Joe Bethersonton

Upgrade from DS411+II to XPEnology

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I have a DS411+II that is starting to feel old, and I'm considering going the XPEnology way.

 

Long story short - A disk in my current Synology is dying, and the new one I'm looking at is not officially compatible. The NAS is also quite slow, and the CPU fan is dead. It is ready for a replacement.

I have been looking at the DS418play, when I stumbled upon XPEnology.

 

What I want from my NAS is:

- Room for at least four drives. (SHR or similar)

- The option to use Emby (or Plex)

- Play my movies (mostly 720p mkv) on my Apple TV 4K.

- Run a few third party applications on the NAS.

- Low-ish power consumption.

- It should be stable. I don't want a NAS, where I have to  reinstall the OS every other week or month..

 

My current Synology doesn't have enough power to handle Emby and transcode the movies for the Apple TV 4K. I believe the DS418play is able to do that, as it has hardware decoding. But according to Synology it only supports transcoding to 1080p. In the future I might start playing 4K content. I am not sure if it is a software issue, or a lack of ressources in the Synology hardware.

 

Could XPEnology solve my problems?

Is it stable enough for everyday use?

Can it transcode 4K, provided that the hardware is powerful enough?

 

I have a old Dell OptiPlex USFF with a i3 3rd gen that I just played around with. It was fairly easy getting DSM6.1.4 running, but I can't get DSM 6.2 working. When I boot on the USB, it doesn't get an IP from the DHCP server. Is that a common problem?

 

Just to make it clear, if I were to go the XPEnology way, I would get some new hardware - except the drives. I would try to migrate them from my current NAS.

 

What kind of hardware is needed for what I'm mentioning?

Is a i3 with onboard graphics enough, or do I need a i5 or perhaps one of the smaller Xeon CPUs with a dedicated graphics card?

 

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On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 3:06 PM, Joe Bethersonton said:

What I want from my NAS is:

- Room for at least four drives. (SHR or similar)

- The option to use Emby (or Plex)

- Play my movies (mostly 720p mkv) on my Apple TV 4K.

- Run a few third party applications on the NAS.

- Low-ish power consumption.

- It should be stable. I don't want a NAS, where I have to  reinstall the OS every other week or month..

Can it transcode 4K, provided that the hardware is powerful enough? 

 

I have a old Dell OptiPlex USFF with a i3 3rd gen that I just played around with. It was fairly easy getting DSM6.1.4 running, but I can't get DSM 6.2 working. When I boot on the USB, it doesn't get an IP from the DHCP server. Is that a common problem?

 

Proposed Hardware:
Gigabyte B360M D3H (Intel NIC, 6 SATA)
Intel Core I5 8400 (6-core Coffee Lake)
G.Skill Aegis DDR4 2666MHz 8GB
Silverstone SFX SST-ST45SF-G 450W PSU

 

Your proposed hardware is very powerful.  Of note is the 6C/6T processor - DSM maxes out at 8 threads total.  An i5-8600 would be partially unused, so you have the right chip. Support of 6.x through 6.1.7 is broadly compatible with a lot of different hardware, partially due to add-on "extra.lzma" hacks provided by the community.  6.2 is less compatible but your vanilla Intel chip, chipset and NIC are going to work well.  6.2.1 (as you may have surmised) presently requires an Intel NIC (edit: 1.04b addresses the Intel NIC limitation).  There are platforms that use less power, but Coffee Lake idles fairly well (my i7-8700 idles at about 20W).

 

Your platform will easily run Plex as a docker app or DSM native, and be able to transcode H.264 in software at 4K.  Hardware transcoding must be supported by both the DSM platform (916+/918+) and the application (Plex/Emby/Video Station), so it vastly narrows your choices for hardware.  My personal opinion is that it really isn't worth the trouble, which is fine on your proposed hardware as long as you aren't running more than one or two transcoding streams simultaneously.

 

Regarding stability - once set up, XPenology is DSM which is just open-source software (Linux and utilities) with scripted functions - a very stable platform.  People mostly get into trouble because they allow DSM to auto-update itself (or initiate an update themselves) without adequate testing.  Each, and every update needs to be tested.  If you don't maintain an environment to test on your own, you should at a minimum follow the update version threads on this forum, and verify that a configuration very close to yours installed successfully before attempting it.

 

Regarding the "old Dell OptiPlex USFF" that you say runs 6.1.x and not 6.2.  Assuming you are choosing and installing the correct loader properly, there are two main reasons it would fail to work:

 

  1. You are trying to run the 918+ platform on a pre-Haswell CPU
  2. You are trying to run 6.2.1 DSM (any platform) on loaders prior to 1.04b but the system does not have an Intel NIC

 

Folks are currently having a lot of difficulty navigating some of the 6.2 pitfalls.  I put together this, which should help you evaluate your options.

 

Edited by flyride
updated attachment

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@flyride

Thank you for the very good answer above.

I haven't purchased any hardware just yet, as I am still looking for a case that fits in my IKEA Kallax shelf unit.

 

Regarding the motherboard, is there anything else than the chipset and NIC that I should be aware of?

I'm considering switching to mITX, and found the Asrock H370M-ITX/ac, which has the Intel H360 chipset, dual Intel gigabit NIC and 6 sata ports. Would that be suitable for a XPEnology build?

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25 minutes ago, Joe Bethersonton said:

@flyride

I haven't purchased any hardware just yet, as I am still looking for a case that fits in my IKEA Kallax shelf unit.

 

Regarding the motherboard, is there anything else than the chipset and NIC that I should be aware of?

I'm considering switching to mITX, and found the Asrock H370M-ITX/ac, which has the Intel H360 chipset, dual Intel gigabit NIC and 6 sata ports. Would that be suitable for a XPEnology build?

 

You're proposing Intel, so LAN and disk controller are the two key items.  H370 and B360 are basically the same thing from a driver standpoint, so you should be fine.

For cases, I'm using the U-NAS units, both the NSC-401(mITX) and the NSC-810 (mATX).  They are a royal pain to install but the results are worth it.

 

Edited by flyride

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