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pkfox
2006-06-03, 03:04
Hello All, I'm in the market for a NAS device ( minimum 400 gb ) and would welcome any recommendations / advice from you learned lot, I've seen one from DiskStorage which looks ok ( ~ 500 ) but I like a recommendation really, I'm budgeting up to 1000

regards

Pete Kane

davidcotton
2006-06-03, 03:42
If its for squeezebox use, have you thought of the qnap ts101? Goes up to 500 gig capacity.

More info here :-

http://www.cooltopia.com/product.php?xProd=6292&xSec=1

If you go for one make sure the version you get has slimserver installed as you won't be able to add it yourself.

pkfox
2006-06-03, 04:08
that's the sort of thing I'm looking for, why can't I install slimserver on it ? no good to me if I can't upgrade , still, I suppose I could just use it for storage and run slimserver on my linux box !, thanks for your time

regards

Pete

davidcotton
2006-06-03, 04:25
If you buy from certain sites such as the cooltopia one (which is the main supplier in the uk)linked above, it comes with a version of slimserver already installed on it. Qnap decided they wanted a closed system. I basically got the 500 gig version figuring then I wouldn't need to worry about running out of space anyway.

Fifer
2006-06-03, 04:29
Slimserver can only be installed by the supplier of the Qnap, but regular user-installable updates are made available. So far, every Slimserver update has been made available on the launch date. At the moment, the unit needs to be RTB'd if the disc crashes and you lose the install, but I believe that this is being addressed.

The support is very good and timely (the supplier, Progressive AV actively participates in this forum), user requests are welcomed and often implemented and most importantly, the unit works very well as a Slimserver box.

funkstar
2006-06-03, 06:27
I'll put in another recomendation for the Qnap TS-101. Very nice device. I was extremely impressed with the build quality when i opened the box. The pics online make it look quite brown, but the front is gloss black plastic and the body is dark grey aluminium. Very solid construction.

I don't know if they have it listed, but as the 750gig drives are now available, Progressive (Cooltopia.com is their retail site) should be able to supply a Qnap with one of these. Might be worth giving them a call or email.

Also if there are any particular plugins etc. you would like included with the Qnap build of SlimServer, then you can always ask. Paul is pretty happy to expand/improve his install files.

tamanaco
2006-06-03, 08:23
I recently looked around for a NAS to use as a dedicated slimserver, but in my experience I found that most if not all of the small NAS units were deficient in one or more of the following:

1. CPU Power
2. Noise (Fan and/or PSU noise)
3. Enough RAM
4. Disk Capacity
5. Ease of configuration (Slimserver installation) and support

In "my" order of importance. Note that I plan to rip a considerably large number of CDs into flac. The order and importance of the features above might not apply to those with "smaller" music libraries or using smaller music file formats. I also did not look at the Qnap TS-101 very closely as it was not big enough for my needs. During my quest I mostly looked at multiple drive NAS units and I have been alternating between a "dedicated Slimserver" on a NAS or on a HTPC platform.


1. CPU Power - Given the size of my music library and the way that "I" see the Slimserver evolving - it will be necessary to use a more powerful SQL engine to manage large music libraries efficiently. As the SQL engine features and flexibility increase, so will the need for more CPU power. You don't get something for nothing. Slim Devices made this evident by providing a roadmap to MySQL, a more powerful SQL engine as their future platform of choice. For those using music formats that are not natively supported by the SB, there will be a need for more CPU cycles to have those formats decoded and streamed by the Decoder/Slimserver in the NAS. Then there are the Plug-ins. The larger the number of plug-ins and the more powerful they are -> the larger the demand for CPU cycles. Rescanning the libraries and the Web interface also require precious CPU cycles.

2. Noise - For me this is very important. I live in a small apartment and the NAS has to live in my living room. It also has to fit my AV system cabinet or hide some where close to it. Fan/PSU noise in most of these NAS units, for me, is unacceptable. Most NAS units do not provide a way to "easily" turn them on/off either. They require another computer to manage them using a web interface. So, if you have a universal IR remote and want turn your AV system on/off; you have to get up for the NAS unless you want it to make noise 24/7 - (Hmmm, this might help with getting one accustomed to the noise)

3. Enough RAM - For the obvious reasons. (Increase speed and larger capacity for buffer/cache)

4. Disk Capacity - The small single drive units are limited by the largest size drive available in the market. If your library, like my flac library grows at a significant rate, then your drive might be full before the next size is available... what do you do? In my case, a multiple drive NAS with some level of RAID for fault tolerance is a must have. In particular RAID 5, which provides a high level of fault tolerance and convenience. With hot-swapping one can add an additional drive when the capacity is low and your multiple drive NAS is not fully populated. Also when a drive fails one might loose performance, but you're not completely out of business. Performance will suffer a bit furhter while a failed drive is being re-build on a newly installed or on a stanby hot-spare drive, but it is very convenient solution. I know that RAID 5 drastically reduces the per drive capacity and it is expensive. But that's a price I'm willing to pay for the convenience of not having to re-rip CDs (flac ripping takes a looong time) or having to add more drive enclosures when I run out of space.

5. Ease of configuration and support - Oh, yes... how many more weekends and nights is my wife going to allow me to play with this thing. In reality the average Joe is not savvy enough to configure some of these NAS units with Slimserver. For those of us technical enough to shot our own feet, there is the issue of spending a long time configuring this thing just to listen to some music. Hello! My wife would say... "Get your lazy a$$ from the sofa and away from that laptop and play a CD" Some of this NAS don't even have the required modules to begin to install the Slimserver (Telnet, FTP... etc.) One has to build modules and pray that that you didn't miss a library that will prevent it from running in the NAS. Ok, for some this is fun, but for others this is a daunting task. Not to mention that you're on your own as the most vendors will not support your box once you modify it.

Ok, enough of my ranting. After looking around the best that "I" and others have found are the multiple drives NAS units made by Infrant. There are very flexible and as powerful as any small multiple drive NAS that one can get. In particular I was very impressed by the ReadyNAS NV. It is a bit expensive, but I think it's worth it. Besides providing RAID 0,1 and 5 support it provides X-RAID for Automatic Volume Expansion You can read a review by Tom's Networking here: http://www.tomsnetworking.com/2006/03/03/infrant_readynas_nv/

I almost bought one of these, but the NOISE level and to some degree the fear of lack of sufficient CPU power made me rethink my approach to the dedicated Slimserver. The ReadyNAS NV supports the Slimserver out of the box, but it doesn't yet support "all" the plug-ins. I'm skeptical that it'll be underpowered to run the SlimServer with MySQL. One other thing. You don't have to worry about vendor support as Infrant supports "specific" releases of Slimserver with "some" limitations. Forget about the betas.

Now, I'm looking to build a small "silent" HTPC using a mini-itx motherboard with a mobile core-duo T2300 CPU, a PCI Ex RAID adapter, 4x500GB drives inside a sexy fanless case that looks like an AV system component. This will give me room to grow my library and enough CPU power to handle future releases of Slimserver and its plug-ins. The RAID adapter also supports JBOD, just in case RAID 5 becomes too taxing. Of course, the looks of this box will also make my wife happy.

Well, these are my 2 cents regarding NAS devices for a dedicated Slimserver. Comments?

richidoo
2006-06-03, 09:09
I got the ReadyNAS NV a few months ago. I put it on my LAN and have only shut it down once when I thought a tornado was coming through. It has not missed a beat, upgrades easily, when upgrades are available, and is reliable. It has 4 SATA slots so is good for 1.8TB Raid5 with currently available hard drives. Can be bought with as little as single 250GB drive and upgraded later.

The Slim GUI is slower than running it on a PC, but not too bad. Scanning is slower, but I use Music Folder navigation mostly anyway.

The fan is always on and it is LOUD! Forget about putting it next to your stereo, it needs a closet or basement with LAN connection. I put it in my kids TV room to annoy them.

You can only run the latest officially released version of SlimServer on the ReadyNAS, because it must be compiled by Infrant to run under their OS, and they don't recompile and post nightly updates. It was a mighty long wait to get the latest version with all the bug fixes (6.2.2?)

Naturally it costs more, but the power savings, remote location, always on, built in web, print, DHCP, slim and FTP servers, and reliability of RAID5 make it worth it to me. It has lightning fast data input and output so can stream HDTV or several surveillance cameras no problem. I have recorded 8 tracks of 24/96 audio to it over 100Mbit LAN, no problem.

Good service, fast responses from tech support, active online forum. Direct transfer of camera memory without a puter. Flexible backup server built in too.
Rich

funkstar
2006-06-03, 10:46
:snip:

1. CPU Power
2. Noise (Fan and/or PSU noise)
3. Enough RAM
4. Disk Capacity
5. Ease of configuration (Slimserver installation) and support

:snip:
I think your best bet is the dedicated server you skope about at the end of your post. I really like my TS-101, but i can see how it wouldn't be for everyone, and indeed, if i had the space to store a fully fledged server and not cause problems with noise than i would do that instead.

From what i've read, the move to MySQL will actually help smaller devices with regards to memory and horse power. Bu i could be wrong here.

Just one thing to remember, four or five hard drives spinning away is going to be noticable. they will also heat up so you need a fan to cool them down again (or be replacing them when they fail prematurely). Before you know it you have a system that is the same as the Infrant ReadyNAS :)

tamanaco
2006-06-03, 11:34
Just one thing to remember, four or five hard drives spinning away is going to be noticable. they will also heat up so you need a fan to cool them down again (or be replacing them when they fail prematurely). Before you know it you have a system that is the same as the Infrant ReadyNAS :)

I've been looking at the fanless cases made by A-Tech Fabrication. So far, they appear to run very quiet/cool even with several drives spinning. I'm waiting for a mini server case that the builder is currently working on. You can take a look a their cases here: http://www.atechfabrication.com/ At one point during my research I was leaning towards buying the sexy NAS4x with its "Slimserver supported" ReadyNAS IT71004 board and 4 500GB Barracuda drives to run the Slimserver. http://www.atechfabrication.com/ms_NAS4x_order_form.htm But as I mentioned before, CPU power plus wanting to play with the nightly Slimserver builds and new plug-ins prevented me from taking the last step. Btw, the NAS4x also supports a mini-itx board, but with a two drive non-RAID configuration.

bolfings
2006-06-03, 15:34
It sounds like it's too small, quiet, and lo-powered for your consideration - but I really like my KuroBox - mine has a 300 gb drive, but I just bought a 400g drive for just over $100, and the new Kuros are about $170, so for well under $300 you should be able to put one together. Very quiet, very low power consumption, not super quick, but works well and is very configurable. I leave it on all the time, have it rescan the library when I am asleep, if we have a power outage it just reboots and goes. I think they are working on more powerful boxes, but I haven't found a need yet. I have over 1000 cds on mine, and it does everything I need -

CavesOfTQLT
2006-06-03, 15:56
Ditto everything that bolfings has said; one of the best investments I've ever made is the purchase six weeks ago of my $149 KuroBoxHG to run SlimServer. Installed gentoo, loaded up SlimServer, AlienBBC and LastFM, and it's performed faultlessly ever since...

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-06-04, 01:08
>one of the best investments I've ever made is the purchase six weeks
>ago of my $149 KuroBoxHG

This sounded very interesting, and I found where you can buy it at
www.revogear.com, but I was a little concerned by the fact that when
I tried to go to the forums, download area, or wiki, I got a page
that says "this account has been suspended"

Is this product still viable? Or is there a better source for
information? It looks like it'd be fun to pick one up for one of the
extra drives I have laying around.

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

pkfox
2006-06-04, 01:17
thanks to you all, I'm more confused than ever now but I think the multi disk route is the path I'll follow , I have an outside office to store the server so noise isn't a consideration, once again thanks for time

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-06-04, 01:17
>>one of the best investments I've ever made is the purchase six
>>weeks ago of my $149 KuroBoxHG
>
>This sounded very interesting, and I found where you can buy it at
>www.revogear.com, but I was a little concerned by the fact that when
>I tried to go to the forums, download area, or wiki, I got a page
>that says "this account has been suspended"
>
>Is this product still viable? Or is there a better source for
>information? It looks like it'd be fun to pick one up for one of
>the extra drives I have laying around.

Sorry to reply to myself, but is there an 3 G SATA version or just ATA?

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

funkstar
2006-06-04, 01:49
thanks to you all, I'm more confused than ever now but I think the multi disk route is the path I'll follow , I have an outside office to store the server so noise isn't a consideration, once again thanks for time
If you have somewhere to put a server without noise being an issue, then i would go for a regular desktop and a bunch of drives in it.

I had looked at a barebones Opteron system with a gig or so of RAM and the slowest CPU i could find, 5x 3.5" to 3x 5.25" hard drive cage and a 5 port SATA RAID controller. Depending on drive size this could easily be done for under 1000. And then you have a decent file server you could use for all sorts :)

pkfox
2006-06-07, 05:52
If you have somewhere to put a server without noise being an issue, then i would go for a regular desktop and a bunch of drives in it.

I had looked at a barebones Opteron system with a gig or so of RAM and the slowest CPU i could find, 5x 3.5" to 3x 5.25" hard drive cage and a 5 port SATA RAID controller. Depending on drive size this could easily be done for under 1000. And then you have a decent file server you could use for all sorts :)


thanks, where can I look at one of these ? ( web site goes here ) sounds the way to go, I'm not up on computer hardware so please bear with me !, does your spec add up to 8 drives ?

funkstar
2006-06-07, 07:00
My personal favourite is Scan Computers.

Socket 754 barebones PC
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Products.ASP?CatID=40&FilterCategories=175&Thumbnails=yes

Processors
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Products.ASP?CatID=11&FilterCategories=255&Thumbnails=yes

5 port RAID card
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=225844

SATA drive cadies:
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Products.ASP?CatID=16&FilterCategories=333&Thumbnails=yes
(you can get up to 5x 3.5" drives in 3x 5.25" bays

Gives you an idea of what is out there :)

CouchPotatoe
2006-06-07, 07:34
pkfox wrote:
> funkstar Wrote:
>
>> If you have somewhere to put a server without noise being an issue, then
>> i would go for a regular desktop and a bunch of drives in it.
>>
>> I had looked at a barebones Opteron system with a gig or so of RAM and
>> the slowest CPU i could find, 5x 3.5" to 3x 5.25" hard drive cage and a
>> 5 port SATA RAID controller. Depending on drive size this could easily
>> be done for under 1000. And then you have a decent file server you
>> could use for all sorts :)
>>
>
>
> thanks, where can I look at one of these ? ( web site goes here )
> sounds the way to go, I'm not up on computer hardware so please bear
> with me !, does your spec add up to 8 drives ?
>
>
>
I have a spare RAID system just like this - all set up in a nice 19"
rack case with 6 drives in lockable/removeable caddies - drop me an
email offlist if your interested , and in the UK as it's heavy ! Would
want around half that amount.

Kevin

slim <at> ukusa <dot> co <dot> uk

Kevin O. Lepard
2006-06-07, 15:37
To follow-up on a comment I made earlier in this thread, the links
for additional information, forums, etc., are back up at revogear.

Looks like a fun toy...

Kevin
--
Kevin O. Lepard

Happiness is being 100% Microsoft free.

pkfox
2006-06-07, 23:37
I'm very interested in your offer but have a few questions,
How much do you want for your kit ?
Is it relatively new ?
What size are the disks ?
Basically could you send me some detailed info ( I don't understand it - but know a man that does )

many thanks

Pete Kane

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 09:01
Pete:

I believe people were talking about building your own system. They weren't discussing a pre-built product.

I've been thinking of offering a product simply because I'd like to play with VIA mini-ITX fanless systems, but I can't be bothered with the support hassle that would entail. If you want a premade product, check out Infrant in North America or Qnap in the U.K.

nicketynick
2006-06-09, 10:24
So Mark, how cheap do you figure you can put together a very basic Via for Slimserver?

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 12:59
So Mark, how cheap do you figure you can put together a very basic Via for Slimserver?

Wow...that didn't take long. ;-)

The first part would be finding a supplier. NCIX.com has some VIA mini-ITX boards. One of them is fanless:

http://tinyurl.com/ks9pc

Check the price, nearly $300. It'd be nice to have a better fanless mini-ITX board selection though.

Add $60 for 512 MB of Samsung RAM.

They only sell *one* mini-ITX case:

http://tinyurl.com/kvv48

Although the rear photo shows a fan grille, it actually does come with a fanless PS "brick", checking the forum messages.

It's kind of ugly though. Wish there was a better selection, and I'd like one with heatsinking for the CPU and the HDD.

Add a $100 300 GB drive.

Ideally it would be like an "appliance" so everything would be visible/controllable via a web page. The only low-cost OS I'm aware of that's like this out-of-the-box is ClarkConnect. A very nice, professional-looking front end with a Linux kernel running underneath. Not only does it support SlimServer, it actually comes with a version of SlimServer.

So $300 for the board/CPU, $60 for the memory, $100 for the case and $100 for the HDD. That's $560 just to break even. Perhaps the cost could be brought down by getting this stuff through a wholesaler, but that would require setting up a business and buying in quantity before any orders even come in.

Also as I indicated I would not want to deal with support requests. I do that enough in my day job. It's very stressful to me not to be able to solve a technical problem for a customer who's paying me, let alone a few dozen or so for a project I'll be doing in my spare time...

mherger
2006-06-09, 13:33
> The first part would be finding a supplier. NCIX.com has some VIA
> mini-ITX boards. One of them is fanless:

FWIW:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showpost.php?p=43590

The case itself isn't fanless. But I did not connect the fan, so it's
completely silent. Though this is really low-end (both, CPU and disk
wise), it just finished scanning my ~6900 songs in under 30 minutes.

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
StringEditor Plugin (http://www.herger.net/slim/)

nicketynick
2006-06-09, 13:39
When you can buy a PC that is overkill for the function for $280, this just doesn't make sense. Try logicsupply.com for better selection and prices. (or mini-itx.com, if you don't mind Euro).
Gotta run right now, I'll be back.....

audiofi
2006-06-09, 13:48
Not sure if this is available in America, but this is a fanless case:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-lc12.htm

I looked at quite a lot of cases when pricing up my range and although more expensive, the Silverstone was my favoured case

The problem is a fanless motherboard and fanless small cases are a fair bit more expensive than something Dell can offer

I can price things up for any UK members if wanted as I already have all of the trade accounts in place.

Andrew

mherger
2006-06-09, 13:59
> When you can buy a PC that is overkill for the function for $280, this
> just doesn't make sense.

It does for me. In my post the first two reasons are energy consumption
and noise. If you want the power of a P4 with no noise, you'll pay a lot
more for cooling (which probably will itself consume more energy than my
box all together ;-)).

--

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------
Help translate SlimServer by using the
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Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 14:11
When you can buy a PC that is overkill for the function for $280, this just doesn't make sense. Try logicsupply.com for better selection and prices. (or mini-itx.com, if you don't mind Euro).
Gotta run right now, I'll be back.....

Yes but it wouldn't be fanless...

Jacob Potter
2006-06-10, 17:42
On 6/9/06, Mark Lanctot
<Mark.Lanctot.295lez1149887701 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
> Yes but it wouldn't be fanless...

Is fanless really necessary? My fairly high-end desktop has just three
~800rpm Yate Loon fans, and the hard drive (Samsung) is a bit louder
than they are when active. It's not truly silent unless there are no
moving parts.

- Jacob

mherger
2006-06-11, 06:09
> Is fanless really necessary?

Depends on your needs: I had to set up my server in my bedroom. My GF
wouldn't accept a computer's fan in the bedroom. Others will have it in
the living/listening room - noiseless/low noise is a must for quite a few.

--

Michael

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Help translate SlimServer by using the
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