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NAS Box (Buy) Vs FreeNAS (Custom Build)

post #1 of 5
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I'm seeking some advice about buying a NAS box, when I buy this box I will just have to populate this with HDD's.

Reason why I am looking into this is because, a few years ago I built a FreeNAS box but I the mistake I made was to put everything into a RAID setting where it saw 5 2TB drives as one drive. I had lost all the data I put on this drive, I put absolutely everything onto it. I was gutted, it destroyed me.

So anyway I am coming to the point now where I'm not using my computers to my full potential with the fear of loosing information properly and I don't want to do it on a cd drive or even a bluray drive, so I was looking at NAS boxes again.

Should I buy a NAS box which is small and quiet and built for the purpose, or should I build one? The only thing that really pisses me off about these ones you can buy are the stupid prices, but I guess the cage is built for the purpose and the airflow will be the best .
    
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post #2 of 5
hardware raid 0 with 5x2tb? it was just waiting to be destroyed one day :S

I just build myself a server, use it as file server/nas too. if you use raid to keep your data, use raid 5 but remember raid isn't a real backup, it's for redundancy. In a raid 5 : you will use 1 drive for the parity, so if you use your 5x2tb, you will get 8000GB of usable space. Raid 5 fault tolerance is 1 drive, so if a drive fail, just insert another one and your array will try to rebuild itself. If you want more protection raid 6 use 2 drive for fault tolerance.

You must remember that another disk could die during rebuild too but that would be bad luck. So use raid with another external hardrive for real important data + cloud biggrin.gif = best combo


I would suggest that you build it yourself if you ever want to do something more with it. A Nas won't protect your data more than a DIY file server, if a hard drive die, it will die in a nas or in a server.

ONE important thing is your raid performance depend on your chipset or raid card. If you have previously done raid but used your motherboard raid option, it had more chance to corrupt you array after a while and it's slower. Since i was building my first server, i didn't want to spend a lot of money on a raid card, so i went and buy a used perc 5i (40$ used) and it is great. more info on perc 5i perc-5-i-raid-card-tips-and-benchmarks

hope this helped you smile.gif
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post #3 of 5
Like has already been said, build your own home server, just make sure you get a good RAID card in it and use a RAID level that provides redundancy such as 5 or 6. That combined with an older cpu like a core2duo and a good gigabit NIC will result in a much faster set up than 90% of off the shelf NAS's will give you.
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post #4 of 5
Building your own takes some serious time and planning imo. Sure you could put one together in an afternoon but if you get the right boxes and bits it will be much more rewarding and stable.

Also a word to the cloud: Yes if your place burns down you have a lot of data thats able to be recovered. But remember what has been happening recently.. ANYTHING on the cloud is fair game private or not. Don't put anything sensitive there.

FYI I read a bit of news recently where France prosecuted their first file sharer .. for sharing just two files! now i know we are talking home files but if you place your trust in the cloud storage then make sure the stuff you have is... well receipted for if you get my drift.




As said Raid is not a backup. I would go for moderate storage software mirrored instead of a large single Raid 6 pool, but thats just me.

The first advantage is clear one drive dies.. the other is there like RAID 5. You have time to simply put a new drive in and 'sync' or re-mirror the data across. Should two drives die then you still have your data.. you just need two spares.. just like RAID 6, if both mirrors fail then you lose data.. that sucks but you only lose 1 drives worth and you might be able to use some tools to get it back. The downsides sound bad: extra cost. less overall storage and only single drive performance ( 125MB a second still !) but if your looking at sub 9TB then perhaps this is the simplest way
The data is clearly readable by windows or linux.. which can be a trick if your raid controller dies or you run ZFS your basically at the mercy of the next server you try to import into (ZFS is pretty good this way but i have seen issues occasionally usually down to user error)

Im interested to here what others think i know you do away with 50% storage but it does give the least headaches and you can always use a 3rd Memory stick for an extra backup ontop of the mirror for those private files and music ?

you need a headless server with lots of bay space, quiet and reliable with low energy usage + samaba sharing and miniDNLA for streaming, plenty of off the shelf units do it all and do it really well ! but the cost is silly.

ubuntu server headless would be a good start, you could still install a basic gui if you prefer. Other alternatives are ZFSGuru if you want big performance and data checking but beware it eats ram
Edited by Pip Boy - 6/15/13 at 12:31pm
post #5 of 5
My file server was due for an upgrade and instead of going custom, I went the semi-lazy route and opted for pre-built hardware with my choice of software. HP MicroServer with Windows 7+FlexRAID for the WMC recording box and movie-only MKV rips, and a pre-built 10/14-drive unRAID server (by Lime-Tech) for backups and full ISO rips.
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