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Why do you use XPEnology?


A general question to the folks here, why are you using XPEnology over similar solutions?  I'll talk about my own use case first, I have a moderately beefy CPU (i3-6100T) on an Intel C236 chipset, 8GB of ECC RAM and 5 6TB drives.  I'd like to turn that into a reliable (preferably using as modern, copy-on-write filesystem) file server - right now I'm less interested in media streaming or VMs.


  • Why not just get a Synology?  Good question.  I already spent all this money on my hardware, and I don't think Synology's boxes are particularly powerful from a hardware point of view...
  • FreeNAS?  That was my original plan.  But ZFS, while an awesome filesystem in an enterprise scenario, just isn't flexible enough for home users (I'm sure you all know that you can't just add drives to a ZFS array).
  • OpenMediaVault?  This was the second NAS OS I tested.  It is (as the name suggests) open, well organized, and very flexible.  It runs on top of regular Debian so it's easy to drop into a Linux shell and run commands from there.  Unfortunately, I found I needed to do that a lot more than anticipated.  OMV was a little too "fiddly" for me...
    OMV has a good ZFS plugin, but BTRFS isn't as well supported.  It does offer SnapRAID though, which you can think of as non-realtime parity.
  • unRAID is what I checked out next (and decided to buy).  I was blown away by its slickness and user friendliness.  Everything just....works.  Enterprise sysadmins might turn up their noses at it, but it provides most of what I need - up to two parity drives give plenty of redundancy.  What's more, if the worst comes to the worst, I can still take out any functioning drives and read them individually.
    unRAID doesn't have built-in bitrot protection unfortunately, although you can use either a file integrity plugin or a BTRFS scrub to at least be warned about checksum mismatches.
  • Rockstor is a BTRFS-only NAS OS.  Looks good on paper, but development seems to have pretty much stopped, and the constant upsell attempts are annoying too.
  • So, finally - why XPEnology?  I am obviously concerned about the long-term viability of such a "hacky" environment.  But DSM is just so simple and powerful. 😍  I love that I can make automated, cyclical BTRFS snapshots of my files... I don't think any other comparable system offers this!


So, that's me.  Would love to hear your viewpoints on what I may have missed, and on why YOU are using XPEnology (and what for).



Edited by Vileserver
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