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post #1 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, all...my home storage needs are becoming very crucial. I obviously want to wait until the HDD prices come down, but Im in the market for something that will give me some more storage.

I could build something, but was wondering if something like the following would be an OK option..

HP Proliant...
http://www.amazon.com/HP-Micro-N40L-..._bs_11036071_1

Acer
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-ea..._bs_11036071_2

Or, something else?
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 12:33 PM
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I would go with UnRaid or Windows Home Server.

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post #3 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 02:46 PM
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I would go with a RAID5 capable NAS. I find the unRAID concept intriguing but I won't recommend something I don't have any experience with.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sholling View Post

I would go with a RAID5 capable NAS. I find the unRAID concept intriguing but I won't recommend something I don't have any experience with.

Recommendations?
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 03:42 PM
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The Acer looks intriguing but the lack of RAID is concerning(Really Acer, 8TB of I'm gonna die at some point and ruin my owners party storage?).

I don't have a specific one to reccommend as I build my own media and HTPC boxes. Go to newegg.com, search for a RAID 5 NAS with good reviews. If you need more management, then find one with Windows Home Server.
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 05:32 PM
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How about a 3TB WD My Book Live for the time being.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike10778 View Post

Recommendations?

Not product specific recommendations, just that it be RAID5. In 20 years of as a tech and network administrator I've seen too many drives die to ever trust a single disc with my data. I'm retired now but to this day I keep my data on RAID arrays and back those up - what we call belt and suspenders redundancy. I would look for 4 bay NAS devices with a 4 star or better newegg rating. Newegg has them starting at about $250 + the drives. If that's too expensive then at least go with a 2 disc array in RAID1 (mirrored) - those start about $100 + the drives.
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sholling View Post

Not product specific recommendations, just that it be RAID5. In 20 years of as a tech and network administrator I've seen too many drives die to ever trust a single disc with my data. I'm retired now but to this day I keep my data on RAID arrays and back those up - what we call belt and suspenders redundancy. I would look for 4 bay NAS devices with a 4 star or better newegg rating. Newegg has them starting at about $250 + the drives. If that's too expensive then at least go with a 2 disc array in RAID1 (mirrored) - those start about $100 + the drives.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ology%20ds411j

How about this? I want at least a 4-bay answer as I plan on making something sizable.
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 07:12 PM
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I have one of these: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/pro...etwork-storage with a 4 port hub plugged into the USB port. I get about 30MB/sec to the main drive and 24MB/sec to a WD 1TB drive plugged into the hub. I also have my printer plugged into the hub and can print from any machine on my network. I paid less than $150 for the 2TB drive and network base at CostCo (2 year warranty, 90 days exchange).
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-01-2012, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike10778 View Post

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ology%20ds411j

How about this? I want at least a 4-bay answer as I plan on making something sizable.

The brand has a very good reputation. Just keep in mind that not every brand of drive plays well in RAID so make sure you shop for drives in a place with a good return policy. I've had no problems out of 12 drives in three RAID5 arrays but some people do. Also few NAS devices support greater than 2TB drives.
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post #11 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike10778 View Post

Ok, all...my home storage needs are becoming very crucial. I obviously want to wait until the HDD prices come down, but Im in the market for something that will give me some more storage.

I could build something, but was wondering if something like the following would be an OK option..

HP Proliant...
http://www.amazon.com/HP-Micro-N40L-..._bs_11036071_1

Acer
http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-ea..._bs_11036071_2

Or, something else?

I have the Acer. Nice product. It runs WHS v1. There will be a new one running the latest WHS. The HP tiny servers now do that. I would make sure that WHS 2011 was supported.

I have moved away from NAS units. Good ones are expensive. I guess it all depends what you need the servers for.

The nice advantage of a WHS or a Mac Mini is that they can be used for many things. You should visit one of the sites that specialize in servers. wegotserved and so on are very informative.

philip
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taskman View Post

The Acer looks intriguing but the lack of RAID is concerning(Really Acer, 8TB of I'm gonna die at some point and ruin my owners party storage?).

I don't have a specific one to reccommend as I build my own media and HTPC boxes. Go to newegg.com, search for a RAID 5 NAS with good reviews. If you need more management, then find one with Windows Home Server.

The new Acer will support WHS 2011. That supports raid. The one referenced by the OP can be backed up so you really aren't at risk. It also supports DE but that seems to be an odd approach. I have an Acer and an HP MediaSmart. Like both a lot, far more than the Drobos and other NAS units I had.

philip
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 06:20 AM
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Mike, when I started needing BIG storage, I started off with the HP...what was then the MediaSmart...WHS solution. My thinking is it was a server-storage solution, for the consumer (read: easy to use)...in an attractive, reliable machine. And it was.

But then...as I started to understand things a little better...and I realized how WHS handled back-up, I started to look elsewhere. So many people recommended unRAID, and after some reasearch...I decided to try and build my first server.

Now...I know my way around the inside of a PC, but I could honestly say...unless PCs and their parts just scare the bejesus out of you...most people could do it. I found the process rewarding, and of course...it's a completely customizable and expandable solution, so you get exactly what you need; no more, no less.

As for unRAID...I love it. The way I look at storage...I just need a BIG, dumb box; that does nothing more than hold files, so I can point every device in the house at it to serve up its content. It's cheap, reliable, stable, portable...and there's a good support base.

That being said...if you'd rather not bother, and you don't mind how WHS backs up its data (unless that's changed); you can't go wrong with the HP solutions.

CD

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post #14 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 06:39 AM
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I personally am a fan of WHS if you also have any needs to backup your local PCs. For the server I would make sure the PSU is robust but efficient.

As far as the CPU, if you wont be doing any transcoding, go with the most efficient single processor. If you will be usually a moderate but high efficient dual is a good bet.

Most WHSv1 capable machines can be upgrade to handle v2. V1 still has the advantage of the drive extender.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

That being said...if you'd rather not bother, and you don't mind how WHS backs up its data (unless that's changed); you can't go wrong with the HP solutions.CD

We have a pretty active media storage and streaming group on the wegotserved WHS forums. The general consensus is backing up the files on the same machine is not needed or often not advisable. They are typcially large movie files, not data files used and updated frequently by one or several users.

In other words there are very simple ways to back up files by time externally as they are placed on the server. I would not want my family films, photos, or my bd and dvd rips baked up with raid on the a single server anyway. I would want backups of businesses live customer database on the same server, but not my Lord of the Rings. To do so would mean I am paying the overhead of having it in the same case, of it assigned to the same processor and its costs etc. By having a blackx drive bay, and bear drive backups in different room, I am both better protected and for less money.
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post #15 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Mike, when I started needing BIG storage, I started off with the HP...what was then the MediaSmart...WHS solution. My thinking is it was a server-storage solution, for the consumer (read: easy to use)...in an attractive, reliable machine. And it was.

But then...as I started to understand things a little better...and I realized how WHS handled back-up, I started to look elsewhere. So many people recommended unRAID, and after some reasearch...I decided to try and build my first server.

Now...I know my way around the inside of a PC, but I could honestly say...unless PCs and their parts just scare the bejesus out of you...most people could do it. I found the process rewarding, and of course...it's a completely customizable and expandable solution, so you get exactly what you need; no more, no less.

As for unRAID...I love it. The way I look at storage...I just need a BIG, dumb box; that does nothing more than hold files, so I can point every device in the house at it to serve up its content. It's cheap, reliable, stable, portable...and there's a good support base.

That being said...if you'd rather not bother, and you don't mind how WHS backs up its data (unless that's changed); you can't go wrong with the HP solutions.

CD

Well said CD!

I'm in the same situation.. I started out with a HP MSS with WHS and now that I'm at 18TB UnRaid is making more sense: I've been having playback issues with my WHS lately and still have not figured out what is causing the issue. The more I read about UnRaid the more it sounds like the perfect solution for large storage needs.

To the OP I really suggest you look at Lime-technology.com for UnRaid. For the price of some of those 4 bay raid systems you can have a UnRaid setup that supports more drives. I'm looking into building a 15 bay UnRaid server and the price is somewhere between $350-500 depending on what parts I go with.

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post #16 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 07:22 AM
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Great post CDLehner

I ended up with unraid and could not say it any better !!!
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisx510 View Post

Well said CD!

I'm in the same situation.. I started out with a HP MSS with WHS and now that I'm at 18TB UnRaid is making more sense: I've been having playback issues with my WHS lately and still have not figured out what is causing the issue. The more I read about UnRaid the more it sounds like the perfect solution for large storage needs.

To the OP I really suggest you look at Lime-technology.com for UnRaid. For the price of some of those 4 bay raid systems you can have a UnRaid setup that supports more drives. I'm looking into building a 15 bay UnRaid server and the price is somewhere between $350-500 depending on what parts I go with.

Chris...and everyone else...be sure to take advantage of both the HTPC forums here, and especially unRAID (Lime-Tech) support forums.

There are a TON of ideas and actual builds, to inspire your approach. You can over-build, and pimp/pump-up your box...but one of the other nice things about unRAID, is it takes surprising little to run it.

The OS boots up off a usb thumb drive, that can be smaller than even the smallest one you can find anymore (I use a 512MB drive...and even with the unMENU plug-in, I'm only using about 70MB...lol)...and unRAID doesn't need much horsepower to run at all. You can mix and match drive types and sizes.

Point is...you can spend $500 or better, if you want to; but I'd be willing to bet, you could put together a perfectly capable box, for $200 or so...especially to start, and get a feel for the process (that's, of course, excluding HDDs...since they are now so ridiculously priced ).

CD

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post #18 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Im not overly adept at building computers - but not completely without knowledge. I built my current HTPC from scratch (well, thanks to Assassin's help!), so that can be a good starting point.

I would like to build something - but need to research more as to types of Mobos/processors to get. I did some looking around at the Lime forums at some of Raj's prototype builds - and it looks like an easy/great way to go, plus adds more flexibility.

I know there are tons of how-to guides on building an UnRAID box, but is there anything as comprehensive as some of the guides on here? Thanks for all the help so far!
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post #19 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 08:25 AM
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Quick question for those with knowledge: I have 5 drives, 2 of them identical (size, model etc) and the other 3 a mixed bag. Can an unRAID setup support raid on the two identical ones and allow for generic storage on the other 3?

Thanks.
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post #20 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike10778 View Post

Im not overly adept at building computers - but not completely without knowledge. I built my current HTPC from scratch (well, thanks to Assassin's help!), so that can be a good starting point.

I would like to build something - but need to research more as to types of Mobos/processors to get. I did some looking around at the Lime forums at some of Raj's prototype builds - and it looks like an easy/great way to go, plus adds more flexibility.

I know there are tons of how-to guides on building an UnRAID box, but is there anything as comprehensive as some of the guides on here? Thanks for all the help so far!

Mike, to whatever extent it might help...or help you make a decision...here is my first build thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1215580. Lots of dumb questions (but then the answers), and some pics of the process...but I would think there are some that are better.

FWIW...I started off with a fairly "small" case; the ARK 4U-500. Then...with BIG, BIG storage available (keep in mind...this is when HDDs were as cheap as fast food...lol), I started ripping every BD I could get my hands on.

My thoughts were "OMG...I'm gonna rip 1,000 movies, and need 20T"...lol. I swapped out my ARK for a Norco 20-bay deal. I moved all my parts (another nice thing about unRAID...you just take it out of one box, move it to another...and you're up and running again), and started at about 10 1/1.5T drives. The Norco boxes are great...lots of bang for the buck...but noisy (you can do things to quiet them down...change fans, get a custom back-plane, etc); and what I found is that I didn't end up ripping nearly as much as I first thought.

As HDD prices continued to drop (again, that was then), and 1Ts turned into 1.5Ts, and 1.5Ts turned into 2Ts...I realized that I could probably make due with MUCH less; that 20 x 2T was 40T, and I wasn't getting anywhere near that mark.

I went back to my ~$75 ARK, and have been running 6 x 2T ever since. YMMV; just food for thought.

CD

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post #21 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisha View Post

Quick question for those with knowledge: I have 5 drives, 2 of them identical (size, model etc) and the other 3 a mixed bag. Can an unRAID setup support raid on the two identical ones and allow for generic storage on the other 3?

Thanks.

unRAID can RAID all 5 if you like. One of the great things about it; you can build an array out of mixed and matched brands and sizes!

CD

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post #22 of 22 Old 01-02-2012, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike10778 View Post

Im not overly adept at building computers - but not completely without knowledge. I built my current HTPC from scratch (well, thanks to Assassin's help!), so that can be a good starting point.

I would like to build something - but need to research more as to types of Mobos/processors to get. I did some looking around at the Lime forums at some of Raj's prototype builds - and it looks like an easy/great way to go, plus adds more flexibility.

I know there are tons of how-to guides on building an UnRAID box, but is there anything as comprehensive as some of the guides on here? Thanks for all the help so far!

If you can build a HTPC you can build an UnRaid server. There is a thread on recommended parts to use for a build. I will get you the link when I get to my computer.


CD,

I was looking into getting the Norco 20 bay but came to the conclusion that it would be overkill. I decided I'm going to go with a 15 bay case. 1 parity, 1 cache, 13 storage drives. By the time I fill up 26tb of storage 5TB drives will be out!

My First Home Theater

300 Blu-Rays, 150 DVD's loaded in my Movie Server!

Thanks AVS for making me addicted to this hobby!
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