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Old 04-06-2012, 07:31 AM   #1
endscape
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Default Which NAS? Needs to handle 3TB drives, 4 or more

Hey boys and girls-

Wasn't sure whether this should go in Memory and Storage or Networking, but I figured I'd start here.

I'm migrating from my full sized desktop to a mATX rig, so I need to find a new home for 4 of my 6 3TB Hitachis. So should I look at Thecus? QNAP? Netgear? What's the best bang for the buck NAS device these days? Are there any that support torrenting and Usenet?

I might just end up building a very small computer if I cant find a NAS that does everything I need.

Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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My initial suggestion would be to build your own simply because I have done it and it is extremely easy to do (I use FreeNAS).

A quick look on the Egg and the ones under $500 don't support 3TB drives. I dislike how you have to pay a price premium to get a premade NAS and you end up sacrificing so much on flexibility.

I know torrenting is easy to setup, but I don't know what is involved with Usenet, so I can't make an official recommendation at this time for any of the premade systems. I know you can do whatever you want with a BYO rig, but I don't know if setting up the extra services poses a headache or not.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:46 PM   #3
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HP N40L with WHS 2011 or any other NAS software. WHS 2011 combined with something like Drivepool can give you the flexibility of WHS v1 (drive extender).

Since WHS is just Windows Server, you can install almost all windows software. Obviously, some limitations apply and not all software will install on a server OS. Torrenting and newsgroups are no problem at all. I have WHS v1 running utorrent as a service and it works great.

The HP often goes on sale for $111 to $250, including 250gg HD and 2gb ram. You can hack the bios to allow 5 full speed onboard SATA drives (4 is standard) and one additional esata that can be routed inside if needed, for a total of 6 SATA drives. The box itself can hold 4 3.5 inch drives in the main cage, two 3.5 drives in the upper CDROM cage (using a nexus doubletwin), and even one SSD sandwiched below the CDROM space. You can add a PCIE SATA card to allow an additional 2 drives too...!

Last edited by Binky; 04-06-2012 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:09 PM   #4
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Build your own. Everything else is a massive ripoff.
Use FreeNAS.
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taltamir View Post
Build your own. Everything else is a massive ripoff.
Use FreeNAS.
Only a RIP off if you like tinkering with OS's and networking configurations, have a lot a free time, or have constrained funding. Let's not forget whole system warranties either - if something breaks you can ship the whole thing back to the manufacturer rather than trying to track down which component is faulty.

That said, I've heard good things about Synology and QNAP. I believe Synology generally scores higher in customer satisfaction, but also costs a bit more - ~800 for a 1511 which has 5 bays.

For a DYI route, check out unraid's prebuilt servers - they sell pre-built boxes for 15+ drives, but you can look at their component list and buy those off newegg for some substantial savings if you like building your own.

You can then use UnRaid for FreeNAS as a easy to install & configure NAS OS.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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Only a RIP off if you like tinkering with OS's and networking configurations, have a lot a free time, or have constrained funding.
No, a diskless prebuilt NAS has all those 3 things in equal measure to a FreeNAS box.
What you save by building your own is having to spend 30 minutes assembling the hardware in a box. And having to insert an OS install disk and following a simple and easy GUI to install the OS.
And even then, with a diskless prebuilt (which is what the OP wants for his existing drives) you still need to open up the box and install the disks.

And it is a ripoff because they charge you more then 3x the cost of the hardware for 30 minutes assembly of components that anyone can install ("insert socket socket into slot, they match up and cannot go anywhere else". "screw with a screwdriver" etc)

Also notice I did not suggest that he use something complex like linux or solaris (like what I run)... that stuff takes time to learn.
I said use FreeNAS. Which is a simple install followed with a simple GUI, on par with what you get from a prebuilt. I spent weeks learning how to use solaris from the moment I installed it to the time I had a NAS running. I understand people don't have the time or the expertise and thus the FreeNAS suggestion. (well, I didn't have the time but I made time. It was important to me)

If you are completely afraid of assembling hardware you should NOT buy a diskless system (which is what the OP asked for).
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Last edited by taltamir; 04-06-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:40 PM   #7
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Well, it looks like I'm building my own. I cant get what I want in a prebuilt for less than $800 or so, and I can build my own for around $500. Plus, I can make it do double duty as an HTPC, so its a win all the way around.

Thanks for the help guys! I'll start a build thread when I get to that point.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:47 AM   #8
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The only issue I have with DIY NAS is that useful cases are basically non-existent. It's almost impossible to get it in such a small cases as with prebuild ones. Then also mini-ITX board with 6 sata ports are rather rare too. AFAIK none such exist for atom or brazos except super expensive ones.

It's a non issue if you don't mind the size of the thing but if you do...it will get just as expensive.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:38 AM   #9
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The only issue I have with DIY NAS is that useful cases are basically non-existent. It's almost impossible to get it in such a small cases as with prebuild ones. Then also mini-ITX board with 6 sata ports are rather rare too. AFAIK none such exist for atom or brazos except super expensive ones.

It's a non issue if you don't mind the size of the thing but if you do...it will get just as expensive.
Lian Li has some Mini ITX based cases that hold 6+ drives. I dont plan on using RAID, so I'll just toss a cheap Highpoint card in to accommodate all the drives. Sure, its not as small as a prebuilt, but its damn close.

The case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811112339
The motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131727

I'm going to spend about $500 all told, since I already have the drives and the boot SSD.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:24 PM   #10
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For those following along at home, I did find this case: http://www.logicsupply.com/products/a7879 that seems like a perfect DIY platform. Not that much more expensive then the Lian Li either...
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Old 04-08-2012, 09:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endscape View Post
Hey boys and girls-

Wasn't sure whether this should go in Memory and Storage or Networking, but I figured I'd start here.

I'm migrating from my full sized desktop to a mATX rig, so I need to find a new home for 4 of my 6 3TB Hitachis. So should I look at Thecus? QNAP? Netgear? What's the best bang for the buck NAS device these days? Are there any that support torrenting and Usenet?

I might just end up building a very small computer if I cant find a NAS that does everything I need.

Thanks!

I bought a Synology 210j for $99 from Amazon, and a Synology DS211 for $180-ish. I hear great things about them and look forward to trying it out.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:18 AM   #12
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Many mention FreeNas. It is better than using UNRAID from Lime Technolgies ?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:15 AM   #13
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How bout the Fractal Design Array R2? Mini-itx case with 6 x 3.5" internal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811352019
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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My question is what are you doing with the nas ?
Storage for file or doing something on it ?

I pretty much built almost every kind of nas.. If you're just using it for storage, I think the Hp micro server as mentioned is good enough, but it does not have raid 5. I use a hp p410 raid controller on it and it works great in raid 5 or 6 if you purchase the advanced data pack.

I dont trust unraid, a lot of people had problems with their system and disk dropping out.

I use freenas/openfiler. Any of you guys use iscsi on your freenas or openfiler ?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taltamir View Post
Build your own. Everything else is a massive ripoff.
Use FreeNAS.
I built my Server/NAS out of an old M2A-VM, Athlon BE-2350, 2gigs ddr2, highpoint 2640 4 port sata card and a ton of 3TB HDs. All in an Antec Sonata with a CFP51 for the raid array.

Cost of all parts minus drives maybe $250 and I have a box I can rdp into and is always on. Much better than consumer NAS boxes.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Many mention FreeNas. It is better than using UNRAID from Lime Technolgies ?
It isn't better or worse, just different. I have used both FreeNAS and unRAID and in the end I very much prefer unRAID for pure ease of use. One benefit of FreeNAS however is that it is free and unRAID is only free for three disks or less.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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It isn't better or worse, just different. I have used both FreeNAS and unRAID and in the end I very much prefer unRAID for pure ease of use. One benefit of FreeNAS however is that it is free and unRAID is only free for three disks or less.
Thanks for your reply ! At this stage of the game I am looking for ease of use....
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:33 PM   #18
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Easy = WHS 2011 and Drivepool.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:11 PM   #19
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Easy = WHS 2011 and Drivepool.
That sure wasn't my experience. WHS2011 + Drivepool was one of the biggest disappointments I have had in quite some time.

Edit: Drivepool itself was fine, it was WHS2011 in general that sucked. Would work fine as a NAS only device though.

Last edited by DaveStall; 05-04-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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