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NAS Server Development FreeNAS Open Media Vault QNAP Synology ASUSTOR

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#1 strugglez OFFLINE  

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 07:16 PM

Hi all

 

I haven't been on the forums for a very long time and am back for a query. Since Media Browser and the rebranding to Emby I have seen Emby transform into a masterpiece and am very thankful for the teams that have put in the effort and time into this nifty set of software and different packages out there to suit peoples desires in terms of being compatible between Operating Systems and devices.
This will most undoubtedly be mentioned throughout the forums but I just somewhat do not know what to search when it comes to this.
 

I have looked among the different options for the NAS Servers but have not come to any conclusion as to what is better or for my needs. I also don't have much of an idea when it comes to hardware or OS and what's available.
If any users that have experimented with more than one device or OS that can actually comment on what they found better in comparison would be much appreciated. I am still interested in what users have to say about one still if that is all they managed to use.

 

1 - People who have experience in the different NAS devices? (QNAP, Synology, WD, Seagates, etc.)

  • What components benefit what and why?
  • Possibly specs or a basic rule of thumb for when it comes to picking hardware
  • The gist from what I've seen really is, if I am wanting the server to transcode, I will need a decent CPU to follow suite, but if I am direct streaming or direct playing, the hard work has been taken out of it and can go for something on the lighter end?

2 - The different OS and what each ones pro's and con's are? (ASUSTOR, FreeNAS, Open Media Vault, QNAP, Synology, etc.)

  • Just an OS on the whole.
  • Features and ease of use.
  • Can I change OS regardless of the device I end up with and could I run into problems doing this?
  • Mainly where Emby shines the most in terms of being easy to set up and close to error free as a package as this is my main purpose of wanting a NAS Server. (I am aware that none of them have been under development for long so expect bugs and fixes needed)

3 - Anyone who has built a NAS Device and/or decided against a NAS and decided to build another PC for a server?

  • Would it be advisable to build my own NAS or PC in terms of getting more what I want for a better price?

I currently use my PC as the server streaming to a Samsung TV with the App, from what I believe, I don't think in my scenario transcoding it taking place at all as the media plays almost instantly and my CPU/ram usage on my PC doesn't seem to increase while running the server. The TV naturally plays MP4's and the bitrate I imagine is within what the TV handles as the MP4's are around 2gig each with 1080p video and stereo output.

I would potentially would want the server to do a few other things such as a monthly backup of mine and my GF's PC's and possibly have remote access.
 

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for anyone that can be of assistance and has some input on the subject.

 

Cheers

Strugglez/ Mike.

 




 



#2 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 10:21 AM

Maybe worth reading: Wanting to build NAS that can transcode. What hardware?



#3 strugglez OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 04:14 AM

Hey, thanks for the post. I am still a bit stumped however but have come to the conclusion I am better off building my own media server as I can build towards more to what I want for a much more affordable price.
Any input towards this would also be much appreciated.

Chassis - Cooler Master Elite 110
Power Supply - FSP Group Aurum 400W
Motherboard - ASRock H87M-ITX
CPU - Intel Core i3 4130T 2.9Ghz (Might go even lower spec, but heard the i3's are worth the jump)
RAM - Corsair Value Select DDR3 10666/1333Mhz CL9
Harddrives - 3 x 54000rpmWD Red hard drives? or green? Don't really know what I should get for hard drives. They are expensive as f*ck though.

As far as OS, I am still clueless, may go windows based, may go linux, I really want the best platform for emby to shine however though.

 


Edited by strugglez, 12 October 2015 - 06:41 AM.


#4 Kent OFFLINE  

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 12:54 PM

Hi, if you are dedicating the server to media (and not games), then below build might work for you. At least gives you an alternative to consider. I put it together with the idea of having quicksync capability (when hardware acceleration hits Emby, soon) and good balance of cost / performance in terms of CPU, RAM, etc for those transcode jobs that will likely come up down the road.  

 

You will notice no hard drives, as this was put together assuming a NAS device somewhere on the network as well (in my case, FreeNAS).  But you can easily add a few hard drives if you don't want a full blown NAS with data redundancy / protection, error control, etc that something like FreeNAS offers. 

 

 
CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($181.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Motherboard: ASRock B85M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($73.23 @ Newegg) 
Storage: Sandisk Ultra II 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($85.99 @ Best Buy) 
Case: NZXT Source 210 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case  ($35.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Power Supply: SeaSonic 360W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply  ($57.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Total: $536.17
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-12 12:51 EDT-0400
 
 
Edit: Read following if you want an comparison between WD Reds and WD Greens. https://www.pugetsys...ard-Drives-602/

Edited by Kent, 12 October 2015 - 01:11 PM.


#5 strugglez OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 06:47 AM

I am from New Zealand so the currency is why mine will appear to be off. I used what you used (PCPartPicker) and came up with a cheaper build considering half of the cost is sadly just hard drives.
Does this look pretty okay to say IF my server was to be doing 1 or 2 trans-codes at the most? 
What I have taken from this (https://support.plex...erver-computer-) is this CPU has a benchmark of just over 4000 so it should be capable of roughly transcoding 2 x 1080p files at once which is all I will ever need.
 
 
CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor  ($109.95 @ Computer Lounge) 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($194.35 @ PB Technologies) 
Case: Fractal Design Core 500 Mini ITX Desktop Case  ($130.00 @ Paradigm PCs) 
Total: $1031.30
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-13 23:49 NZDT+1300
 

Edited by strugglez, 13 October 2015 - 07:16 AM.


#6 Kent OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 08:47 AM

Hi, i would consider putting more money into the CPU and/or RAM and less into the MB, if possible.



#7 legallink OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 10:08 AM

A couple of notes from my personal experience:

 

1. Motherboard shouldn't be double the cost of the CPU.  If you are thinking you will upgrade to a xeon later, then maybe, but otherwise you can scale down the MB and scale up the CPU (if that fits in your budget.).  If you are sticking with the CPU, there is no reason to spend more than $100 on the MB.  With your CPU, the most important thing is to accomodate enough storage (SATA ports or a PCI Express lane for a port multiplier).  I would never build just to meet your perceived immediate needs.  Needs change quite quickly, and if you can drop an extra $50 now and meet more needs as opposed to $200 later to meet the same additional needs, it's a smarter call (within reason).

2. I would increase the Ram.  While mine is overkill, in general, you should be looking at 8GB for not a big cost increase.  If you are thinking of something like Freenas, I would max out your MB.

3. Storage is fine.  In general, you will want as much storage as possible.  Things fill up quickly.  Just the nature of the beast.

4. If you are going to drop that kind of cash on a case, and you are thinking everything will live in 1 case (the NAS and the Server...this is what I did), then you should buy a case with more drive space.  3 drives isn't going to last very long.  I have the Fractal Design Node 804 and so far, I love it.  It holds all of my drives, and I have 1 or 2 slots open for more.

5. Powersupply looks fine.

6. You might want to consider dropping an SSD in there for OS and leaving the drives solely for storage, unless you are going to do the OS on a Thumbdrive...which I don't personally like but a lot of people do it.

 

This is my current build, but it is a cobbling together of a few things I already had in play, so not perfect, but does the job pretty well.

http://nz.pcpartpick...nk/saved/fjPkcf


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#8 strugglez OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 06:43 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys.

 

  1. In regards to comments made about the CPU and Motherboard, I would like to agree with you both but what I've found is not a lot of cheaper motherboards offering what I need as a minimum  (In New Zealand atleast). I did however come cross one which I would need to accommodate with.a more powerful CPU (which I am not opposing).Here's the cheaper motherboard which I've found to be a bare minimum grounds for what I require (>=4 x Sata @ 6Gbs, RAID, Mini-ITX, Onboard Graphics, possibly others I have forgotten). 
    Motherboard - Asrock H87M-ITX
    Appropriate CPU - Intel Core i3-4130 Processor 3.40GHz (should I ramp it up more even?)
     
  2. RAM - I was trying to keep cost down and figured anything more than 4GB would be overkill. I just had this estimate based from my own PC which I do play a few games on (League of Legends, Diablo 3 etc) and mainstream activities such as browsing the net and skyping, not to mention using EMBY as a media server currently for my TV which streams perfectly. I have 16GB of ram in my PC but only ever see it up to about 5-6GB at the most when gaming and streaming together. Would 1x4GB be better than 2x2GB btw? Would I atleast be able to add another 4GB if I went for one module of ram to start off with? Should I ultimately just go 2x4GB?
    My inteded OS I am still unsure on atm, I have Ubunto or Windows Server 2012 on my mind as I may be able to get Windows Server though my training institute. I have no knowledge of Linux to be honest but am willing to muddle around and experiment if it will be more rewarding and capable of more.
     
  3. Storage - As I am not wanting to really go bigger due to cost and size, I guess my Case limits the amount of hard drives I can add to it.
     
  4. I could be wrong, but I read somewhere that this case can stack and if worst came to worst, I could just upgrade my motherboard and add another case ontop? or upgrade all hard drives that will be in RAID-5 to be larger capacity? (Hard drives are only getting more compact and larger in terms of storage capacity)
     
  5. I hope so, it's one of the very few cheap ones that was gold rated and looked the part.
     
  6. I would love to add a solid state drive to separate from the others but that's just an added expense that I feel won't add much towards the demands or needs. I have a spare 60GB and 500GB hard drive lying around that I will most likely add one or the other however to separate the OS. (Depending if I pick Windows Server, one of them needs a minimum of 160GB to install on from what I recall.

The only real reason I went for a less powerful build was really cost and whether or not it was required to go more powerful for my needs (2-3 streams of transcoding at the outside most) hence me posting this thread. I am still a noob to a degree so I apologize if my responses might come across stupid or against your suggestions. I appreciate all the feedback. 



#9 mediacowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 07:43 PM

I would recommend an ssd as an needed expense. If you plan on doing transcending of any kind the ssd is faster then a spinning at least in my test. Plus faster boot times if you have to reboot it in the middle of the day for any reason.


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#10 Kent OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 09:31 PM

@strugglez really if you are looking to stay within your budget and have no room for investing in future proofing, let's say a minimum viable product to get into a 2-3 1080p transcode media server,  the i3, mobo, 4gb etc that you have selected is a great start.  It's far better than the pentium + mobo you selected earlier.  The i3 you selected is QuickSync capable which means you might be able to pull off more than 2-3 (or more) transcodes once that is added as a feature to Emby down the road (it's in very early stages now).

 

An SSD, 8GB of RAM, bigger case and more powerful CPU (i5) is really if you have the cash to spare and want to future proof a bit (in case you need more transcoding and/or you want to build it on a FreeNAS platform).  So for you these might be more 'nice to have' then a 'must have', until at least your needs make them a must have but you can never predict the future.

 

P.S. Don't worry about SATAIII @ 6Gbs.  3Gbs is perfectly fine since you will bottleneck at your 1Gb network before your drive bottlenecks, unless you have a 10G network.



#11 strugglez OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 10:11 PM

@Kent - Yea, I've changed my build slightly to your recommendations. You've definitely given me more insight to what I should be looking at. I am trying to still keep things to a minimum as I am after all just a broke student.
I didn't really think about my network bandwidth and to which rate the SATA is for the drives. That's definitely something I should think about too.

 

Wouldn't SATAIII be better for overall transfer between drives and RAID? I understand the logic and idea of it, but when it comes to hardware specs, I just naturally thought a faster SATA would be beneficial to RAID as a whole.

@mediacowboy - I understand that SSD is really good in terms of boot up time and general operation of applications, but that extra speed gain wouldn't be beneficial in terms of being a media server. Most the activity would surely be coming from the Media drives and network. Yea? no? I dunno. Hhaha.



#12 mediacowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 10:16 PM

@mediacowboy - I understand that SSD is really good in terms of boot up time and general operation of applications, but that extra speed gain wouldn't be beneficial in terms of being a media server. Most the activity would surely be coming from the Media drives and network. Yea? no? I dunno. Hhaha.

Yeah, Im not sure. It comes down to the os as well. I am going to shoot a private message.



#13 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 09:07 AM

@mediacowboy - I understand that SSD is really good in terms of boot up time and general operation of applications, but that extra speed gain wouldn't be beneficial in terms of being a media server. Most the activity would surely be coming from the Media drives and network. Yea? no? I dunno. Hhaha.

 

All your OS/System files, swap file etc. would be on the SSD.  It is definitely beneficial to any system.



#14 strugglez OFFLINE  

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Posted 16 October 2015 - 01:59 AM

@Kent, After doing some more research and thinking, I've decided for when I come to build my server, I will want to at least future proof it a bit more than what I had planned. So I have at least gone for 8gig of ram and a different case to accommodate if I want to expand the number of hard drives and allow for a better RAID.
Here's my revised build for anyone interested.
 

 
Total: $1196.38
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-16 18:55 NZDT+1300

 

 

@ebr, I potentially will get a SDD at some stage in time, but for now, my spare drives lying around will suffice I think.

 

So, as for OS (non server or server), I understand that it generally comes down to user preference and what they are comfortable with. Can anyone comment on the pro's and cons of a few?
I want to allow for a VPN and remote access as this will be without a monitor and keyboard and mouse.

WIndows Server 2012?

Ubunto?
Amahi?

FreeNas?
NAS4Free?

 

I am probably most comfortable with Windows Server as I am a Windows User myself and have only ever played with windows server 2008 a bit, but I am enrolled at an IT institute and will be learning more about Linux etc, so am willing to make the jump if people recommend 1 or 2 over windows. Number one thing I am aiming for is it to have optimal performance/functionality with Emby.

Also, has anyone had much experience with on-board RAID? I am considering using RAID10. Don't particularly want to blow out on a separate RAID controller as they seem pretty expensive,



 


Edited by strugglez, 16 October 2015 - 02:00 AM.

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#15 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 June 2018 - 01:18 PM

We now have Emby Server for Western Digital NAS in testing:

 

https://emby.media/c...ern-digital-nas

 

Please try it out and report your experience. Thanks !







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NAS, Server, Development, FreeNAS, Open Media Vault, QNAP, Synology, ASUSTOR

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