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Basic NAS suggestion


jsa307

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Hi-

 

I currently have a Mac Mini connected to a Drobo 5D, but I'd like to get the drive out of the room (fan noise). I'm looking into getting a NAS, which would be connected via MoCA 2.0 (wired ethernet is not possible). I would only need 2 drives (6TB each) and would use RAID 1. I would essentially just be using it as a network drive, so really don't need most of the "extras"/programs that come with most NAS drives. My focus would be on performance, since I'd already have the speed handicap of MoCA (vs. ethernet).

 

I tried looking at reviews online, put there are dozens and dozens of similar models, all which seemed to be shades of gray compared to each other. I couldn't find a consensus opinion for something that would fit my needs. Can someone suggest a basic NAS model that would be good for my needs, but spares me some expense of the "extras" I don't need?

 

Thanks!

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Unless you really a NAS, a refurbished PC off of Ebay would be perfect.

 

You only need 2 SATA ports, don't need a powerful CPU, and don't need a GPU at all. Gigabit ethernet would be standard anyways.

 

Building your own NAS is the cheaper alternative, especially if you don't need the features and functionality that comes with Synology OS. Typically the requirement for a NAS would start with 6 or 8 SATA ports, especially SATA 3 ports and also USB 3.0, but seeing you only intend to use 2 drives a refurbished PC on Ebay would fit perfectly in any budget.

 

Other alternative is to get a couple of HDDs and use one for backups and get a HDD case/enclosure for the one you want to use on the network. Ethernet would be an option in HDD NAS boxes, or otherwise USB 3.0 plugged into the router will work just as well.

 

I've done it both ways, used external HDD cases, and old PCs, but now I'm using a Synology and wouldn't want to go back. The Synology OS has way too many features that I use, like Audio Station.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Unless you really a NAS, a refurbished PC off of Ebay would be perfect.

 

You only need 2 SATA ports, don't need a powerful CPU, and don't need a GPU at all. Gigabit ethernet would be standard anyways.

 

Building your own NAS is the cheaper alternative, especially if you don't need the features and functionality that comes with Synology OS. Typically the requirement for a NAS would start with 6 or 8 SATA ports, especially SATA 3 ports and also USB 3.0, but seeing you only intend to use 2 drives a refurbished PC on Ebay would fit perfectly in any budget.

 

Other alternative is to get a couple of HDDs and use one for backups and get a HDD case/enclosure for the one you want to use on the network. Ethernet would be an option in HDD NAS boxes, or otherwise USB 3.0 plugged into the router will work just as well.

 

I've done it both ways, used external HDD cases, and old PCs, but now I'm using a Synology and wouldn't want to go back. The Synology OS has way too many features that I use, like Audio Station.

 

In addition to your answer, there is also open source NAS software.

Synology DS214+ with MinimServer --> Ethernet --> Sonore mRendu / SOtM SMS-200 --> Chord Hugo --> Chord interconnects --> Naim NAP 200--> Chord speaker cable --> Focal Aria 948

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In addition to your answer, there is also open source NAS software.

 

Yeah, that goes without saying. XPEnology is a good option too... for those who want to experience Synology OS on their own PC h/w. However, not without bugs.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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Thanks for all the replies!

 

I don't think I have the "know-how" to build my own NAS at this point.

 

Interesting suggestion with the enclosure attached directly to the router, though. 3 questions:

1. Do they make fanless enclousures (the whole issue is I'm trying to get rid of the fan noise)? If so, would that be sufficient to cool 2 HDD's that are always on?

2. What file format do the enclosure drives get written as? Will it be accessible to both windows and mac computers, just like a NAS? (sorry, basic questions)

3. Would going through the router to an enclosure be similar to the NAS in performance/speed?

 

Thanks!

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Thanks for all the replies!

 

I don't think I have the "know-how" to build my own NAS at this point.

 

Interesting suggestion with the enclosure attached directly to the router, though. 3 questions:

1. Do they make fanless enclousures (the whole issue is I'm trying to get rid of the fan noise)? If so, would that be sufficient to cool 2 HDD's that are always on?

2. What file format do the enclosure drives get written as? Will it be accessible to both windows and mac computers, just like a NAS? (sorry, basic questions)

3. Would going through the router to an enclosure be similar to the NAS in performance/speed?

 

Thanks!

 

Your concern is valid. Rolling your own NAS, assembling your own hardware/software and getting it working is not something trivial. Personally, I would rather be listening to music than fiddling with all that. But, many here are knowledgeable computer hobbyists, so it is fine for them. But, it might not be fine for you.

 

So, I bought a Synology 1813+, with 8 4TB NAS drives, now expanded with more 4TB NAS drives with their 5 bay expansion unit, all under their RAID 5 equivalent. I can add one more 5-bay unit if I need it. But, you probably do not need anything like the capacity I need, so a much smaller unit will suffice. I do have a very large library, mostly thousands of multichannel DSD files and hundreds of BD videos that are very large. It took a little bit of learning and I do have full support from the manufacturer, which could be more of a big, ugly issue with "roll your own". I am quite happy with how relatively easy and trouble free it all was. Sure, I paid more, but I think I saved myself a whole lot of time and trouble.

 

Yes, attach the NAS to the router. Put it outside the room. Ethernet can easily extend to it for a decent distance, and that way fan noise is a non-issue. There is no reason it must be in your listening room and quiet PCs get quite expensive. Speed in almost any case via gigabit Ethernet will also be a non-issue.

 

I am am quite happy with my setup.

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The lower cost commodity NAS such as QNAP and ReadyNAS now allow filesystems such as ZFS and/or BTRFS and so are excellent options for people who don't want to install Linux themselves etc.

 

I think in most cases its better to get a NAS than an external storage enclosure. More flexible. Better use of resources.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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Thanks for all the replies!

 

I don't think I have the "know-how" to build my own NAS at this point.

 

Interesting suggestion with the enclosure attached directly to the router, though. 3 questions:

1. Do they make fanless enclousures (the whole issue is I'm trying to get rid of the fan noise)? If so, would that be sufficient to cool 2 HDD's that are always on?

2. What file format do the enclosure drives get written as? Will it be accessible to both windows and mac computers, just like a NAS? (sorry, basic questions)

3. Would going through the router to an enclosure be similar to the NAS in performance/speed?

 

Thanks!

 

Actually it's very easy, just like installing an operating system or an app and done via the browser interface.

 

1. Yes, you will get small compact cases the size of the HDD. No fan. Quite a few of them don't require any tools to install the hard drive. Search on Amazon for HDD case or enclosure and you will find many to choose from.

2. I am a Windows user, and all the Windows formats are supported. I simply go with NTFS. They work fine with Linux and Raspberry Pi too.

3. Yes, it all comes down to the connections. USB 3.0 and ethernet will perform the same, however, older routers will be limited to USB 2.0.

 

I do want to mention though that your router will need to be a smart router if you really want any type of NAS functionality. If not it will just be as another external hard drive plugged into the network or system.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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