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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the next few months, I'm looking to turn my old desktop that I built years ago into a Linux based HTPC. Once that is configured to my liking, I plan to build a new Linux based HTPC that is noob friendly for my family to use downstairs. I will be storing all content on a NAS drive.


I've done some reading, and, for my needs, I think a 2-bay unit would suffice. Couple noob questions:

- Are the USB ports for attaching external hard drives?

- If so, then I'm assuming the max number of drives would be 2 internal + however many USB ports there are.

- Will speed be an issue if I attach drive via USB (Will stream movies to a maximum of 3 devices)?

- To access the shared folders on my computers, is it a matter of mapping drives to the IP address of the NAS unit?

- Will there be any complications accesses the data from Win7, Linux, and a PS3?

- I don't know much about 'supported protocols', so is there anything I should know?

- Can I set up some sort of auto backup with a 2-bay? Maybe a RAID 1. I wouldn't mind just having one bay be used for a redundant HDD.


Sorry if this information has already been posted on these forums. I've done some basic research and answered most of my questions, but have a few that I just want some confirmation on.
 

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If you are interested in redundancy, look into Unraid. Single disk failure protection for N disks with N+1 drives installed in the system.

The data can be accessed from any platform, and is quite expandable for future use.

Best of all, you do not need identical disks for the system to work. Buy a few drives now, and buy different ones later when you need them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpatel304 /forum/post/0


Cool.. so I'm guessing I could run that by sticking it on a USB stick and leaving that plugged into some NAS bay storage device?

Only if that 'nas' box comes with a standard cpu/mb/ram. A prebuilt nas solution will not work.
 

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USB drives on a NAS sound nasty. Super nasty.


If you think you will use more space, get a bigger NAS! I personally have a 16 bay Unraid NAS and a 10 Bay Unraid NAS. Two disks are nothing.


The magic trick about Unraid is it lets you build a NAS using PC parts (so instead of a off the shelf $500 four bay NAS you have a home built $600 ten bay NAS). It is worth the money because it gives you one drive parity (so a drive can die and you don't lose the data) but unlike RAID you can mix and match what HDs it has in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses so far. If someone could clarify these points for me, that would be greatly appreciated:

- To access the shared folders on my computers, is it a matter of mapping drives to the IP address of the NAS unit?

- Will there be any complications accesses the data from Win7, Linux, and a PS3?

- I don't know much about 'supported protocols', so is there anything I should know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrwalte /forum/post/19515904


Only if that 'nas' box comes with a standard cpu/mb/ram. A prebuilt nas solution will not work.

Oh. The one's I'm looking at are basically just 'bays' where I can stick HDDs in. I kinda don't want this to be too pricey (it's mainly for my family). I may just have to forget about a redundant drive option then, which isn't a big deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poofyhairguy /forum/post/19515987


USB drives on a NAS sound nasty. Super nasty.


If you think you will use more space, get a bigger NAS! I personally have a 16 bay Unraid NAS and a 10 Bay Unraid NAS. Two disks are nothing.

Well I only asked because we already own a 500GB external USB drive. I don't plan to expand and buy more of them, but I was hoping my current drive could be used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poofyhairguy /forum/post/19515987


The magic trick about Unraid is it lets you build a NAS using PC parts (so instead of a off the shelf $500 four bay NAS you have a home built $600 ten bay NAS). It is worth the money because it gives you one drive parity (so a drive can die and you don't lose the data) but unlike RAID you can mix and match what HDs it has in it.

That could be option, since I do have an old desktop I could probably use. Power consumption is also a concern, which is why I'm leaning towards just a simple 2 or 4 bay. Sure they probably aren't as cost effective out of the box, but I'm guessing I may save in the long run since this thing will be running 24/7
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpatel304 /forum/post/19516174


- To access the shared folders on my computers, is it a matter of mapping drives to the IP address of the NAS unit?

Yeah basically. You can do it dynamically with host names and such.

Quote:
- Will there be any complications accesses the data from Win7, Linux, and a PS3?

- I don't know much about 'supported protocols', so is there anything I should know?

Answer these two together:


Windows uses the SMB protocol, which is supported (to a certain extent) by OSX and Linux also thanks to Samba. Linux uses NFS primarily, and OSX uses AFP primarily. For a PS3 you need UPNP support, which is best done by a computer running PS3 mediaserver:

http://code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver/


Which runs on Linux, Windows and OSX.


Quote:
Oh. The one's I'm looking at are basically just 'bays' where I can stick HDDs in. I kinda don't want this to be too pricey (it's mainly for my family).

Yeah, like a ReadyNAS:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-010-_-Product

Quote:
Well I only asked because we already own a 500GB external USB drive. I don't plan to expand and buy more of them, but I was hoping my current drive could be used.

I suggest if you get a 2-4 bay NAS use that external as a backup for your most important stuff from the larger pile. NASes die sometimes.


Quote:
Power consumption is also a concern, which is why I'm leaning towards just a simple 2 or 4 bay. Sure they probably aren't as cost effective out of the box, but I'm guessing I may save in the long run since this thing will be running 24/7

If your needs fit a smaller NAS, go for it. Many 4 bay NASes allow for RAID 5 (so one bay protects the other three) which is the minimum I personally would consider. Most popular NASes have plenty of support on the net as well.


Your only issue is the PS3. A simple NAS doesn't have the power to transcode content ala PS3mediaserver to a PS3. I have a beefy dual core Unraid box to do that myself.


But for the cost difference between a beefy always on box and a 4 bay NAS, you could by a WD Live and use that to play NAS content on your TV instead. It would all work together nicely and easily then....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much for your help poofyhairguy. You've been really helpful. I would love to build a more robust NAS server, but, as I said, I'm currently living with my family and am basically just building something so that my parents can backup data to a network drive and so they can watch movies/tv shows on a Linux-based HTPC that I will build.


I'm currently leaning towards this unit here:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822108041


It specifically shows support for a PS3. Don't see any of the protocols needed for Linux and Windows though, but maybe the description page is just incomplete because a quick google search shows people using this very unit on both OSs.


There is also this unit:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822108028


Which is essentially the same, but with double the RAM and a faster processor. For my use, I don't think it'll really be worth the extra cash. My needs are pretty minimal, so I don't really see the point of spending a whole lot.
 
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