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[OP]
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Jan 2, 2015
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Looking for a 2-bay NAS

Hi!

I'm looking for a NAS to replace my old Synology DS212.

I bought the DS212 when it was new, thinking it would be a great buy, and it was terrible, starting day 1.
I just want to make sure I'll get a powerful NAS this time that will be able to do what I want without the CPU going to 100% and VPN disconnecting all the time...


What I do / What apps I use :
- Torrent downloading
- VPN Client (not server) (for now, I only can use PPTP otherwise, it fails every 2 min...)
- SickRage or another software like this
- CouchPotato
- My 3 PCs do some backups to the NAS
- Kodi connects to the NAS to watch movies
- I can't for now, but I wouldn't mind getting rid of Kodi and moving to Plex in the future

- I'm mainly interested in 2 bay NAS because I only have 2 drives and I only filled them at 50% capacity but if someone tells me that speed-wise, it would be better having more drives, I'll reconsider
- I would prefer a DIY but my issue is that I'm not sure how cheap could it be and how much power it would require, so that's why I'm looking for a premade NAS.


For the moment, I'm just looking. For sure, I want to spend the least money I can but if someone can show me that some NAS costing a little more are really faster, for sure, I'll go with it.


THANKS A LOT!
Last edited by bimbamboum on Dec 1st, 2017 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
16 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
What size drives are you using right now?

I can build you a 4 bay NAS for roughly $360

Power consumption will be higher than the under powered retail NAS units. But it won’t be significant
[OP]
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Jan 2, 2015
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I have 2 x 6 TB WD Red drive

I can build a PC without issue, I'm just lack some experience and knowledge to carefully select the parts.
Like, about power, I have no idea how much power an homemade build use.

I guess I could use the PC I wanted to upgrade instead of buying a NAS and build myself a new PC (i3-4330 on Asrock H97M Anniversary motherboard).
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secretliar wrote: I guess I could use the PC I wanted to upgrade instead of buying a NAS and build myself a new PC (i3-4330 on Asrock H97M Anniversary motherboard).
That is a decent board and the i3 is more power than you actually need. Depending on the OS, memory needs to be a consideration. I like ZFS and it is a memory hog.

Here is the power consumption based on your CPU, Motherboard, 6 Hard Drives and 16 Gigs of RAM, 2 Fans to cool the system.
This also assumes that you leave the system running 24/7. 8 hours of usage at 90% load meaning the disks are spinning for 8 hours doing transfers. You will definitely not be copying or transferring files for 8 hours. I used a rate of 0.11 cents per kilowatt hour. It is a good average since we generally pay 0.15 cents during peak hours and 0.08 cents off peak. Your usage will be after 7 pm, expect the lower rate.


Capture.PNG
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I just bought some WD reds for a NAS build and have been reading through the freenas.org website. It have some very useful information.
[OP]
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Gee wrote: That is a decent board and the i3 is more power than you actually need. Depending on the OS, memory needs to be a consideration. I like ZFS and it is a memory hog.

Here is the power consumption based on your CPU, Motherboard, 6 Hard Drives and 16 Gigs of RAM, 2 Fans to cool the system.
This also assumes that you leave the system running 24/7. 8 hours of usage at 90% load meaning the disks are spinning for 8 hours doing transfers. You will definitely not be copying or transferring files for 8 hours. It is usual a rate of 0.11 cents per kilowatt hour. It is a good average since we generally pay 0.15 cents during peak hours and 0.08 cents off peak. Your usage will be after 7 pm, expect the lower rate.

Capture.PNG

Thanks!

I was able to edit the estimation as I wrote a mistake about the number of drive I have (should read two x 3Tb drives, not 6).
https://outervision.com/b/13uYLp

I had other questions about power consumption but now I think I get it, thanks!


The reason I would put the i3 in this build if because this CPU will bottleneck the graphic card I would like to buy (1060 or 1070)...

Would 8Gb RAM be enough for ZFS? That's what I have for now and I would like to cut cost :)
Also, does it make a big difference between using the usual SMB instead of ZFS?

For the OS, I'm not sure between Windows (as it's easy), or FreeNAS. I'll check both. It will depend which one makes my life easier with the apps I want to use :)
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secretliar wrote: Would 8Gb RAM be enough for ZFS? That's what I have for now and I would like to cut cost :)
Also, does it make a big difference between using the usual SMB instead of ZFS?

For the OS, I'm not sure between Windows (as it's easy), or FreeNAS. I'll check both. It will depend which one makes my life easier with the apps I want to use :)
8 Gigs is the minimum for ZFS. It will work fine if you have a few users.

A little confusion, ZFS is a file system like FAT32, EXT3, NTFS.
ZFS in my opinion is the most advanced file system today.

SMB (Samba) is a protocol to transfer files.

Regardless of the file system, you will still be using SMB/CIFS

I recommend using NAS4Free instead of FreeNAS. Windows will definitely be easier, but it is probably the worse system for a NAS.
secretliar wrote: I was able to edit the estimation as I wrote a mistake about the number of drive I have (should read two x 3Tb drives, not 6).
https://outervision.com/b/13uYLp
Your estimation above is a little high. You have it set to 24/7 but at 90% utilisation. That means you will be transferring files 90% of the time during a 24 hour time frame. My CPU utilisation is 15% at peak when I am transferring files. and almost zero at idle
[OP]
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Gee wrote: 8 Gigs is the minimum for ZFS. It will work fine if you have a few users.

A little confusion, ZFS is a file system like FAT32, EXT3, NTFS.
ZFS in my opinion is the most advanced file system today.

SMB (Samba) is a protocol to transfer files.

Regardless of the file system, you will still be using SMB/CIFS

I recommend using NAS4Free instead of FreeNAS. Windows will definitely be easier, but it is probably the worse system for a NAS.
- Oh sorry, I thought about NFS instead of ZFS. I will look into it then.
- I will check NAS4Free! I was interested in FreeNAS only because I saw that it was natively supporting apps like SickRage but I'm open to any OS. I just want to avoid the hassle to use the terminal every time I want to install an app or update it. I'm ok to follow tutorial but if I can avoid searching online everytime I need to perform a simple task, it would be nice.
Gee wrote: Your estimation above is a little high. You have it set to 24/7 but at 90% utilisation. That means you will be transferring files 90% of the time during a 24 hour time frame. My CPU utilisation is 15% at peak when I am transferring files. and almost zero at idle
Yeah, I overestimated but I understood what you were saying about the utilization time and TDP. I performed some "NAS tasks" on the PC to check the CPU usage and it was really low :)
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secretliar wrote: - Oh sorry, I thought about NFS instead of ZFS. I will look into it then.
- I will check NAS4Free! I was interested in FreeNAS only because I saw that it was natively supporting apps like SickRage but I'm open to any OS. I just want to avoid the hassle to use the terminal every time I want to install an app or update it. I'm ok to follow tutorial but if I can avoid searching online everytime I need to perform a simple task, it would be nice.
NAS4Free is very similar to FreeNAS. Any application that works in one will work with the other.

NFS is also a protocol. It is mainly used between UNIX like systems.
[OP]
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Gee wrote: NAS4Free is very similar to FreeNAS. Any application that works in one will work with the other.
NFS is also a protocol. It is mainly used between UNIX like systems.
Thanks, I'll check :)
hdjunkie wrote: http://xpenology.me is nice too.
Yes I know the project, but I had issues with DSM and there's still no way to stop Download Station when VPN is down :/
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I used to have a synology. After it died I bought a cheap qnap, and it was just too weak for what I wanted. I ended up building a rig with AMD APU and microATX board on sale off amazon, and loaded ubuntu server 16.04 on it (no graphcis). It now acts as PVR, Plex server and Kodi backend, and Transmission Bit Torrent. It runs smoothly and flawlessly. The day my NAS dies, I will move to content over to the AMD rig, get a bigger case and run Linux RAID.

I personally am done with consumer grade NASes. If you are even remotely technically inclined and somewhat Linux litterate, build your own. Install whatever OS you like, and be done with it. I choose Ubuntu Server since I am comfortable with Ubuntu for more than a decade.
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if you want your NAS to do other non-NAS things like it sounds you do then I would go with Gee's recommendations

i'm perfectly happy with our consumer grade unit but, it's just a file server.

I have an always on old laptop running linux that handles torrents, couchpotato, bubbleupnp server, etc. 2 RPIs that run kodi and no desire to switch to plex and our router is the VPN server.
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It's not really cost effective to try to find a "powerful" 2-bay NAS. Small 2-bay units are typically lower powered but certainly can serve a lot of purposes very well, while being compact and using very little power. To get more powerful units you'll want to look at 4-bay models and higher end ones at that but typically you're going to then be spending $500 (or more) on one of those. To get anything you'd consider "powerful" for a NAS you'd have to step up to one using an x86 processor like Atom or Celeron/Pentium/i3. These can get really pricey so between that and just making your own server, the latter is usually a better way to spend your money.
secretliar wrote: I guess I could use the PC I wanted to upgrade instead of buying a NAS and build myself a new PC (i3-4330 on Asrock H97M Anniversary motherboard).
Very close to what I replaced my 2-bay NAS with. TBH it wasn't a bad unit and actually did everything I needed it to, but it was just time to expand and move on so I built my own. Ended up being an i3-4150, Asrock H97M-Pro4, w/12GB of DDR3. At first I tried FreeNAS but it wasn't really the same kind of experience I'd grown accustomed to with my previous Qnap unit and the QTS OS. So I reformatted and tried Xpenology and for my use I much prefer Xpenology. Sure you don't get ZFS but you also don't get the feeling that you're going to need like 32GB+ RAM to run the thing, or the idea that you "have to" get an expensive server board and find ECC RAM. Granted all kinds of people will come out of the woodwork and tell you about the "need" for these things while even one of the creators of ZFS himself says you don't need to use ECC. But anyway TBH even on "just" 12GB memory I found FreeNAS ran very fast nonetheless, but it wasn't for lack of speed that I went with Xpenology instead. Xpenology is not really appreciably any faster but 12GB RAM is considered overkill on it, compared to being considered "marginal" on FreeNAS. I'm not at all opposed to using more technically-inclined software but my "problem" with it was that it was "just not the same" as what I was used to. QTS and DSM are very similar in nature; FreeNAS is really not like those two.

Since you're already used to your Synology, I would give Xpenology a shot if you end up building your own server/NAS. It will be completely familiar (it's the same thing--DSM) and of course on higher end hardware it will run far faster and be able to do all the stuff you need it to do, no sweat. FreeNAS & ZFS are a little better for data integrity but TBH from a home-user point of view it's not really necessary. Unless you actually have sensitive data (like if you were running a business on this as well) or you're a tin-foil-hatter, ZFS isn't really necessary IMO. There's certainly nothing wrong with FreeNAS (it's actually very good) but you'll want to have lots of RAM for best performance and use an interface that's not really the same thing as a traditional consumer NAS would have.
[OP]
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TBH my main concern with DSM is really the fast that there's no Killswitch in case if the VPN disconnect.

That's why I'll try a few OS and in worst case scenario, I might end up with Windows, just to get the TorGuard app with Killswitch.

I didn't fully realized that before, but that the first thing in my checklist to select a NAS OS now.


I tried Cosmology few years ago in VirtualBox in the same PC that I'll reuse. That was wonderfully fast, everyapp was working really great etc. Im not afraid of that, but just the VPN
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My own experience. Pick up at least a 4 bay Nas and set up Raid 5. I picked up an used Synology DS413 two years ago for $180 and an Asustor AS1004T for $240 last year. I have my important files and family photo album etc in my main drive, backed up to an external drive and also a copy each on the two Nas. Unimportant files like the ISO I ripped from my collection of Bluray and DVD are also stored on the Nas for streaming to my Nexus Player using Kodi. By the way 4X4TB on the Synology and 4X2TB on the Asustor.

Bear in mind I only use the Nas to store files and to transfer files between computers within my home network, nothing major and I am still learning.
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Just wait for a sale on a good synology or qnap... server... $300-400 range...
I got the QNAP TS-251+ for $380 + HST last year
Quad Core - 2ghz
I upgraded the ram though...
Torrent/Usenet/FTP/Backup/Couch/Sab/Sick..
Plex
no problems

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