Looking for a home NAS

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 9, 2003
Messages
6,165
I'm in a very similar place actually. Right now I have an ancient (Core 2 Quad, 4GB RAM) PC that functions essentially as a SAMBA file server for my local network with a couple of old WD Green 1 or 2 TB drives. Its just running a rather cumbersome old install of Arch Linux that amazingly continues to keep turning on even after every power outage (when my APC was garbage) and the drives haven't gone belly up either. This has survived pretty much for over a decade as my NAS-esq PC, but its more than time for an upgrade. I've managed to pick up around 4-5 8TB shucked helium-type drives (WD Red, WD Gold, HGST He8 white labels?) which will be the basis for my newly upgraded storage box. However, I am trying to decide a route forward.

I have considered buying a QNAP / Synology etc... box, but I'm leaning to putting the guts of my current Haswell-E main machine (sig rig) into an old Obsidian 800D case and making it my new server/NAS PC - unless there's a real reason not to do this? Now that it will have some decent power (8c/16t Haswell-E, 16GB RAM ) it would be nice to expand its usage a bit for "server stuff" (ie I've considered running NextCloud or other self host stuff locally ) if I can properly segregate it from the NAS / local network storage safely ; don't want to spin up NextCloud or run some little server and by means of some vuln or configuration error means I leave a backdoor into my files! Anyway, I've been considering that instead of just running a generalist Linux distro and then setting up SAMBA shares or whatever else manually, to run a storage/NAS/SAN focused distro.

There are less of these than I remember when I looked a few years ago and they tend to fall into two categories. Either BSD-based distros like XigmaNAS (not too familiar with this one) or TrueNAS (new name for the FreeNAS project, which seems to look really well developed and put together. Lots of plug-ins and other things, support for VMs and more) which seem to focus primarily on using ZFS and then Linux-based distros like OpenMediaVault (which seems to be a bit more slimmed down and using more conventional file systems ) and Rockstor (which looked really promising awhile ago, but distrowatch says its defunct? Is it going through some sort of change ? The website itself and releases on github/sourceforge show it within the last month!) which use BTRFS . UnRaid seems to be another major option that is Linux based, but I'm not sure how much of it is open source/libre and how much is proprietary, given it seems to require a purchased key to work past a timed trial. There may be other distros out there, or perhaps a combination (ie something like Qubes with different VMs for different purposes etc).

Much of it comes down to the use of a "normal" file system like EXT4 vs the storage-specialized file systems like ZFS or BTRFS (plus whatever UnRaid is doing) . I'm not up to date on the differences and benefits/detriments between the two storage focused file systems currently but a good comparison may be needed to help make a final selection.
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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For me and NAS storage its the three usual issues. Size, power usage and noise. A QNAP/Synology just wins everytime. No way do I want a full blown PC humming away 365/24/7.

After all I only use it for network storage and file sharing. Two large drives in RAID1 and I'm done.
 

RanceJustice

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Messages
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Oh by the way, speaking of low power NAS appliances - I came across Kobol awhile ago - https://kobol.io/ . Basically, its a NAS that's fully open source/spec , based on an ARM64 powered (Rockchip 3399 I think? Or something similar) SoC . If you need no more than 5 drives and/or are focused primarily on size/power etc... then aside from building your own mini-NAS with a SoC (the Kobol Helios also just sells the mobo, but lots of people use RasPi 4, Odroid HC4 or N2+ , etc..) and a small enclosure, a Kobol Helios64 might be a good option compared to the more proprietary QNAP/Synology if you favor libre software/hardware and/or would prefer a DIY solution so you won't be locked in to anything.
 

schizo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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Your old haswell computer will work fine, but it'll use a ton of power and take up a lot of space just for a NAS. Like I posted earlier in the thread, I suggest using UnRAID to roll your own NAS. It is largely proprietary and you do need to pay for it, but it isn't expensive.

You can run VMs or containers to run other services on the same host. Segregating from the rest of your network on a separate VLAN is certainly possible, you do that at the router/switch level though. Most importantly, I simply wouldn't allow access from the internet-- run a Wireguard VPN on the box, forward that port (and that port alone) and VPN in to get to your files.

You could also just install the Linux distro of your choice and manage everything by hand, if you feel up to it. I run Linux on my home server but don't want to muck around on my NAS, I need that to just work, I don't want to be micromanaging it.
 

daglesj

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might be a good option compared to the more proprietary QNAP/Synology if you favor libre software/hardware and/or would prefer a DIY solution so you won't be locked in to anything.
How do you get locked into a QNAP etc.? It's just data storage. I can move my data to another system anytime. Curious.
 

NIZMOZ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
1,992
Hey everyone,

I am looking to add a NAS on my home network. Was looking at the synology 4 bay and QNAP 4 bay with 4TB Seagate ironwolf drives.

I plan on using this as network shares, backup, and media server. I know nothing about these things. Do they have a web GUI to configure them? Is it easy to setup?

Which is better? Synology or QNAP, they both are around the same price with drives $880.

Thanks I appreciate any advice on these.
Synology has a better interface and more available apps. I've used one for years at home, and work has QNAPs. I prefer Synology.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
28,448
How do you get locked into a QNAP etc.? It's just data storage. I can move my data to another system anytime. Curious.

In theory, I can just take my discs and move them to a new Synology without having to copy everything over to other drives. I would assume QNAP has a similar feature.
 

ThatITGuy

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
511
Can you drop a 10GbE NIC in a QNAS/Synology? Or at least 2.5GbE? And i mean upgrade without having to buy a new $1000 version.
 

jmilcher

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Feb 3, 2008
Messages
5,015
Can you drop a 10GbE NIC in a QNAS/Synology? Or at least 2.5GbE? And i mean upgrade without having to buy a new $1000 version.
Depends on the model. Some models have expansion ports available. You will certainly be buying a proprietary nic for it though. Some models come right out of the gate with 10gig or 2.5.
 

D-EJ915

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
1,406
Synology has a better interface and more available apps. I've used one for years at home, and work has QNAPs. I prefer Synology.
works okay for simple file storage but I'd avoid their apps, their cloud sync will randomly delete files and their support gave up on us and stopped responding. Them also getting hit by a bunch of bitcoin miner backdoors was pretty neat too haha. Nevertheless people still like them and put them on the internet for some reason. Keep it off the net if you get one would be my recommendation.
 

OFaceSIG

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
2,697
I'm in a very similar place actually. Right now I have an ancient (Core 2 Quad, 4GB RAM) PC that functions essentially as a SAMBA file server for my local network with a couple of old WD Green 1 or 2 TB drives. Its just running a rather cumbersome old install of Arch Linux that amazingly continues to keep turning on even after every power outage (when my APC was garbage) and the drives haven't gone belly up either. This has survived pretty much for over a decade as my NAS-esq PC, but its more than time for an upgrade. I've managed to pick up around 4-5 8TB shucked helium-type drives (WD Red, WD Gold, HGST He8 white labels?) which will be the basis for my newly upgraded storage box. However, I am trying to decide a route forward.

I have considered buying a QNAP / Synology etc... box, but I'm leaning to putting the guts of my current Haswell-E main machine (sig rig) into an old Obsidian 800D case and making it my new server/NAS PC - unless there's a real reason not to do this? Now that it will have some decent power (8c/16t Haswell-E, 16GB RAM ) it would be nice to expand its usage a bit for "server stuff" (ie I've considered running NextCloud or other self host stuff locally ) if I can properly segregate it from the NAS / local network storage safely ; don't want to spin up NextCloud or run some little server and by means of some vuln or configuration error means I leave a backdoor into my files! Anyway, I've been considering that instead of just running a generalist Linux distro and then setting up SAMBA shares or whatever else manually, to run a storage/NAS/SAN focused distro.

There are less of these than I remember when I looked a few years ago and they tend to fall into two categories. Either BSD-based distros like XigmaNAS (not too familiar with this one) or TrueNAS (new name for the FreeNAS project, which seems to look really well developed and put together. Lots of plug-ins and other things, support for VMs and more) which seem to focus primarily on using ZFS and then Linux-based distros like OpenMediaVault (which seems to be a bit more slimmed down and using more conventional file systems ) and Rockstor (which looked really promising awhile ago, but distrowatch says its defunct? Is it going through some sort of change ? The website itself and releases on github/sourceforge show it within the last month!) which use BTRFS . UnRaid seems to be another major option that is Linux based, but I'm not sure how much of it is open source/libre and how much is proprietary, given it seems to require a purchased key to work past a timed trial. There may be other distros out there, or perhaps a combination (ie something like Qubes with different VMs for different purposes etc).

Much of it comes down to the use of a "normal" file system like EXT4 vs the storage-specialized file systems like ZFS or BTRFS (plus whatever UnRaid is doing) . I'm not up to date on the differences and benefits/detriments between the two storage focused file systems currently but a good comparison may be needed to help make a final selection.

TrueNAS will work perfect for you. 16GB of ram will give you some decent caching. I've run nas4free/freenas/truenas for over a decade. I've never lost data.

For me and NAS storage its the three usual issues. Size, power usage and noise. A QNAP/Synology just wins everytime. No way do I want a full blown PC humming away 365/24/7.

After all I only use it for network storage and file sharing. Two large drives in RAID1 and I'm done.

The Truenas build in my signature was careful picked parts wise. Runs 24/7, is silent and uses 84W when at full bore which is rare. Most of the time it consumes 25w or less. I have LED light bulbs that consume more power.
 

schizo

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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I don't know about QNAP (although I suspect it is) but Synology is just mdraid behind the scenes. You can pop the disks out of your Synology NAS, drop them into a linux box, and your volumes will show up. This apples to SHR1 and SHR2 also.

Likely anyone on this forum could build a quiet, cool running TrueNAS box more cheaply then the higher-end Synology/QNAP products. Same with UnRAID. Synology is extremely expensive for the hardware they provide. QNAP is a much better value but you can still beat it rolling your own. You don't get their software, and it won't "just work" in the same way, though.
 

NIZMOZ

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,992
works okay for simple file storage but I'd avoid their apps, their cloud sync will randomly delete files and their support gave up on us and stopped responding. Them also getting hit by a bunch of bitcoin miner backdoors was pretty neat too haha. Nevertheless people still like them and put them on the internet for some reason. Keep it off the net if you get one would be my recommendation.
I've been using the cloud sync with no issues for over a year now maybe. Apple Backup (forget the name) has been working for 7 years as well, no issues. The only issue for the life of it, was it died about 2 years ago, and was slightly out of warranty, and Synology replaced it for free.
 

D-EJ915

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
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I've been using the cloud sync with no issues for over a year now maybe. Apple Backup (forget the name) has been working for 7 years as well, no issues. The only issue for the life of it, was it died about 2 years ago, and was slightly out of warranty, and Synology replaced it for free.
It was really bizarre but as for it is for a business with employees we had to move away from it (the cloud sync). If they can't support it and provide answers it's unusable. Their last response was literally "the system deleted the files" and that was it.
 
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daglesj

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May 7, 2005
Messages
5,381
We just stopped using the Cloud Sync feature at the one place using it. Everytime we did a firmware upgrade or update the thing would throw up errors. We just put it all into Onedrive and Sharepoint.
 
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