Freenas vs Unraid - Coming to Terms

DaddyGrant

Active Member
Jul 14, 2016
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I'm not a novice to IT. I work professionally on enterprise gear but I'm building a media server to augment my Qnap TVS-871 w/ Raid 6 and I would like some guidance in the home space.

I needed to do this for a few reason.

1. I am running out of space and dodn't want to buy 8 drives to upgrade my Raid 6 array.
2. My i7 QNap array encounter a drive failure with a 4TB WD Red 5400rmp drive and rebuilding took 2 days leaving the system so slow I considered it Out-Of-Service. (I understand the low end drives could of played a role)
3. Pre-built solutions are just to expensive for the expansion capacity I'm looking for. Manufactures use a linear formula of Cost-x-Bays.
4. I like to tinker. I like toys.

I'm sure the type of drives used affected the QNAP rebuild process but I don't want to go through it again. Curiously I had a Synology once in raid 5 with the same drives and it didn't come to complete crawl like the QNAP during a rebuild. Maybe is was the Raid 6 vs 5... Maybe not.

Most of data is media so I was leaning towards UnRaid but they are so many die hard FreeNas/ZFS fans.

Is the general consensus to use UnRaid for Media (a storage target for my plex) and FreeNas for VMWare/High performance workloads? I'm leaning towards UnRaid because I believe a failed drive won't bring the system to a crawl even with WD REDS and I can add capacity one drive at a time.

"Whoever is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone" :)
 
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Jeggs101

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Dec 29, 2010
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Yea so... if you just want stuff stored, unraid is OK.

If you want to use or learn something you may deploy and use one day in production, zfs.

It's that simple.
 

wildchild

Active Member
Feb 4, 2014
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Really depends on how valuable your data is.
I believe unraid and freenas both support the same levels of raid ( although in freenas they are called raidz), but zfs is cow and has internal crc checking.
Furthermore it is possible to speed up zfs by either adding memory (arc) or secondairy cache (l2arc)
 

IamSpartacus

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Mar 14, 2016
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I looked at both options when I was building my two bulk storage servers and decided to go with UnRAID in the end. Based on your OP I think UnRAID probably fits your needs more. You mentioned easily being able to expand and that the majority of your data is media. I don't personally think it's necessary to use a striped RAID setup for a bulk media storage array. I've been using UnRAID for 3+ years now (I have two 64TB servers) and I've been quite pleased with it. I used to also utilize the dockers/VMs on it which was nice but I purely use it for storage now.
 

StevenDTX

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Aug 17, 2016
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I've been using unRAID for almost 10 years now. As far as media storage goes, I think you would have a hard time finding something better.

For my iSCSI datastores, where I need speed, I use FreeNAS.
 
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DaddyGrant

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Jul 14, 2016
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I've been using unRAID for almost 10 years now. As far as media storage goes, I think you would have a hard time finding something better.

For my iSCSI datastores, where I need speed, I use FreeNAS.
Exactly the logic I was leaning towards @StevenDTX . Now I'm sitting with a "new to me" 4U rack infront of me and my fiance besides me, putting together the hardware. She is actually watching Black Sails while tolerating my tinkering in the living room.

20170205_140618 (1).jpg
 
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badsimian

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Mar 13, 2017
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I love unRAID. I get that a FreeNAS/ZFS system is 'better' in many respects for data integrity etc but for me most of it is media and therefore I don't care all that much. Important stuff is stored offset /cloud for me anyway. As I want an all-in-one solution that allows me to fiddle with dockers, VMs, storage, even gaming then unRAID fits the bill.