Hi all! I'm a wee but confused, so I'm asking for your help. (I'd make a cup of tea, this is a long one!!)
I have a large media collection, consisting of films, tv shows and thousands of photographs. I currently have 4tb plugged into a time capsule, another 2tb plugged into my MacBook and 2tb plugged into my iMac. This all works fine, but I need to expand (again).
So I've been looking at building a server. I've two old pcs here, a pentium 3 and a core 2 duo. The core 2 duo boots, then restarts at random times. I think the motherboard is f*^%#d. The pentium 3 is fine, albeit, old! The motherboard does not have SATA, and would need PCI cards to accept SATA drives. My idea was to build a pc out of these, install xp and put all my hard drives in that. That would be shared on my network. A friend does it and it works grand for him!
But then I got thinking and started looking at a synology rackstation 812 nas. It's rackmount (I like rackmount!), and holds 4 drives. Costs about £500. It seems like the perfect solution, but since I would want to use this with Lightroom and final cut (scratch files and library's on a drive in the nas) I was worried that this may be a problem performance wise. I also read that the synology nases don't support +HFS file type. They use a Linux system, and as such my hard drives which I would be inserting (and are full of data, and formatted Mac OS extended) would have to be wiped and reformatted. If something went wrong I couldn't take a drive out and plug it into my mac, as it would be formatted for Linux. That's made me a bit uneasy about the synology.
So my last thought was a Mac Pro. It has lots of internal sata ports, and could be used as a server. I could install osx server and have it serve the data to my macs. The drives would not need to be re formatted, just plugged in. There's the added bonus that I could run plex server on it, and not need to have a seperate mac for my HTPC. I could plug it into my receiver and hey presto, HTPC, while serving files to my network. I've used final cut and Lightroom from a networked Mac Pro in work, and know it works fine. A Mac Pro would integrate easily with my all mac network. But mac pros are pricey. I'd be buying a used one, hoping to pay around £400-£500.
What do you think I should do? What have you done for your own media server?
Is there something I'm missing? Could somebody make sense of my confusion? Maybe there's an easier option (or one I haven't mentioned). This is something I've been thinking about for months now, and I'm still not sure what method of storage I should pursue.
Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated!