First Home NAS, unRAID or Something Else?

Operandi

New Member
Oct 26, 2020
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I've been collecting a bunch of hardware for over a year now to put together a home NAS. So far I have a Xeon E3-1245 v6, Supermicro X11SSH, LSI 9207-8i HBA, 8 3TB Seagate Constellation SAS drives, 800GB Intel DC S3500 SDD, and an 8 hot swap bay iStar 2U chassis.

The goal of this NAS will be a Plex media server, and general file storage and backup location. Maybe a couple of VMs and I'm sure I'll play around with Docker containers but probably nothing too intensive. I don't have any high performance expectations for the NAS side of things as I only have 1GB networking in my house but I'm guessing the S3500 as a cache drive should scale pretty well into the future of 10GB networking. For Plex I'd like setup Plex live TV and and use it as DVR with a Hauppauge QuadHD or something similar.

My initial plan was to go with TrueNAS but the more I look at it the more it looks like the FreeBSD base of it are going to be a real limitation if you want to use it for more than just a NAS which has lead me to unRAID.

Thoughts on all this, is unRAID the way to go?
 

BoredSysadmin

Active Member
Mar 2, 2019
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Besides unraid, I'd suggest checking out two more options:

Both would necessitate more work, but you'd get a chance to make your own decisions. I am also secretly hoping that the TrueNAS scale will overcome some of the FreeBSD limitations, such as support for quicksync/nvenc hardware transcoding support.
 

zer0sum

Active Member
Mar 8, 2013
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168
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I recently tested just about everything out there to see what would work best as a home NAS for me and I settled on Unraid.

I have it connected via 10G to my network and directly to my workstation at 40G using a cheap Mellanox CX3 card
I have a 1TB NVME drive as cache backed by 3 x 10TB SAS drives, and performance is perfectly fine for network shares, and Plex etc.

The main draw to Unraid is the docker and plugin ecosystem, and getting to use more of your hard drive space :)

It is trivial to get so many different docker apps working and they can be spun up and down in seconds.
You can setup things like usenet and torrent dockers that route all traffic over vpns, or get plex with hardware transcoding working

I had an old Silerstone TJ08 lying around, and even after I searched hard for a better mATX case I still ended up using it.
I added the following parts:
  • Super Micro X11SSM-F
  • Xeon E3-1270v5 , 4 core / 8 thread, 3.6-4Ghz
  • 64G ECC ram
  • Supermicro AOC-SLG3-2M2 PCIe Add-On Card (Bifurcated)
  • 1TB nvme cache drive
  • 2TB nvme share drive
  • HP H220 LSI SAS2308 HBA
  • 3 x 10TB SAS drives
  • Mellanox ConnectX-3 - $20 (Ebay)
  • Nvidia Quadro P400 for Plex stream transcoding
  • Icydock dual 5.25" to triple 3.5" cage
I'm going to give TrueNAS Scale a test and see if that might also be a good fit, but I'll be suprised if it can replace Unraid.
 

Operandi

New Member
Oct 26, 2020
2
0
1
Besides unraid, I'd suggest checking out two more options:

Both would necessitate more work, but you'd get a chance to make your own decisions. I am also secretly hoping that the TrueNAS scale will overcome some of the FreeBSD limitations, such as support for quicksync/nvenc hardware transcoding support.
I came across OMV in my reading but it felt like it would just be another rabbit hole to get pulled down, I'll have to give it look though. The perfect media server site looks like a good resource though so I'll read that over for sure.

I recently tested just about everything out there to see what would work best as a home NAS for me and I settled on Unraid.

I have it connected via 10G to my network and directly to my workstation at 40G using a cheap Mellanox CX3 card
I have a 1TB NVME drive as cache backed by 3 x 10TB SAS drives, and performance is perfectly fine for network shares, and Plex etc.

The main draw to Unraid is the docker and plugin ecosystem, and getting to use more of your hard drive space :)

It is trivial to get so many different docker apps working and they can be spun up and down in seconds.
You can setup things like usenet and torrent dockers that route all traffic over vpns, or get plex with hardware transcoding working

I had an old Silerstone TJ08 lying around, and even after I searched hard for a better mATX case I still ended up using it.
I added the following parts:
  • Super Micro X11SSM-F
  • Xeon E3-1270v5 , 4 core / 8 thread, 3.6-4Ghz
  • 64G ECC ram
  • Supermicro AOC-SLG3-2M2 PCIe Add-On Card (Bifurcated)
  • 1TB nvme cache drive
  • 2TB nvme share drive
  • HP H220 LSI SAS2308 HBA
  • 3 x 10TB SAS drives
  • Mellanox ConnectX-3 - $20 (Ebay)
  • Nvidia Quadro P400 for Plex stream transcoding
  • Icydock dual 5.25" to triple 3.5" cage
I'm going to give TrueNAS Scale a test and see if that might also be a good fit, but I'll be suprised if it can replace Unraid.
Thanks, that makes me think unRAID is what I'll end up with but it definitely what I"m going to setup next. TruNAS seems like it has the jails for most things I'm looking for but there are so many more docker containers out there for Linux. That and driver support and hardware pass through just look like major road blocks on FreeBSD.

I have to read up on what TruNAS Scale is supposed to be but it looks like its just getting off the ground so probably won't be a thing for a while but might be worth a look as I really like the TrueNAS Core UI.