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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I want to set up a media/storage system at home to perform the following tasks:
- Store music, video, pictures, ... and make them accessible across the (home) network through file sharing
- Allow for data redundancy or daily backup mechanisms
- Run a DAAPD server such that a central iTunes library (for music, playlists...) can be shared across the network
- Run a Plex server to serve videos, music, pictures... across the network
- Run a VPN server to access my files away from home.

Actually playing the media files on a screen, is an optional feature, but is also a welcome feature. I currently can use Plex on my PS4 or maybe buy a Roku in the future. A time machine backup feature is also optional but welcome.

I first intended to buy an Intel NUC or similar, add two or more external USB 3.0 HDDs, run a Linux server, and configure all of the above features myself through SMB, nightly rsync, forked-daapd, Plex server and OpenVPN, and optionally Plex Home Theater or Kodi. Of course now, I'm mixing the media center and storage/backup in one single machine, and I do not know if this is an ideal situation.

Later, I realized that a high-end QNAP NAS system can perform all of the above features as well, nearly all preconfigured, and coming with a user-friendly interface, but a bit more expensive. However it still is one machine doing all of the functions. Would it maybe be better to have a basic NAS on one machine, and have a Plex/iTunes/VPN/Time machine server on another machine? Could you maybe give your opinion on this one, or give me some advice concerning my future setup?

Thanks a lot,
Cedric
 

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Hi there,

I want to set up a media/storage system at home to perform the following tasks:
- Store music, video, pictures, ... and make them accessible across the (home) network through file sharing
- Allow for data redundancy or daily backup mechanisms
- Run a DAAPD server such that a central iTunes library (for music, playlists...) can be shared across the network
- Run a Plex server to serve videos, music, pictures... across the network
- Run a VPN server to access my files away from home.

Actually playing the media files on a screen, is an optional feature, but is also a welcome feature. I currently can use Plex on my PS4 or maybe buy a Roku in the future. A time machine backup feature is also optional but welcome.

I first intended to buy an Intel NUC or similar, add two or more external USB 3.0 HDDs, run a Linux server, and configure all of the above features myself through SMB, nightly rsync, forked-daapd, Plex server and OpenVPN, and optionally Plex Home Theater or Kodi. Of course now, I'm mixing the media center and storage/backup in one single machine, and I do not know if this is an ideal situation.

Later, I realized that a high-end QNAP NAS system can perform all of the above features as well, nearly all preconfigured, and coming with a user-friendly interface, but a bit more expensive. However it still is one machine doing all of the functions. Would it maybe be better to have a basic NAS on one machine, and have a Plex/iTunes/VPN/Time machine server on another machine? Could you maybe give your opinion on this one, or give me some advice concerning my future setup?

Thanks a lot,
Cedric
Budget?

Self-built/managed can be quite the en-devour but also very rewarding. Using selected hardware + OS can let you customize thing as you truly want, but it can also suck up a lot of time with maintenance/tweaking/upgrading/testing new features, etc. Knowing how much data you currently have, think you'll add will also help give you a better picture.

A pre-built NAS saves you some of the time and most NAS manufacturers these days have options for a lot of apps that incorporate what you want to do. You will pay extra for the product but you're also going to spend a little less time setting things up.

I personally have a full server, built from old PC desktop parts, running emby (was using plex before) to host media, and a general file server. Several media clients throughout the house to access the content. My main reason for this path was to be able to have full control over how things are accessed and by whom. I've put unknown hours into the setup and reconfig, but I am happy with it. I have been planning to "down scale" and separate the functions by building a NAS for storage and a server for the apps. Still a long process.

Take a realistic inventory of your needs, how many people/devices are truly every connected and accessing content at any given time? How much space do you currently use and what do you think you'll grow by? Will being able to add feature X later down the road matter? This will help you really know what you ought to invest in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply!

My budget is around 400 to 500 dollars/euros for a system, without the hard drives included. So a QNAP NAS, like the TS-453 Pro for example, is within my budget, but so is an Intel NUC (and the price for the NUC5I5RYK is comparable to the TS-453 Pro). I am a computer engineer, so on one hand I would like some in-depth control on the system, but on the other hand having it all nicely preconfigured isn't such a bad thing either :).

Currently I have ~500GB of music, ~400GB of pictures and ~500GB of movie files. This number will grow in the future, but not massively. Maybe in the future I will rip my dvd discs and store them on the machine as well. I think no more than two clients/device will access the content or stream it at the same time, and most of the time only just one client/device. It's mainly for use in-home and sporadically accessing it from outside the home network.
 

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Thanks for your reply!

My budget is around 400 to 500 dollars/euros for a system, without the hard drives included. So a QNAP NAS, like the TS-453 Pro for example, is within my budget, but so is an Intel NUC (and the price for the NUC5I5RYK is comparable to the TS-453 Pro). I am a computer engineer, so on one hand I would like some in-depth control on the system, but on the other hand having it all nicely preconfigured isn't such a bad thing either :).

Currently I have ~500GB of music, ~400GB of pictures and ~500GB of movie files. This number will grow in the future, but not massively. Maybe in the future I will rip my dvd discs and store them on the machine as well. I think no more than two clients/device will access the content or stream it at the same time, and most of the time only just one client/device. It's mainly for use in-home and sporadically accessing it from outside the home network.
a NAS will probably suffice for simplicity then. 1-2 transcodes should be capable for NAS. I forget how big of a drive you can attach to the NUC. At your budget you can put together a good server, but not 100% sure you'll have anything for a dedicated HTPC, though with the right CPU in your server, then thin clients like Roku will do just fine.
 
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