I'm planning on building a NAS server to store my media files and will stream them with xmbc.
I have been doing a lot of reading but just getting overwhelmed...
Trying to decide on FreeNas or OpenMediaVault and then what file system should I use?
My main issue is I currently have drives at different sizes and want to be able to grow the nas in the future but with 1 disk at a time. I have read that for zfs you must grow with 2 disks at a time so I guess that options out.
Currently I have a 1tb disk and a 2tb disk, I plan on buying another 2 or 3tb disk during the sales this weekend.
So I guess my main issue is what filesystem would allow me to stream 1080p movies over the network and allow me to mix disk sizes and grow the pool at 1 disk at a time?
I've been using my own computer as a temporary storage server untill i have my old server running. I've been using NTFS for all my drives and never had any problems with it. I have 1x 64GB Kingston SS, 2x 500GB WD Black, 1x 160GB WD Blue. One of the WD Blacks and the Blue drive have both been used to stream videos on a laptop with xbmc.
There is no setup which will easily allow you to add disk of different sizes and utilize all the available disk space with data redundancy. Your plan shouldn't simply look at growing the disk space, but also at redundancy. If you really want to take the risk, OpenMedia would be better option since it is base on Linux (Debian), which should allow you to setup LVM. LVM management can get complicated and is not recommended if you do not have Unix/Linux sysadmin knowledge. With LVM can add disk of different sizes to the PV to increase the storage size. Keep in mind that a single disk failure will result in data lost. With LVM, you won't loose all your data, but all the data on the failed disk will be gone. This might also be doable with freenas using single disk pools. Again, this is also a bad idea.
Now, a more sane (but still cheap) approach would be to get an additional 2x2TB disk and start out with a 3 disk RAID5 array (3x2TB). Again, choosing OpenMedia you can then keep adding 2TB disk and growing your array. If you add a 3TB disk, you will only be able to use 2TB of that disk. You can then replace all the 2TB disk with 3TB disk to get the total space. The 1TB disk can be used for backup.