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Home NAS Switching from Windows to TrueNAS

I recently built a budget home NAS with an old PC case and two old HDDs to handle pictures and PC backups that I am considering expanding to include digital media.  

 

If I wanted to adopt a system like TrueNAS, will I need to abandon the Windows interface I am currently using or does TrueNAS run within Windows? 

 

Alternatively, is there a server solution within Windows that would make more sense as I have already set up the NAS to run with Windows. I currently have 1TB in RAID 1 storage and am going to be upgrading to 16TB in RAID 1 (16TB x 2) 

 

Thank you in advance!

 

My specs: 

CPU: Intel Core i5-11400 2.6 GHz 6-Core Processor

Mobo: MSI H510M-A PRO Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard

RAM: G.Skill F4-3000C16D-16GISB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory

Boot Drive: Inland 256GB NVME PREM 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive

 

 

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TrueNas is its own operating system and would indeed replace your Windows completely. As TrueNAS has support for SMB/NFS and other protocols you can still connect to it remotely for files as-if it were a Windows box..but the interface is a web interface for setting it up and such. 

Because its based on Linux, you cannot install any windows applications, but it does serve files really well and even includes a HyperVisor in case you want to run a VM (Windows/Linux) on top of it as well..  

 

Windows (Server) itself can be a fully fledged file-server with shares, permissions, deduplication, compression and encryption.. as its windows it has several roles it can fulfill - Within Windows Server 2022 there have been many improvements on Storage Spaces in terms of performance - so that would give you the security and integrity on files you need - be sure to read on Storage Spaces before you implement as its configuration is not as simple as TrueNAS - although the wizard might let you think it is..  

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5 hours ago, FancyScrubs said:

I recently built a budget home NAS with an old PC case and two old HDDs to handle pictures and PC backups that I am considering expanding to include digital media.  

 

If I wanted to adopt a system like TrueNAS, will I need to abandon the Windows interface I am currently using or does TrueNAS run within Windows? 

 

Alternatively, is there a server solution within Windows that would make more sense as I have already set up the NAS to run with Windows. I currently have 1TB in RAID 1 storage and am going to be upgrading to 16TB in RAID 1 (16TB x 2) 

 

Thank you in advance!

 

My specs: 

CPU: Intel Core i5-11400 2.6 GHz 6-Core Processor

Mobo: MSI H510M-A PRO Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard

RAM: G.Skill F4-3000C16D-16GISB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory

Boot Drive: Inland 256GB NVME PREM 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive

 

 

To clarify with what you mean by within windows, are you running a dedicated NAS, or using a windows desktop computer as your daily driver and a NAS?

 

Either way, as RZomerman mentioned, Truenas is it's own OS and file system, and you'd usually install it on bare metal (though you could run it in a VM, but I don't suggest it). To a windows computer connected to the Truenas file share, the Truenas box would just look like any other network drive, so no change there. However, you would have to manage the Truenas box through the Truenas web interface, and not through a Windows interface. 

 

Another note: there are currently two versions of Truenas out there:

  • Truenas core, which is built on the freeBSD OS (a linux llike OS)
  • Truenas scale, which is built on linux

Which one you should use depends on your use case, but since it sounds like you are mostly performing standard NAS tasks, I'd stick with Truenas Core

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6 hours ago, FancyScrubs said:

I recently built a budget home NAS with an old PC case and two old HDDs to handle pictures and PC backups that I am considering expanding to include digital media.  

 

If I wanted to adopt a system like TrueNAS, will I need to abandon the Windows interface I am currently using or does TrueNAS run within Windows? 

 

Alternatively, is there a server solution within Windows that would make more sense as I have already set up the NAS to run with Windows. I currently have 1TB in RAID 1 storage and am going to be upgrading to 16TB in RAID 1 (16TB x 2) 

 

Thank you in advance!

 

My specs: 

CPU: Intel Core i5-11400 2.6 GHz 6-Core Processor

Mobo: MSI H510M-A PRO Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard

RAM: G.Skill F4-3000C16D-16GISB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory

Boot Drive: Inland 256GB NVME PREM 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive

 

 

If your use case is very few drives, while I love truenas and ZFS, it may not be the best fit for you. ZFS excels at having lots of drives in a RAID Z array, and will go to insane lengths to keep your data secure and free or corruption. That said, you can certainly use it with a simple RAID 1 type setup. It just typically is more at home with many drives in a much more “involved” setup seeing as adding storage to a RAID Z pool is not so simple; you more or less want to start with as much storage as you will ever need as adding additional vdevs is expensive (each needs its own parity drives) and you can’t just add a drive to an existing vdev. 
 

ZFS is fantastic, but as long as you understand the “limitations”, it would be a great choice. Just… do your research first so you understand all the ins and outs. If you don’t know what some of the terms I used mean, google them, and search them on the truenas forums - they are an abundance of information. 
 

I am a VERY happy truenas and ZFS user, I just want to make sure you fully understand it before you go down a path that is hard to alter from. I’d also look into unraid (another NAS operating system that is much more friendly to “chucking in whatever drives you have and it will figure it out” just so you can have an understanding of the most common alternative. 

Rig: i7 10700k @ 5.1Ghz, 4.8 Ring - - Z490 Vision G - - EVGA RTX 2080 XC Ultra @ 2025Mhz - - 4x8GB Vengeance Pro 3000Mhz 15-17-17-34 @ 3500MHz 16-19-19-38 - - Samsung 950 Pro 512 NVMe Boot + Main Programs - - Samsung 830 Pro 256 RAID 0 Lightroom + Photo work - - WD Blue 1 TB SSD for Games - - Corsair RM850x - - Sound BlasterX EA-5 - - EK Supremacy Evo - - XT45 X-Flow 420 + UT60 280 rads - - EK Full Cover GPU Block - - EK XRES RGB PWM - - Fractal Define S2 - - Acer Predator X34 -- Logitech G502 - - Logitech G710+ - - Logitech Z5500 - - LTT Deskpad

 

Headphones/amp/dac: Schiit Lyr 3 - - Fostex TR-X00 - - Sennheiser HD 6xx

 

Homelab/ Media Server: Proxmox VE host - - 512 NVMe Samsung 980 for VM's/Proxmox boot - - Xeon e5 2660 V4- - Supermicro X10SRF-i - - 64 GB ECC 2133 - - 10x4 TB WD Red RAID Z2 - - 10TB WD Red for expendable data - - Corsair 750D - - Corsair RM650i - - Dell H310 6Gbps SAS HBA - - Intel RES2SC240 SAS Expander - - TreuNAS + many other VM’s

 

iPhone Xs - 2018 MacBook Air

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Thank you all for your input!
 

I do have limited drive space and it’s sounding like TrueNAS may be more than I need at the moment.

 

With my current system setup just using Windows as an OS for my drives it sounds like Windows Server would suit my needs best. 
 

Thank you again!

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