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synology VS build your own?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've had a synology NAS for years it has always worked great but i find my self out of space again. I've been looking at the synology 12 bay NAS but it is over $1,500! I like using 4TB hard drives because of the price.


I don't really need 12 bay NAS but i wanted a overkill so it would last longer and could use the cheaper 4TB HD as i go.


FreeNAS looks very good but how reliable is it? Can i even find a box to hold 12 HD and a MB that can support that many with it costing less than a synology? I use plex so it would need to do transcoding only one or two 4k streams at a time.

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Building your own can be a headache but it's significantly cheaper.

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If you don't mind noise you can get barebone servers off ebay with 12 bays for very very cheap. FreeNAS uses ZFS which is a very resilient File System. It's reliable.

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I've enjoyed freenas in the past, but if this is for home use and mainly for plex I'd give unraid a look.  It's not as resilient as freenas, and seems more prone to hiccups on the Dockers than I recall my freenas and iocage/warden being.


But the different drive size option is nice for home use and expansion. I don't have to buy 4x drives anytime I want to expand. I can just pickup whatever is on sale or the size I want and toss it in. It's user friendly as well. If this is for enterprise id still go with freenas based off of my experience. 

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i need to follow this.

i went for a synology after

and today i packed it down in the box it came from and will return it.

Either something wrong with this, or,  user fault wich is very likely. But after hours of dealing with the Bull***t it threw and the noice it made idling. i just had enough.

So, Either ill just start backup manually, wich is a pain in the behind, or ill might just look into building something small on my own.

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I say DIY NAS, with unraid, or SnapRaid if you feel that way inclined. Windows Storage spaces is supposed to be decent? No comment on this one personally.

I use unraid personally, though I only use it for storage since my PLEX resides on a more robust system, unraid is great for being able to just chuck drives in as and when you need them, and of course you have the added benefit of natively running docker containers with a couple of clicks. I ran FreeNAS briefly, and whilst it was interesting, I didn't like the resource usage of ZFS considering I just want a simple NAS.


I say built your own and get yourself a hot swap chassis, worth every penny, then throw in a HBA & SAS expander to connect all the drives.


Something like this for a chassis: https://www.servercase.co.uk/shop/server-cases/rackmount/4u-chassis/4u-server-case-w-24x-35-hot-swappable-satasas-drive-bays-6gbs-minisas-sc-4324/


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Posted · Original PosterOP

The synology NAS have some pretty weak CPU's in them for there price point.

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For a 2-bay solution, hands-down Synology. DSM (the OS that runs it) is a joy to work with. The UI offers a friendly setup wile still providing advanced options. And probably the best part is the app list. Better options than what you see with FreeNAS. And yes, their CPUs can be weak, but it's not an issue for storage and IO. It's only an issue if you plan on running Docker or Virtualize. That said however, I'm running a DS218+ (with SODIMM) with a VM of Pihole.

A DYI solution such as FreeNAS really starts to shine in savings once you start scaling up in storage/spindle needs. Especially true when having to at least double that for having another unit as a backup repository. But it's not for the light-hearted, specifically when configuring and administering the OS. The GUI is very unpolished compared to DSM. Also should you have a problem you're going to be hitting the forums for support, not calling in or submitting a ticket for product support. So if you're running a business, keep that in mind as a requirement for minimum down-time. The other problem with DYI is that you need to spec out your hardware carefully. Don't overclock or use Chinese no-name stuff. Keep the hardware conservative for reliability. And if you can swing it, stick with ECC (AMD platform is more cost effective here than going with Intel Xeon) to ensure data doesn't become corrupt on write-backs to the array.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have a 4 bay synology now that is full. I like to use plex so i have a lot of movies and tv shows plus my own personal photos, 4k video from over the years etc.

I'm using SHR so i only have 1 HDD redundancy, i was using RAID 6 but ran out of space so i switched to SHR.


That got me looking at the 12 bay synology but i think i could build one for half the cost easy. I am the only one that uses it..... i actually shut down my NAS when i do not plan to use it.


I don't need 12 bays but i want future proof. A cheap AMD and a Cheap vid card to decode one 4k stream should be easy.

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