Which NAS do list members prefer?

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paligap

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Tell us a little bit more about your current network and how your PC and whether you play back device is on your network. Maybe there’s still a NAS solution without using ethernet everywhere.
At the risk of exposing my ignorance, I have a wireless router that multiple devices run off, including my PC. One of my players is a Vero 4K+ that I connect via USB with a 4TB portable drive that I update periodically as I add music and concert files. I also have an Oppo in another room that I've used to play music over the network by having it "find" my PC a few times, with not the best results. The router and network are stable, but I don't really like playing files directly from my PC because the settings in Windows to allow file sharing are confusing and counter-intuitive, at least to me.

The Vero4K+ has wired and wireless connections, so I could use it via wireless if I set things up properly, and, as seems to be the case, there is no drawback to doing so.
 

bluelightning

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I have my own DIY NAS. I have a tower PC with 8 hard drive bays. I run Ubuntu Linux with a ZFS filesystem in raid 6 configuration. I have a total of ~30 TB in storage. This is far more versatile, robust and cost efficient than any of the commercial NAS systems.
 

carussell

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Something I would also suggest factoring in to your NAS planning is a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). I run my Synology and a few key bits of hardware off of one which gives me peace of mind that, should there be a power cut, things will be closed down gently.
 

paligap

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This is a diagram another Vero4K+ user posted on their support forum when he was having some problems playing 4K material.
Possible NAS Diagram.JPG

My setup is similar, except without a switch, as of now no NAS, and no wired connections from my router. If I got a NAS, would I connect it to my ripping PC with ethernet cable and to my router wirelessly? Would that allow me to play files from the NAS to my Vero4K+ and my other system as well?
 

HomerJAU

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Without knowing your full system setup and equipment location it sounds like you’d need a wireless access point in your office with Ethernet points. Two Ethernet points to connect to your PC and NAS so they are communicating via Ethernet (fast). The wireless access point to connect to your existing wifi router to get internet and send your media to your playback devices connected to wifi or Ethernet to your router if nearby.

Latest wifi technology is faster than 1GBE Ethernet with good signal strength.
 

bluelightning

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This is a diagram another Vero4K+ user posted on their support forum when he was having some problems playing 4K material.View attachment 66922
My setup is similar, except without a switch, as of now no NAS, and no wired connections from my router. If I got a NAS, would I connect it to my ripping PC with ethernet cable and to my router wirelessly? Would that allow me to play files from the NAS to my Vero4K+ and my other system as well?
I would connect your NAS to your router via ethernet and your PC to the router wired or wirelessly.
 

HomerJAU

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I would connect your NAS to your router via ethernet and your PC to the router wired or wirelessly.
Playback only requires a small bandwidth (100mps max for 4K Video). If you are ripping on a PC and copying files to the NAS you want 1000mps (1GBE) minimum.

I do a lot of upmixing on my PC and upgraded to 10GBE Ethernet. But 2.5GBE would be right to maximise for a single PC. You need faster ethernet at all connections to increase speed. PC, router and NAS. Most NASs have 1GBE Ethernet ports.
 

Mackspower

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Another vote for QNAP here. Hardware is rock solid.
Sometimes they don't release-test well enough but they respond with workarounds and issue patches pretty quickly.
 

dabl

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Really surprised nobody has mentioned unRAID

I've been running it forever.

Fantastic software raid system. They have consistently pushed the envelope. It now includes hypervisors to run VMs and Dockers.

I started with 1 TB drives and am currently at 91 TB.

Just one of the advantages is being able to use a mix of any size drives so easy to get started.
 

steelydave

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Really surprised nobody has mentioned unRAID

I've been running it forever.

Fantastic software raid system. They have consistently pushed the envelope. It now includes hypervisors to run VMs and Dockers.

I started with 1 TB drives and am currently at 91 TB.

Just one of the advantages is being able to use a mix of any size drives so easy to get started.
I did, but who's counting! ☺
 

HomerJAU

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I’m going to mention uRaid :)

This is a good solution for geeks who are confident with IT technology but for most here an off the shelf NAS from Synology, QNAP etc will be much easier to setup.
 

dabl

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I’m going to mention uRaid :)

This is a good solution for geeks who are confident with IT technology but for most here an off the shelf NAS from Synology, QNAP etc will be much easier to setup.
Agree completely, nowhere near as easy as getting something off the shelf.

At one time, long ago unRaid actually sold configured systems. I got a former employer to buy one for a project requiring massive amounts of storage.

At the time it cost a fraction of the equivalent from IBM, Hewlett Packard or Compaq.

What appealed to me initially about it personally was that I had a bunch of left over drives of various sizes plus a motherboard and case already and could get a 3 drive system up and running with the free version.

It may no longer be a 'thing' but at the time other raid systems required all drives of the same size and so couldn't be expanded easily with the ever bigger drives coming out all the time without replacing all them at the same time to increase total capacity, and even then, a non-trivial task to migrate everything.

Also the controller in a traditional raid system was key and if it ever failed, one would need to get another one exactly like it to read any of the drives in the system.

unRaid doesn't have any of these constraints but to be fair other software based raid systems probably don't either.
 

gene_stl

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This is one of the things I am concerned about and wanting to avoid. As I mentioned earlier I have had bad experiences going back to "DOS Backup and Restore" and other file systems where my files may have been preserved but I "cain't get to em!" I think I also had a "useless" experience with a commercial back up "solution" pretty far back and even though I believe in backing up files , my method has since been to keep multiple copies of things I consider important on multiple hard drives and even on DVD Rom discs.

This has actually worked OK, espcially since Microsoft has taken to forcing OS updates upgrades. Although I don't use Apple products I was fairly irritated with Microsoft because of Win 3.1 but a few iterations later (Win 98se probably) I started forgiving them and actually am pretty happy with Windows for the last probably 25 years. All the updates since Win Me and 2000 have worked very seamlessly for me. I was amazed at the free update from Seven to 10 which went perfectly. (so far)

So instead of a complicated RAID system I am considering just having lots of disc storage and a simpler file syncing system (though even that scares me some. I worry about automata that don't really understand what it is you want)

The reason for asking the question, and getting a NAS, is that I am gradually accumulating a lot of file based music and I expect that will continue and increase as I get my EAC and SACD work flows tuned up. I want the back up so I don't have to repeat ripping zillions (six or seven hundred) discs.

Another question on the subject; Do jRiver, Foobar and Kodi or any other media center software, have any particular integration with NASs or are they just "renderers" .
 

atrocity

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So instead of a complicated RAID system I am considering just having lots of disc storage and a simpler file syncing system (though even that scares me some. I worry about automata that don't really understand what it is you want)
The good news there is if you're just using something basic like Windows' built-in ROBOCOPY utility, one of the options is a dry run. That gives you a list of what *would* be copied or deleted but doesn't actually copy or delete anything. You can look over the list and decide if you want to let it go ahead and do it for real.

I have dry run "backups" scheduled throughout the day that send me emailed reports. If I'm happy with what they say will happen, I'll *manually* kick off a real backup.

Another question on the subject; Do jRiver, Foobar and Kodi or any other media center software, have any particular integration with NASs or are they just "renderers" .
Anything that runs on a Windows box will integrate with a NAS simply by mapping the drive. That is, the way you'd usually accomplish this is by making the NAS available to Windows as a whole, after which whatever particular software you're using can access it. I'm sure there's a better, clearer way I could phrase that, but it's not coming to me right now.
 

LuvMyQuad

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So instead of a complicated RAID system I am considering just having lots of disc storage and a simpler file syncing system (though even that scares me some. I worry about automata that don't really understand what it is you want)
RAID is not complicated in the least. In fact its pretty transparent. You wouldn't even know the NAS is RAID equipped.

RAID gives you an easy way forward when, say, one of your four drives fails (probably the most common scenario). With the software available now, the NAS will likely detect the failure before it even happens, and warn you that it is looming. So the drive fails, life goes on, your data is still available to you, you order a replacement drive, Install it when it arrives, the NAS rebuilds itself. Easy peazy.

For a more serious failure like the NAS itself, or multiple drives going down, RAID may not save the day. Which is why you need a separate backup. Some use external drives. Some use the cloud. Just be sure to back up often and keep a copy somewhere other than where your NAS is (in case of lightning strike, fire, etc). In my case, I keep a synched backup to a set of external USB drives (one for audio, one for video). My son and I share the same music library. So he has a very recent copy of what I have (maybe at most, a month goes by where they aren't fully synched). The important part is, his copy is in a different house completely. So he has a full backup residing at my house as well.
 

AXington

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Good lord I am not able to read this entire thread but here's just a few notes. Also, my background: I'm a "DevOps Engineer" and have been in the software development world for 10 years now. DevOps engineers are engineers who specifically deal with (primarily cloud) infrastructure, IE, we build, automate, and maintain cloud "hardware" like virtual machines, databases, large storage devices, networking, but we also help write, optimize, and deploy code to take advantage of said infrastructure, and tune the infrastructure for said code. I have built over 100 computers, and have managed large labs and server rooms. And I was doing a lot of that kind of stuff (without the cloud and the scale) for probably 10 years before I ever started my first real job, so have been doing computer hardware for about 20 years now, and in addition to my professional work I do a lot of this kind of stuff at home and with friends.

I have had several plex servers and also currently attach my networked storage to my nVidia shield for Kodi.

I don't wanna go back through this entire thing and reply to everything, and I think there's a lot of good stuff from what I've skimmed, so I'm just gonna drop a few tips.

1. In a raid array all your disks need to be the same size, or rather, they will only use the max size of the smallest disk. So uniformity in size is crucial. What doesn't have to be uniform and should not be? The models of the drives you're using. It's so hard sometimes to determine which disks from which manufacturers have issues and they can even have issues in the same model but in different production runs. You're talking about something that spins super thin platters at 5000 to 10000 rpms, multiple of them, jammed into a 3.5" case, and most of them now are pressurized with Helium or some other gas. Each platter has it's own mechanical read/write heads, which may or may not move independently of each other. There's a lot that can go wrong. To that end, the best way to achieve stability and reliability is to never have more drives of the same model than you can tolerate the failure of. So if you have a Raid array that has 6 disks that can tolerate the failure of 3 drives, no more than 3 of any given model, and you should go across brands too. Seagate and Toshiba are my preferred brands for NAS drives. I love WD, have been using their drives for YEARS, but I've seen a lot of failure from their "Reds". Granted the failure rate on them isn't astronomical, but it's definitely higher on average than other NAS drive manufacturers.

2. For anybody going the route of building a custom NAS instead of buying one, you should consider FreeNAS (or I guess TrueNas Core now? I guess that's new since I've been to their site) FreeNAS Storage Operating System | Open Source - FreeNAS - Open Source Storage Operating System . It's BSD based but what it has that's just incomparable to the others is ZFS and RAIDZ. ZFS is hands down the best file system for mass data storage out there. Maybe one day BTRFS will get better and rival it, but it's not there yet. Last time I checked they also didn't have that custom NAS hardware either, which I'm going to have to seriously look into.

3. Just say no to RAID0, RAID1, and RAID10. And if you are using drives larger than 8TB, RAID6 is kind of the minimum. RAIDZ is better if you're going custom though. Some background on it and this guy was a little apocalyptic a little too soon, but his overall point of RAID5 not being safe is still valid especially with larger drives. Why RAID 5 stops working in 2009 | ZDNet

4. RAID is not a backup solution. RAID is NOT a backup! · RAID is NOT a backup! RAID is a stability/availability/data-security solution.
 

HomerJAU

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So instead of a complicated RAID system I am considering just having lots of disc storage and a simpler file syncing system
That’s what a NAS is. A simple disc storage system. To a user it appears to be just another set of disc drives, you can see on your PC. Copy, retrieve just like a file on your C: drive.

When I first started down the path of playing all my music from discs I soon discovered that many external drives became a nightmare. I destroyed a couple with mishandling and another couple when I had a USB port that fried the drive controller in a couple of sealed USB backup drives.

The best feature of a NAS is simply ALL my drives and files are in one place. I can get to my files from any device or computer in my house. There’s no juggling of external discs to find something. And RAID 5 gives me some piece of mind knowing a single disc failure won’t cause any loss of data.

Of course, separate backup discs are required for critical files because it’s possible two disc may fail at same time.

With external drives one disc fails and you lose everything on that disc. You need a backup drive, double the drives and the continual manual syncing becomes a chore. RAID on a NAS is an automated duplication, it happens under the hood, users don’t see anything different, reading or copying files to/from the NAS.
 

paligap

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Okay, I'm becoming more interested in getting a NAS, but I have a question or two. This is my basic setup:
System Layout.JPG

I have a PC with music and video files on a 4TB internal drive. I periodically run a mirror program to add any new files to an attached external 4TB drive and a portable 4TB drive, which I then take over and attach to the player in my audio system at the other end of the house. Both the PC and the audio system are connected wirelessly to the router in the middle. I can't move the router for various reasons. So where and how would I connect a NAS?
 
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