I've gotten to a point that it looks like I need to go down the Media Server route. I've got about 3TB worth of media, and my HTPC can't handle any more drives (well not internally anyway, it keeps crashing when I try!).
Since my wife has become fond of using the laptop in the bedroom to watch videos as well, I figure it makes sense to add a media server to my setup.
I've spent the last few hours going through the various threads regarding this as well as some DIY sites as well. As always, there is no one definitive answer out there! I looked at buying something pre-built, but where's the fun in that?
(sure the wife would prefer it though!)
Anyway, a couple of questions in trying to decide on software. From what I have read, it seems that Windows Home Server and unRaid are both very good solutions. So any thoughts on what separates them?
If I understand correctly, both will present a single drive to the network, so you don't have to network and organize multiple drives. I've heard there have been some issues getting WHS to play nice with Windows 7 (which my HTPC is, but not the laptop, Vista), but I imagine those will eventually get ironed out.
Both seem to be able to add drives as you go or varying size, which is important to me. unRaid has this parity thing though, which I don't really get. If I read it correctly, parity some how backs up ALL your drives onto one drive, so if I have 5 2TB drivers, I have 8GB worth of storage space and somehow all 8GB gets backed up on the first 2TB drive, right?
Doesn't seem like WHS has anything like that, so that would be a big thing in favor of unRaid. I also like that unRaid is run off a flash drive (of which I have several laying around). On the other hand, I've never had good luck with OS programs (tried Ubuntu and never could get it to work with my wireless card, tried Media Portal and had all sorts of issues with Vista64), so it being Linux based makes me a bit hesitant. Also, though it seems most hardware incompatibilities have been worked out, that worries me still.
So what are the advantages of WHS over unRaid, and vice verse?
Also, it seems that unRaid will format any drive tossed in there, which is a pain, though not impossible to deal with, does WHS do that?
I suppose I can always try the free version of unRaid, see if I like it, then if I don't toss it and buy WHS, but would I need to reformat all the drives again as well?
Thanks for any help.