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Ishta2000

Home NAS solution please.

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Hi All,

 

I would like to install a NAS solution for my home and I don't really want a new server or another PC.

 

I already have a HTPC which I have hooked up to my TV (no more Hard drive room).

 

What I need a cheapish solution to store movies, music and photos so that can be share with all PC's in the house. If possible I would also like to be able to use it to share with certain people via the web too and upload photos take on mobiles as well.

 

I was looking a ReadyNAS Pro 2 or 4, QNAP TS-221, Synology DS213+ or anything in the same price range. (I realise I have to purchase the hard drives too).

 

Suggestions would be great for ease of use and installation and reliability.

 

Cheers

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budget? how much capacity do you need?

I link this to everyone who asks about a simple home NAS setup, they can usually be had for about $220-240 on sales and are cheaper and more flexible than any of the pre-made NAS you linked. i have 7x 2TB in mine with redundancy, snapshotting etc.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Yep HP microservers.

I know its 'another computer' but really so are any NAS box. Just usually Linux on an embeded chip. (yep, all those ReadyNAS Pro 2 or 4, QNAP TS-221, Synology DS213+; are small computers)

 

Proliant microserver. few HDD's and a copy of FreeNAS, and you're good to go.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Thanks for the replies guys.

 

Not really after such a big foot print as the Micro Servers. Want something small I can tuck away in a tv cabinet.

 

My budget is around $500-$650.

 

Thanks again.

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Thanks Master_Scythe and Poison. Looks like I might be going down the path of a micro server.

Problem is I don't have a portable DVD drive and Freenas has to boot from a cd/dvd. Any suggestions on how to install freenas onto the server?

 

I really just want something I can plug in and its ready to go.

 

Is there are particular model of the HP servers that you recommend?

 

Cheers

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Thanks Master_Scythe and Poison. Looks like I might be going down the path of a micro server.

Problem is I don't have a portable DVD drive and Freenas has to boot from a cd/dvd. Any suggestions on how to install freenas onto the server?

 

I really just want something I can plug in and its ready to go.

 

Is there are particular model of the HP servers that you recommend?

 

Cheers

it isn't quite ready to go when you plug it in, but, it won't take more than an hour or so to get it going, then you can just put it somewhere and forget about it. I recommend microservers over other NAS appliances because they are much more flexible. for example my microserver downloads the latest tv shows and movies I want, as they are available, renames them, moves them to the right folders. I share these files to several devices in the house and can watch anything I want off it easily. i also run a website from it (more so for my development/testing stuff), and a minecraft server which I am moving to my hosted server soon. if you want to be able to ftp files from your phone, you could probably do that too. I am not sure about making it available to others over the net, but with there is probably a way. the point is it's a lot more flexible.

 

as M_S said you can install from a USB easily enough, or just borrow the DVD drive out of another machine temporarily if that's an option. i'm running my OS from a USB on my microserver, so you could probably create a bootable USB on your PC and then just fire up the OS on the microserver. some people are running them with 4x4TB drives in RAID5 this would give you 12TB usable. im using 7x 2TB but I had to mod mine a bit to fit them in.

 

let us know if you get stuck anywhere with the setup, happy to help.

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any DLNA or Plex media server will handle all your needs.

Thats an added bonus, FreeNAS is as simple or complicated as you want\need. IT has all these features built in, but if you dont want them, just dont go to their tab. Its all web managed, like a router.

 

The only tip I can say, is use an updated browser, with it added to 'trusted sites' and process each click slowly. It likes to take its time; afterall you're issuing hardware commands sometimes, via a website. be patient.

Its still faster than a NAS box though. and cheaper. and more powerful. and has geek factor ++

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Thanks all for your replies and suggestions. Very much appreciated.

 

 

So to throw a spanner in the works. If I have an old i7 chip, Asus motherboard and RAM (all specs in my signature) what small case can you recommend that will fit my MB. I really want it as small as I can get so I can tuck it away behind the tv unit out of sight.

 

Or can you recommend a Micro ATX case and MB to fit the i7 and RAM.

 

I was going to give my old PC to my brother but he wants to buy something new so I thought I might make use of the old parts for a new NAS box/ Server.

 

 

Cheers

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Size is a matter of convenience.

 

For example, if you have a shelf or a TV unit that the PC could slide under, then big, but low, is easy

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...roducts_id=6874

 

If however, its going to be on display, and you'd like it to look like an appliance, then

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=20758

 

 

That said though, if you're going to spend $100 on a motherboard, and $100 on a case, you may as well go with the $250 micro server. Depending on your usage, you might make up for it with power savings anyway.

 

Also looks like you'll need an air-cooler (unless you kept it).

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Size is a matter of convenience.

 

For example, if you have a shelf or a TV unit that the PC could slide under, then big, but low, is easy

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...roducts_id=6874

 

If however, its going to be on display, and you'd like it to look like an appliance, then

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=20758

 

 

That said though, if you're going to spend $100 on a motherboard, and $100 on a case, you may as well go with the $250 micro server. Depending on your usage, you might make up for it with power savings anyway.

 

Also looks like you'll need an air-cooler (unless you kept it).

 

Hi M_S,

 

Thanks for the speedy reply.

 

Just to clarify your saying that the two cases you suggested need to have a new MB purchased? If I have to purchase a new MB and case then you are right its probably cheaper to go with one of the HP servers.

 

Will a standard MB fit most ITX or Micro ATX cases?

 

Cheers

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No.

Thats why I only ever build MicroATX motherboard PC's.

Unless the user wants SLI or Crossfire, you practically never need full ATX.

 

Your motherboard is:

ATX Form Factor

12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

 

You can get away with hiding it, by buying a 'desktop' case (the lay-down style) assuming you have a unit to slide it under or something, so its out of sight.

If its hidden, size suddenly doesn't matter.

 

I know the world is tight; and trust me, you'll find no one more tight than I am when it comes to money. I make Scrooge McDuck look like Santa.

But really, there is a time and a place for cost cutting, and when the cost is literally only about $100-200 difference? Go the right solution.

 

 

 

Failing that, buy a $20 RaspberryPi, and a $20 HDD case, and go to town :P

No, dont. Thats the tinkerers way of doing it, and you want simple.

 

How many HDD's are you looking to run?

If its only 2 or so, you can look on ebay for an old PC.

Something like this

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Core-2-Duo-2-4G...166f&_uhb=1

They go for next to nothing, they're very slim, and they'll laugh at freenas (too easy!).

 

Another solution I enjoy, is a broken screen (or just old and cheap) laptop, with USB HDD's.

The drives are a little more expensive, and being USB slower if you're doing anything important. But if its just movies and music, you'd be fine,

Makes labeling whats on each drive easy; and replacement even easier.

 

 

There are so many ways to approach this. I guess the only benefit you get from doing it a common way, is you get support from a wider community when things go wrong.

Same reason Ubuntu Linux is the most popular.

Same reason SR and RB series engines are popular.

Same reason Windows is popular.

 

More users, means less solution-less problems.

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FYI I ended up going with the HP Micro Server that was suggested. I got 2x 2TB WD Red hard drives too.

 

Waiting on Umart to confirm order and post out to me but I am sure you will hear from me soon with help configuring the server.

 

What setup with the hard drives do people recommend? Ideally I would like to have the 2 new hard drives as storage for movies, TV shows, music and photos and then have an older 2TB seagate Hard Drive for backing up the pc. Does this sound right? What raid configuration would you guys recommend and how do i set raid up as I have never done anything with Raid before?

 

Thanks again for all help, you have all been brilliant.

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Order a 3rd drive, and use RAID5.

basically allows one drive to fail, without data loss.

 

Otherwise, RAID1. Makes both drives, look like 1 drive. and its like a 'real time backup'.

Its not a true backup, as mistakes you make will be duplicated instantly, but it is protection from a drive failure.

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FYI I ended up going with the HP Micro Server that was suggested. I got 2x 2TB WD Red hard drives too.

 

Waiting on Umart to confirm order and post out to me but I am sure you will hear from me soon with help configuring the server.

 

What setup with the hard drives do people recommend? Ideally I would like to have the 2 new hard drives as storage for movies, TV shows, music and photos and then have an older 2TB seagate Hard Drive for backing up the pc. Does this sound right? What raid configuration would you guys recommend and how do i set raid up as I have never done anything with Raid before?

 

Thanks again for all help, you have all been brilliant.

It all depends on your storage requirements.

 

If I only had two drives, I would most likely go RAID 1, unless I really wanted to max out on storage but had a suitable backup solution in case of drive failure and I didn't mind copying everything back over if I had to rebuild it.

 

If you are going the RAID route, the setup would depend on which linux version you are using. It's been a while since I used Ubuntu for anything other than desktop deployment so I can't remember exactly where the configuration would be. RedHat or CentOS is GUI driven during installation which would allow you to create a software RAID and install to it.

 

What I have done for most of my recent builds is to put the OS on a standalone HDD and run at least three drives using ZFS (as linux doesn't like booting off ZFS). My backup is generally an rsync script which grabs some config files like samba and netatalk which is backed up to a directory on the local ZFS array as well as being taken up in a backup to another PC which gets swapped over every week or so.

 

If I lose the single drive, the installation is pretty straight forward. I maintain scripts which I use to redeploy the basic services I need which brings the ZFS array back online and I copy back the config files. I don't usually have a massive amount of users so I don't really worry about user accounts. Not that I have lost an OS drive (yet).

 

If you did install to a single drive and use your other drives for storage, installing ZFS is actually pretty simple these days. To create your array, it's a single command depending on how you want to do it. There is a wealth of information here.

 

The Microservers are great and have handled pretty much most things I have thrown at them. About the only issue I have had is relying on them to do heavy transcoding for Plex as the CPU just doesn't cut it but so long as it's only for tablets it should be fine. If you are intending to run Plex for a large TV, I would suggest making sure you have something doing the grunt work up front.

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you can also mirror with zfs if you like the idea of snapshotting and the other advantages over traditional raid, or you can use mdadm to create a software raid1\raid5, both of which would be preferential to actually using the onboard raid so if you ever have issues with the hardware, it's no problem to just move it to another machine, boot from your usb, and you're back in business.

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Sounds like ZFS is the way to go, if it is just point and click to setup. Never done anything like this before so be prepared for a million and one questions if things go wrong lol.

 

Thanks again for all the help and suggestions.

 

Cheers

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Yeah in freenas it should be point and click.

As i said, take it slow in freenas. Its a web interface, giving commands to hardware. If you get too many steps ahead of the hardware, it gets grumpy, lol.

 

As long as you wait as long as it asks for in each step, its rock solid.

Another one to try, for ZFS and ease of use is Nexcentastor. Another freenas style thing, with FreeBSD stability (aka. bulletproof) and a GUI storage manager.

 

Spend a night playing with a few 'plug and play' storage Operating systems, and see what you like.

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i got nexenta certified at my old work, it's pretty nice for a nas exclusive device, same with freenas, good for nas only, but I wouldn't recommend it if you want to do other things too. I would recommend some form of linux, just so you can easily add any other features as required.

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FreeNAS has all the daemons you'll need, uPnP, DLNA, Web Server, the list is pretty extensive. and that was about 3 years ago when I last used it too. I can only imagine now!

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FreeNAS has all the daemons you'll need, uPnP, DLNA, Web Server, the list is pretty extensive. and that was about 3 years ago when I last used it too. I can only imagine now!

Was the before or after it forked?

 

I only played with freenas v7. It was nice and simple but in the end I found it a little limiting. When it forked into two projects I gave up and went with Ubuntu and then back to CentOS.

 

Ishta2000: If you are going to play with a distro and are learning, Ubuntu would be my suggestion. Some would recommend going server but I like the GUI and having RDP access to the GUI can help at times with troubleshooting or if you find an application which prefers the GUI like Crashplan for offsite backups.

 

I realise there is a learning curve but I would put it to you that it's not that difficult. The way I would approach it would be.

 

1) Installl Ubuntu with a GUI on a single drive. You can build a bootable USB stick for a live installer which would be the best way.

2) Install ZFS using the steps in the thread I linked earlier or using a billion other guides out there on google. You should also start here as it appears there are packages now for a few distros specifically.

3) Get samba going (if it isn't already installed) as well as webmin - this should give you an easy, web driven way of setting shares and users for samba.

 

I would also look at installing Transmission for BT (if my wife can use it, it should be a walk in the park for anyone) and Plex for media streaming.

 

I mentioned Crashplan earlier too which is nice for offsite backups of important files.

 

If you have any Apple gear and want not only native support but time machine too, netatalk is a good way to go. That would be about the most complex part of the whole install IMHO.

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