Am I missing something by NOT having a home NAS?

x509

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My desktop system is a fairly new P9X79 system built around an ASUS motherboard, with 32 GB of RAM inside a Corsair 800D case with capacity for 4 hot-swap drives plus two other drives. I could add additional drive bays, if I wanted to, because i'm using only 1 of the 5 drive bays in this case.

Right now, I have about 1 TB of digital photos on a separate dirve, plus a main drive for progrms, "normal data" etc. Plus a 2 TB drive for backups of the main drive (using Retrospect) and the photos (using MS SyncToy), plus the other systems on my LAN. When I start scanning all my slides pretty soon, I expect to have about 4 TB of digital photos. When that happens, I'll spring for a 4 TB drive, although by then I might be able to get a 5-6 TB drive. This is before I start dong serious editing, of course.

I'm happy with this setup, but I keep reading about all the guys who are spending a lot just for the Norco case, plus more for SAS controllers, some form of RAID (or not), etc. Am I missing something here, or should I stop thinking that I too need to get a home NAS?

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

staticlag

[H]ard|Gawd
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I would fill up your case with drives first.

A Nas is a pretty big expense for most people that do it just for fun or hobby.
 

darkar

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Unless there's some other need to have and external NAS or Server like having it be your home server/media box, I would just throw in the drives in your machine now, maybe a raid 1/5/10/6 whatever fits your need/redundancy needs. (onboard intel raid does 1/5 very well)

I run this kind of setup personally:
OS drive
scratch drive- temp storage of Photoshop edited images/ video recording before encode
raid 5 array - storage
buncha external 1-2tb drives
 

silk186

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If you only have one computer I wouldn't bother. If you have media PC and several computers it may be worth it.
 
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It may be possible/beneficial for you to place a NAS in a different building (like a free-standing garage/garden shed) and use it for backups.
 

Quartz-1

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Backup's the big one for me. Get yourself a WHS 2011 or WSE 2012 system and use it for backing up, remote access, and sharing over the web.
 

Meeho

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If you don't feel there's something wrong with your setup, you probably don't need it. I have my HTPC acting as home 24/7 server and backup for primary data which is on my main computer.
 

x509

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Backup's the big one for me. Get yourself a WHS 2011 or WSE 2012 system and use it for backing up, remote access, and sharing over the web.

I do backup from my other drives to a 2 TB drive, which I change out annually. I have disk-based backups going back to 209, and before that I was using Exabyte tape drives.

My backup software is Retrospect, which I really like because I can create backup scripts and keep multiple versions of files. That way, I can go back 3-4 days or a week, even on a file that I change daily. That feature alone has saved my butt a few times.
 

x509

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If you only have one computer I wouldn't bother. If you have media PC and several computers it may be worth it.

I have 3 main systems,plus 2 "scratch" systems. That Retrospect software backs up all of them, filtering out duplicate files, like Windows OS files.
 

x509

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Unless there's some other need to have and external NAS or Server like having it be your home server/media box, I would just throw in the drives in your machine now, maybe a raid 1/5/10/6 whatever fits your need/redundancy needs. (onboard intel raid does 1/5 very well)

I run this kind of setup personally:
OS drive
scratch drive- temp storage of Photoshop edited images/ video recording before encode
raid 5 array - storage
buncha external 1-2tb drives

My setup is
drive 1 (SSD) Windows OS + Programs, DATA, different partitions
drive 2 - 1 TB "media" drive. Mostly photos, but also my iPhone/iPad backups.
drive 3 - 2 TB backup drive, as I note in another post
drive 4 - 320 GB "scratch" for "stuff" and my Photoshop swap drive, Windows swap space, etc.

Drives 1 and 3 are hot-swap. the other two are in fixed bays. I can hot-swap the OS if I'm totally screwing around with something like Linux. And each year, I replace the backup drive.

So I have two hot-swap drive bays open, plus four more slots if I put in 5 1/4 to 3 1/2 adapter kits in my case.
 

z3r0-

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I did the "jam everything in my gaming rig" solution for years and just recently switched to a dedicated NAS/media server/whatever buzz word you want to call it. Why? I wanted 24/7 access to my stuff without having to leave my power hungry gaming rig on (the "server" if you can call it that draws <100w at idle, less than half my of gaming rig) and I didn't want to have to worry about messing with my gaming rig OS/overclocking/etc possibly effecting my data.
 

dandragonrage

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I did the "jam everything in my gaming rig" solution for years and just recently switched to a dedicated NAS/media server/whatever buzz word you want to call it. Why? I wanted 24/7 access to my stuff without having to leave my power hungry gaming rig on (the "server" if you can call it that draws <100w at idle, less than half my of gaming rig) and I didn't want to have to worry about messing with my gaming rig OS/overclocking/etc possibly effecting my data.

Same. I can now mess around with my gaming PC and reboot and have it not affect my data. I also use Windows Media Center to DVR TV from a HDHomeRun now. I briefly used my gaming machine for that, but I was constantly unable to reboot unless I wanted to interrupt recordings. But the original reason I made a NAS setup was because I already had a server running pfSense and I virtualized it to add NAS to its responsibilities.
 

The Lurker

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If you don't feel there's something wrong with your setup, you probably don't need it. I have my HTPC acting as home 24/7 server and backup for primary data which is on my main computer.

Same here.

3 x 2TB Drives in Raid 5 on a Dell Perc 6i. Cheap setup, gets the job done and provides the reliability I need. I also back up the array to an external drive once a month that stays off otherwise.
 

Argentum

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If you're asking you probably don't need it - save the time, money and avoid headaches :)

I moved to a NAS when I needed scalability... i.e. the ability to add significantly more capacity without significant impact to performance or reliability.

I think the risk-based questions to ask also are, "if a hard drive crashes irreparably tomorrow, do I care?" and "what are the chances of data corruption intrinsic to the system". Putting everything in one system runs a risk, albeit small, of some component (e.g. mobo / memory corruption / power supply) affecting the integrity both primary data and your backup drive
 

x509

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If you're asking you probably don't need it - save the time, money and avoid headaches :)


I think the risk-based questions to ask also are, "if a hard drive crashes irreparably tomorrow, do I care?" and "what are the chances of data corruption intrinsic to the system". Putting everything in one system runs a risk, albeit small, of some component (e.g. mobo / memory corruption / power supply) affecting the integrity both primary data and your backup drive

OK. That's a good reason to get a separate server for backups. Can it be just a dumb old Windows 7 box, nothing fancy?
 

dandragonrage

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OK. That's a good reason to get a separate server for backups. Can it be just a dumb old Windows 7 box, nothing fancy?

It can be all sorts of things. Windows 7, Windows Server, Linux, Solaris/OpenSolaris/derivatives... You could use hardware RAID, software RAID, or even just share multiple drives individually. There are various filesystems (ZFS is the best)... NFS or SMB or both for network file access..

All depends on what you've got, what you know or want to learn, how dirty you want to get your hands...
 

Liggywuh

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It can be all sorts of things. Windows 7, Windows Server, Linux, Solaris/OpenSolaris/derivatives... You could use hardware RAID, software RAID, or even just share multiple drives individually. There are various filesystems (ZFS is the best)... NFS or SMB or both for network file access..

All depends on what you've got, what you know or want to learn, how dirty you want to get your hands...

If you do go ZFS you need a CPU, Motherboard and RAM that supports ECC properly! Otherwise ZFS can't be used to its fullest potential!
 

dandragonrage

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If you do go ZFS you need a CPU, Motherboard and RAM that supports ECC properly! Otherwise ZFS can't be used to its fullest potential!

You do not need ECC RAM with ZFS any more than you do with any other filesystem, but it can further improve system reliability. I use ECC myself currently, but even without it ZFS is still the best.
 

chanchan

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I just got my NAS for less than 4 days, and I'm very happy that I did.

I have 3 desktops and 2 laptops on my personal network and sharing files is such a hassle, especially when you want to stream media.

Not to mention most NAS's will support a Bittorent client, so you don't need to keep a system on generating heat and gobbling electricity!

It is expensive to get a decent system, so it depends on one's needs. I purchased a Netgear ReadyNas RN104 for $275 without disks.
 

hotcrandel

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I just got my NAS for less than 4 days, and I'm very happy that I did.

I have 3 desktops and 2 laptops on my personal network and sharing files is such a hassle, especially when you want to stream media.

Not to mention most NAS's will support a Bittorent client, so you don't need to keep a system on generating heat and gobbling electricity!

It is expensive to get a decent system, so it depends on one's needs. I purchased a Netgear ReadyNas RN104 for $275 without disks.

Just don't forget backups. =)
 

Meeho

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Last time I browsed about home NAS, they all had terrible network performance, nowhere near 1 Gbps speeds. Are they any better now?
 

dandragonrage

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Last time I browsed about home NAS, they all had terrible network performance, nowhere near 1 Gbps speeds. Are they any better now?

Hardware and speeds vary a lot. I assume you refer to the small home NAS appliances. See how those are doing here: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/rankers/nas/view / http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-charts/view

Unfortunately after updating VMWare, OmniOS and several other things a couple months ago, the network performance of my custom NAS setup has gone down significantly. I rarely break 40MB/s at current :/. I used to get 2-2.5x that...
 
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J-Will

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I am actually moving from a NAS/ Server to a dedicated client machine.

Current setup using ESXi with guests for UnRAID, and some small servers that I dev/ learn/ play. Actually not overly happy or successful with ESXi's passthrough and the PSOD I frequently receive.

Future Setup: Win 7, software RAID within the OS with a file share setup. With dual Intel NICs built in, I will even be able to do some load balancing if needed (doubt it will) Windows Media Center, Windows Media Browser, and a Ceton card... and extenders. Also, remote potato or Ceton's program. This will still allow the flexibility of a NAS from within the network, but also allow for external access if needed via remote potato (though not full access to everything, just particular media). My only concern is that I will now have server motherboard and CPU pushing desktop OS... but with it being low power I actually dont have much of a concern less the fact that I now overpaid for hardware. I just got sick of the hassles of 'updating this breaking that' type issues.

I will miss ESXi and the servers I played around with. So another, smaller (1U-ish) will eventually be built.
 
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