Finally, it's that time. I've decided to bite the bullet and am looking to build out a streaming home theatre system. I posted in another thread and was able to get enough information on the basic skeleton of the system that I am going to put together. This is not something I am looking at doing "on the cheap", but I'm also not looking to spend more than I paid for my SUV in order to stream movies to the different devices in my home. Anyway, I'm preparing to put together my disc farm and am still a bit undecided as to what my best solution would be. A big reason for this is that the "experts" I have been talking to down at the shop are anything but impartial and decidedly unhelpful when it comes to answering questions about anything other than their standard stock suggestions.
So, I thought I would come here and see if I might get some info from folks that actually use similar systems in the same fashion I am looking to.
I will be looking to build from scratch, a media server with an initial pre-redundancy capacity of 40 TB. That will be enough storage for what I already have in the house, plus what I am likely to acquire within the next year. At that point I will need to be able to expand by adding another machine to the system to expand the number of drives I can place in the array. When I first set about trying to figure out what I was going to need in order to build my system, I had pretty much sold myself on unRAID to provide a means by which to protect my data from loss, as ripping DVDs and Blurays can be quite time consuming, not to mention a lost drive would mean having to drag discs out of storage. However, ever since I began asking around about building the system, I have been repeatedly warned off of using unRAID. I am told it is finicky and does not provide nearly as much protection as is claimed.
Here's the thing though, no one can give me specific examples of where unRAID comes up short. Therefore, I feel like I am missing out on potentially important information, and that I may simply be falling victim to the bias of those with financial motivation to steer me one way versus another. Currently I am weighing the following options: a Synology system, a Mediasonic disc farm using FlexRAID, an unRAID server, or using Windows 8.1's software RAID solution.
That brings me to why I am here. I am hoping some of you can answer some "simple" questions for me. I have tried contacting customer service over at Lime-tech, but they have been entirely unresponsive to my enquiries.
- Are there any significant short-comings to an unRAID system? Looking at the layout, it would seem that it can only sustain failure to one drive at a time, but it doesn't seem that that particular problem is unique to unRAID
- How easy/difficult will it be to add an additional enclosure to the array in another year?
- Since I am building the system from scratch, I am not worried about mixing and matching drive sizes, all will be the same size. Besides the ability to mix/match drives, what is unRAID's strong "selling" point? Essentially, why do I want to choose unRAID over the other options listed above?
I'm looking for any and all input that I can get. I'm hoping to begin building the system in the very near future and want to make sure that I am doing things right the first time around.