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chuckster
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Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by chuckster Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:19 pm

So I'm always expanding my collection of useless data, and my current PC is running low on room. Right now I have a couple of 3TB drives and a 256GB SSD, with a 1TB external backing up important things. I stupidly chose a case with only 2 HDD bays by default (I now have fans where the additional cradle could go), so I am at an impasse. I would like to expand as well as backup most of my data (Cloud storage for 4.5TB is not something I'd want), so I see three options:

1. Add a drive. I can either rework my case to fit one large drive (4-8TB) on board, or get an external drive of similar size. I would have to choose between backup and more storage this way but it seems to be the cheapest option.

2. NAS. I have always thought about getting an NAS. This would be the most expensive option by far, but probably the best, allowing me drive redundancy and making the files easy to share to other devices.

3. Ghetto NAS. I have an older gaming PC that had the PSU crap out on me. I could install a new PSU, pop the drives to that spacious case, throw an OS and software on there make a sort of homebrew NAS. This is the middle ground on price, (The PSU would be pretty cheap) and the bonus is I get another PC out of the deal. I just don't know if there are any disadvantages to this over an NAS.

So has anyone here had any experience with home NAS? Are they worth it? Would a networked PC with some cloning software have any major downsides compared to an NAS using the same drives?
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by marurun Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:54 pm

Does your motherboard have any eSATA connectors?
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bmoc
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by bmoc Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:55 pm

I started a thread about NAS a little over a year ago. viewtopic.php?f=17&t=50572

I ended up going with a Synology NAS because it made more sense for my situation. You might be better off making your own since you have most of the parts. There is a free Linux based OS called FreeNAS that might do what you want.
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by nullPointer Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:38 pm

Yeah personally I think either of your NAS solutions might be the best plan. I'm running a Buffalo LinkStation at home and have been mostly satisfied, although I run it as a RAID 5 array, and God forbid if you should ever have to rebuild the array! Recently we had a power outage which knocked the NAS offline, and which subsequently caused the box to detect an error on one of the drives in the array (there was no problem with the drive, but I had to fully remount it to convince the NAS of that). Without exaggeration it took ~120 hours to run the repair array function (4 3TB drives). Lesson learned; I really need to get a UPS for the NAS (a lesson which I still haven't followed up on, but yeah ...)

At any rate your best bet might be to leverage your existing equipment as a BYO NAS, and (IMO) bmoc is right on the money recommending FreeNAS. Great piece of kit, that. The only disadvantage I could see to this approach is that using a traditional PC/power supply might be a bit more power hungry than a purpose built NAS box (well, that and potentially the age/reliability of your existing equipment, but hey any piece of equipment can fail)
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chuckster
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by chuckster Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:10 pm

marurun wrote:Does your motherboard have any eSATA connectors?

It's a ASUS Z170-PRO on my main PC, and my older rig is a 2500k and Gigabyte mobo of some kind. I never even looked at eSATA before. The new mobo doesn't seem to have them but it does have SATA Express.

nullPointer wrote:
At any rate your best bet might be to leverage your existing equipment as a BYO NAS, and (IMO) bmoc is right on the money recommending FreeNAS. Great piece of kit, that. The only disadvantage I could see to this approach is that using a traditional PC/power supply might be a bit more power hungry than a purpose built NAS box (well, that and potentially the age/reliability of your existing equipment, but hey any piece of equipment can fail)


I didn't consider the power issue. Power isn't getting cheaper any time soon. I could downclock the CPU and buy a really low-Watt PSU but I don't think I could approach the power draw of a dedicated NAS. On the other hand, it looks like a dedicated box will add about $250 or so to the cost of the HDDs. I'll have to look into some power draw numbers.

All I really want is a remote HDD array I can access over WiFi and can back up my main drives automatically.
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by Exhuminator Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:36 pm

chuckster wrote:All I really want is a remote HDD array I can access over WiFi and can back up my main drives automatically.

You could use something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Vantec-2-5-Inch- ... B00BM1PSGC
https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/6361/ ... index.html

With something like this:

https://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/computer-backup/
https://kb.acronis.com/content/37576
PLAY KING'S FIELD.
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chuckster
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by chuckster Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:02 am

Hmm, that got me thinking, I have USB 3.1 ports on this new Mobo but never use them, a 3.1 port may be fast enough for a good external experience. If I get a good dock and use an internal HDD, I should in theory just be able to hot-swap that into an NAS if I ever get one, right?
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isiolia
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by isiolia Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:57 am

chuckster wrote:If I get a good dock and use an internal HDD, I should in theory just be able to hot-swap that into an NAS if I ever get one, right?


You'd likely be able to use the drive in a NAS, but I would anticipate it being wiped in the process.
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chuckster
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by chuckster Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:30 am

isiolia wrote:
You'd likely be able to use the drive in a NAS, but I would anticipate it being wiped in the process.


Ah, I figured it'd have to reformat, oh well.

Even diskless NAS boxes are $200-300 for a 4-bay like I would want (2-bay is probably fine but I'd like it to be expandable). I wonder if I could work something with a Raspberry Pi and a 4-Bay 'dumb' external enclosure. All this talk of Plex and video streaming has me thinking I'll just have to bite the bullet on a 'real' NAS though, since I doubt a Pi would be able to handle HD+ video streaming reliably, much less multiple streams. Right now most of my content is 480p DVD rips and digital 720p/1080p movies, but we have 4K TVs now and since I'd like this to be a 5-10 year purchase, I'd like to be able to handle 4K if it's ever needed.
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isiolia
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Re: Need to Add Storage (HDD), Case is Out of Room. Options?

by isiolia Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:56 am

If you want stuff like that, then I think a NAS is really the way to go. Purely for the the hardware in the box, sure, they seem expensive - and objectively probably are - but ease-of-use for the software is where they shine. Part of what you're paying for is an OS that's designed around doing what you want, and an interface that makes it convenient.
If you want Plex, for instance, you log into the web interface and install the add-on for it. Simple as that.
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