I' ve quit the ideea of USB hdd to router and want to buy a NAS

krs

New Around Here
I have red many of the posts here, but none of them are quite my usecase.

I want a NAS that in order of importance.
Off the shelf HW or easy to build
Has only 2 bays
Does not consume tooo much. At night is not used at all!
Use it mainly as Extra storage space fo pc and laptops.
Play music from it
Play pictures from it
No RAID, only simple backups of stuff on PC
I am thinking to keep Plex server on PC! but media storage on NAS

Extendable memory is a plus
Extendable to 10Gbs is a plus
Sonar and the like are a plus.

Am I missing anything for future proofing it?

Would a Synologic DS220+ do all the above? Are there any other alternatives? Should I care it is not something open like FreeNAS?
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
Let's say you get what you want in a 2-bay system and that metal box with a power cable costs you ~$300

Let's say you took an old PC and that cost you ~$100 but offered you so much more in capabilities with a little more effort.

A little effort and slightly more power use but, you have the whole world of storage open to you instead of being locked into whatever OS a NAS OEM produces.

Any PC CPU is better than what you get off the shelf NAS. The CPU will play a bigger part in processing / transcoding the movie / TV files you use with Plex.

PC you can put in any NIC you want if you want to go 10GE then you put one in, if 5GE is more your speed then you put one in, 2.5GE same thing.

RAID is a perk to keeping your data safe. It doesn't affect how you add files to the volume.

"Play" - this is a function of the device you're using. Any Roku / Chromecast / Apple / whatever box you want to use can play media from a SMB share which is basically what your NAS will be. The server side apps like Plex / Kodi / etc. just make it pretty and easier.
 

krs

New Around Here
Building one is not something I exclude. But I am too worried about power consumption, and the sheer amount of choices really.

Another worry is being tied up to a proprietary ecosystem... but if it does all the things I need, then I would preffer to buy an off the shelf. Actually I would have liked to buy something with proprietary, see how it goes and if not happy switch to freeNAS or the like. But for some reason this seems not to be an option.

Plex server on PC is what I meant. One of the compromises that I thought would let me use a dumber NAS.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
Choices can be overwhelming.

Cost effectiveness narrows that down though except for the disks of course.

All you really need to do it cheaply is a mATX sized case to squeeze a few drives in + the innards to make it run. You can go smaller but, down the road you'll likely end up going mATX anyway.

mATX options will house 3-4 drives easily unless you go storage specific like a Node 804 that holds 8 x 3.5" drives w/o any modifications + 2 more on the front bottom sill and room for a couple of 2.5" drives int he face plate.

Power draw. Depending on the performance you want out of it will determine how much $ you spend on the power each month. My system has a 850W PSU in it and parts all put together says it might draw up to 400W which is 4 lightbulbs. It's really not that much but, your average NAS vs PC is about the same when you're not putting it under load.


So, my setup vs a NAS should really come to about the same power draw ~60W at the wall. If I'm doing heavier tasks like transcoding video files it kicks up the consumption for 30-60 seconds while processing the file and then backs down. If I'm streaming a 4K files that needs to be transcoded the CPU can handle that w/o issue but, your average NAS CPU will choke and either be buffering all of the time or just kill the stream.

The issue with going with NAS OS is moving your drives from one company to another can be a complete nightmare. You'll end up having to pull drives and copy things and move more drives and wait for them to sync or data won't be readable outside of that specific vendor's device. (Drobo)

Any software with the name NAS in it is just a gimmick. Ubuntu + mdadm is all you need. Actually any Linux "skin" / distro will work if you have your eye on something different. I manage mine through command line and skip the GUI / desktop altogether. Once you setup the disks / create the raid you're done and don't have to touch it unless you end up replacing a disk.

I would aim for a mid range PC with an I5 or I7 CPU / 8GB RAM and then put it into a case like the 804 for the drives. If you want to be creative about it you could just use an SFF PC that looks like a BR player and attach a DAS to it for remote access.

The options are limitless for how you can share data on a network.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Some notes. A Synology or QNAP NAS is in a different league than anything you can build yourself. Unless you're looking for an unpaid job to support that DIY project.

Only consider 4 bay and larger NAS. Even if you only think you'll use two bays today. These devices last a decade or more for the use case you state. Don't limit yourself today by buying less than what you'll need tomorrow.

With 3+ drives, you have a far greater chance of not losing any files. Also, the higher bay count models will have more of the features you seem to want.

A proper NAS will 'sleep' when not in use. Do not turn a NAS on/off unnecessarily. The power savings are not worth it.

Depending on the capacity needed (today and into the future), the drives will cost more than the NAS.

Do not set a budget based on mere (personal) wishes. Do your research for quality products and proceed accordingly.

A six-bay NAS such as the QNAP 653D will allow you to create two 3 drive arrays over almost any time frame you wish. This will be seen as not just an investment, but as a steal a few short years from now.

The four-bay QNAP 453D is also a good option today. Just keep in mind you're buying this for the long run. With all aspects equally important (reliable, stable, and fast).

Future-proofing is hard (very hard). But a two-bay unit is crippled from the get-go, and would hardly make sense to include the features you would like in it.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
DIY x86 hardware NAS with similar hardware price will make circles around ready-made Synology and QNAP boxes, for who knows what is he doing. It's more flexible, more serviceable and with potential much higher performance. There is nothing to support once the system is up and running.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
A Ferrari will also run circles around 99% of the cars people actually use. That doesn't mean they are the best fit for them. Nor does it mean you can ignore maintenance costs either.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Yes, but the Ferrari is >10 times more expensive than "regular" cars. I'm talking about the same price hardware, if you read carefully before replying. There in no extra maintenance in DIY setup. What is there to maintain so much? If something happens, ready-made NAS box is a throw-away item. DIY NAS is up and running again after a short trip to the local computer store.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
You're confused, again. No worries, I'll type slowly.

I'm comparing a used Ferrari (as your hardware is too).

If maintenance is so unimportant, why are there so many tech shops?

Stop trying to be right (at all costs). Others know things too.
 

Tech Junky

Very Senior Member
DIY with Linux

The only Maintenance for the NAS portion is an auto scheduled health check once it's setup.

The OS needs updates to be efficient or you just ignore them and it keeps on running just fine. Running apps on a QNAP / Synology / XYZ brand NAS works fine until you try to push the device to do more than simple playback of compatible files with a compatible player. If the player can't process the files natively then the NAS has to transcode the file before playback and that will mean you need a better CPU.

NAS off the shelf range from $200-$1000+

If you're going long term some sort of Raid is advisable to keep data when a drive fails. When the drive fails you simple take the dead drive out of the mix and put the new one in. If it's an OTS NAS then you just go into the dashboard and click a few things and it starts the process of rebuilding the Raid. In a DIY there's a few different steps but, the same outcome.

For Speed & Redundancy I use Raid 10 which mirrors the disks and stripes them. This doubles the SATA throughput but keeps a live backup at the same time. You don't need a special RAID card to accomplish raid though since the mdadm package does it through the OS at no additional cost or reduction in performance. If you end up with a MOBO that doesn't have enough SATA ports you can add a HBA for $20-$50 to give you more ports and it just pops into the PCIE slot and you're on your way.

If you want higher performance you add more disks or use SAS / SSD / NVME drives. SAS is the outlier and requires a bit more HW to get running but, the speed increase might be worth it for capacity costs vs SSD.

You can do it on the cheap for the PC / case or you can go all out and build from the ground up or swap a used PC's guts into a better case for your storage needs.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I'm comparing a used Ferrari (as your hardware is too).

There is no used Ferrari for $20/30k, sorry. In your dreams only. Clearly cars are not what you know. I'm talking about NEW x86 hardware.

Others know things too.

Yes, @Tech Junky is going to explain you how far off you are. He knows things. Things you may not understand, but at least make an attempt.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Well, if you say so, it must be right. Gag.



Now, I know nothing about cars too. How am I able to function in this world!
 

krs

New Around Here
k guys... you made me think.... I looked again, checked my pocket.... Synology DS720+

It has more memory space, posibility of nvme cache (I have one laying around)

Seems to be beefier than DS220+, hope future me will thank me.

Any advices againt it? or any advice for something comparable? since the price hiked a little?
 

degrub

Part of the Furniture
make sure you have enough USB disks available to back up the data on the NAS, two copies suggested.
A NAS is a way to share files, it can back up other computer's data. But you will want/need to be able to restore the NAS in case of disk failure, ransomware, or NAS hardware fault. It happens, not often, but once you have been through one, you never leave home without the NAS backup
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
or any advice for something comparable?

See this:


I can give you more details, if you are interested. Easy, fail safe, fast, power efficient and user friendly. And you can run whatever else you want on it.

Now, I know nothing about cars too.

Definitely nothing about Ferrari. :)
 
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dosborne

Very Senior Member
My opinion.....

You don't seem keen on a DIY solution so sticking with a commercial Synology or QNAP seems appropriate. DIY, as pointed out, is more flexible but *can* be significant work. A commercial NAS, usually, just works.

As you don't really seem convinced that you need a NAS yet, I'd suggest going the cheap route rather than "future proof". The drives will of course be usable in the future no matter what, assuming you get a reasonable starting size, so don't factor that in. Blow $150-200 or whatever a basic 2-bay box costs these days. Based on your stated needs, if will satisfy most, not all, of them. Run it for a year or so. Once you are in the NAS camp, you will want to stay, then look at something else as an upgrade. Your old one can still work for backups.

In my case, I did just that. I started with a simple D-Link (DNS-323) 2-bay, then added 2 more identical units as redundancy and backup. I then bought a 2-bay QNAP (TS-231P) as it had a few more bells and whistles and was not limited to 2TB max. I then bought my main unit (TS-563-16) with 5 bays and 5x10TB drives. I still run ALL my old units and just replaced the 2TB drives in the old QNAP with 18TB drives. That unit is old and slow but works great as a backup and now has great capacity.

Bottom line, you have to decide ease of use vs cost vs whatever. But, no matter what, it will likely be usable 10 years from now or upgradable to some extent.

The only true drawback I can see to a 2-bay is typical fixed, low, memory. My 5-bay has 16GB and runs, obviously, at lot smoother than the 2-bay with 1GB.
 

DiliMe

Occasional Visitor
k guys... you made me think.... I looked again, checked my pocket.... Synology DS720+

It has more memory space, posibility of nvme cache (I have one laying around)

Seems to be beefier than DS220+, hope future me will thank me.

Any advices againt it? or any advice for something comparable? since the price hiked a little?
Since you mentioned Synology 720+, you may take a look at similar models from QNAP. Main advantage of QNAP over Synology is that it has HDMI output to connect it as a media station to a TV, since you mentioned in initial post about playing media.
Also, usually QNAPs are little cheaper or at about the same price but offering more connectivity options and many times more RAM in the same money. My research is based on 2017 data since I bought my last NAS (QNAP TS-253A) and I'm very happy with it.
My QNAP 253A consumes 25W while working 24x7 for 4 x CCTV cameras recording on it. I also use it to store family photos and music, as movie station connected to the TV using Kodi, remote backup of my cloud data (GDrive, OneDrive), VM host sometimes, couple Kubernets. It rarely goes over 50% on CPU or memory.

Another comparison that I've heard it many times is that Synology is more like Apple (less flexible) while QNAP is more like Android (more open), depends which side you appreciate more.

I see many people recommending 4+ bays, while I have a different approach. In the same money, instead of having 4 bays, you can also buy from ebay an old 1bay NAS and use it to backup your main NAS data.

Cheers!
 

krs

New Around Here
@ DiliMe
I have already ordered the Synology 720+ :), probably I would have taken a better look at QNAP based on your Apple vs Android comparison.

Regarding the availability of HDMI port... this is a minus for me :) . I will play all my media over the network (Ethernet or cable). I just need the NAS to keep the data. NAS is in another room.

Maybe it has use for some people, but in my case I do not see one single benefit. (maybe I am missing something obvious?)
As I understand playing over HDMI ....
You can connect to only 1(one)! TV
For photos is useless since you cannot use it as a screen saver.
For video... I understood that 4k HDR is not possible from this kind of NAS, if that is true again useless.
Maybe music?
 

Clark Griswald

Very Senior Member
The 720+ is a powerful NAS and you should be more than satisfied with the capabilities afforded to you. When you decide to upgrade in the future, then you can use the 720+ as a backup.
 

DiliMe

Occasional Visitor
@ DiliMe
I have already ordered the Synology 720+ :), probably I would have taken a better look at QNAP based on your Apple vs Android comparison.

Regarding the availability of HDMI port... this is a minus for me :) . I will play all my media over the network (Ethernet or cable). I just need the NAS to keep the data. NAS is in another room.

Maybe it has use for some people, but in my case I do not see one single benefit. (maybe I am missing something obvious?)
As I understand playing over HDMI ....
You can connect to only 1(one)! TV
For photos is useless since you cannot use it as a screen saver.
For video... I understood that 4k HDR is not possible from this kind of NAS, if that is true again useless.
Maybe music?
I'm sure you will be very happy with the Synology 720+ :cool:
As long as you're keeping it in another room, you won't feel the need for the HDMI port.

I can think of multiple ways to display photos in a screensaver (slideshow) using QNAP. I'm sure Synology has also some options via network.
1) via HDMI:

a) using HybridDesk Station -> PhotoStation in Gallery view and you can customize even music for its slideshow and of course duration display for each photo or transition effects.​
b) using LinuxStation (Ubuntu 20.04), use one of the multiple Slideshow apps available for linux.​

2) via network:
There is QMedia app both for AppleTV and AndroidTV that does about the same as PhotoStation Gallery option.

Related to 4k, it is available to all HDMI models from the last 2-3 years. But HDR not. For cheap 4k + HDR alternative I can think to Google Chromecast TV that supports running photo slideshows from you Google Photo albums.

Related to music, QNAP 253A can output music on any of the 2 x HDMI ports +1 x Audio Stereo mini-jack and also inputs permits 2 x mono jacks (for Karaoke). From Music Station and Cinema24 it can be customized from software on which jack/hdmi/streaming to output the sound. For example you can watch a movie on HDMI and in the same time stream music to a networked player in another room and in the same time stream music via bluetooth to another room.
 

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