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Full system vs. NAS

Last response: in Storage
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August 23, 2012 9:05:15 PM

For a while now, I've wanted my music, movies, pictures and documents in one place. As my collection of everything grows, the thought of losing it all is rather frightening. That storage would have to be redundant so I don't lose my data. I would also like the ability to stream to other computers or maybe a google tv / apple tv / roku. I do some torrenting as well, but I currently use an old system for that (P4 2.26ghz / 1.5gb RDRAM / ATA100--It's a beast of the ancient world circa 2001). I see my options as one of these two:

1) Build a new system and slap ubuntu on it. This would replace the old torrent system and also house 4 extra hard drives (4x1TB or 4x2TB in raid 5 or 10...not sure).
2) Buy a 4 bay NAS that doesn't have crappy reviews:
a. NETGEAR ReadyNAS Ultra 4-bay (diskless) ~$580
b. Synology DS411+II High Performance NAS Server with Data Protection ~$610

I can see benefits of both. The full computer would allow me to get rid of the old computer and use one solution for torrenting and storage (I am aware that some NAS devices can torrent, but as far as I know, the options and administration are very limited). It would have to be left on most of the time, though. I'm not a fan of leaving any computer on all of the time. The NAS would presumably have intelligent shutdown so that it would not stay on all of the time. The NAS would probably cost ~$1000 by the time I purchased it plus the hard drives to fill it. I'm sure others have found themselves in this pickle.

So... What did you do and how happy are you with your decision OR what would you do if you wanted to do this? If you went with a full computer, what components did you get?

Thanks!

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a b G Storage
August 23, 2012 9:40:04 PM

An option you appear to be overlooking is simply turning the old P4 box into a NAS server as well. It's not like you need huge amounts of CPU power for file servers, especially for an individual like yourself.

You could potentially just rebuild that system inside a full tower case and add a PCI RAID card, or cards, to attach the extra drives to.
August 23, 2012 9:46:12 PM

I had thought of that. It's pretty old. It runs Ubuntu 12.04, but not very well. The processing power is extremely limited (p4 2.26ghz single core). It might work, but I'm a bit worried about leaving it on all of the time due to its age. What sort of hardware would you recommend for what you're talking about?
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