Originally Posted by madpoet
Can't say enough good things about unRaid.
I was a flexRAID/Win 7 guy for a while. It worked but I was always nervous about the gap between a write and the parity update. All it takes is one Photo being added to a drive and the parity is invalid until the next update. also the lack of drive pooling for shares was a major difference. It is a cool product being able to run in a windows environment though. It they can get rt parity updates stable i would get excited about it again.
Now that i am on unRAID is don't see changing. It works, I can customize how my drives are used for different shares, parity is always valid, I can easily add drives at any time and include them in some or all existing shares, I can swap a small drive for a large one and not have to go through the copy process, 98% of it can be done through a GUI (unless you want to get into complicated add ons), works with up to 20 drives currently, you can run it on much lighter hardware than you would want for windows, it can display and monitor SMART info, drive statistics and usage. I could go on but I will stop.
The only downside for anyone considering this (at least that I know of):
1. This isn't a plug and play setup. You will more than likely have to read quite a bit on their wiki and support form before your setup and I highly advise you do. However there is strong user support on the forums across a large range of topics. If you are successfully using network media players, you can probably handle this one, just be ready for some research. If you aren't wanting to tackle it, there are people who sell preconfigured unRAID boxes to your specs. Once set up maintenance is pretty easy... iE adding or changing a drive.
2. The write speed is a little slow at 25 - 40 MB / sec. It's a function of RT parity protection on this type of setup, but the alternative is a hardware RAID 5 or 6 that is much more expensive and much less flexible. I will trade off write speed for flexibility and cost considering how small the impact of copying movie files to the server is. As a side note you can use a cache drive and speed up the write speed to abound 60 - 90 MB/ sec, but that data isn't protected till the scheduled copy to the array. Unlike flexraid the rest of the data is still under a valid parity.
Not trying to sound like a commercial, hopefully a helpful opinion.