AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After a few weeks of processing all the input from the helpful members of these forums, I think I finally have the majority of my new home network for media streaming decided upon. I have an i5 NUC that I will be dedicating as the actual server, and a smaller mini PC (probably an i3 NUC but perhaps a Revo) serving as the HTPC. I have my 13-16 Seagate NAS 4TB drives picked out.


What I am having a hard time evaluating is what to do about my disk farm. The two finalists I am debating between are a pair of Mediasonic 8-bay ProBoxes in conjunction with Windows Storage Spaces, or using Synology.


Mediasonic ProBox:

Pros:
  • Simple enough to install via USB 3.0 to eliminate the need for port multipliers
  • Only $270 for each 8-bay case and even less for a future 4-bay case, making it significantly cheaper than a Synology NAS
  • Using Storage Spaces, the discs will be read natively on any Windows 8/8.1 system should there ever be a failure
  • Lower power consumption than Synology

Cons:
  • Suspect customer support from Mediasonic, anything other than sales questions have failed to receive answers from the company
  • A huge variety of mixed reviews about the case itself; everything from the unit being the bee's knees, to the unit having every problem imaginable


Synology

Pros:
  • Though not actually a Plug-and-play device, Synology is about as close to set-and-forget as it comes
  • Reliability, I have a very difficult time finding accounts anywhere of Synology being anything other than top-tier for home NAS
  • Supports DLNA and also has an app for Samsung Smart TVs (though this is admittedly a lesser pro since I will be using a HTPC anyway)

Cons:
  • Price, for only 13 bays instead of 16 (as I would have with Mediasonic) the price of a DS1813+ and one expansion will be about $1,000 more
  • If there is a device failure, the hard drives must be migrated to a new Synology system, they do not just pull out to be read on any Windows 8/8.1 machine
  • It does not appear that the Synology system can be configured to handle multiple drive failures (though since I have all the original DVDs,, this sin't necessarily a deal-breaker as I don't anticipate multiple failures at once)



So I guess what my big question is, am I missing anything important in this comparison? Or am I now at the point where it simply comes down to personal preference/price point?


I'd simply like to make sure I am not overlooking something I am going to regret sometime shortly after I drop a grip of cash on this system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,272 Posts
I've been using Mediasonic cases and have had no problems. I do think the 8-bay case is over priced considering the 4-bay case is only $99 so I use the 4-bay. If you donn't like mediasonic there are other brands for 4 or 8-bay cases with USB-3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I had chosen Mediasonic as my external enclosure mostly because it seemed the most prevalent on the market. Most other enclosures I found were either off-brands I could find no information on, or they were designed as RAID enclosure. Since, if I go that route, I plan on using Storage Spaces, the RAID bit just gets in the way. I did notice the price difference between the 4 and 8 bay models and very nearly chose to go with the 4-bay models instead. Buying four of them I cold save $140. I finally decided on getting a pair of eights for simplicity's sake and also to save in overall power consumption. Living in the heart of the Arizona desert, any power/heat savings is welcome. If I found myself needing to cut back on cost even slightly though, that would be the first major change, as 4x 4-bar enclosure would in some way be more manageable from an initial set-up standpoint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,272 Posts
A possible criticism of the Mediasonic enclosures is the brightness of the panel lights. I don't know it you can turn them off or not, I never looked. But when you are accessing the drives in the enclosure, the flashing blue access LED's will light up a room. My servers are in a separate room so I don't mind the lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,118 Posts
I have a 4 bay Mediasonic USB 2.0 box.


I'm actually stuck using the USB connection and not the eSATA because my motherboard didn't support port multiplier (I was surprised that wasn't a defacto standard).


Even so I can do two streams back and forth at once on 2.0. A third starts to slow the whole thing down.


The quality of it seems pretty solid - definitely not a complaint there. The lights are extremely bright - and mine is stashed behind my media shelf.. A piece of electrical tape solved that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I have a Synology NAS as do several of my friends and we're all very happy with them.


A Synology can certainly handle multiple drive failures if you have configured it with a RAID that supports that (6 or 10). Multiple failures is definitely a real issue with any RAID system - you want to try and avoid getting all the same batch of drives as they may all fail at similar times, and once you lose one drive rebuilding the RAID array is a very disk intensive process so if you have a drive that's going to die soon many sysadmins have felt the pain of another drive dying during the rebuild.


RAID in a NAS is NOT a substitute for backups - you need to have a strategy for backing up your important data off the NAS and that is in the end going to be more valuable to you than the RAID setup.


But back to your question - a good bit of what you are paying for with Synology is the full appliance DSM software/OS wrapped around Linux - it is pretty user friendly and easy to navigate and use and they invest in the apps for it. If you really just want raw disk storage and don't care about that, there isn't a great incentive to pay for a NAS. Choosing to buy storage systems for your own PC is a very different use case from having independent network storage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,272 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33  /t/1526787/synology-or-mediasonic-8-bay-storage-spaces/0_100#post_24595435


I have a 4 bay Mediasonic USB 2.0 box.


I'm actually stuck using the USB connection and not the eSATA because my motherboard didn't support port multiplier (I was surprised that wasn't a defacto standard).
I think it is a rare PC that has an eSATA connector with port multiplier capabilities. Do you have an open PCIe slot? I have the Mediasonic eSATA card installed which supports 8 drives and use that to connect the external bays. Works very well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,118 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson  /t/1526787/synology-or-mediasonic-8-bay-storage-spaces#post_24595548


I think it is a rare PC that has an eSATA connector with port multiplier capabilities. Do you have an open PCIe slot? I have the Mediasonic eSATA card installed which supports 8 drives and use that to connect the external bays. Works very well.

I do. An esata card has been on "the list" for a while, but this seems to be working well enough for me. The DVR records onto an internal drive. When I compress a recorded movie for archiving it gets moved to the external box.


This is the caveat that no one ever uses when they say "but hard drive storage is so cheap now." A drive might be inexpensive on a per GB basis, but you still need to figure out where to put all those hard drives and how to connect them to your media player(s).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,947 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson  /t/1526787/synology-or-mediasonic-8-bay-storage-spaces#post_24595392


A possible criticism of the Mediasonic enclosures is the brightness of the panel lights. I don't know it you can turn them off or not, I never looked. But when you are accessing the drives in the enclosure, the flashing blue access LED's will light up a room.
 

Try these... lightdims .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,272 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R  /t/1526787/synology-or-mediasonic-8-bay-storage-spaces/0_100#post_24595993


Try these... lightdims .
Clever
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmatl  /t/1526787/synology-or-mediasonic-8-bay-storage-spaces#post_24595518



RAID in a NAS is NOT a substitute for backups - you need to have a strategy for backing up your important data off the NAS and that is in the end going to be more valuable to you than the RAID setup.


But back to your question - a good bit of what you are paying for with Synology is the full appliance DSM software/OS wrapped around Linux - it is pretty user friendly and easy to navigate and use and they invest in the apps for it. If you really just want raw disk storage and don't care about that, there isn't a great incentive to pay for a NAS. Choosing to buy storage systems for your own PC is a very different use case from having independent network storage.


Eventually, I will likely have a second set of hard drives with all the information found on the NAS. Until then, I do still have the thousands of DVDs and Blurays sitting in their cases on shelves lining the entertainment room that can be turned to in worst-case scenarios.



There is really something to be said for the simplicity that Synology reportedly provides. That simplicity is one of the reasons that Synology is one of my two finalists in this project. While I am absolutely not trying to do things "on the cheap", I still have to balance the need for excessive amounts of raw storage with suitable performance, with a the need to remain reasonable in terms of cost.


The Kaleidescape Cinema One looked exceptionally appealing to me until I learned of the limits on the library size. I'm not in the position to drop $26k+ on their flagship system, but the Cinema One is only for fairly small libraries. Those of us in between are sort of left out in the cold.


Mostly what I am seeing though is that I am now simply at the point of choosing between cost and simplicity. Mediasonic enclosures using Storage Spaces will be the cost-effective solution, while Synology is likely to be the easier system to get up and running.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So the salesman I spoke to tells me that sticking an i5 NUC onto Synology system to act as the server and then using an i3 NUC as a HTPC is complete unnecessary overkill. He's suggesting eliminating the i5 machine entirely. Can the Synology NAS really handle the workload of streaming to a minimum of 2-3 devices at a time on its own (with at least one of those devices being the HTPC)? I was under the impression that the Synology servers weren't beefy enough for that sort of thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,401 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aryn Ravenlocke  /t/1526787/synology-or-mediasonic-8-bay-storage-spaces#post_24599964


So the salesman I spoke to tells me that sticking an i5 NUC onto Synology system to act as the server and then using an i3 NUC as a HTPC is complete unnecessary overkill. He's suggesting eliminating the i5 machine entirely. Can the Synology NAS really handle the workload of streaming to a minimum of 2-3 devices at a time on its own (with at least one of those devices being the HTPC)? I was under the impression that the Synology servers weren't beefy enough for that sort of thing.

Well there are really high end Synology units. Our 1512+ which I guess is a medium level NAS streams fine to two clients as long as no transcoding is required and that depends on the clients. The i3 NUC is great as a client.


You might want to look at their Play models which handle high end stuff, especially when using DS Video.


Philip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd  /t/1526787/synology-or-mediasonic-8-bay-storage-spaces#post_24600001


Well there are really high end Synology units. Our 1512+ which I guess is a medium level NAS streams fine to two clients as long as no transcoding is required and that depends on the clients. The i3 NUC is great as a client.


You might want to look at their Play models which handle high end stuff, especially when using DS Video.


Philip

If I go with Synology, I plan on using a DS1813+ combined with a DX513, both fully loaded to start out. It's likely that at some point, I will need to add another DX513 to the system, but hopefully the second expansion will be enough to last me until I am filthy stinking rich and can afford a Kaleidescape system.


The i3 NUC looks to be the hands-down winner as my HTPC client. The secondary primary client is likely to be a PS3 or Xbox 360. Although, if I don't need a dedicated media server PC, I could probably just get a second i3 NUC to act as the secondary client as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Let me add another vote for a Synology NAS. I have the DS1813+ (SHR2) fully loaded with 4Tb Seagate VN drives streaming videos to two TVs in the house, and serves mp3s & FLACs to a A7N8X-E Deluxe computer system (wireless) out in the barn, (about all it's good for these days). Works without skipping a beat.


Synologys DiskStation Manager was the selling point for me. Sure, you can throw together a bunch of drives in a box but then what... You've got to learn Linux/FreeNAS/Whatever on top of learning how to run a NAS. I ain't got the time for that. My days are dedicated to ripping at the moment and isn't that what we want something like this for: Storing and serving pictures, videos and music?



Something you might want to consider in your plans is, they just released version 5 (update 2) of their DSM software and all the bugs aren't worked out yet. You can start out with v4.3, a more mature release. And all the apps work!


One more thing. Uninterruptible Power Supply, PUT IT ON ONE! You'll thank me later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Scratch  /t/1526787/synology-or-mediasonic-8-bay-storage-spaces#post_24603522


Let me add another vote for a Synology NAS. I have the DS1813+ (SHR2) fully loaded with 4Tb Seagate VN drives streaming videos to two TVs in the house, and serves mp3s & FLACs to a A7N8X-E Deluxe computer system (wireless) out in the barn, (about all it's good for these days). Works without skipping a beat.


Synologys DiskStation Manager was the selling point for me. Sure, you can throw together a bunch of drives in a box but then what... You've got to learn Linux/FreeNAS/Whatever on top of learning how to run a NAS. I ain't got the time for that. My days are dedicated to ripping at the moment and isn't that what we want something like this for: Storing and serving pictures, videos and music?



Something you might want to consider in your plans is, they just released version 5 (update 2) of their DSM software and all the bugs aren't worked out yet. You can start out with v4.3, a more mature release. And all the apps work!


One more thing. Uninterruptible Power Supply, PUT IT ON ONE! You'll thank me later.

The DS1813+ along with a DX513, both fully loaded is what I'll be starting with if I go that route.


As far as learning FreeNAS or whatever, that's what was appealing about Storage Spaces, there really isn't much of anything to learn beyond a self-explanatory point-and click menu to initially set up the drives. I tested it out on 4 external HDs just to see how easy it could be. The entire thing took me all of 3-5 minutes to do. After that, it works just like any drive on a Windows computer.


I'm still waffling back and forth between the Synology and Storage Spaces system. DSM could be handy, but since I plan on using either XBMC+MyMovies for the HTPC, I'm not sure how much use I would get out of DSM.As a second option, I was considering MediaBrowser 3, but the overwhelming support seems to be for/come from XBMC users.


Oh, and the UPS? Yeah, I hear that loud and clear. That is already purchased and standing by. It is sort of just sitting there marking future server territory right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
So, I'm starting to lean a bit toward Synology over a simple disc enclosure and Storage Spaces. I'm not entirely certain yet, but it is looking that way.


My next question though is, how does XBMC+MyMovies work in combination with Synology? And since Synology is the whole ball of wax, including their version of a media streamer in DSM 5.0, does it play well with others? Or should I expect to have to rely on DSM and spending great periods of time refining the media database?
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top