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Author Topic: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology  (Read 2920 times)

phi2008

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2017, 10:32:12 PM »

Good cashback deals happen at least a few times a year for HP Microservers or Dell T20 Servers(four 3.5 bays) - about 100 after cashback.

Alternatively you can get a cheap chassis - X-Case do some cheap ones -

https://www.xcase.co.uk/products/x-case-extra-value-208-2u-with-8-hotswap-bays
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adrianw

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2017, 06:02:37 AM »

I have a couple of old (N40L Generation 7) HP Microservers which I have used in various roles (FreeBSD+IPFW firewall, ESXi host, FreeNAS) and was fairly happy with. They are both off and distant to me at present, so I cannot check the specs. As far as I remember I expanded them both to to 8 GB memory and added a second NIC.

Upsides
Fairly quiet.
Good build quality.
Having drive screws and a screwdriver on the inside of the case door is a nice touch.
You can cram a 5th disk into the optical bay. I have not done this.
6 external USB 2.0 sockets.

Downsides:
Very fiddly to fit memory or an expansion card.
Getting an official BIOS upgrade may well require a HP support contract. This was enough to stop me from buying HP ever again. But see http://www.nathanielperez.us/blog/hp-proliant-n40l-bios-modification-guide if you find that you really need to update your BIOS (enable hot swap, higher throughput for a 5th drive, lord knows what else).
No serial port - so you need a VGA monitor and USB keyboard for a console, or an IPMI card.

I read that the while HP say 2 a TB drive limit, they will work with bigger drives but not be able to boot from them, so I may well resurrect at least one of the N40Ls with 4*6 TB WD Red disks (with FreeNAS booting from internal USB, maybe with a second USB plugged in at the back).

There seems to be a 60 cash back running for the Generation 8 at the moment. Need to have an invoice dated prior to the end of January 2017.

As for cost, yes a NAS box can be expensive, even before you start stuffing big disks in to it.  But how much is your data worth? I chose a FreeNAS Mini rather than building my own partially because it wasn't that much more expensive then building something with similar components.

Size is also an issue - 6 bay or more towers tend to be big, but you can at least stuff them under a desk or table. Rack mounts (like the interesting X-case one above) tend not to fit too well into a home. For some time I had a works HP DL360 sitting on a desk at home. Not too high, not to wide, but the depth, and the noise! I only powered it up when I needed to us it.
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phi2008

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2017, 09:11:24 AM »

I sold my Microserver(after fitting a new, quiet, fan) because I wanted normal size expansion slots(now have T20).

... Rack mounts (like the interesting X-case one above) tend not to fit too well into a home. For some time I had a works HP DL360 sitting on a desk at home. Not too high, not to wide, but the depth, and the noise! I only powered it up when I needed to us it.

Really suggested for the kind of person who buys rack equipment - nerd/pro. The noise is an issue with larger NAS - if it's close by at least, was toying with the idea of a rack in the garage(with fibre link).
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Chunkers

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2017, 11:00:28 PM »

Well, I got my wifes old PC out of the cupboard (its a Q8200 with 4Gb RAM), bunged in some old HD's I had lying around and installed Xopenology to a memory stick and Bingo! My new "Test" NAS is up and running with 500Gb RAID 1 and DSM ver 6.02-8451.  I also bunged in an old 60Gb SSD I had lying around and configured it as a cache, just for fun really and to see if it would work.



It identifies as a Synology DS3615, yours for 2300 on Amazon, snigger.

It was a bit of a pain trying to follow the rather haphazard instructions sets on Xopenology forums which are a bit patchy. If anyone is planning to do this then let me know and I can probably save you a bit of head-scratching.

Its been running for a few hours now so its early days but ...
  • The interface is WAAAY faster than my DS214+, it feels very zippy indeed.
  • Its a bit noisy, the completely unnecessary graphics card has a loud fan (it was a gaming PC), I am running the system headless but the card is still installed.  The board / CPU has no onboard graphics - do you think it will boot if I remove the gfx card altogether?
  • Xopenology is great, the interface feels almost exactly like a Synology NAS, even the package center works, I have installed Surveillance station
  • The PC is probably using a relatively large amount of power, certainly compared to a proper NAS

Going to leave it cooking overnight and see if its still working in the morning,

 :fingers:

Chunks
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burakkucat

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2017, 11:09:41 PM »

The board / CPU has no onboard graphics - do you think it will boot if I remove the gfx card altogether?

I think it would be worth a try. If successful, then less noise and less power consumption!  ;)
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roseway

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2017, 11:14:37 PM »

If not, you could get a cheap low performance fanless graphics card.
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adrianw

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2017, 12:08:48 AM »

... was toying with the idea of a rack in the garage(with fibre link).
Best make sure the garage is environmentally adequate. Long ago I turned half a 2 bay garage into a study. One dank winter afternoon I went to the garage, turned on my till then trusty Osborne 1, only to hear a dull thud from inside it as it arced over and died.
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Ronski

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2017, 06:15:18 AM »

I'd be very surprised if it booted without a GPU, I think the BIOS checks for a GPU.
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Chunkers

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2017, 06:31:34 AM »

I'd be very surprised if it booted without a GPU, I think the BIOS checks for a GPU.
Yep, thats what I was thinking too.  I'll give it a try later today.

C
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Chrysalis

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2017, 11:10:09 AM »

no harm in trying, if it fails look for a low powered low end part to replace it.
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BigJ

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2017, 09:56:04 PM »

A few years back I ran Xpenology on a HP Microserver N54L and loved it compared to a few other NAS OS' I checked out. I only gave up on it because each major verion update needed a driver hack for the N54L. I switched to FreeNAS but it's GUI just isn't as easy to use.

I may have to check out the latest state of Xpenology and compare it to FreeNAS 10 beta which has a completely rewritten frontend
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 09:58:40 PM by BigJ »
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broadstairs

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2017, 07:31:33 PM »

I just had an email suggesting I take a look at NAS4Free, looks interesting if I need to build my own, it has ZFS by the way.

Stuart
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Chunkers

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2017, 01:04:47 PM »

I keep reading how awesome ZFS is, but it makes the hardware really expensive e.g. lots of RAM etc
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Chrysalis

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2017, 08:18:58 PM »

you can probably run zfs with 4 gig of non ECC ram, its not the best setup but it will work.

Regarding cost on the flipside ZFS offers features that you normally would only get on a dedicated raid card which saves money.

My pfsense unit with 4 gig of ram uses zfs.
I also use zfs on a virtual machine that has 4 gig of ram allocated to it.
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BigJ

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Re: "To Build or To Not build your own NAS" - Xpenology vs Synology
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2017, 08:55:02 PM »

Compared to the 0.5 or 1 GB of memory you get in a home Synology NAS, 8GB as the minimum recommended for FreeNAS is a lot. The NAS4Free website suggests "an absolute minimum of 4GB for ZFS.

I seem to dimly remember initially testing FreeNAS with less than 8GB without problem. I upgraded before using it in anger though!

EDIT: I guess you have to decide if going ZFS is worth the extra cost in memory.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 08:58:42 PM by BigJ »
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