1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Help picking a NAS

Discussion in 'Storage Drives' started by PaoloUK, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. PaoloUK


    Joined: Dec 15, 2007

    Posts: 105

    Been thinking about sorting out a NAS for over a year now and finally decided to make the jump. I did consider building my own using something like FreeNAS but I saw other threads that made me realise right now I just want something that I can set up and leave going and it'll be fine. No need to be manually updating things when new releases/patches arrive etc.

    From what I can gather while there are other options Synology seems to be the clear favourite.

    I've decided I want to get a 4 drive one and use 8TB WD Red HDDs. Main use will be media storage and streaming over my home network. There would usually be 2 devices connected (rare occasions this could be 3), either PC's or Pi's for the most part but there may be a rare occasion where a mobile device would be used.

    I've had a look around, looked through threads here as well as other places and read a few articles, the consensus seems to be that the absolute best choice for me would be the DS918+.

    I just wanted to check that this is right and ask a few quick questions.
    1. If I start with just 2 drives, when I want to add more (same size/model) is it just a case of sliding them in and the NAS detects them and adds them to the pool?
    2. I'm not so bothered with backing up what's on there, but if I wanted to what would be the best set up? 4 drives in RAID 5?
    3. I currently use emby but it seems plex has a built in app for synology, would it be worth making the switch? I've never used plex and emby does everything I want but for the sake of ease I wanted to know.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
  2. bledd


    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 45,616

    Location: Parts Unknown

    1. It gives you the option to expand as you add drives.
    2. Use SHR (Synology hybrid raid), with 2 drives it will be raid1, as you add more drives, it will convert it to raid5. This process takes a long time, but it works perfectly.

    Pick one with a 64bit CPU (max volume size for the older 32 bit models is 16tb). Just check the max volume size listed for the model you pick on the Synology website.
  3. mikedigitales


    Joined: Sep 7, 2012

    Posts: 622

    Location: UK

    Freenas is OK once you've set it all up (but only go down this route if you are looking for a project that involves learning). Synology box is a great easy to get setup option, don't use RAID 5 would be my advice though - if you lose a drive, the re-silvering process when you replace it takes a long time, and if one of the other drives fails during this process you lose the lot. I think you want just a mirror to start off then Raid 6 or 10.
  4. PaoloUK


    Joined: Dec 15, 2007

    Posts: 105

    Thanks for the advice. Seems the DS918+ is the one to go with then.
  5. doug_1986


    Joined: Apr 20, 2009

    Posts: 260

    Don't want to be the preacher, but generally RAID5 shouldn't be considered as backed-up, simply redundant.

    If you can, it may be worth considering grabbing yourself some cheap external drives to keep backups on. Or at least grab a UPS!
  6. doug_1986


    Joined: Apr 20, 2009

    Posts: 260

    On a side note, a Dell T20 with UnRAID on works great :)
  7. hornetstinger


    Joined: Sep 6, 2016

    Posts: 4,905

    NAS enclosures with more than one drive slot means you can add drives as you go. I use two NAS's myself, initially bought 1TB then two x 2TB drives. Typically you need to set the drives up after you slot them in. Depends on the NAS software, it'll typically just be a long format. You can use individial drive, jbod (all drives seen as one) or raid. I use individual drive layout.