Buy Synology or Build My Own? (ESXi and Media Storage)

tbooth

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May 8, 2005
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I am looking to replace my HP MediaSmart ex490 with something new. Currently the HP serves Blu-Ray rips to my Boxee Box. I was looking at getting a Synology DS1511+, but then I started thinking that I could put together something a little more powerful for less money. Here is what I'd like to be able to do with the storage:

  • Stream Blu-Ray rips to (up to) two TVs at the same time.
  • Host virtual hard disks for 6-8 VMs for a future ESXi home lab

I would ideally like to use no more than 6 HDs so that I can keep the box on the smallish size. Minimizing space and noise is a requirement.

I see my options as:

  1. Buy the Synology DS1511+
  2. Build a dedicated box for storage
  3. Virtualize the storage and combine one of my 2 future ESXi servers into a NAS so that I only have 2 physical boxes instead of 3 (I'd like to experiment with VMotion)

I started looking into what software to use for the storage and I kinda became overwhelmed with the different options available. (FreeNAS, unRAID, any of the OpenSolaris forks). I am looking for advice on what will give the best performance for the money for my needs.
 

danswartz

2[H]4U
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Feb 25, 2011
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If you haven't already, read gea's thread here about opensolaris-based all-in-one. I went that route and have not looked back.
 

Jesse B

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May 30, 2010
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I'll second that suggestion, I don't think you'd regret it for a second.
 

tbooth

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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll take a look at the thread. I had heard that 4k disks weren't playing nice with OpenSolaris. Is this still the case? Can i use 3TB drives?
 

Jesse B

[H]ard|Gawd
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I've been using 4k disks without any issues. You can simply change the alignment to improve performance as well IIRC.
 

danswartz

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A side-benefit: if you use an OI VM to provide a datastore via NFS to other VMs on the same all in one, you will get speed quite a bit better than gigabit, since it's all internal :) With any opensolaris, I wouldn't recommend using the vmxnet3 driver - it caused me no end of grief (bursty I/O and other problems...) The intel e1000 driver works just fine.
 
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Yes you can use 3TB drives without a problem as long as your board you buy supports it.

A few quick questions for the guys who went with Gea's All-In-One and since I am looking to do the same thing:

1) Did you guys use the server or desktop install of OpenIndiana? (assuming server b/c napp-it but can't hurt to ask)

2) I was planning on using a 120GB 2.5 drive for the local datastore. Do you need ESXi on a another drive or can you use the same drive for local datastore and ESXi?

3) Since I have 5 Samsung F4's that I was planning on putting in RAID-Z should I use the 4k alignment or not?



(Sorry if I am thread capping but I think they are relevant questions)
 

danswartz

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
3,710
Yes you can use 3TB drives without a problem as long as your board you buy supports it.

A few quick questions for the guys who went with Gea's All-In-One and since I am looking to do the same thing:

1) Did you guys use the server or desktop install of OpenIndiana? (assuming server b/c napp-it but can't hurt to ask)

2) I was planning on using a 120GB 2.5 drive for the local datastore. Do you need ESXi on a another drive or can you use the same drive for local datastore and ESXi?

3) Since I have 5 Samsung F4's that I was planning on putting in RAID-Z should I use the 4k alignment or not?



(Sorry if I am thread capping but I think they are relevant questions)

1) server install.

2) I put ESXi on an 8GB flash drive, and used a laptop HD for the local datastore.

3) Can't comment on this one.
 

tbooth

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May 8, 2005
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Will there be a huge difference between 5400/5900 RPM drives and 7200 in raidz?
 

shanester

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Mar 1, 2011
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I've been using 4k disks without any issues. You can simply change the alignment to improve performance as well IIRC.

What do you mean by changing the alignment?

I was planning on using 5-8 2TB F4 Samsung HDD in a RAIDZ or Z2 pool in OI.
I have also heard that there were issues as well as the number of drives that are in the pool. Is this true?
 
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