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Custom built server/NAS vs off the shelf?


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Is there any advantage of building a custom server over going the off the shelf NAS route if I don't have any experience with Linux? I'm quite capable of building PCs, but the software/hardware RAID would probably be a steep learning curve. I am looking at the vicinity of 15-20 TB to be absolutely sure I am well future proofed and is far more than I need.

 

My usage would be just as a music server, only accessed by one maybe two computers at a time. I am running Windows 10 on the main PC connected to my stereo and plan to use Windows computers in the future. I really like the thought of ZFS, but again would need to learn Linux. And BTRFS is now coming out on some of the higher end Synology NAS units.

 

This would not be my only form of backup, I backup everything to the cloud with an extra hard disk backup stored at another house.

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4 hours ago, hvbias said:

Is there any advantage of building a custom server over going the off the shelf NAS route if I don't have any experience with Linux?

 

You would learn Linux :) 

Ubuntu 16.04 comes with ZFS built in.

4 hours ago, hvbias said:

I'm quite capable of building PCs, but the software/hardware RAID would probably be a steep learning curve. I am looking at the vicinity of 15-20 TB to be absolutely sure I am well future proofed and is far more than I need.

 

Get an external SAS3 card e.g. LSI SAS3 9300-8e. I use the http://www.pc-pitstop.com/sas_cables_enclosures/15-bay-12G-SAS-Expander-Enclosure.asp

4 hours ago, hvbias said:

 

My usage would be just as a music server, only accessed by one maybe two computers at a time. I am running Windows 10 on the main PC connected to my stereo and plan to use Windows computers in the future. I really like the thought of ZFS, but again would need to learn Linux. And BTRFS is now coming out on some of the higher end Synology NAS units.

 

This would not be my only form of backup, I backup everything to the cloud with an extra hard disk backup stored at another house.

I ssh into this machine, which I also use as an iSCSI server etc. I backup to Amazon/AWS using cli interface.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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If cost isnt a concern you could purchase a XiSystems NAS which runs FreeNAS and utilizes ZFS for the file system. I own one and am very happy with it in all aspects.

 

I considered building a similar setup but determined the cost/time benefits were not worth the headaches of doing it the hard way.

 

They offer options that can scale very large if you wish but one thing to consider is the amount of time it will take you to fill 15-20tb of space. If that number is measured in decades then there is no reason to spend all that money up front since the hardware itself will be obsolete before you fill it.

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Forget the NAS....although a diskless audio server is an option, dedicated audio PC is the best SQ.

 

100% fanless.

Low-ripple or linear ATX.

Audiophile Optimizer and/or Fidelizer Pro

SSD externally powered.

Audiophile-grade USB controller.

Battery or supercap powered I2S bridge (if supported by DAC).

If I2S supported, Roon + HQPlayer + I7600/I770 (passive cooled!).

If no I2S, RJriver + JRemote.

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Thanks guys, plenty to think about. One thing I've been pondering is that I don't really enjoy the software side of the computers and considering how valuable I consider my time I think it would have to be far more to just a NAS to make learning Linux worth while, and it serves no application in my job either.

 

@cjf I like your suggestions, this is something that has caught my eye and well within budget: https://www.amazon.com/FreeNAS-Mini-Network-Attached-Diskless/dp/B00EQJ1BTU

 

As long as I can run rclone/rsync off it that is fine.

 

@GUTB I already have a silent fanless PC. This system would be accessing the files over the network. 

 

I currently use JRiver and I have an open mind about HQPlayer.

 

My future system is multichannel with digital crossovers done in convolution (Acourate) so I need to keep that in mind as well.

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2 hours ago, hvbias said:

Thanks guys, plenty to think about. One thing I've been pondering is that I don't really enjoy the software side of the computers and considering how valuable I consider my time I think it would have to be far more to just a NAS to make learning Linux worth while, and it serves no application in my job either.

 

@cjf I like your suggestions, this is something that has caught my eye and well within budget: https://www.amazon.com/FreeNAS-Mini-Network-Attached-Diskless/dp/B00EQJ1BTU

 

As long as I can run rclone/rsync off it that is fine.

 

@GUTB I already have a silent fanless PC. This system would be accessing the files over the network. 

 

I currently use JRiver and I have an open mind about HQPlayer.

 

My future system is multichannel with digital crossovers done in convolution (Acourate) so I need to keep that in mind as well.

 

Yeah just purchase a preconfigured NAS then ... any of the OS such as FreeBSD, Linux, Solaris, etc etc are fine at being a NAS and there are many good ones to chose from. The only strong recommendation I will make is to be sure to get a NAS that uses brand independent filesystem because if say 10 years from now, the hardware dies and the NAS model is no longer made, you don't want to be SOL. I have migrated NAS volumes from Solaris to Ubuntu for example, without losing any data so I like ZFS but BTRFS has the same benefit. FreeNAS uses ZFS ... for the same reason DON'T use hardware RAID.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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21 hours ago, GUTB said:

 

Avoiding God-awful counter-intuitive, half-baked operating systems with documention clearly written by non-English speakers is bliss.

 

i assume you wrote "documention" on purpose... anyway, i like/use/appreciate/etc something other people don't. and that's fine, i respect that. what i don't understand is why some people have to offend others.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Most custom NAS are Linux. Even Prebuild NAS is Linux with custom UI for easy tasks.

To avoid learning linux you better off getting off the shelf NAS.

DigitalDac: Chord DAVE, Amp: MC275 Mono, Preamp: FirstSound, Source: Esoteric K01X, Cable: TaraLab GME interconnect,
CASSOtM Trifecta Mod 75ohm MCI, TheLinearSolution TCXO Router

Analog: SME 20/2, SME V, Skala, Esoteric C03 Phono

 
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