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Which NAS to get?


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#1 slysy

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:07

Hoping for some help deciding on a NAS. I think my usage will be quite basic initially - want to store full pc backups and have a centralised place to store photos, music etc. Might have a play with some of the other features as well :)

I've been looking at the Synology DS212J, DS213 and DS213+. Which of these sounds best for me needs? I heard there is an issue generating photo thumbnails which is fixed on the DS213+ - is it worth getting for this reason? Are there any other models I should consider?

Thinking of getting some WD Red drives to put into it - is that a good choice?

Very grateful for any advice :)


#2 +BudMan

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:49

So $400 for 2 bay? I would prob go with a HP N40L to use as NAS - its 4 bay, actually up to 6 drives can be put in it.. Comes with 2GB ram and 250GB disk for I show $349 over at newegg.

I popped a extra nic in mine, upped the ram and now mine is esxi host that is also my NAS, also my Router (virtual pfsense) and also bunch of other vms I use for play and testing, etc.

You can run whatever you want for your Nas software on it, be it WHS or Storage Essentials, FreeNAS, OpenFiler, etc. etc.. I currently have 4 drives in mine the 250 it came with and then 2tb I bought with it, and a couple of older 750s.. So I can either add 2 more where the optical drive could go, or you could just upgrade my 750

Thats how I would go -- you should also look at the qnap line. The TS219 is there 2bay should compare nicely with your DS213..

#3 Kryspy

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:13

Yup I agree, the HP N40L is a great choice for a NAS appliance build. I use unRAID myself on a home built server. Bear in mind if you venture into streaming video throughout your home that a larger processor may be necessary if transcoding from unsupported formats.

Kryspy

#4 richter

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:16

I own DS213 with two 3TB WD RED drives and I have been extremely satisfied with it after switching from the hell that is WD My Book Live. It performs excellent and I have had no issues (performance wise, software bug here and there). Photo thumbnail generation is painfully slow due to ARM processor, however, if you upload your photos via Photo Uploader from computer it is much much faster. The computer does all encoding/generation instead of NAS. If you just upload it to Synology it can take ages to index/generate photos. I have no issues with videos/music. Do consider 213+ if you plan on using encryption as it should perform twice as fast (Atom vs ARM). Also do consider transcoding features. But...if you are basic to not extremely demanding user (transcoding/encryption) I would opt out for 213 model. It is not cheap, but bundled with a couple of WD REDs it will perform fast, quiet and cool. Make sure to have a gigabit router and use it wired, at least until you transfer your data (it can be done via USB port as well). Wireless performance is faster than wired ever was with MBL in my case, but two can't actually compare.

BudMan has a good points. If you are more adventurous type and do want more customization it is something to consider. Synology is foolproof and reliable. Just consider how much space you need (8TB is max) and about future upgrades. You can't expand DS21x with additional bays, however, it does have three USB ports so you can hook up external USB drive.

Good luck!

#5 Jason S.

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:30

i own the Synology DS409. i've had it for about 4 years now, and it's been rock solid.

What i would recommend is that you pay for the unit w/ the best specs that you can afford. I got the DS409, but i wish i'd bought the DS409+.

As richter said, building your own NAS can be cost effective, but you'll end up spending much more time building and maintaining. Prebuilt NAS's, like Synology's, are simple and foolproof.

#6 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:42

I own a DS211j. Love it. As others have said, it is pretty much fool proof. Their software suite and UI for the NAS on a whole is what I believe one pays a bit more for honestly. There really is not much work one needs to do to get it up and running.
I would imagine something like that HP is a great choice to save money, but there will be a lot more manual set up of things involved. So up to you at that point.

#7 TPreston

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:45

Disagree with all opinions here, NAS devices are not scalable when you need more drives you need to bin the NAS and get another waste of money and a sodding ripoff for what you get.

400$ for 4 bays ? Ripoff for that price you could get a eol 12 port raid card intel embedded board and a case with plenty of bays.

How much will a 12 port NAS set you back ? $2400

#8 Night Prowler

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 12:51

This sounds interesting. I only have a few things I need to do:

1) Provide storage for backups, and all the normal documents, pics, ands such)
2) Run uTorrent that has a RSS feed.
3) Run PyTiVo, and Python to provide server connection to my TiVo box.

Can FeeNAS do the above?

Can FreeNAS be installed on a VM just to get the feel of it?

#9 Jason S.

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 13:00

Disagree with all opinions here, NAS devices are not scalable when you need more drives you need to bin the NAS and get another waste of money and a sodding ripoff for what you get.

400$ for 4 bays ? Ripoff for that price you could get a eol 12 port raid card intel embedded board and a case with plenty of bays.

How much will a 12 port NAS set you back ? $2400

except youre wrong. You can simply add bigger drives and replace the existing drives. For instance, earlier this year i bought a new 2TB hard drive to replace an existing 1TB drive. Now my (4) bay unit has (2) 2TB drives, and (2) 1TB drives.

Also, if i want to upgrade my unit in the future, i can buy a new unit and pop in the existing drives. no data loss.

Plus, some Synology units support their expansion shelfs. if you need more drives, buy the shelf and populate.

#10 +BudMan

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 13:18

Yes freenas can be install to vm to get feel of it. Can it run pyTivo or utorrent? Not sure - but if you just build the box as esxi host - you can give run those other services on another VM if so needed if the OS you use for your nas does not support those applications.

If I knew I was going to run 12 drives - then sure why would I be looking at 2 or 4 or even 6 bay nases? I agree with you could build your own box and case, etc. If you wanted to I could put together a 20 bay box fairly cheap. As drives get bigger and bigger and bigger do you really need 12 bays? Why pay for hardware that can support 12 bays if you don't need that much.

My point in suggesting the N40L is for slightly cheaper cost, I think you get a more robust setup that could be use for much more than just the of the shelf "NAS" There is really not much tinkering if you don't want other than installing whatever OS you want to be your NAS os - which again going with something like the N40L gives you more options. Those off the shelf nases don't really allow for lots of different OS options.

Yes you can always just build your own to whatever specs you require - and most likely save money. I was trying to suggest a middle of the road type approach where your pretty much ready to go out of the box other than installing an OS.

#11 Kryspy

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 13:25

I know unRAID has both transmission and utorrent plugins as well as a pytivo plugin as well.

Kryspy

#12 tsupersonic

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 14:10

I bought a Synology DS213 and paired with 2 WD RED's, and I'm very happy. I don't use the photo station function - I mainly use it for backups and streaming videos/music to my Xbox 360, and it works great! The Synology's have fantastic reviews online - the software that powers it is extremely easy to use, setup was easy, and community support is great

#13 Enron

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 14:22

I'm also a big fan of the Scienology DS products. They've always been reliable for me.

#14 OP slysy

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:19

Thanks for the help. In the end I decided to wait a bit, then bought the newly released DS213J



#15 +patseguin

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 01:45

I bought the Synology 1511+ because of it's 5 bays and the ability to addd storage with expansion modules. A Synology NAS is MUCH better than building your own machine and using unRAID. I went the unRAID route and it took cryptic commands to set up the array and it was extremely slow. Synology's DSM OS makes RAID management a dreaam.