NAS advice

Vero 4k is awesome - and now I’d like to add a NAS to the mix. With 16-20TB of raw storage.
I am reading up on all the options now (QNAP and Synology seems to be popular options) and I’d love your feedback and hear more about your experiences?

I’m also considering going DIY (like - could be a fun project. But I am wondering if the software management options are strong enough, and if what ever I could build would have good enough power saving/management options?

What are you guys doing NAS-wise?


Maybe some answers here?

I’m currently running an old FreeNAS. I’m waiting for the new AsRock Rack C3758D4I-4L to upgrade. Don’t know how it will compare for power saving with commercial NAS but I don’t really care as it will be more than just a NAS for me.
Coming from a SunOS/Solaris background I’m pretty familiar with FreeBSD and ZFS. I just love ZFS!!!

Check/add the HP Microserver gen10 (eventually gen8 - bit it still has ILO inside).
Using a gen8 - and after having bypassed the ILO and running Linux Openmediavault, I don’t want to miss it (mine is upgraded to Xeon CPU and 16GB Ram BTW).

Regarding Synology and Qnap. I don’t like their Proprietary systems.
I had a qnap before, and a synology. But they both have Bloatware (They do too much stuff - and everything that runs on these that you don’t need, is a potential security issue and a source of potential issue).
Qnap for example was a real PITA - as it had a mini version of the running OS on a DOC (Disc on Chip), and on every reboot, formatted the OS partition, untarred the content of the archive of the DOC onto the dedicated OS partition, then only did it start up the system. total time to boot: 3 minutes…
That is the reason I dumped all these systems, erased all the Linuxes they had on it, and installed a clean Debian/ubuntu LTS - and installed/ran the systems I needed.
Much cleaner, much faster, and I have control.

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I got a cheapish synology nas and I cant complain at all. I use it only for nfs share to vero and sftp if im not at home. Has been very stable.

I think you should consider what you want your nas solution to do. If it’s just network share im sure any would do, but if you have lots of special stuff i think a diy solution would be most fun :slight_smile:

I have a QNAP TS-453mini and can’t recommend it enough. I have it stuffed with 16TB in a RAID 5 array so 12TB usable. It’s virtually full so I’ll be upgrading to 24TB soon.
I use it daily for streaming films and TV in the house. Easily copes to the Vero for High Bit Rate (80MB/s+) 4K rips. I also run a plex server for my daughter in University and it can transcode on the fly for her to stream similar stuff on her laptop

The box also has a HDMI out and can drive plex or kodi natively so I could plug it straight into the tv, but it doesn’t do 4K and I have a VEro so I don’t.

I run NZBGet and Sonarr and a Squeeze Server.

All this on an Intel Celeron - how chips have come on!

Let me know if you want any more info.



I’m running open media vault DIY NAS as well as an older Synology. The OMV build blows the Synology away in my opinion. Using an old p4 machine with 11TB of space on 4 dissimilar drives and I love it.

The DIY vs. pre-built really comes down to money vs. time.

If you have plenty of money, you can just buy a pre-built and it will work. It might not be perfect, but it will generally get the job done.

If you have time, though, you can get a much higher performing system by building your own. You don’t save much money compared to QNAP, etc., by going with something like the HP Microserver (unless you can find a good deal on a used one) and DIY software, and you have to spend the time.

In either case, though, you need to look at the software you really have to run (NFS or Windows/Samba sharing, for example) and be able to disable every other feature you don’t use. I don’t run any NAS-oriented software (like FreeNAS), but instead do everything manually with CentOS as my Linux. This gives you the most control, but takes the most time. FreeNAS, etc., and pre-built, give you a much less time-consuming DIY setup.

Last, if you have a *nix background, FreeNAS and unraid are based on BSD and ZFS, while others (like openmediavault and rockstor) are based on Linux kernel. If the BSD/Linux difference is important to you, this is something to think about.

Using Synology NAS for all my home central storage needs since over a decade.

Their DSM makes management easy for non tech savvy people as well, and also easy to explain stuff to other people at my household. And it comes with all the stuff you need. Don’t miss anything.

Sure you could use a QNAP as well. Comes probably down to personal preference in the end in some small details.

Wouldn’t bother building my own NAS for the same reason I like OSMC and the Vero 4K so much. It just works and instead of fiddling with the basics I can do some customization and configuring specific stuff important to me instead of wasting time on boring basic stuff I can have out of the box.

In the long run DIY NAS are PITA to manage because they are lacking a unifying interface and you have to built so much stuff yourself and keep it up to date. Nah, not worth it. Buy a box, throw disks in, configure services you need and that’s it. They just work. Also no bloatware, you can remove any service easily.

So Syno or QNAP is the way to go. In the end it comes down if you like DSM or QTS (the user interface) more. The difference in hardware are marginal as well as in software - the stuff you will actually run.

As said I use Synology but that is basically grounded in the fact that QNAP wasn’t there a decade ago for my needs.

If you are new to the NAS game I recommend grabbing on of the cheap two bay NAS like a Synology DS218+ (or what ever is current there). You can plug external USB drives to such units without problems (naturally no RAID for them) for the time being if you run out of disk space. But it’s a cheaper way to see if a NAS is for you compared to buying one with way more HDD bays right away.

Then a year or two later you know what size you will need or what services you like at home. In the end you spent most money on the HDDs anyway. And no problem to have an older smaller NAS running at the same time as a bigger one. Have two running here.

My Syno runs as a media file server (using SMB everywhere, not touching ancient NFS), some backups, DDNS, DHCP, VPN, MySQL for Kodi only and some smaller local services here. That is stuff the cheap two bay things with ARM processors can do.

QNAP can do the same naturally. So choose your poison and start with a cheap two bay NAS and see if you like it. Only real way to find it out.

And don’t bother setting up a Windows Server or god beware run Win 10 as a server. Really, just don’t bother at home. There is zero advantage in doing so for a home/SOHO server.

I currently run a DS2415+ with a DX1215 expansion unit (24 x 4TB WD Red Pro drives in a RAID 6 configuration) and a small older two bay NAS (think it’s a DS214+) that acts primary as a media ingestion system now and given the CPU power of the DS2415+ I let it run encoding jobs as well. Naturally that stuff is connected to an UPS as the power I have isn’t really clean.

Two older Diskstations, also two bay, went to my mother’s home (with a couple of external USB HDDs) and a friend so he had something for central storage).

If needed in the future when I go 4K I setup a second NAS and again start slowly not fully loaded with HDDs and expand as needed. Yes, RAID resizing takes forever, but well what can you do…

All former dedicated server stuff is gone and I moved everything where feasible to the cloud and the Synos do all the work needs for my Windows, Mac, Linux boxes.

Sure that’s an enterprise grade setup. But it’s no problem to use a two bay NAS with a shit load of external USB drives you expand as you go. It will work fine but naturally you have no HDD failure protection then - but well you notice when HDDs go bad…

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Just curious, is that Kodi-mounted SMB? With Kodi mounting of my Synology source, pulling up playback stats while watching 4K content demonstrates that the Vero fills its buffer much more quickly with NFS than it does with SMB. This is especially noticeable when I use my go-to problem chapter skip (skipping to Ch 3 of the 2009 Star Trek film) where with NFS, playback gives up about a minute later, whereas with SMB, it gives up almost straight away. I’ve not tried fstab mounting of SMB, but do know that fstab mounting of NFS sails straight through.

Kernel mount, using SMB3.

The support inside Kodi for SMB is ancient. It’s SMB 1 - it wasn’t even called SMB back then. Also the implementation of that version is bad. It sucks. Team Kodi knows and a rewrite is somewhere on their todo list.

I use SMB because I need proper file permissions as well as easy symlinking across shares for simulating a distributed file system as well as adding movies to multiple sets inside Kodi.

Also I have Linux, Mac and Windows boxes at home. So I settled on the protocol they all can use instead of running more than one.

Sure NFS is a tad faster with streaming on pure network file system benchmarks as with nearly no features it has less overhead.

But with that overhead argument I could say don’t use an IP network stack at home as IP itself already has a huge overhead in itself (and people used to say that). And also do not use Ethernet. Well, if you need features, they always come with overhead…

In regards to chapter skipping: I find it horrible inside Kodi independent of the used file sharing protocol.

But yeah, the way Kodi does it gives some advantages to NFS in general. No doubt about that. If you skip a lot, NFS might be the better choice if you have no need for additional features NFS cannot offer you easily.

On that node: the buffering in Kodi is really outdated as well. It needs some serious work. IMHO it also contributes a lot to problems people are experiencing in general. It needs a full rewrite. Well another thing on the Team Kodi todo list…

Mileage may vary, but I have zero issues with SMB here. If NFS is fine for your setup don’t change it. if you do not need other features, no reason to change things. Some people even use SSHfs or god beware FTP and are happy.

It depends on your environment in the end.

But often the router a user has at home is the real bottleneck: Internet, Home LAN, Wifi, Network Swtich etc. on one router is often too much for it and there will be sudden drops in performance especially when a client needs peak bandwidth. Problems with peak demands are hard to diagnose.

As said, I am using SMB3 with zero issues here, but using NFS is also perfectly fine. Ancient NFS just doesn’t deliver what I need at home…

This is exactly the “money vs. time” that I was talking about.

I picked up this Supermicro case used for $500. Search eBay for “Supermicro chassis 4U”. It took about $1000 for motherboard, 6-core Xeon CPU, RAID controller, and 10Gbit ethernet. I had 64GB of RAM already. So, that’s about $1,500 vs. the $2,500 or so for the pair of Synology units. Both setups give 24 hot-swap bays.

If you then go with one of the free NAS software setups, you get pretty close to the same level of ease of use, with just a little more up-front configuration. For end users, both would appear identical in terms of serving files.

This is where DIY shines. For example, I have ten 3TB SAS disks in RAID-6 right now on that box (plus one hot spare). If I went out and bought eleven 4 or 6TB disks and dropped them in as a new array, I could move the current data over to the new array while everything was live, and nobody would ever know. I could even move the data over 10Gbit Ethernet to another box and, again, nobody would know it was happening. The data would still be served in exactly the same way, and clients like OSMC/Kodi would never know the data moved.

I would do it that way because more than 10 disks in a single RAID-6 is asking for trouble. Statistically, you have the biggest chance of another failure during a rebuild, and rebuilding a 20-disk (or more) array brings that risk up too much. Also, without the 10Gbit ethernet add-on, the Synology can’t serve more than about 300MB/sec, so any array larger than about 4 disks doesn’t help speed any. Even with 10Gbit, 8 data disks is more than enough to saturate the network.

The thing for me is the good old TCO not the purchasing costs. It’s a long term thing for me. Buy it, set it up quickly, don’t think about it. Such things go a long way with me and I am always willing to pay a premium price for such convenience.

I perfectly understand where you coming from. Been there and had dedicated storage servers myself in the past. Added a Syno NAS in 2008 and started to love it because it was nearly zero maintenance and even the others in my household could work with it easily.

I mean that stupid copy button on the front bezel was gold in my house on my smaller NAS before.

Hook up an external USB drive, press that button and it takes what is there, sorts it in, puts it into the media database and send the notifications to who is interested in these movies to their phones. Sure, I had to script some stuff here, but that lame button alone was a great success here in my household for overall acceptance.

Still in use on the old two bay Syno that acts as media ingestion server as is neatly positioned near the main WiFI AP in the hallway.

With my dedicated server before - also tried FreeNAS - over the years it was a different story. There was just too much I had to do now and then. Sure mileage varies.

The current setup is my third Syno. I opted for it as I wanted to retire my dedicated server for good as it was clearly outdated (was still running on a Core 2 Duo). So time for a NAS this time.

I opted for a RAID 6 just to get as much disk space out of the 24 drives as feasible with some failure protection. I have 4 TB drives because the majority were grandfathered from my old setup. I know at that size RAID 6 is less than optimal.

Can shit happen during a rebuilt. Sure. But I take that risk. Performance is less of a thing for me here, just the safety against failure as I don’t wanna rip and encode tons of discs again.

Can you do more with DIY? Of course you can. It’s DIY you can take it as far as you want. DYI will always end way more pricer with me than buying what exists because then I want to leverage what is possible. I never did DIY because I can do stuff cheaper. DIY is usually the thing for me when I cannot buy something from the shelf and need some custom solution to my needs. And I dropped some serious cash in DIY over the last 25 years.

But again, I want a hassle free setup. Means, buy it, throw HDDs in it, configure the services I need and than all I do for many years is confirming an update now or then or if it happens replace a HDD. And use some additional services offered for convenience.

And I recommend to anyone to go for a NAS of whatever brand and just enjoy your media. But there is nothing wrong with DIY if you want to invest the time.

But I think we both can agree one one thing: Please don’t setup a File Server with Windows or Ubuntu. Instead use a real NAS, yes that includes FreeNAS. Right tool for the job.

I don’t see how this is any different from a DIY setup. Although I tinker because I want to, there is nothing I have had to do in nearly 5 years other than to replace two failed drives and run “yum update” every so often (although with no Internet presence, even that could be skipped).

I use a Windows Storage Server VM to host my media files. But, if you don’t have a Windows Active Directory domain where it’s easy to manage things like accounts, and Linux/Windows ID mapping, I wouldn’t recommend it. For raw Linux with complete DIY, just about anything will work, if it’s a well-maintained server-oriented distro (no Fedora, etc.). Which also means: never use a non-server OS as a server…Windows 10 is right out.

For me owning the Synology NAS has been a positive experience. I’m now on second upgrade second box, with the original unit still ticking on after 7 years. For me the Synology unit gives many benefits.
a) Plug and Play from day one
b) Multiple synology & third party software packages that you can choose to use / download as you want, which for me was the Security Camera option, photo library, data encryption for work related data, and just in case a virus scanner. But additionally the list for small business users is impressive
c) Option to run Emby server, which I use now for parental control, library metadata management
d) And still time to tinker with options, “what does this do”, backed with lots of support
e) Routine automatic or manual updates on the OS and packages so the security concerns are well controlled.

All this handling works with minimum fuss to the OSMC box (Raspberry Pi and Vero 4K) and to be fair through the Synology apps to my phone and tablet. Hence I watch media off the Synology on my phone on route to work.

I gotta be an old school lamer here bc I never used raid for safety ever in my home. In 26 years ive only ever had like 3 crashes and ive run striping 24/7 for many years. The disks that crashed was an IBM, a LaCie (stupid purchase on sale, I think it was a cheap slow seagate inside) and a seagate decathlon once but there was some mechanical interference (i banged it a little) so doesnt really count, it sounded like a Puch dakota afterwards if anyone ever had one of those mopeds.

What can I gain from building a real NAS that I dont have today for streaming purposes?

Today i just have a cubecase (Haf evo), i buildt it with quality products to get stabillity (asus motherboard, Intel cpu, good ram, noctua fans, plus bronze power etc…) im running win7 and am using ssd for OS and WD red for disks and they are just c:, d:, e: and so on.

Basically I change all ov the disks when a new “era” comes and saves the old ones in storage (cellar). For instance when we went from 1TB to 4TB for not much more money I switched to 4. Some while ago I switched all disks to 8TB and next time I will switch them to 10TB. This way I have generations of “backup” moving forward.

Now I know win7 isnt the best server-os but this setup here is cheap, fast performing, stable, quiet as a mouse and it streams everything without problem. I also have total control over all the parts, the case, the fans, etc.

Please tell me im old and need to change, but why and how and whats the main gain?

Well. But it is not free :wink: On my OMV - all I need is a network connection for the Web-UI. Period.
And I have Raid on the data-drives because I already had drive-losses in the past coupled with data-loss. Also - I do have a double-security policy in home. Means once a month I take a dump of my NAS on an external Storage (physical) I keep at a different place.

I use my old Kodi box; a Zotac mini-PC running Windows 7 with an attached Mediasonic 4-bay enclosure. It saves me having to re-invent the wheel for managing my media library and it’s just a question of connecting the two boxes with an ethernet cable. A big thing for me was having GUI-based apps for managing my media library; TVRename, TinyMediaManager, Rclone Browser and MusicBrainz Picard. And it’s also connected to my TV if I ever want to stream things from a browser or a Windows app.

We need to build an OSMC NAS :thinking:


Just software, with a focus on storage and management of media, or hardware, too?

For software, though, one thing that a OSMC-oriented NAS could do would be to automate the connection to the NAS. Set up the share on the NAS, enter the hostname/IP address of the OSMC box, and click a button, and the NAS could configure an fstab mount. It could even create the matching source in Kodi.