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post #1 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you guys this is the best most reliable solution? Either buying something like the synology DS412+, building a windows8/windows server 2008 box or an freenas/unraid box...? I want to keep power and noise to a minimum and keep the iops the most I possibly can. If possible it would be nice to also have this be a plex media server but at least it will need to run sab+couch+sickbeard and run mysql for the XBMC database... That all being said reliability of the solution is also important. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 02:15 PM
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I really like my Synology DS2413+... you'll basically pay a premium for any ready-made solution, but it's worth it IMO. I think it just depends how much you want to tinker with it...
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post #3 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tgrinch View Post

I really like my Synology DS2413+... you'll basically pay a premium for any ready-made solution, but it's worth it IMO. I think it just depends how much you want to tinker with it...
What makes you say it is worth it?
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post #4 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 02:32 PM
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I have a 1812+ that I am setting up. I have enough to tinker with on the HTPC, I wanted a storage solution that just works. The interface is great and it is easy to manage. After putting a Intel nic in my desktop I get 100MB/s transfer speeds (only 50-60MB/s with the realtek nic).

I have sab and sickbeard on it. I am going to see about putting the XBMC database there too. I was going to install plex but I don't think that the processor can transcode HD stuff to the iPad, so it will stay on the HTPC.
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post #5 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

What makes you say it is worth it?

That's a good question, haha! smile.gif I suppose it's because everything went really smoothly for me... no issues at all, the interface is awesome and there's a good amount of apps that are really useful. Hardware seems topnotch and is in a relatively small package. I compare with the stuff I do with my HTPC and there's ALWAYS a gotcha somewhere.

You could certainly build something more powerful for cheaper and have a great experience... I haven't used unraid/flexraid and wasn't interested in pursuing it at the time so this made the most sense for me.
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post #6 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I am wondering if while the synology DS412+ is 650 new and building my own hardware cost would be about 350 with the unraid license if power cost alone within 12months would negate the cost?.. ?

Do you guys think with the DS412+ I could do sab+couch+sick+headphones + the mysql database?
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post #7 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 03:45 PM
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It looks like it has the same CPU as my 1812+ I don't seen it being a problem
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post #8 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like it has the same CPU as my 1812+ I don't seen it being a problem
Did it lag at all running 1080P movies while running sab?

also did you already setup XBMC with mysql on it?
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post #9 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 06:40 PM
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Did it lag at all running 1080P movies while running sab?

also did you already setup XBMC with mysql on it?

So far I have been moving 6TB of data (at close to 100MB/s) on to it while having Sickbeard re-indexing my shows, and SAB downloading some missed ones. I'm sure it would stream a blue-ray iso while SAB and stuff is running. I think i've seen the CPU at about 50% max so far.when I was doing a bunch of things. Ram is sitting at about 35%, I still have the 1GB only in it (the 1512/1812+ can take 3GB total).

For giggles I had a file download, unpack and get processed by SAB/Sickbeard and had bluray rips of Harry Potter movies streaming to the HTPC, my computer and my wifes computer without issue. If I needed to use something like plex to transcode it, the CPU in the NAS would not be enough.

I am going to be working on the mysql stuff tonight/tomorrow.
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post #10 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TType85 View Post

So far I have been moving 6TB of data (at close to 100MB/s) on to it while having Sickbeard re-indexing my shows, and SAB downloading some missed ones. I'm sure it would stream a blue-ray iso while SAB and stuff is running. I think i've seen the CPU at about 50% max so far.when I was doing a bunch of things. Ram is sitting at about 35%, I still have the 1GB only in it (the 1512/1812+ can take 3GB total).

For giggles I had a file download, unpack and get processed by SAB/Sickbeard and had bluray rips of Harry Potter movies streaming to the HTPC, my computer and my wifes computer without issue. If I needed to use something like plex to transcode it, the CPU in the NAS would not be enough.

I am going to be working on the mysql stuff tonight/tomorrow.
keep me posted I will be interested how it works. Do you have any devices that can direct play plex without transcoding?
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post #11 of 251 Old 01-16-2013, 11:10 PM
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Yeah will try tomorrow.
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post #12 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 08:15 AM
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I have a Synology 1812+ also and I think it's incredible.

When you say that you're doin the XBMC database on there, what do you mean? You're hosting the files so they can be accessed by multiple XBMC installations? How does that work?


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post #13 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a Synology 1812+ also and I think it's incredible.

When you say that you're doin the XBMC database on there, what do you mean? You're hosting the files so they can be accessed by multiple XBMC installations? How does that work?
If you use mysql you can store the database for XBMC there and all other installs point to that db for the library. its a shared library at that point between libaries?
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post #14 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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For you synology owners do you think I should pony up for the DS1512+ or stick with the DS412+. Reason I ask i know 1 day i will run out of storage. but am i better off buying a second nas then since specs will obviously increase and be faster and better within time. and the fact more trays for the 1512 are 700bux. Or stick with 1 NAS?

Second question.. Can I grow the storage with any of those devices? Like say I buy 1 drive to begin and then add a 2nd 3rd and 4th. will it auto add them to the raid pool? Or will i have to reformat and lose the data to do that? Its a pretty expenisve initial investment so I was just curious how I can grow the storage from day 1.
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post #15 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

For you synology owners do you think I should pony up for the DS1512+ or stick with the DS412+. Reason I ask i know 1 day i will run out of storage. but am i better off buying a second nas then since specs will obviously increase and be faster and better within time. and the fact more trays for the 1512 are 700bux. Or stick with 1 NAS?

Second question.. Can I grow the storage with any of those devices? Like say I buy 1 drive to begin and then add a 2nd 3rd and 4th. will it auto add them to the raid pool? Or will i have to reformat and lose the data to do that? Its a pretty expenisve initial investment so I was just curious how I can grow the storage from day 1.


I think the choice between the 412 and 1512 really come down to how fast do you think you will run out of space. The 1512 can be expanded with 5-bay synology expansion units, I don't think the 412 can.

What size drives are you going to use? How much space do you expect to use over the next few years?

For initial setup I would do a minimum of 3 drives. With 3 drives you can do SHR (Raid-5) and have a bit of redundancy and protection against a disk failing (this is not a backup, make sure to backup your important data!!!).

If you have 4 bays, you would see a maximum of 8TB of space using SHR assuming you use 3TB drives.
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post #16 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

For you synology owners do you think I should pony up for the DS1512+ or stick with the DS412+. Reason I ask i know 1 day i will run out of storage. but am i better off buying a second nas then since specs will obviously increase and be faster and better within time. and the fact more trays for the 1512 are 700bux. Or stick with 1 NAS?

Second question.. Can I grow the storage with any of those devices? Like say I buy 1 drive to begin and then add a 2nd 3rd and 4th. will it auto add them to the raid pool? Or will i have to reformat and lose the data to do that? Its a pretty expenisve initial investment so I was just curious how I can grow the storage from day 1.

I posed basically this same question when I was deciding between the 1812+ and 2413+. With the 1512, I think you can go up to two expansion units - and these are physical expansions... so the SKU is slightly different so I'm unsure if there any limitations to them vs. multiple 1512s. For me, I didn't want a lot of different devices, so I just ponied up with the 2413+. Right now I have 5, 3TB drives with SHR2 (two disks can fail). Other folks I queried seemed to have wanted to have gone bigger at the beginning.

Between the two, I'd definately get the 1512+. I think you'll appreciate the extra expansion with the 1512+ and regret having just the 4 drives, IMO.

On your second question - yes, you can expand as you go, though it can take a while for the volume to rebuild (I think there's a tiny amount of risk of data loss during this period, but it's pretty moot IMO). Just understand that if you start with a 2TB drive and then add a 3TB, you can't expand again with a smaller drive (you'd need to use 3TB or bigger drives); if you don't, I think you end up missing out on space (or maybe it just denies you adding to the existing volume). You could always re-create the entire volume with all the drives, but you'd need to backup and move stuff back on it (of course).
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post #17 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 10:57 AM
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I think unraid is great and I can expand up to 20 drives with little cost beyond the hdd's... Different size drives are not an issue. I would run mysql on the local machine, on a ssd. XBMC can be a little annoying to browse otherwise. I believe there are sab couch and sickbeard add-ons. Unraid worked out of the box with no tinkering for me, just had to build the pc and insert the hdd's then go through the setup.

I had a horrible experience with Freenas. There's nothing wrong with a nas it just seems overpriced and I can't really repair it, if it dies I RMA and wait. Upgrades are expensive also. A PC I just fix whatever broke. As far as reliability, not much beats a desktop. An UPS might be a good idea if you are really worried about this.

As far as power consumption you can build a PC to consume however much power you want.
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post #18 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I know i wont fill space TOO fast. the only reason I see buying a 1512+ and slowly building space is that by the time I might reach max space on the unit the technology will surpass what is currently there and be much faster.. i guess its a gamble either way??

Can I do a raid5 off the bat with 2 3tb drives? then expand the other 2 (or 3) and it will just add them to the pool?

FInally say I start with a 1tb drive (pull my external hdd 1tb) and use that for a month and then buy 2 3tb pools I saw you said I cannot then add 1tb's thats fine. But can I then replace that 1tb at anytime for a 3tb and max everything with 3tb drives? or do I always have to keep that 1tb in the pool? This is all assuming I dont have to reformat and rebuild. I would like to avoid that.
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post #19 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 11:41 AM
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I will note that how fast a 1512+ is and how fast an unraid box vs the future isn't very significant as media won't be taking a significant enough leap to make speed an issue. Good luck.
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post #20 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I will note that how fast a 1512+ is and how fast an unraid box vs the future isn't very significant as media won't be taking a significant enough leap to make speed an issue. Good luck.
are you running an unraid box? I did some research on it yesterday and it seems people have varied luck with them as far as reliability. some people seem to get them working great and have no problems. others pulled hair out and ended up just getting a nas.

I really cannot decide between the unraid or getting the 1512+ or the 412+. in 2 years when i would likely fill all the space they may have a new nas box that is twice as fast as the current for a cheaper or same price... tough to know frown.gif
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post #21 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 11:53 AM
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Thanks for the input. I know i wont fill space TOO fast. the only reason I see buying a 1512+ and slowly building space is that by the time I might reach max space on the unit the technology will surpass what is currently there and be much faster.. i guess its a gamble either way??

Can I do a raid5 off the bat with 2 3tb drives? then expand the other 2 (or 3) and it will just add them to the pool?

FInally say I start with a 1tb drive (pull my external hdd 1tb) and use that for a month and then buy 2 3tb pools I saw you said I cannot then add 1tb's thats fine. But can I then replace that 1tb at anytime for a 3tb and max everything with 3tb drives? or do I always have to keep that 1tb in the pool? This is all assuming I dont have to reformat and rebuild. I would like to avoid that.

Your thought process is completely accurate - there will be faster/better setups every 6-12 months. Spending less now and buying again later (something bigger/faster) is also an option, albeit you'll be at the same cross-roads again. More power is always better IMO - though for my uses, I don't need my NAS doing a bunch of things... other than serving content, managing IP cameras and the Picture/Audio station apps. The dual core proc w/4GB ram on my box seems like plenty (and I'm definately not leveraging all its features). All I wanted was an easy way to expand space and have some failover (I do backup sensitive files to an external backup).

Mack makes a great point on unraid - being able to manage all your own HW is definately an asset...

Yes, you can opt out of using the SHR raid setups and use Raid 5. When you don't use SHR, you won't maximize your drive space with mix/matched size drives (I think it uses the lowest common denominator). If you chose SHR1 and had all identical size drives, it works nearly identical to Raid5, IIRC. There's a really good SHR/RAID calculator on Synology's website (though it doesn't take into account the order in which drives are added).

Yes, you can replace the smaller 1TB with a larger drive and expand that way...
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post #22 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 12:07 PM
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More limited capacity and future expand ability with NAS

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #23 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

are you running an unraid box? I did some research on it yesterday and it seems people have varied luck with them as far as reliability. some people seem to get them working great and have no problems. others pulled hair out and ended up just getting a nas.

I really cannot decide between the unraid or getting the 1512+ or the 412+. in 2 years when i would likely fill all the space they may have a new nas box that is twice as fast as the current for a cheaper or same price... tough to know frown.gif

I used an old PC and bought new memory and a better case for it. Loaded up my HDD's and had no issues, it's been running for nearly 2 years 24/7. If you want reliability out of a file server(that's what these are) then I would suggest not running anything extra on it no matter what platform you get...

Truthfully I went with unraid because I could use it with up to 3 drives for free. I later added more drives once it proved reliable and bought a license. I also had varying drive sizes that I wanted to use. I would say both routes are good options.
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post #24 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Your thought process is completely accurate - there will be faster/better setups every 6-12 months. Spending less now and buying again later (something bigger/faster) is also an option, albeit you'll be at the same cross-roads again. More power is always better IMO - though for my uses, I don't need my NAS doing a bunch of things... other than serving content, managing IP cameras and the Picture/Audio station apps. The dual core proc w/4GB ram on my box seems like plenty (and I'm definately not leveraging all its features). All I wanted was an easy way to expand space and have some failover (I do backup sensitive files to an external backup).

Mack makes a great point on unraid - being able to manage all your own HW is definately an asset...

Yes, you can opt out of using the SHR raid setups and use Raid 5. When you don't use SHR, you won't maximize your drive space with mix/matched size drives (I think it uses the lowest common denominator). If you chose SHR1 and had all identical size drives, it works nearly identical to Raid5, IIRC. There's a really good SHR/RAID calculator on Synology's website (though it doesn't take into account the order in which drives are added).

Yes, you can replace the smaller 1TB with a larger drive and expand that way...
I dont think the memory can be upgraded on the DS412+
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post #25 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I used an old PC and bought new memory and a better case for it. Loaded up my HDD's and had no issues, it's been running for nearly 2 years 24/7. If you want reliability out of a file server(that's what these are) then I would suggest not running anything extra on it no matter what platform you get...

Truthfully I went with unraid because I could use it with up to 3 drives for free. I later added more drives once it proved reliable and bought a license. I also had varying drive sizes that I wanted to use. I would say both routes are good options.
What guide did you follow to set it up? I would be curious to take a look at it. I think they only offer 2 drive licenses now for free. Also I wonder if a home built will put out a lot more power than the synology. I know the DS412+ is pretty energy efficient.
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post #26 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 01:27 PM
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I've always used a homebrew server (currently WHS 2011). Totally flexible. Can be built using cheap parts. Easy to upgrade etc. I've always found higher capacity NAS units like Thecus, Synology and Drobo to be unbelievably expensive for what they are. You could pay $700 BEFORE adding any disks for the 5-bay unit. In my WHS I've currently got 5 x 2TB drives (managed with DrivePool), 2 x 2.5" drives (h/w raid 1) for the O/S and another 3.5" drive for backups, and I still have space for another 3 more.
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post #27 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I've always used a homebrew server (currently WHS 2011). Totally flexible. Can be built using cheap parts. Easy to upgrade etc. I've always found higher capacity NAS units like Thecus, Synology and Drobo to be unbelievably expensive for what they are. You could pay $700 BEFORE adding any disks for the 5-bay unit. In my WHS I've currently got 5 x 2TB drives (managed with DrivePool), 2 x 2.5" drives (h/w raid 1) for the O/S and another 3.5" drive for backups, and I still have space for another 3 more.
not to start a debate but comparing a WHS to a NAS is not feasible. I personally after putting thought into it use it as a NAS alternative. there is many things you cannot achieve running WHS or windows2008/7/8 as a nas box. FreeNAS, unraid seem to be the only alternatives to a actual NAS device.

Did you buy a raid card? in your scenario a raid card and any OS will achieve it. but you are adding more components to worry about and keep up to date without having to reboot etc. and then you run into power issues with building your own box where it cost you 2-300 cheaper to build but every month your power bill is another 20bux so in 2 years you have spent more on your home box then if you went the route of nas (hypothetically speaking). Maybe with a freenas or unraid you can avoid that though....?
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post #28 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

not to start a debate but comparing a WHS to a NAS is not feasible. I personally after putting thought into it use it as a NAS alternative. there is many things you cannot achieve running WHS or windows2008/7/8 as a nas box. FreeNAS, unraid seem to be the only alternatives to a actual NAS device.

Did you buy a raid card? in your scenario a raid card and any OS will achieve it. but you are adding more components to worry about and keep up to date without having to reboot etc. and then you run into power issues with building your own box where it cost you 2-300 cheaper to build but every month your power bill is another 20bux so in 2 years you have spent more on your home box then if you went the route of nas (hypothetically speaking). Maybe with a freenas or unraid you can avoid that though....?

I believe flexraid and snapraid are built on WHS and offer a very NAS-like experience. As far as energy efficiency I'm sure the Synology NAS is more efficient so if you go with Unraid replace one of your incandescent bulbs with a CFL to make up the difference and some. The 412+ claims 44 watts so it might not actually be any more efficient depending on how you build the Unraid server.

At $0.16 a k/w(I believe this is what I pay) If you pull 100 watts.

100 x 24 x 30 = 72000 = 72 kwh x 0.16 = $11.50

Power shouldn't be a big concern...
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post #29 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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What would be a recommended setup for unraid? to keep in mind i prefer intel setups.... and as my original post says I am definatly needing it to run plex server, mysql, sabnzbd, sickbeach, couch potato & headphones. it doesn't necessarily have to do transcoding as my tv can do direct play and not trans code where plex will be running.

I dont want a giant case either. I would rather have a case that can fit 5-6 drives now that if i wanted I can buy another case later.

also noise is a concern as I want it as quiet as possible. it will be in a bedroom.

If i can get a cheaper build than a synology with better expansion and reliability for the same power output and a quiet machine I am all for it.
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post #30 of 251 Old 01-17-2013, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djtoodles View Post

there is many things you cannot achieve running WHS or windows2008/7/8 as a nas box

Please elaborate on these aside from zfs
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