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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There's no other way to do this other than being long winded. So here it goes.

Current: Win7 on an old HP Desktop (Core 2 Duo 2.4ghz, 4gb ram, 1.5Tb (Internal, just died) and 2tb external. 500gb OS drive (Overkill, I know) Running Win7 with Plex Media Server.

Problem: The 1.5tb drive died, most of it was backed up to an external drive so that's not a huge deal. But the hardware is getting old and I want to upgrade and add some redundancy to the mix so I don't have to deal with a dead drive and loss of data right away.

Possible Solution: I have an Asus desktop, i7 5th gen 3.4ghz 16gb ram. I want to use this as the base of the new build. I have power supplies, cases and such to play with. My issue is OS and configuration. What I want is as simple of a server for file sharing (Media streaming as well as storing photos/documents/files with protection) across my home network and Maybe running my own cloud for access outside of the house. I want to keep Plex (Plex Pass User for life) and I was even thinking of looking into making it an iTunes server? Since I use iTunes on multiple PC's in the house. I just aquired a WD Duo USB 3.0 Raid with a pair of 6tb Red Nas drives and I have some other various sized drives for other uses if need be. I have a pair of matching 1tb drives too I was going to add into the storage, so I'd basically have two pairs (1 @ 6tb and [email protected] 1tb). Possibly.

I've been looking at FreeNas, Open Media Vault and UnRaid. It's so confusing and I don't know what direction to go in. I'm not very command line friendly so Ubuntu Server was out of the question. I love the Docker options of UnRaid but I hear it's slow unless you add a crap ton of drives for parity and cache. No, I don't want a box with 10 drives in it lol.

I was leaning towards FreeNas because of ZFS and the ability to just use two drives. Keep it simple, right? But I've read so many confusing things about Plex and how it performs on there, and I don't have ECC memory (Which I know isn't really required but is it?). Every forum post I read goes off topic and someone throws in some other software and goes on a tangent. I want to stay mainstream as possible so as to keep up with better support and such but I don't want to sit here and have to go through manuals and docs to figure out command lines on building raids that if I screw up one character in a string then it's rendered useless. I can't afford to go with a hardware raid. I heard that either OMV or UnRaid uses Ext4 or some Linux file system and if the server/OS fails I can just yank a drive to retrieve data? Honestly I don't know. I'm all over the place, sorry for the confusion.

As I said I'm leaning towards Freenas. My ideal situation is to build that hardware listed above (The i7 machine) with a pair of 6TB WD Red and the pair of 1TB I have as maybe a cache or extra storage, run from the USB drive (Clone that drive with Clonezilla periodically) so if the USB drive craps out I just swap and go. But how reliable is Plex? Or the plugins in Freenas 9.3? Should I wait for 10? How much longer? Anyone have experience with a similar build to what I'm talking about with OMV? I really like the universal idea of Dockers/Containers, as they can be updated and supported more universally. But is UnRaid the only one capable of doing that?

HELP! :)


To be honest, I'm looking more at OpenMediaVault and it really looks nice. I see there's extras to install and give you ZFS file system usage? So I can set up a ZFS raid if I wanted? Also anyone have experience running Plex as a plugin AND/OR as a Docker? How does the Docker perform on there? I would like room for more options and good support. I hear that Freenaas is a resource hog and I don't have any FreeBSD experience, but at least with a Debain release of something I can count on better support and packages.
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