FlexRAID vs. Storage Spaces (and why)?
In about two weeks, I am going to be building a home media server. It will have somewhere between 12-16x 3 TB HDD, either WD Red or the Seagate equivalent. What has been repeatedly recommended to me by the folks out here that will be helping me with acquiring and assembling is to save myself the headaches and money by simply using the version of Windows Storage Spaces found in Windows 8.1 (not Drive Extender found in WHS). However,when I mentioned here on the forums that I was looking at using WSS, the resounding reaction was that I was being reckless. Yet, when I ask for reasons why (so I can make an informed choice) all I get are really vague answers about how I should use whatever I think is best, but that WSS is far and away asking for trouble. All I have really been able to gather in terms of reasons though is that WSS = using Windows = Bad.
I'm not married to the idea of using Windows, but my understanding of Linux is almost no-existent, so if I am going to abandon Windows (which has never actually given me problems) for something else on the server, I'd like to know why I am doing it.
I'm not super tech savvy, but I've tried to compare the features just by reading on the various home sites for solutions.
Initially, I thought I had found a solution with Synology. But when I tried to contact the company with a short list of various questions to make sure I was going to be able to do the things I wanted and so forth, my response was literally 8 weeks in coming and only provided me with links to pages on the home site. Granted, I understand forum users at places like AVS, XBMC, and so forth are often more knowledgeable/helpful than emails that wind up in a company's sales department somehow, but if I am going to fork over $3-4k, I would hope for at least some support from an "official source" rather than having to rely on finding an expert elsewhere when they may or may not be around So Synology got dropped.
I'm not terribly thrilled with SnapRAID. Even though I am not worried about information written to the server taking a while to b/u, at the same time, I will be writing substantially to the NAS about twice a week. I would like to not have to wait until after the b/u is done to be able to put the originals in storage.
UnRAID, FlexRAID and WSS all seem viable, though UnRAID does not seem to be friendly should a drive fail (something else I have yet to encounter, but I'd rather not push my luck and assume I'll never have a problem).
I guess that leaves FlexRAID or WSS. But from what I can tell, the biggest difference is that WSS is native to Windows and requires clean drives, while FlexRAID does not. Since I am building from scratch, I'm not concerned about that part. Although I have 30 TB of data currently residing on external discs, those discs will be used to write once to the server, and then be stored as backup should the array fail. In the event that they fail while in storage, I will still have the discs, but that would mean going through and re-ripping, so that's pretty much the "break glass only in case of emergency" solution.
Finally, as for write speeds, I'm not overly concerned. Obviously, I don't want to be taking days to write the movies I add to the server twice a week, but I've already set aside 6 weeks for the initial build to be performed. So it takes however long it takes. I am far more concerned about retrieving the data and also about the drives spinning down when not in use (I don't need 12-16 drives all spinning to watch an episode of Burn Notice, thanks.)
So, it seems like either WSS or FlexRAID, using either one in parity mode so there is some built-in redundancy, but I'm not sacrificing massive numbers of discs. My question is, which will serve my purposes better, and even more importantly, why? (Windows=Bad is not a valid reason in my book.)