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Discussion Starter #1
So I've got Plex Media Server running on my home PC paired with a WD external hard drive for storage. I direct play 99% of my content to a Roku 4 via our home intranet (Cat5e with a router).

All my files are 1080p lossless, HD audio, etc.

I've quickly run out of space and need more. A lot more. I see quite a few threads dedicated to solutions that include the ability to run PMS, but honestly my PC is doing great as a server and with home intranet in all rooms I see few reasons to dump that duty on NAS.

Any suggestions for NAS that can support 20TB+ without headaches and that I can point Plex to for accessing movies and music? Synology seems highly recommended, but again, most of what I read has to do with trying to do both storage and NAS. Unless someone has a compelling reason not to I feel fine seeking storage capability and reliability only.
 

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So I've got Plex Media Server running on my home PC paired with a WD external hard drive for storage. I direct play 99% of my content to a Roku 4 via our home intranet (Cat5e with a router).

All my files are 1080p lossless, HD audio, etc.

I've quickly run out of space and need more. A lot more. I see quite a few threads dedicated to solutions that include the ability to run PMS, but honestly my PC is doing great as a server and with home intranet in all rooms I see few reasons to dump that duty on NAS.

Any suggestions for NAS that can support 20TB+ without headaches and that I can point Plex to for accessing movies and music? Synology seems highly recommended, but again, most of what I read has to do with trying to do both storage and NAS. Unless someone has a compelling reason not to I feel fine seeking storage capability and reliability only.
NAS is just Network Attached Storage... That fact that a lot of companies like Synology / QNAP to name a few have added additional functionality is just an added bonus. Personally I wouldn't even consider running Plex Server on a NAS as it is very processor intensive and a NAS Processor (for the most part) is way under powered.

That said Synology NAS's are awesome, very fast, reliable and well known for their stability,. I also hear good things abotu QNAP but don't have much personal experience. You could also look at ReadyNAS, Drobo or building your own if you are so inclined.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oops, I meant to say most of what I read has to do with both NAS and transcoding in one box which feels like it's not necessary for my setup. Is it overkill to do Synology or QNAP for storage purposes only, or should I just bite the proverbial bullet and pony up for the brand name product?
 

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I've quickly run out of space and need more. A lot more. I see quite a few threads dedicated to solutions that include the ability to run PMS, but honestly my PC is doing great as a server and with home intranet in all rooms I see few reasons to dump that duty on NAS.
Your post has me confused -- do you really want a NAS or would you be happy continuing to use your PC as a Plex server with more storage?

If the latter -- if your PC has USB-3 ports (or a card slot to add either a USB-3 or eSATA card), why not buy a multi-bay external storage unit and populate with large HDD's. I use Mediasonic 4-bay units on my server and currently 4TB HDD's have the cheapest $/TB ratio. My video server currently has 26TB. NAS units are nice but are an expensive over-kill for video storage/serving.
 

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So I've got Plex Media Server running on my home PC paired with a WD external hard drive for storage. I direct play 99% of my content to a Roku 4 via our home intranet (Cat5e with a router).

All my files are 1080p lossless, HD audio, etc.

I've quickly run out of space and need more. A lot more. I see quite a few threads dedicated to solutions that include the ability to run PMS, but honestly my PC is doing great as a server and with home intranet in all rooms I see few reasons to dump that duty on NAS.

Any suggestions for NAS that can support 20TB+ without headaches and that I can point Plex to for accessing movies and music? Synology seems highly recommended, but again, most of what I read has to do with trying to do both storage and NAS. Unless someone has a compelling reason not to I feel fine seeking storage capability and reliability only.
I have owned several Synology's and various other NAS solutions.
All I really ever wanted was a simple storage network for Home Theater.

Here is the best Plex server solution I have ever found :
Lenovo ThinkServer TS-140:

ThinkServer TS-140 is very quiet. Expandable to any amount
of storage you ever want and handles all HD media with ease.
Can find them from $250.00 to $300.00 delivered.

So quiet & cool running you will never hear it next to your head.
Drives snap in and out by hand no tools needed. I'm running 10 TB and PLEX MEDIA PLAYER
has no problem at all with any HD files or otherwise.

https://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-ThinkServer-70A4000HUX-i3-4130-Computer/dp/B00SS3M3K6

This is how to do it right.
 

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I have the Synology DS1515+, it's been flawless.
It's a 5-bay quad core NAS with plenty of storage space if needed.. and it does have a Plex Server app so the OP can opt to use it... or not- or continue to use his computer as his Plex server.
FWIW- the 1515+ has plenty of CPU to transcode for Plex if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have the Synology DS1515+, it's been flawless.
It's a 5-bay quad core NAS with plenty of storage space if needed.. and it does have a Plex Server app so the OP can opt to use it... or not- or continue to use his computer as his Plex server.
FWIW- the 1515+ has plenty of CPU to transcode for Plex if needed.
What spec hard drives are you using in the DS1515+? After looking into it I may go for the non-plus version, as I'm happy to have my PC with i7 do the transcoding when direct play doesn't work. The DS1515 with 5 hard drives plugged directly into my router seems like a cost-effective way to get 20tb+ of media content available 24/7 for plex, but I don't know if WD red drives are overkill or not for this purpose, and if not, what drive speed (if it even matters).
 

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What spec hard drives are you using in the DS1515+?
I have five "Seagate NAS HDD ST4000VN000 4TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive".
The 4TB model is 5900 rpm, the larger drives (6TB and 8TB models) in the series ate 7200 rpm iirc.
The five 4TB drives give me 14.4TB usable storage.
 

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What spec hard drives are you using in the DS1515+? After looking into it I may go for the non-plus version, as I'm happy to have my PC with i7 do the transcoding when direct play doesn't work. The DS1515 with 5 hard drives plugged directly into my router seems like a cost-effective way to get 20tb+ of media content available 24/7 for plex, but I don't know if WD red drives are overkill or not for this purpose, and if not, what drive speed (if it even matters).
This is personal preference and VERY subjective. If you look at some of the reports out there you will find that regular desktop / green drives seem to last just as long as any NAS or Enterprise Drive. One of the differences is the warranty... a lot of Desktop drives only come with a 1 year warranty, a NAS Drive (like the WD Red's) come with a 3 year warranty and an Enterprise or Pro drive will come with a 5 year warranty.

For the most part it seems like a drive will fail within the first few weeks to maybe 3 months if it doesn't then you seem to be good for many, many years (usually more than 5).

Again personal preference, everyone has a brand they love, a brand they hate / have had terrible luck with. Personally I've had great luck with both Seagate NAS and Western Digital Red's and I've installed dozens and dozens of them.
 

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Your post has me confused -- do you really want a NAS or would you be happy continuing to use your PC as a Plex server with more storage?

If the latter -- if your PC has USB-3 ports (or a card slot to add either a USB-3 or eSATA card), why not buy a multi-bay external storage unit and populate with large HDD's. I use Mediasonic 4-bay units on my server and currently 4TB HDD's have the cheapest $/TB ratio. My video server currently has 26TB. NAS units are nice but are an expensive over-kill for video storage/serving.
That is the USB unit I was planning on going with. Currently my Plex media is on two external 3tb Hard Drives and that has worked ok but as I look forward I see that quickly becoming unrealistic with having add additional storage. I may even forget the whole USB box and just slap the hard drives into the server I plan to build and be done with.
 

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I may even forget the whole USB box and just slap the hard drives into the server I plan to build and be done with.
Do you need to build a server? For video storage/serving, a small i3 or i5 NUC and a couple multi-bay external units is more than enough power and a lot of storage in a relatively small space -- at a price that won't break the bank and lets you spend the money on HDD's to add on as needed. I run several server programs on my i3 (Plex, Mezzmo, TiVo server) and it has no problems.
 

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Consider building your own NAS? The only reason I suggest is that I bought my 1st NAS which was a QNAP. it works great btw. However I was quickly outgrowing it. So i decided to build my own. I'm using FreeNAS OS which is pretty decent which has a web interface like QNAP. It's not as pretty or refined but their new version 10 thats in beta looks much better.

Here is what I did my build off of:
http://pcpartpicker.com/list/jD4hM8

Note that I didn't include a DVD/CD Drive. Not needed.
You will need 2 USB Sticks. 1 will be for flashing the FreeNAS OS image to. The other will be the permanent boot drive.

I build my own gaming PCs and frankly it isn't complicated. The case has room for 8 HDDs. The Mobo i chose only has 6 SATA ports. That was fine for me. I'm starting with 3 x 8TB WD Red drives in RaidZ1. This gave me around 12.7TB of disc space. So i have at least one drive of failure. I will then stick in 3 more 8TB drives in a new RaidZ1 array. this will give me 25TB of disc space in total.
 

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Do you need to build a server? For video storage/serving, a small i3 or i5 NUC and a couple multi-bay external units is more than enough power and a lot of storage in a relatively small space -- at a price that won't break the bank and lets you spend the money on HDD's to add on as needed. I run several server programs on my i3 (Plex, Mezzmo, TiVo server) and it has no problems.
At the moment, my Plex server is running on a gaming laptop which is connected to a USB Hub which has the external HDs.

I would like to regain the use of my laptop as a 'laptop' :) So was planning on building a dedicated box to be Plex server and either put HDs in it or get some sorta USB enclosure. The external HDs have worked well but as I look forward....I do not want to have to add more and more boxes ....which need power.....yada yada. So for around $350 I can build a AMD FX-8350 based headless PC. At first continue using the external USB drives I currently have.....then add internal HDDs to the PC as my media needs grow. At least that is the current plan. Taking a vacation in august and really want to have my laptop back :)

Server would be something like this:

http://pcpartpicker.com/list/m6MvBm

I have several unclaimed Windows 7 activation keys so probably just go with Win7 running Plex Server or if I am adventurous, go with a Linux OS.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So for the sake of a turnkey solution I ended up ordering a DS1815+ (800 bucks), 8 WD Red 6TB drives, and an uninterruptible power supply. Hopefully I can just plug it into my router and have this get me through the next few years without thinking about it again other than the occasional possible drive failure. I'm planning on continuing to run PMS on my desktop PC, as it gets light use anyway.

Even with RAID 6 I think I will have enough storage until 4k with HDR becomes more commonplace as a standard. For now I'm fine using 4k discs in my Samsung player instead and it's not too inconvenient. Now I just have to hope Backblaze (my current provider) or Crashplan (seems highly recommended) are cool with many TB's of storage for backup purposes...
 

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^ Congrats!
Since the DS1815+ has a Plex server app... why not use it?
It takes zero resources if it's not transcoding, and even when transcoding- your NAS can easily handle it.

You may want to add some (laptop) ram to the NAS.
 

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So for the sake of a turnkey solution I ended up ordering a DS1815+ (800 bucks), 8 WD Red 6TB drives, and an uninterruptible power supply. Hopefully I can just plug it into my router and have this get me through the next few years without thinking about it again other than the occasional possible drive failure. I'm planning on continuing to run PMS on my desktop PC, as it gets light use anyway.

Even with RAID 6 I think I will have enough storage until 4k with HDR becomes more commonplace as a standard. For now I'm fine using 4k discs in my Samsung player instead and it's not too inconvenient. Now I just have to hope Backblaze (my current provider) or Crashplan (seems highly recommended) are cool with many TB's of storage for backup purposes...
I have owned a 4 bay Synology for awhile now and have had no issues. I even upgraded the ram but that was mostly for my offsite backup application. I tried Plex on my Synology and it operated fine on the Synology but I don't care for Plex and prefer Kodi so I got rid of the Plex application but it worked just fine even when it had to transcode.

Word of very strong advice. Do a complete surface scan of the drives with the Synology when you get them installed and running before putting one media file on it. If one of those drives are going to fail early then that will help find it. It will take hours or even days to complete but if it discovers a defect before you transfer media to it you will have saved yourself time and heartache.

Just as a .02 comment for the thread...I have half WD reds and half Seagate desktop drives in mine. I had all WD desktop drives and when it was time to upgrade my amount of storage I went with the reds and they work fine. However, they are so much slower than the desktop drives. Because I use mine for things other than straight media storage it really bugged me. So, when it was time to upgrade the other half of the drives I went back to desktop drives and I haven't had any issues.

As another comment...some of the other built in Synology apps are really nice and I found myself using quite a few of them.
 

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NAS and NAS Drives are not meant to be worked from. They are for storage or a place to get data from. So you "should" be moving the file(s) you need from your NAS to your local machine if you need faster I/O performance.
Video editing is an example where fast drives are important and should not be worked on from the NAS. When finished, you transfer the files back to your NAS for storage.

Putting in Desktop drives in a NAS is asking for trouble. While I've had Desktop drives in my PC for over 5+yrs without issues, those drives/device are not running 24/7.
 
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