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post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabbathHB View Post

I don't see myself doing any transcoding either. At least not in the near future. What nas did you choose and what are your initial thoughts between using your media center vs the new nas?
So for a 4x 3.5" bay (room for expansion) nas with 2x WD 2Tb blue HDD's what would you suggest? While staying under $450.00? Sorry for my ignorance still but I see 4 bay nas units selling anywhere from $150.00 to $800.00 or more... What in the world makes these things so different? What makes a cheap nas cheap and an expensive nas expensive? Don't they all pretty much do the same thing? And to note I will not be running anything in raid regardless of what I end up doing.
heaps different quality wise reliability wise and speed wise. Different CPUs and ram and features the Synology are reliable as he'll we have sold maybe 30 with no failures over the past few years, everyone loves the Synology cloud app that let's you create your own hosted Dropbox
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabbathHB View Post

I see thank you. My internet is 150mb down and 12mb up. My ethernet is also gigabit. So if I was to use our HTPC this way are there any things I should do to it or additional software I would need to run? Our systems are already set up on a shared home network. For example, when I set up the automated back ups for the other networked systems would I simply be able to point the file save location to the HTPC? I'm doing all this because in the last 3 years I've lost 2x 4tb Seagate back up drives, both after 1 year of use. And each time I lost all the stored data. Thanks for the advice guys!

What OS is your HTPC on? Windows 7+ has a built in backup that is set from the client side and can work across a network. So you open up backup on the client machines, select what to backup and how often, and point them at the desired location on the HTPC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaffieneKing View Post

I use windows storage spaces, I got the idea from here

Works pretty well as a software raid and is very easy to set up, other than that it works as normal storage, just allow the network access/sharing.

You might also be able to get more ideas from that page

I would highly discourage using storage spaces. Unless they have changed things there are 2 main issues i had with storage spaces.

-By far the biggest issue and a no go for me. Drives going in have to be formatted and drives coming out are not readable in just any computer.
-Duplication is all or nothing, you cannot say to keep 2x duplication (2 copies stored on 2 different physical drives) on a pictures folder but no duplication on a movies folder.

I use Stablebit Drivepool and find it to be leaps and bounds better. For example all drives in the pool are just NTFS drives and can be added or removed to the pool without formatting. Also any computer that can read an NTFS drive can read a drive from the pool. For example motherboard goes in your computer, you can take the drives out and any other computer can read them, independently or together. Duplication is on a per folder basis and easy to setup/change. I have some stuff set to 3x dup, some 2x and some no dup. Ive been using it in my server for like 2ish years now and never had an issue. The companion program Scanner is excellent at reporting SMART info from the drive and helped me find a failing Segate 3TB drive before it died.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SabbathHB View Post

I don't see myself doing any transcoding either. At least not in the near future. What nas did you choose and what are your initial thoughts between using your media center vs the new nas?
So for a 4x 3.5" bay (room for expansion) nas with 2x WD 2Tb blue HDD's what would you suggest? While staying under $450.00? Sorry for my ignorance still but I see 4 bay nas units selling anywhere from $150.00 to $800.00 or more... What in the world makes these things so different? What makes a cheap nas cheap and an expensive nas expensive? Don't they all pretty much do the same thing? And to note I will not be running anything in raid regardless of what I end up doing.

Nas's are just like computers (in fact they are computers), so the change in price usually comes from the power of the CPU, amount of ram, number of bays, and other features.

This brings me to the last thing i would point out and learned the hard way. Not all HDD's are created equal. WD for example doesnt call their drives by different colors because they love colors and cant just pick their fav. They are meant for different purposes. WD Blue drives are meant for desktop class use as a OS drive for your standard every day computer. The Red line is intended for NAS use and it does make a difference.

I for example started with 2x 4TB reds and a 3TB Seagate desktop drive in my server. The Stablebit Scanner software less than a year in started reporting SMART errors on the Seagate 3TB drive, specifically load cycle count (parking the heads). Basically your drives in a NAS/Server spin down from time to time when not being used whereas in a desktop hard drives are typically in use regularly and dont do this at all or frequently. NAS/Server drives are designed to do this less frequently and to handle 24/7 operation. For example my WD Red 4TB with 1y 238 days of power on time has only 1270 load cycles. The Seagate drive had almost 600,000 in much less time. The software states the tolerance for the average drive is between 300,000 - 600,000. The Seagate drive started acting funky but i was able to replace it with another RED before it died.

Id highly recommend getting WD Red's or the Seagate NAS drives (although personally i dont like Seagate). I currently have 4x 4TB RED drives and am very happy with them.
post #13 of 17
My drive failure rates are about the same from brand to brand. I picked up Seagate NAS drives(4TB each RAID1) for my Synology. It is a DS416j(1.33ghz dual core ARM with 512 megabytes of ram[part of the board], sure a long shot from the i5 750 and 16 gigabytes of memory in my media center). I have not had it running that long so I can not quite compare it to the computer that was used for longer. So far it seems to work ok. My computer could cache quite a few files due to the extra memory, but it is pretty impressive how well this nas works with so little memory.

As others have said above, an expensive nas tends to be faster(more cpu power and memory. Many have X86 cpus and upgradable memory some even allow a guest os to be installed.). Many of the newer ones are adding hardware video transcoding and other features that I did not need. The nas does have a recycling bin. Interesting enough if you delete a from a share, it is GONE(you can recover it, but it does not go to either systems recycle bin) on windows. A work around is to use a network location as a user folder, but if you access it via another method you can still delete files for good(can be recovered, but not easy like checking the recycle bin).

One of the biggest issues going the NAS route was file recovery if the unit fails, but Linux should be able to read my files and synology even has instructions. As someone who has used Windows for so long it was just a bit more easy for me. For instance if you want you can allow and deny permissions at the same time on Windows, while on this NAS(I can not speak for all units) you either allow or deny(not a combination). Now if you are a part of a group(lets say users or admin) and you do not modify the group permissions even selecting read only(unless you deny writing and i gets reading from your group) in the software still allows full read/write. This still applies to Windows but it is pretty easy to just outright deny what you do not want.

Selecting the properties->security of shared folders may be slower(you see the ID instead of the user/group name for a second or 2) with multiple users. I am not sure the cause of this. I just removed all groups and just added users. It seems to be near instant now.

Once you get used to it, setting up is very easy. I just remove all the groups I do not want and give each user permissions(no checking one is like a deny as long as the group is not giving them permission).

I do want to point out that some software does not like to run over the network. Nvidia Inspector and Open Hardware Monitor come to mind. Also note that Windows does not share your mapped drives with the elevated programs. You have to either make a registry entry I never tested or use a batch files from the admin command prompt to map the drive. This may have advantages if you do not want elevated programs being able to access your files(since many unwanted programs also require elevation).

You can use iscsi to solve this issue, but only ONE computer connects(or should connect) to these targets so it is not good for sharing. This block level setup looks just like an internal drive so everything should work from it. This is not a feature I have used.

Windows and Linux(well Samba) handle symbolic links in a different was as well. On Windows I had all my saved games as Symbolic Links(or Junctions) so they could ALL be stored in the same folder(I then hid these links so they did not clutter my documents folder. This also worked over the network and that was pretty cool). You can do this on Samba(it is off by default[but easy to change in the options of the current version of DSM] and you may have to ssh or telnet[off as well] into NAS to create them). While the idea works the same, deleting a symlink/junction in Windows removes the link and does not seem to effect the target folder. When accessing symlinks over Samba, removing it will take the target with it(you can break the link the same way you made it. It is just not as easy). Making a symlink hidden also hides the target(this is another difference.). It is important to know these issues come from having one program sort of fake to be another[so to speak]. EXT4 formatted drives appear to Windows as NTFS over Samba(its a pretty cool trick).

Overall switching has been pretty painless. I used robocopy to send my files over(keeping date modified since I like to keep that).

I still have some concerns for the future.

Performance over time since they claim EXT4 does not require fragmentation(having an over sized drive may help since EXT4 is supposed to leave some extra room for file expansion). This was a non issue on Windows since it is easy to defrag NTFS drives as needed.

Backups are a bit different. File versions are cool, but I NEED the nas to access these. They are not copies(what I am more accustom to) of the files. Some have the extension .bucket or something and they are not accessible via shares or anything like that. For the time I think i will keep backing up from Windows to my external drives. NTFS is just so easy to read since I have so many Windows computers.

Overall I am pretty happy with this D416j for the price(the drives cost more than the machine). It has 2 more bays I can use for larger or more drives in the future.

On the topic of RED VS Blue. Yeah I would bet the reds will last longer under nas workloads.
Here is the one that is still in my media center(I may use it for media center recordings at some point).


The blue used for recordings(It parks the heads when not in use and spins down. It spends lots of time sleeping and just wakes up to record/playback or watch live tv.).
Note the g-sense errors. It does NOT like vibration at all(but has caused no issues. WDC offered to replace it before, but I think it is just over sensitive[maybe because it is a laptop drive].).


Sorry if this was too much of a wall of text. This nas is new and these are the observations and comparisons to using my other computer for the job.
Edited by Nukemaster - 2/11/16 at 11:56pm
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post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg View Post

heaps different quality wise reliability wise and speed wise. Different CPUs and ram and features the Synology are reliable as he'll we have sold maybe 30 with no failures over the past few years, everyone loves the Synology cloud app that let's you create your own hosted Dropbox
Well I get the quality and reliability part. Better components=better reliability kinda thing. And I can see how certain programs/apps could be helpful for a lot of different things. But the speed part I'm not totally following. (Noob incoming!) If I transfer a large file between 2 internal HDD's in my gaming system I may see a peak transfer rate of a touch over 100mbps but it will average down to say 60mbps +/-. Transferring the same file across the network to my HTPC won't likely be as fast but iirc it's not to far off. I guess I consider my current network speeds acceptable within the expected speed range of HDD's. Would say a cheaper nas cause slower network speeds? I guess I can see that happening, but a nas can't transfer any faster right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zer0CoolX View Post

What OS is your HTPC on? Windows 7+ has a built in backup that is set from the client side and can work across a network. So you open up backup on the client machines, select what to backup and how often, and point them at the desired location on the HTPC.
I would highly discourage using storage spaces. Unless they have changed things there are 2 main issues i had with storage spaces.

-By far the biggest issue and a no go for me. Drives going in have to be formatted and drives coming out are not readable in just any computer.
-Duplication is all or nothing, you cannot say to keep 2x duplication (2 copies stored on 2 different physical drives) on a pictures folder but no duplication on a movies folder.

I use Stablebit Drivepool and find it to be leaps and bounds better. For example all drives in the pool are just NTFS drives and can be added or removed to the pool without formatting. Also any computer that can read an NTFS drive can read a drive from the pool. For example motherboard goes in your computer, you can take the drives out and any other computer can read them, independently or together. Duplication is on a per folder basis and easy to setup/change. I have some stuff set to 3x dup, some 2x and some no dup. Ive been using it in my server for like 2ish years now and never had an issue. The companion program Scanner is excellent at reporting SMART info from the drive and helped me find a failing Segate 3TB drive before it died.
Nas's are just like computers (in fact they are computers), so the change in price usually comes from the power of the CPU, amount of ram, number of bays, and other features.

This brings me to the last thing i would point out and learned the hard way. Not all HDD's are created equal. WD for example doesnt call their drives by different colors because they love colors and cant just pick their fav. They are meant for different purposes. WD Blue drives are meant for desktop class use as a OS drive for your standard every day computer. The Red line is intended for NAS use and it does make a difference.

I for example started with 2x 4TB reds and a 3TB Seagate desktop drive in my server. The Stablebit Scanner software less than a year in started reporting SMART errors on the Seagate 3TB drive, specifically load cycle count (parking the heads). Basically your drives in a NAS/Server spin down from time to time when not being used whereas in a desktop hard drives are typically in use regularly and dont do this at all or frequently. NAS/Server drives are designed to do this less frequently and to handle 24/7 operation. For example my WD Red 4TB with 1y 238 days of power on time has only 1270 load cycles. The Seagate drive had almost 600,000 in much less time. The software states the tolerance for the average drive is between 300,000 - 600,000. The Seagate drive started acting funky but i was able to replace it with another RED before it died.

Id highly recommend getting WD Red's or the Seagate NAS drives (although personally i dont like Seagate). I currently have 4x 4TB RED drives and am very happy with them.
Yes Win7 pro. And I'll definitely check out Stablebit Drivepool. It sounds sweet! Yea I am aware of the different levels of HDD's and how they have specific designs based off of application. I had been considering going with the RED series from the start but somehow I had it in my head that they were much more expensive. But I just double checked and the pricing is identical to the blue series. So yes, I'll be grabbing red's. I don't think I'll ever own a Seagate again. I had never lost a HDD (ever) until a few years ago when I lost 2x 4tb Seagates in less than 2 years. The HDD I had in the first PC I ever built from scratch about 16 years ago still works just fine..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nukemaster View Post

My drive failure rates are about the same from brand to brand. I picked up Seagate NAS drives(4TB each RAID1) for my Synology. It is a DS416j(1.33ghz dual core ARM with 512 megabytes of ram[part of the board], sure a long shot from the i5 750 and 16 gigabytes of memory in my media center). I have not had it running that long so I can not quite compare it to the computer that was used for longer. So far it seems to work ok. My computer could cache quite a few files due to the extra memory, but it is pretty impressive how well this nas works with so little memory.

As others have said above, an expensive nas tends to be faster(more cpu power and memory. Many have X86 cpus and upgradable memory some even allow a guest os to be installed.). Many of the newer ones are adding hardware video transcoding and other features that I did not need. The nas does have a recycling bin. Interesting enough if you delete a from a share, it is GONE(you can recover it, but it does not go to either systems recycle bin) on windows. A work around is to use a network location as a user folder, but if you access it via another method you can still delete files for good(can be recovered, but not easy like checking the recycle bin).

One of the biggest issues going the NAS route was file recovery if the unit fails, but Linux should be able to read my files and synology even has instructions. As someone who has used Windows for so long it was just a bit more easy for me. For instance if you want you can allow and deny permissions at the same time on Windows, while on this NAS(I can not speak for all units) you either allow or deny(not a combination). Now if you are a part of a group(lets say users or admin) and you do not modify the group permissions even selecting read only(unless you deny writing and i gets reading from your group) in the software still allows full read/write. This still applies to Windows but it is pretty easy to just outright deny what you do not want.

Selecting the properties->security of shared folders may be slower(you see the ID instead of the user/group name for a second or 2) with multiple users. I am not sure the cause of this. I just removed all groups and just added users. It seems to be near instant now.

Once you get used to it, setting up is very easy. I just remove all the groups I do not want and give each user permissions(no checking one is like a deny as long as the group is not giving them permission).

I do want to point out that some software does not like to run over the network. Nvidia Inspector and Open Hardware Monitor come to mind. Also note that Windows does not share your mapped drives with the elevated programs. You have to either make a registry entry I never tested or use a batch files from the admin command prompt to map the drive. This may have advantages if you do not want elevated programs being able to access your files(since many unwanted programs also require elevation).

You can use iscsi to solve this issue, but only ONE computer connects(or should connect) to these targets so it is not good for sharing. This block level setup looks just like an internal drive so everything should work from it. This is not a feature I have used.

Windows and Linux(well Samba) handle symbolic links in a different was as well. On Windows I had all my saved games as Symbolic Links(or Junctions) so they could ALL be stored in the same folder(I then hid these links so they did not clutter my documents folder. This also worked over the network and that was pretty cool). You can do this on Samba(it is off by default[but easy to change in the options of the current version of DSM] and you may have to ssh or telnet[off as well] into NAS to create them). While the idea works the same, deleting a symlink/junction in Windows removes the link and does not seem to effect the target folder. When accessing symlinks over Samba, removing it will take the target with it(you can break the link the same way you made it. It is just not as easy). Making a symlink hidden also hides the target(this is another difference.). It is important to know these issues come from having one program sort of fake to be another[so to speak]. EXT4 formatted drives appear to Windows as NTFS over Samba(its a pretty cool trick).

Overall switching has been pretty painless. I used robocopy to send my files over(keeping date modified since I like to keep that).

I still have some concerns for the future.

Performance over time since they claim EXT4 does not require fragmentation(having an over sized drive may help since EXT4 is supposed to leave some extra room for file expansion). This was a non issue on Windows since it is easy to defrag NTFS drives as needed.

Backups are a bit different. File versions are cool, but I NEED the nas to access these. They are not copies(what I am more accustom to) of the files. Some have the extension .bucket or something and they are not accessible via shares or anything like that. For the time I think i will keep backing up from Windows to my external drives. NTFS is just so easy to read since I have so many Windows computers.

Overall I am pretty happy with this D416j for the price(the drives cost more than the machine). It has 2 more bays I can use for larger or more drives in the future.

On the topic of RED VS Blue. Yeah I would bet the reds will last longer under nas workloads.
Here is the one that is still in my media center(I may use it for media center recordings at some point).


The blue used for recordings(It parks the heads when not in use and spins down. It spends lots of time sleeping and just wakes up to record/playback or watch live tv.).
Note the g-sense errors. It does NOT like vibration at all(but has caused no issues. WDC offered to replace it before, but I think it is just over sensitive[maybe because it is a laptop drive].).


Sorry if this was too much of a wall of text. This nas is new and these are the observations and comparisons to using my other computer for the job.
Wow thanks for the detailed information. When I have more time this weekend I'll have to google some of the terms and acronyms you used lol! I guess what I'm gathering so far is that for my needs I don't need anything to fancy. Fast and reliable without tons of bells and whistles seems to fit my needs I guess. Central storage location for media, multi-system back up images, and the ability to stream to our HTPC. I kind of like the idea of having our own wireless cloud but it's surely not necessary. And I don't want to run anything in raid so I don't even need it supported.

(Sorry if this post is scattered. I started typing it 3 hours ago.)
Ok so this is where I'm at right now. Staying within the $450.00 budget puts me out of range for the DS416J + 2x 2tb WD red's. Obviously I'm in a steep learning curve right now. What about something like this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010W36M7Y?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_sfl_title_2&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER with 2x 2tb WD red's? I would be under the budget limit but would I be buying a POS at this level? Thanks so much for the help guys.
post #15 of 17
I have too little experience to recommend a NAS. The HTPC would be the cheapest nas(since you already have it) provided you could leave it on when required. It maybe able to wake on lan, but you will still have a delay(same as having hard drives in a NAS spin down). The nas you link to looks to have a fair bit of features for the price, but I have so little experience it is hard to say how good or bad it is.

If you do go the Synology route, first install the system with a single drive then add the other to make as second volume. By default it would want to use the 2 drives in a SHR(Synology Hybrid Raid) array.
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post #16 of 17
The higher quality nas units have multiple lan ports to allow link aggregation so you can see speeds up to 400mb/s with the correct raid. also support built in for encryption.

Synology hybrid raid is the same as raid 1 essentially nuke master its fine. have plenty running in business networks running 24/7 in SHR (for the last 5 years)
post #17 of 17
I was not calling it bad. Just wanted to make sure they knew by default it would not run the drives separately.

Since it can also have single drive redundancy in 3+ disk arrays it must have some raid5 in it somewhere. From what I have read it kind of works as what ever is needed for the number of disks as well as number of redundant disks you select(1 or 2)

I do not regret using(may be upto 2 weeks with It. That is how new this thing is) it since single disk redundancy(and 2 disk array) was what I was after anyway.
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