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post #1 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking at doing an NAS, mainly for video/audio streaming to a Blu-Ray (DLNA), iPad/iPhones, and PCs. Might also use it as a torrent dumping ground.

My budget, all-told, is <= $400. I don't need something mind-blowing, just to be able to stream decently. Looking at doing 2 1TB drives.

Option 1, buying an NAS box and tossing in the drives:

From the research I've done so far, it looks like QNAP and Synology are the companies I should focus on, with QNAP holding a slight edge. I like the QNAP TS 212 ($189 at TD and Newegg), but I'm getting conflicting info as to wether or not it's DLNA streaming compatible. Does anyone have any concrete info regarding this?

I'd include 2 1TB WD Blues.

Option 2, building:

I have an old PC lying around, with a Core 2 Duo E2160 at 2.2Ghz with 2 gigs RAM. It has plenty of bays (2 internal 3.5" and 3 external 5" that I could convert if I need more storage later). 4 SATA on-board connectors, a 300 watt PSU. I'd toss in a gigabit NIC and 2 1TB WD Blues and run FreeNAS.

Does the old PC have a decent enough processor? Should I upgrade it to 4GB RAM? Or should I just scrap it and buy pre-built?

Any better ideas than the QNAP for the price-point? DLNA is critical.
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post #2 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trireme32 View Post

I'm looking at doing an NAS, mainly for video/audio streaming to a Blu-Ray (DLNA), iPad/iPhones, and PCs. Might also use it as a torrent dumping ground.

My budget, all-told, is <= $400. I don't need something mind-blowing, just to be able to stream decently. Looking at doing 2 1TB drives.

Option 1, buying an NAS box and tossing in the drives:

From the research I've done so far, it looks like QNAP and Synology are the companies I should focus on, with QNAP holding a slight edge. I like the QNAP TS 212 ($189 at TD and Newegg), but I'm getting conflicting info as to wether or not it's DLNA streaming compatible. Does anyone have any concrete info regarding this?

I'd include 2 1TB WD Blues.

Option 2, building:

I have an old PC lying around, with a Core 2 Duo E2160 at 2.2Ghz with 2 gigs RAM. It has plenty of bays (2 internal 3.5" and 3 external 5" that I could convert if I need more storage later). 4 SATA on-board connectors, a 300 watt PSU. I'd toss in a gigabit NIC and 2 1TB WD Blues and run FreeNAS.

Does the old PC have a decent enough processor? Should I upgrade it to 4GB RAM? Or should I just scrap it and buy pre-built?

Any better ideas than the QNAP for the price-point? DLNA is critical.


your old PC is more than enough. I was serving blurays off a 700Mhz Laptop with USB drive running Win 2K for a while.

cpu is irrelevant for file serving...

you can run windows or you might consider something like unraid or freenas.

two of my current NAS's have less than a 1Ghz processor and can serve multiple blu ray streams....

Sean
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post #3 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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How about the RAM? Is 2 gigs plenty?
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post #4 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 05:40 AM
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256M would be enough.

ram is irrelevant too. only used for cache.
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post #5 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 08:37 AM
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You can build a cheap server rather than buying an expensive NAS. I built an unraid server for less than $400.00 bucks, but I already had the drives. I've got 6 x 2tb drive, but 1 x 2tb drive is use as parity (backup) and the other 5 are used for storage.

I can add up to 22 drives.

You can read this post about UnRaid.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1392050

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

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post #6 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 09:30 AM
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But if he only needs 2TB then an unraid is kind of overkill don't you think? He can upgrade his drives in the NAS up to 6TB if he needs to over time using the Synology 212j or Qnap 212 and the power is far less using an NAS. The Synology claims ~18 watts in operation, I'd bet that unraid is eating up much more than that just sitting idle.
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post #7 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djc11369 View Post

But if he only needs 2TB then an unraid is kind of overkill don't you think? He can upgrade his drives in the NAS up to 6TB if he needs to over time using the Synology 212j or Qnap 212 and the power is far less using an NAS. The Synology claims ~18 watts in operation, I'd bet that unraid is eating up much more than that just sitting idle.

I leave my unraid server on 24/7, and my electric bill went up $2.00 dollars

I was thinking the same way he did. I only need about 4tb of storage. I've got 10tb, and only have 1 tb left. I keep adding more and more bluray movies, and they take a lot of space. Lucky I've got the Pro License for unraid so I just keep buying more drives as I need.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

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post #8 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 09:59 AM
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When external adding drives with unRAID, is only eSata supported, or is USB 2.0 as well? Basically, can eSata towers (via port multiplier cards) be used, and can USB 2.0 towers be used?

HD Media Keen Videosaurus
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post #9 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 10:02 AM
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I've found my USB2 external drive unable to play 1080P video without stuttering. Maybe there's drives out there that work better with it, but the one I have doesn't. eSATA drive on the other hand (recycled DVR expander from WD) works just fine.
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post #10 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 10:10 AM
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Thanks. Is USB 3.0 supported by unRAID?

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post #11 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

When external adding drives with unRAID, is only eSata supported, or is USB 2.0 as well? Basically, can eSata towers (via port multiplier cards) be used, and can USB 2.0 towers be used?

This is the only way you can use an external drive with USB with limination:
http://lime-technology.com/wiki/inde..._unRaid_server

UnRaid is pretty much SATA based. However, there is a new version coming up 5.0, but I am not sure if USB external drives will be added.

I used to have a 4 bay esata/ usb 3.0 external enclosure, which I traded for a 2tb drive since it was useless to me due to my case being able to support up to 15 internal drives with three 3x5 cages.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

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post #12 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

When external adding drives with unRAID, is only eSata supported, or is USB 2.0 as well? Basically, can eSata towers (via port multiplier cards) be used, and can USB 2.0 towers be used?

Yes unraid supports IDE, SATA, SCSI, and USB Disks.

I dont know if they added device driver support for USB 3.0

The limitation GUS is talking about is with NTFS formatted drives.

Sean
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post #13 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 12:05 PM
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I'm planning on upgrading from WHS v1 to Synology DS1812+, but unRAID is certainly more cost effective.

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post #14 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

I'm planning on upgrading from WHS v1 to Synology DS1812+, but unRAID is certainly more cost effective.

Just depends on what your goals are. unraid is not very feature rich compared to the synology or WHS. Its not a good application server like WHS but if you want space efficient raid for serving media via NFS or SMB its a very strong solution.
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post #15 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 02:01 PM
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I want to jump in with my two bits on this topic. I had run my own home rolled Linux based NAS for many years. I used Ubuntu server, mdadm to setup the RAID volume, and Samba to share the files out. It was some seriously old harware. I can't recall what it was but even with a 1Gbps NIC in it, it would easily pump 600Mbps and your BR max rate is 36Mbps. Then one day after many years of operation I heard a drive clicking but the RAID volume was fine. I did some digging and sure enough a drive was failing and falling in/out of the volume. Thankfully due to the RAID it was always fully operational. The problem is, I had to hear that it failed to know I had a problem. That day I ordered my Synology DS1010+ with 5 new 2TB disks. The reasons are thrice.
1) I don't want to be the maintainer of my RAID configuration, I just want it to work and someone else to take care of the "engineering" of the thing. My data is too important to me.
2) I wanted built in notifications that would alert me when things are wrong.
3) Should the house set ablaze I wanted a tiny little NAS that had all of my precious data on it that I could sling under my arm and bolt out the door. I even clipped the RJ45 tab so I just pull it hard to disconnect the power and I'm a running.

When I upgrade the DSM version on my Synology, I just download and install and my volume and shares are all there. It just works and is upgraded and maintained.

You need to decide for yourself how you feel about these sort of things.

I have tried several of the other free Linux based RAID packages and have found unRAID to be the fastest to get up and running. On important thing to consider though, do you just want a NAS or do you want all of the extra bloat modern NAS's are starting to add like security camera support, web server for sharing pictures on the Net, DLNA, etc.

We can't answer those things for you but I wanted to add my experience and thoughts to help you understand how at least I have perceived my NAS over the years.

Cheers,
Scott
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post #16 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 03:04 PM
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Win 8 storage spaces works well. Try it for yourself, it is currently free.
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post #17 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GusGus748s View Post

I leave my unraid server on 24/7, and my electric bill went up $2.00 dollars

Sure, but you can't just compare electric bills and know how much something is costing you. My power bill fluctuates every month, sometimes its a $10 difference and sometimes it's $20 or $30 during the summer months. Assuming that the server is using a conservative 100 watts/hr compared to the 18 watts of the NAS that's a difference of ~718 kWh per year for about $57 a year at .08/kWh. That's being conservative, I'm guessing the server is using more than that and the electric rate is surely higher factoring all the taxes and surcharges...the Qnap claims 13 watts. Sure that's only ~$5 a month but if assuming you keep the NAS 3 years thats ~$170 over the life...you just nearly paid for that $200 NAS. I'm betting it's easier to set up the NAS as well.

The plus on the server side aside from additional storage capacity is you don't necessarily need to scrap everything in a few years when you decide to upgrade/update...the NAS is pretty much trash at that point.
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post #18 of 23 Old 04-03-2012, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djc11369 View Post

Sure, but you can't just compare electric bills and know how much something is costing you. My power bill fluctuates every month, sometimes its a $10 difference and sometimes it's $20 or $30 during the summer months. Assuming that the server is using a conservative 100 watts/hr compared to the 18 watts of the NAS that's a difference of ~718 kWh per year for about $57 a year at .08/kWh. That's being conservative, I'm guessing the server is using more than that and the electric rate is surely higher factoring all the taxes and surcharges...the Qnap claims 13 watts. Sure that's only ~$5 a month but if assuming you keep the NAS 3 years thats ~$170 over the life...you just nearly paid for that $200 NAS. I'm betting it's easier to set up the NAS as well.

The plus on the server side aside from additional storage capacity is you don't necessarily need to scrap everything in a few years when you decide to upgrade/update...the NAS is pretty much trash at that point.

and add to that you might have 30 devices like this and it can quickly add up.
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post #19 of 23 Old 04-04-2012, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djc11369 View Post

Sure, but you can't just compare electric bills and know how much something is costing you. My power bill fluctuates every month, sometimes its a $10 difference and sometimes it's $20 or $30 during the summer months. Assuming that the server is using a conservative 100 watts/hr compared to the 18 watts of the NAS that's a difference of ~718 kWh per year for about $57 a year at .08/kWh. That's being conservative, I'm guessing the server is using more than that and the electric rate is surely higher factoring all the taxes and surcharges...the Qnap claims 13 watts. Sure that's only ~$5 a month but if assuming you keep the NAS 3 years thats ~$170 over the life...you just nearly paid for that $200 NAS. I'm betting it's easier to set up the NAS as well.

The plus on the server side aside from additional storage capacity is you don't necessarily need to scrap everything in a few years when you decide to upgrade/update...the NAS is pretty much trash at that point.

I use one of those little Kill-A-Watt meters on all of the stuff that I leave on 24/7. Long ago I pulled the numbers for my Synology DS1010+ when idle and when grinding. Do you want me to search for those numbers that I surely posted on a forum or sent to someone by email long ago?
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I use power meters with most of my electronics. Either a Kill-A-Watt or a Belkin power meter. If I left my main unRAID on 24/7 it would cost me around $18 a month. My WHS would run a little more each month. I don't run them 24/7 any more since those prices add up too quickly. I only run them around 20% to 25% of the time so they only end up costing me around $4 to $5 each a month in electricity.
When electric rates were much lower I ran more things 24/7 but now with rates so high, I've been trying to reduce my electricty usage over the last year. Over the last 12 months I've been able to reduce my bills by at least 20% each month.

My unRAID setups are also different than most people since I use external multi bay enclosures instead of having all my drives in the main case. So my power usage is higher because of that. My main unRAId draws between 200 and 250 watts with the main case(parity and cache drive) and five multi bay enclosures.

My WHS is the same way. It has the main case with four drives and seven muti bay enclosures for the other 27 drives. And that draws between 250 and 300 watts.

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post #21 of 23 Old 04-08-2012, 06:16 AM
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Super quick. I built my media server in my house myself. I did it as an unraided and run Ubuntu server with mediatomb as my media server. I'm currently have about 5tb and getting ready to add another 2tb drive.
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post #22 of 23 Old 04-09-2012, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djc11369 View Post

Sure, but you can't just compare electric bills and know how much something is costing you. My power bill fluctuates every month, sometimes its a $10 difference and sometimes it's $20 or $30 during the summer months. Assuming that the server is using a conservative 100 watts/hr compared to the 18 watts of the NAS that's a difference of ~718 kWh per year for about $57 a year at .08/kWh. That's being conservative, I'm guessing the server is using more than that and the electric rate is surely higher factoring all the taxes and surcharges...the Qnap claims 13 watts. Sure that's only ~$5 a month but if assuming you keep the NAS 3 years thats ~$170 over the life...you just nearly paid for that $200 NAS. I'm betting it's easier to set up the NAS as well.

I'm glad you posted that. The power consumption of many 24/7 computers is ridiculously high. Where I live, 1 W of 24/7 costs about $1 per year. So a 100 W computer costs $100 per year. Add up all the computers, TiVos and miscellaneous other devices that people have, and pretty soon we're talking "real money".
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post #23 of 23 Old 04-09-2012, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Gremlin View Post

I'm glad you posted that. The power consumption of many 24/7 computers is ridiculously high. Where I live, 1 W of 24/7 costs about $1 per year. So a 100 W computer costs $100 per year. Add up all the computers, TiVos and miscellaneous other devices that people have, and pretty soon we're talking "real money".

Exactly. I have found that focusing on "Green" drives rather than proper configuration of the NAS to idle/standy the drives while not in use is a big mistake on energy consumption. Most home users don't use their NAS all that much but like to have it on and waiting. This makes idling the drives very effective where the Green drive technology is based on changing the RPMs on the fly which causes other sorts of problems in a RAID such as the TLER issue. TLER is resolvable and if you are looking at Green drives to save money on the price of the drives, then go for it. Just don't choose Green drives thinking you are going to save money on energy because they are "green". As for Green drive performance in a home NAS, I wouldn't worry about it unless you plan on doing a lot of things at the same time, or using iSCSI for hosting drives for servers or something like that.

More on reducing NAS power. Go dual core Atom. They are very low power and perform just fine. I have a dual core Atom in my Synology DS1010+ and I can easily hit 750Mbps on my LAN and sometimes peak just north of 800Mbps. It came with 1GB of RAM and I upgraded to 3GB but that was dumb, it barely uses any RAM because I don't use any of the built in applications. It's just a NAS for me.

One last thing for Network Attached Storage. If you don't need anything special and just need Network Attached Storage, I have done very well using a cheap wireless router with a USB port, flashed TomatoUSB to it, and even with a crappy external USB laptop harddrive (you know those small thing portable external hard drives) and can hit about 650Mbps streaming content. I don't know if anyone has hacked any DLNA servers onto Tomato, DD-WRT or OpenWRT but I wouldn't be surprised if Optware has it in there somewhere. Some wireless routers can draw as little as 4W when on and doing nothing. Just an idea if power costs are of big concern.
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