Pls recommend good and affordable NAS for home use

Discussion in 'Other hardware discussions' started by Alucard, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. iSk8er

    iSk8er Member

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    Hi everyone! I am planning of putting up a NAS at home, mainly for microsoft office back up and Photos and Video storage. But then, a friend of mine introduced me to Wifi-Enable External HDD. And then, i saw a Western Digital Cloud Home item that does the same feature (i think). What set up can you best recommend to me? Sorry, I don't really have any ideas as to the technicalities of setting up an NAS or wireless HDD. but i'm really trying to understand it. will do more readings and back-readings on this thread. But thanks in advance everyone. (by the way, im subscribed to SKYCABLE 8mbps internet plan, if that has anything to do with the transfer speed of files wireless to the NAS/wireless HDD, i guess) Thanks... :(
     
  2. zChris

    zChris Active Member

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    @iSk8er

    The choice of device depends on what you will use it for and how important the files are.

    The WiFi enabled drive is basically an external hard drive but with WiFi so you don’t need to plug it in via usb if you want to access files. If portability is important, then this is for you. However, it is probably not the best long term storage option as your enemy here, aside from losing the unit, is the drive breaking down and losing all your data.

    The WD Cloud Home is basically a NAS. They have a choice between a one and two drive option. Choosing the one drive option is basically like getting the WiFi external HD unit above but less portable so same risk of data loss if your drive breaks down. The two drive option is better as it uses some tech called RAID1, which basically duplicates your data across both drives. Your storage capacity is the same as having a single drive but in case one of the drives break, you don’t lose data.

    Your other, possibly better option, is to get a four drive unit. In such a case, it would use tech called RAID5 or something similar. In RAID5 on four disks, only one disk becomes unusable space which the system uses for data protection.

    What does this mean? If you have a four bay unit with four 1 TB disks, then you would be able to get about 3 TB of usable storage out of the 4 TB of raw storage. So you are using 75% of your raw storage. This is opposed to the two bay unit in RAID1 where, if you have two 1 TB drives, your usable storage would be only 1 TB of your 2 TB raw capacity, or 50%.

    In practice, hard drives would have a life of about three years, but you can never really tell. I have had hard drives that displayed a warning and gave out less than a week later without further warning. So the only real use case for a single bay NAS is when the files on the NAS are purely for backup purposes but you will retain a primary copy of your files somewhere else, like your Mac/PC, and you have a strategy to backup regularly.

    A NAS can also do tons of other stuff, like be a media server so you can watch your movies stored on the drive on your TV. Some NAS devices can also act as a Time Capsule to backup your Mac automatically. This is a totally different topic though.

    I would suggest visiting the Synology website and Googling around. Basically, if all you need is pure storage for archived files or for backup purposes, you will be ok with their J or Value series. If you want to do more fancy footwork, like setting up a home media server and other more complex things, you may want their Play series or their Plus series. I would strongly suggest a four bay unit at a minimum, though. My Synology is now on year six (but is due for replacement) so these things do have a pretty good serviceable life.

    Once you have a target set of options, you can calculate your TCO:

    For instance, you can get a two bay DS418j for USD170 and load a pair of 10TB drives (Seagate Ironwolf at USD315 each) for total cost of USD800. Your usable storage will be 10 TB and would come up to USD80/TB.

    Alternatively, you can get a four bay DS416slim for USD298 and load it with four 3 TB drives (Seagate Ironwolf at USD105 each) to get 9 TB of usable storage for USD718. Your cost per TB would be about the same, but you don’t have to fully populate the NAS on day 1 to lower your upfront cost and if one of your 3 TB drives break, you only lose 25% of your raw capacity so replacement cost for the drive will be much cheaper as compared to having to buy a 10 TB drive and losing 50% capacity if you go with the two bay option. All prices above from Amazon.

    Sorry for the long post, but hope this helps.
     
    #442 zChris, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  3. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    I used https://www.bhphotovideo.com/ as it allows you to sort by "Best Sellers" and filter in and filter out features to make NAS, DAS, SSD & HDD selection fast. As their core market are US photo and video professionals I am guaranteed that only the best products are bought.

    I have 6.3MP to 50.6MP RAW files dating back to 2003 and I wanted to consolidate them all to one NAS. By my estimate it's about 20TB of data. I will keep the original external drives as offline redundants.

    These are sorted out by "Best Sellers" and filtered to what I needed. As of today these are what I picked.

    NAS >> Synology DiskStation DS918+ 4-Bay NAS Enclosure (most popular NAS, period)

    12TB NAS HDD >> Seagate 12TB IronWolf 7200 rpm SATA III 3.5" Internal NAS HDD (Wanted WD Gold but it was "out of stock")

    250GB SSD NVMe >> Samsung 250GB 960 EVO NVMe M.2 Internal SSD (now with 5 year warranty)

    1TB SSD SATA >> Crucial 1TB MX500 2.5" Internal SSD (cheapest & has 5 year warranty)

    I hope to use these past June 2023 like say June 2028 when I would have the option to put in HDD larger than 100TB? :)

    After I bought these I realized that the NAS only had a 1 Gigabit Ethernet so limiting it to read/writes of 100-125MB/s. Going 10 Gigabit Ethernet (1,000-1,250MB/s) would require a new switch, a 2018 or newer Mac and Cat6 cabling.

    So I am now looking at 2 bay 20-24TB DAS (external drive) that have read/writes of 500MB/s. By June 2028 I can then populate them with HDD larger than 100TB? :D
     
    #443 King, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  4. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    Wow, you guys are laying it on thick. :D

    Maybe start with the most basic of questions first?

    1. Is this for personal/family use or for a small/medium business?
    2. How many users and/or endpoints (ie. PCs, Macs, tablets, mobile phones, etc.) are going to access the NAS?
    3. How many concurrent users are going to access the NAS at any point in time?
    4. What usable capacity do you require or do you know how big is your current data and projected growth in the next 3-5 years?
    5. Is this going to be strictly for backup and network file share use or do you plan to stream movies and other media from it? How many concurrent streams? Will the media be SD, HD, FHD, 4K/UHD?
    6. Do you already have a wired network (wired LAN) or are all your devices on WIFi? Can you provide your wireless router model?
     
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  5. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    LOL, just sharing the setup I am building from the ground up.

    I used to use a 2-bay QNAP TS-253 Pro bought in 2015 with a 1TB WD Green drive running 24/7/365 serving up 1080p and 2160p video. When the sibling moved out last year it went with him. It did back up work once, I think.

    With the 4-Bay Synology DiskStation DS918+ I am thinking of using it as an (1) NVR with the CCTV, (2) automatic Time Machine back up, (3) Plex Media Server and (4) photo server.

    I am upgrading from a Linksys WRT610N Wireless N router bought in 2009 to a commercial-grade Ubiquiti Networks wired & wireless setup and Hikvision 3MP IP cameras that uses H.265+ video compression. I am still finalizing model numbers at the moment.
     
    #445 King, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  6. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    I understand. No sweat. I just thought that selling somebody a battleship could be quite overwhelming when all he needed was a speargun and a small boat. :D

    But speaking of media servers. I have mine running since 2009. I started with just 2TB but has now grown to close to 19TB, spanning 8 drives. It's running off of a home-built tower PC.

    On another part of the house, I have a 4-bay HP Microserver running XPEnology (Synology) as backup for certain files from the first server.

    You'll love Ubiquiti. I have 4 APs myself.... 3x UAP-AC-LR and 1x UAP-AC-Pro.

    For the router, I use Untangle NGFW running in a VM. I also have a Windows Server 2012 (also a VM) working as the local DNS and DHCP server. A Layer-3 Cisco switch allows me to configure VLANs and inter-VLAN routing.

    I have 2 network-connected UPS (APC SmartUPS 700 with the network management card) that powers up my 'data center', as well as the secondary network cabinet (also where the NAS is).

    Yes, I love battleships. :D
     
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  7. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong but the 1TB WD Green HDD was used with a Popcorn Hour NMT (Networked Media Tank) A-100 from 2008. It quickly got overwhelmed as it couldnt do concurrent media downloads and play 108p video at the same time. So we ended up making a Media Server with a Acer AspireRevo R3610 by 2010 with an eSATA external HDD dock with the 1TB WD Green.

    I realllllly love those HP Microserver when they came out but I found the PH dealer price here misaligned with its intended purpose. So I kinda forgot about it. It is my first time to hear about XPEnology. I tried googling it but it came across as a Synology software running on 3rd party hardware?

    My Ubiquiti Networks initial checklist are as follows.

    UAP-AC-LR-US 802.11ac Long Range Access Point
    UniFi UVC-NVR with 2TB HDD (before I spotted the HIKVision)
    UniFi Enterprise Gateway Router with Gigabit Ethernet or ERPOE-5 EdgeRouter PoE 5-Port Advanced Network Router
    UniFi G3 Series 1080p Outdoor Bullet Camera (5-Pack) or UniFi G3 Series 1080p Dome Camera (5-Pack) (before I spotted the HIKVision)
    US-8-60W UniFi 8-Port Gigabit PoE Compliant Managed Switch or UniFi Managed PoE+ 16-Port Gigabit Switch with SFP (150W)

    It isn't final.
     
    #447 King, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  8. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    That's cool!

    Yes, what you read about XPEnology is true. I know it's a gray area. It started out as an experiment but I have come to use it as a backup target for some of the media server files (ie. priceless stuff... pictures, home videos, personal Office docs, etc.)

    I've stopped using WD Green drives on the media server years ago. All of them has been moved to the HP Microserver (XPEnology). On my media server, the 18TB are all WD Red drives. My oldest drives are over 5 years (1,958 Days) old... operating 24x7. The said drives' relative Health are still 100%, with only one drive showing 99%.

    Screenshot from Hard Disk Sentinel (HDD Monitoring Software):
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    Finally received my two 12TB Ironwolf internal HDD and the DS918+. My question is can I start transfering data from a USB drive to the DS918+ or do I have to wait for this to get done first?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    You can. But as what is said in red, performance won't be that great.

    But then again, we're just talking about file transfer, not streaming realtime media. You should be ok.
     
  11. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    It's so slowwwwwwww...... and I have 17TB to go............. that I know off...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. oj88

    oj88 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    :D Like you have a choice.

    It's a machine... It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not let up until it's finished with its job.

    .... or you press Cancel.
     
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  13. pepspeps

    pepspeps Active Member

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    Looks like you are copying now but the volume still being verified by the system. Slow transfer rates expected.

    Also, JBOD? That would also factor on the slow transfer rates.

    If you still have the option to switch to SHR, I highly suggest you do. Unless your intended setup is really JBOD.
     
  14. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    Bagal! More than a day later and under 83% done. :-| How do I switch to SHR without endangering my data?

    [​IMG]
     
  15. 11Finger

    11Finger Member

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    hey guys, I currently have a DS916+ which I use for file storage, Time Machine backup, CCTV, Google Drive sync, Transmission and Plex. I'm planning to buy a newer model with HW support for 10 bit HEVC as plex sometimes has problems when playing the format. Now I have to start planning how I would migrate. What would be your recommended mode of migration ?

    Option 1: I setup the new NAS as "new" and reconfigure and transfer everything from the DS916+ - pro is safer since I can easily recover con is very tedious as I have to setup everything again plus I have to buy a new set of HDD
    Option 2: My understanding is that I can just move the HDD of the DS916+ to the newer NAS and it should be up and running - pro faster and less expensive option con is more risky and not sure if all the configuration and apps from the previous nas will get migrated.
     
  16. zChris

    zChris Active Member

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    I’m going to doing the same thing soon, when I buy my new NAS.

    I believe that the choice depends on mainly whether you will use the same disks on your new NAS or not.

    In my case, I will use the same disks and will follow these instructions: https://www.synology.com/en-us/know...igrate_between_Synology_NAS_DSM_6_0_and_later

    It’s basixally your option 2 but the steps needed are more than simply transferring your disks across.
     
  17. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    I'm using a DS918+ with Media Server to play on a 4K LG OLED65B6P TV via DLNA. Correct me if I am wrong but this would offload playing to the TV's chip rather than the of the DS918+? Is this better than transcoding?

    Doing this allowed me to play Planet Earth II S01E03 Jungles 2160p UHD BluRay HEVC HDR 360° DTSHD5.1-DDR.mkv flawlesly and activated the OLED's HDR function.

    Other files like La.La.Land.2016.4K.UltraHD.BluRay.2160p.x264.TrueHD.7.1.Atmos-POOP.mkv cannot play the audio part. I am guessing transcoding will help here.
     
  18. 11Finger

    11Finger Member

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    I play on different platforms - TV, phone, ipad, roku, web and apple tv so there will be instances where I would need transcoding. Also playing with subtitles really makes plex go crazy so hoping that will help as well.
     
  19. iSk8er

    iSk8er Member

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    it's a great and helpful post as i was considering to do a set-up for our start up business, and to expand it within a year of timeframe, and a big set up could really prove as life and business saver as i will be storing a lot of office files and seminar photos and video edits. nevertheless, i will do as suggested (visit Synology and a lot more Google-ing.)

    Again, thank you everyone for the inputs. Now i know where i should start. Every post here is a great help indeed.
     
  20. King

    King Well-Known Member

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    I decided to reformat to SHR & Btrfs.

    Does it take 15+ hours to reach less than 4% parity checks?

    [​IMG]
     

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