Originally Posted by nickbuol
Thanks. Didn't answer my initial question about at what point do you move the storage capacity out of the HTPC and into a "secondary storage device" (NAS, server), but convinced me that I need to look into the server aspect of it instead of NAS.
I am very technical. Built my first PC from parts ordered from Computer Shopper magazine (oh yeah, those were the days) back in 1992. I am Windows server certified, although I will admit that it has been a while since I was a server admin. I have pretty much successfully worked every role in IT outside of programming, application packaging, or software deployments.
I did change from a tech who "do it now, and tinker with it later" to a "research it now, and do it right from the start" kind of person.
If I decide that I want to go external storage, I will definately look at building a server vs. just NAS. I just hadn't seen much talk about it.
And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...
Your asking at how many TB does a server start to make sense over NAS?
I'd say NAS is great for those who want 12TB or less of storage space, and probably won't ever want more.
I'd say for those that want 20+ TB they clearly should be looking at a server. A server is easier to go really big, and at a cost per TB you begin to get economies of scale in your favor.
Example: you might spend $250 for a low end server hardware for 12TB. If you spent $375 on a 24TB build the cost per TB in hardware is much lower, and you have better hardware. There's value in a server at bigger capacity because any midrange server is going blow away a NAS in performance.
You can affordable and easily get into quad core CPU and ability to transcode video on the fly for tablets, laptops, smartphones, and server your media online or over Internet.
I watched a 1080p movie on my iPhone while waiting at airport delay in Hawaii. My server and home are in MA. That's half way around world.
This all leads me to my final point. It's not just capacity that should dictate your choice; it's features and functions and how you want to use it. What you desire to be able to do with your server and what capabilities you want it to have will help you decide the right path.
If you never wanted to do any advanced features, backups, virtualization, go really big, transcode, etc.... NAS is fine. I wouldn't want to transcode on an ARM CPU in a NAS... Lol.
Personally I use my server as a second machine to aid me in productivity. I use windows Remote Desktop and bring up my WHS2011 flexraid server on a second monitor. I maximize that screen and its literally a whole second PC connected to same mouse and keyboard.
I can do the same with my HTPC with a 3570k on my third monitor too.
So I can run three independent programs at same time. Example: I'm going on vacation and I want to transcode a few 1080p movies or 720p tv shows for iPhones, laptops or tablets. I can literally do three movies at same time on same machine. It saves me hours of time.
When I organize my media I use mediacentermaster. I have my desktop installation of that program set to scan my movies only (with movie settings set up). I use the same program on my server but that one is set up to do only TV shows (with tv show settings set up)
Again with dual screens I am able to do both TV shows and movies at the same time, and I never need to go back and forth configuring scan folders, or program settings for each different task. This saves me hours of time.
These are just a couple cool examples of good stuff you can do with a server.
Some people read this and say "ill never do that". And thus the decision is easier to go NAS. Others say "yes I want that " in which case a server will be a clear choice.
My opinion and observations are I have never seen someone go the server route and regret it, but I have often seen people trying to build servers to replace a NAS they bought that has either maxed out its capacity or limited in functionality.
Food for thought.