however that may just be a Chromebook limitation and not a freenas limitation.

I do not have any exp with unraid so I cannot comment on that, however can give a +1 to freenas because it has made setting things up for a n00b like me pretty easy..

well that makes me feel better about using freeNAS because I don't know anything about either except that with unraid you are limited to 20 HDDs and Im sure in the future I am going to have more than that.
Main System
(12 items)
 
unRAID Server
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-4670k EVGA Z87 Stinger miniITX EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Klevv Urbane 16GB 2400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
RAID 0 (2x Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 240GB) Windows 10 27'' HP - 2709m Razer Blackwidow Chroma 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
500W 80 plus gold (EVGA Hadron Air) EVGA Hadron Air Razer Naga Chroma Rocketfish Dual-Sided Aluminum Mouse Surface 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Xeon E5-2683 V3 ASRock X99 Extreme3 3x4GB ECC Samsung 1x8TB Seagate Archive HDD (Parity) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
2X8TB Seagate Archive HDD 4X3TB WD Green unRAID 6.2  FSP Group 700W, Kingwin 500W 80 Plus Platinum 
Case
Apple Xserve, Apple Xserve RAID 
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Main System
(12 items)
 
unRAID Server
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-4670k EVGA Z87 Stinger miniITX EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Klevv Urbane 16GB 2400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
RAID 0 (2x Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 240GB) Windows 10 27'' HP - 2709m Razer Blackwidow Chroma 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
500W 80 plus gold (EVGA Hadron Air) EVGA Hadron Air Razer Naga Chroma Rocketfish Dual-Sided Aluminum Mouse Surface 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Xeon E5-2683 V3 ASRock X99 Extreme3 3x4GB ECC Samsung 1x8TB Seagate Archive HDD (Parity) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
2X8TB Seagate Archive HDD 4X3TB WD Green unRAID 6.2  FSP Group 700W, Kingwin 500W 80 Plus Platinum 
Case
Apple Xserve, Apple Xserve RAID 
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post #4 of 10
i am also looking to build a freenas or unraid box seeing as i just scored a free Intel Xeon E31220 v2. Is there certain benefits over the other, i have read around and am still up in the air on which way to go.
 
X99
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X99
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Hannspree HF225   ACER H213H ASUS VH236H MS Sidewinder X4 
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post #5 of 10
UnRAID is great if you are going to be mixing and matching drives (different sizes and vendors). UnRAID has a drive limit of 21, I believe (20 storage and 1 parity), and UnRAID doesn't do any kind of striping. You can literally pull one of the drives and throw it in another PC and pull data off of it (this is not possible if you use hardware RAID...except for a RAID 1).

FreeNAS is a more standard software RAID solution, which includes the ZFS file system. ZFS is considered my most, the most advanced file system out there with the ability to self-heal files. If I ever did software RAID, it would be with ZFS...and probably under FreeNAS (I'm actually going to spin up a FreeNAS VM on Hyper-V so I can get FreeNAS experience, as well as experience installing BSD...and experience installing BSD on Hyper-V).

With FreeNAS, you will need to ideally get the same drives for each drive you put in the server. FreeNAS has lots of networking protocols (SMB/CIFS, AFP, NFS, FTP, TFTP, RSNC, SCP/SSH, iSCSI) and also has several useful services builtin (Torrent client, uPnP server, iTunes server, WebServer, Remote Replication, Snapshots, Thin Provision, support fo 10Gigabit HBAs, cron) in the style of plugins.

I say go for FreeNAS, unless you are mixing drive vendors/sizes.
post #6 of 10
I was going to ask the same question and this thread showed up (I am very new to the NAS scene). One of the main things I want to know, is it possible to incrementally upgrade storage space on FreeNAS? Apparently on UnRaid you can:
Quote:
Unlike other RAID systems, unRAID Server supports true incremental storage expansion. You can add capacity by adding more hard drives or by upgrading existing hard drives. This is a great way to make use of older, smaller hard drives you might have laying around.
SOURCE

Is there a similar feature in FreeNAS, or another NAS OS? This feature seems very valuable - just add more storage by simply adding more hard drives - and I would definitely pay just for that feature. Also what are (if any) the major disadvantages of unRAID over FreeNAS? After reading that there is no striping, I can only assume unRAID would be significantly slower. However speed for me is no real issue, mainly media files and backups.
Edited by Saieash - 1/14/13 at 5:15am
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post #7 of 10
I use FlexRaid, but it has to sit on top of a OS such as Windows. I went this route because I wanted to do more with my server than just stream from it, i.e. I use XBMC on it also. You could also look at SnapRaid which I here is good too.
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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saieash View Post

I was going to ask the same question and this thread showed up. One of the main things I want to know, is it possible to incrementally upgrade storage space on FreeNAS? Apparently on UnRaid you can:
SOURCE

Is there a similar feature in FreeNAS, or another NAS OS? This feature seems very valuable - just add more storage by simply adding more hard drives - and I would definitely pay just for that feature. Also what are (if any) the major disadvantages of unRAID over FreeNAS?

I think UnRAID plays that feature up a bit. Any modern day hardware RAID controller is going to allow for OCE (Online Capacity Expansion), albeit, replacing a drive with a larger drive in a hardware RAID scenario is not as simple (but definitely possible).

To my knowledge (and I am probably wrong -- I have never used FreeNAS or ZFS), FreeNAS is not able to expand an existing pool/volume. You can add drives and create a new pool/volume, and continue creating storage that way...but you can't start with a 3 drive RaidZ1 (their version of RAID 5) and expand to 10 drives, for example. You would have to create a new RaidZ1 (if that's what you wanted to do) and build that based on how many drives you plan to add.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

I think UnRAID plays that feature up a bit. Any modern day hardware RAID controller is going to allow for OCE (Online Capacity Expansion), albeit, replacing a drive with a larger drive in a hardware RAID scenario is not as simple (but definitely possible).

To my knowledge (and I am probably wrong -- I have never used FreeNAS or ZFS), FreeNAS is not able to expand an existing pool/volume. You can add drives and create a new pool/volume, and continue creating storage that way...but you can't start with a 3 drive RaidZ1 (their version of RAID 5) and expand to 10 drives, for example. You would have to create a new RaidZ1 (if that's what you wanted to do) and build that based on how many drives you plan to add.

So I did a little research on this and I found a pretty good explanation for it, hope you guys can understand this post out of context kinda. If not here is a link to the thread.


So from this I think I am going to go with unRaid and hopefully by the time I can afford more drives the software will support more drives or the technology will get better and we will have 6tb drives smile.gif
Main System
(12 items)
 
unRAID Server
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-4670k EVGA Z87 Stinger miniITX EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Klevv Urbane 16GB 2400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
RAID 0 (2x Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 240GB) Windows 10 27'' HP - 2709m Razer Blackwidow Chroma 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
500W 80 plus gold (EVGA Hadron Air) EVGA Hadron Air Razer Naga Chroma Rocketfish Dual-Sided Aluminum Mouse Surface 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Xeon E5-2683 V3 ASRock X99 Extreme3 3x4GB ECC Samsung 1x8TB Seagate Archive HDD (Parity) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
2X8TB Seagate Archive HDD 4X3TB WD Green unRAID 6.2  FSP Group 700W, Kingwin 500W 80 Plus Platinum 
Case
Apple Xserve, Apple Xserve RAID 
  hide details  
Reply
Main System
(12 items)
 
unRAID Server
(9 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-4670k EVGA Z87 Stinger miniITX EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Klevv Urbane 16GB 2400 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
RAID 0 (2x Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 240GB) Windows 10 27'' HP - 2709m Razer Blackwidow Chroma 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
500W 80 plus gold (EVGA Hadron Air) EVGA Hadron Air Razer Naga Chroma Rocketfish Dual-Sided Aluminum Mouse Surface 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Xeon E5-2683 V3 ASRock X99 Extreme3 3x4GB ECC Samsung 1x8TB Seagate Archive HDD (Parity) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSPower
2X8TB Seagate Archive HDD 4X3TB WD Green unRAID 6.2  FSP Group 700W, Kingwin 500W 80 Plus Platinum 
Case
Apple Xserve, Apple Xserve RAID 
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Reply
post #10 of 10
I've had an unRaid server for a couple of years and love it. I've moved over the years from 500gig drives to 1tb drives. I just take a 500gig out and replace it with a 1tb and it recreates all the data for me. I now have 5 1db drives and will be replacing one of the drives with a 3tb drive and move on.

Rick
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