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  #1  
10-02-2018, 11:22 PM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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I am thinking of storing all my family videos, movies, audio, photo and documents on a centralized storage within the home network so that those can be accessed by any family member on any device (TVs, Laptops, Mobile devices, Tablets).

All those contents are already on USB external drives with multiple copies on multiple drives, placed in different locations (even distant locations) for disaster planning.

But I needed a centralized storage space within the home which is addressable over the home network.

I have seen cheap options such as building a NAS with existing USB drives using Raspberry Pi...etc but I really want to use a proper NAS-rated hard drive rather than desktop drives. Also, I want the system to be reliable. With this need in mind, I am thinking of going for a basic Synology 218J model. Is this brand and the model a good choice? This is what I could find in my budget. Right now my need is only network addressability, I will think about the advanced needs (such as RAID...etc) later.

I use Kodi, Plex...etc but do not need the transcoding feature since my TV natively plays all formats and I do not plan to play any media remotely (from outside my network). If transcoding is needed, I will use my NVidia Shield box anyway.

Thank you.
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  #2  
10-03-2018, 12:32 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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That 218J looks like the 216SE. Same? Seems so.
- @ Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Synology-bay-...language=en_US
- @ Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/Synology-DiskS...language=en_IN

I don't have anything against NAS (network attached storage, ie storage directly on network without a computer). And Synology is a good brand. Those units links above are diskless, so I'm assuming you already have some disks to use.

But this is what I do...

My main Windows 7 system doubles as the home server, and it's on 24/7/365. Non-video documents are shared from folders on am internal Seagate 4tb shared drive, and videos are shared via Serviio (DLNA) from 3x 5tb USB3 Seagate portable drives that power down when idle. Everything is granularly password protected, so only some users can see some files. This i6700K is powerful enough to do that, and any video work I need. My main issue with storage is noise, and I'd only do NAS if it was stored in a closet or somewhere that I didn't have to hear it. For me, having a NAS on/under/around the desk would defeat the purpose of offloading the files/data to an external network source. Ditto for the heat.

NAS really depends on how highly accessed the files are. And I'm not sure how NAS handles access (ie password protections).

As I wrote on another site recently, RAID 0 and JBOD are really stupid to do, failure is too common, and should be avoided. Either RAID-1, or there's no point to having a NAS.

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  #3  
10-03-2018, 01:52 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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OK thanks LS for your reply.

These are the differences between "J" and "SE" that I could gather: The "J" has slightly faster CPU, better read-write speeds, higher RAM (512 MB as opposed to the 256 MB in SE), has USB3 ports (as opposed to the USB2 in SE). Also, the SE cannot stream videos whereas the "J" can.

Yes, I am aware of their disk-less nature. I am planning to buy NAS-rated disk drives from Segatae (IronWolf) or WD (Red).

I am planning to place the NAS in a cabinet under the TV. The cabinet will be provided with enough ventilation with the below fans which I got one of my friends to bring from the USA. This is to ensure that the heat is dissipated and not damage the electronics.

https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-A...ds=ac+infinity

https://www.amazon.com/AC-Infinity-M...ds=ac+infinity

I am interested in going for 2-Bay NAS model only. I hope I can do a Raid-1 with it in future. But for now it will just be one disk (not even a "bunch" of disks). Back-ups are regularly taken onto external drives.

I have an additional question on the Synology (or any other ) NAS: If, the NAS enclosure itself gets corrupted or fails, then we cannot read the data that is on the disk drives just by connecting to the computer? Do the drives need to be only in a NAS enclosure to be readable? :-(

Windows PC option: I understand the view you expressed on using Windows PC for the purpose of NAS. Primarily, I was worried about using Desktop/external drives in the 24x7 environment Vs the NAS drives that are designed to be on 24x7 (Am I right in being concerned about Desktop/external drives being always on?). Additionally, the power consumption by the PC vs NAS. Having said that, I have only one Desktop PC in my home (i7) anyway and it is my main (the only) system I use for video editing, capturing...etc. There is a laptop but I guess it is not useful for NAS purpose.

Best Regards
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  #4  
10-06-2018, 09:47 PM
paples paples is offline
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In short, you want a NAS that isn't Windows based.

I don't think lordsmurf's reasoning was for Windows, but rather approach.

0. Most importantly, if a Raid-1 fails, you can connect it and read it like any other drive, you don't have to worry (if you encrypt, there could be variables). Look up "mdadm".

2. You're going to use more than 2 drives. Maybe not today, but you will. I started with 2, now I have 8 connected to my NAS (I'm in a corner now for connectivity that isn't USB). Also, USB connectivity is now starting to become questionable. You want Type B or Type A, but you DO NOT want Micro B. That being said, Micro B has just started failing me at times after years of usage (I believe the power to the controller is failing and not Micro B just can't deliver the amps).

3. ECC memory. There's a debate on this that I will not dive into. However, and I'm going to capitalize this, AMD'S LATEST CPUS SUPPORT ECC EVEN FOR DESKTOP COMPUTERS. This is amazingly being overlooked by home NAS users, although it's

4. Power consumption is completely up to you. Don't look at it like prefab NAS vs. PC, look at it by the total sum of it's components.

5. You don't directly write to a NAS in anyway (although I violate this, I'll explain later). So, don't edit video off your NAS or store temp documents to it or capture video directly to it.

6. It's not JBOD vs. RAID, it's application vs resource. In an enterprise application, the resouce will be an entire room or cage for 1 thing and 1 thing only. In your home, it will be a small box with a mix. A home NAS will have both a RAID and JBOD, not just 1 or the other. JBOD your disposable videos, RAID your non-disposable.

7. Ventilation is a concernf for the enviroment, but not that big of one. Those fans in those links are nice, but you could probably just cut a whole out and achieve the same effect. The fans inside of the computer are the most important.

8. Noise. Anyone can silence a box 2 feet anway from them, I mean dead silent and literally anyone.

9. Security is based off of user permissions with a typical *nix NAS. You can encrypt and all that, nothing changes here. Howver, you'll probably want a permission group for media viewing, and explicit user privs. for other things. *nix or windows, this should be transparent to the client.

I'd use FreeNAS or Open Media Vault (OMV) in a "Shuttle" like case with as many drive bays possible for it's size and a lower powered CPU. You have options...

- Ebay an old Xeon mobo, cpu, ECC memory combo.
- Use a new AMD CPU with ECC memory. The Ryzen 5 2400GE isn't for sale yet (besides 1 ebay dealer double charging), but the TDP of that CPU is 35W. With that CPU you can run ECC memory and the TDP, well, let's just say without lights on your computer, you won't know it's powered on under and NAS load.
- Some overkill i7/i5 monster off Ebay or what not. With that you won't have silence or good power consumption, but you'll have a system you probably already know, which can make up for some things.

In the end, working from a small computer case (microATX or smaller) is cheaper and superior to a Synology this or that, just not as easy to setup. However, setting up a NAS isn't hard, just maybe "foreign" at first (but actually VERY simple).

BTW, I strictly do silent SFF/micro everything in my house...everything. I won't even go over 2U blades, in fact I'm trying to turn a 2U into a 1U out of shame :-)

Example 1 BAD: For my photographs, I have a NAS in a 8"x10" case. I directly edit off of it using Lightroom for resource reasons. You shouldn't typically do that type of thing as I said, a NAS isn't really designed for high write operations. So this isn't a NAS per-say, but it is a headless machine running a 16TB RAID-1. (Reasoning is if lightroom curropts a catalog locally a certain thing happens, but off a NAS it doesn't. Why? No idea, but Windows' MKLINK works magic).

Example 2 GOOD: I have another NAS in a old, old, OLD shuttle case of the same dimensions. It's a headless machine storing "Scrap" media on it running something like 16TB as well, however I do not work off it. I personally simply upload and delete from it. The only other thing going on with it is that family members run clients that read from it for media (Audio/Vido). That is a media NAS, and I'm not violating any common beliefs of what a NAS is.

Some links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mdadm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECC_memory
https://www.anandtech.com/show/12428...th-reduced-tdp
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX
https://www.openmediavault.org/

EDIT: I wouldn't choose Windows for a NAS because of licensing and foot print. In all honestly, I can't think of 1 positive to running Windows as an actual NAS. I'm sure there is one, but I don't see it right now.
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  #5  
10-08-2018, 04:26 AM
naripeddi naripeddi is offline
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Thank you paples for such detailed reply. I am taking time to digest it.
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