Pay for Synology or use xpenology?


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Hi there guys,

 

I've been trying to understand the whole NAS thing etc, etc. Very vast and confusing! Please help. I decided on Synology but it's really expensive!

 

I don't know much about xpenoligy at all.

 

Question:

Should i buy Synology 920 with 4 bays it should i go with another brand that is cheaper that has 5 or 6 bays and install xpenology? (And if it's an alternative which do you recommend?)

 

i'd ideally like 5 bays NAS (or 6). i like the sound of synology - simplicity, it handles everything, DSM sounds the dogs doodars. Problem - The price!

i can only afford the 4 bay 920, although i'd like the 5 bay. i could afford a qnap or terramaster 5 bay and still have change. i could install xpenology right?

whats the deal with that? it is the FULL synology OS and apps right? i can install all 3rd party apps, use docker, update to future version without problems or lots of geeky coding crap right?

I AM A TOTAL NOOB and trying to figure this all out.

is it much hassle putting xpenology on? is it as stable as using synology NAS? any other problems I don't know about/thought to ask?

 

If I have to go for 920 in the end (depending on the answers for the above) I have 3x 8tb hdds. I will buy a 4th. i want SHR, BTRFS (or EXT4 - which one is best/best for my situation?)

can I sintall the 4th clean drive and set up as SHR on its own? then move 3rd drive data to it, add 3rd drive (reformatted)?

apply same principle to the 1st and 2nd drive with data on so that I get all my data onto the 4 drives setup as SHR WITHOUT any data loss?

 

Thank you,

 

Ste

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16 hours ago, steveyg777 said:

update to future version without problems or lots of geeky coding crap right?

thats a big fat NO, updates usually is a "it depends" and for now dsm 6.2.3 update3 is the last version you can install (6.2.4 and 7.0 beta do not work with the current loader and there is no sign for a new loader), accidental update can be a lot more trouble then you can handle (or might willing to handle)

 

if some command line for linux and bios settings are "geeky" then i'd suggest a original unit from synology or qnap, in most cases a 4 drive unit with 2-3 big enough disks should do it (there are 16TB disks available)

 

i'd also suggest just reading the synology faq/knowledge base, they have good information and schematics about things like SHR or raid in general

 

not sure if it has to be synology - qnap has also reliable hardware and nice looking easy to handle gui with plugins/packages

if you just want to USE a nas and don't want to learn about linux, hardware and the inner workings of a nas then imho you are batter off using a original unit

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@Steveyg777: if you're update freak then you should go with Synology and actually you always may consider some older models .
As from observations, Synology supports their devices with DSM updates for 6-7 years, so even with models from 2017-2018 you would have better guarantee of future updates then with Xpenology. 
With Synology you also have easy access to your NAS with Quick Connect which is not supported on Xpenology and on Xpenology you have to use DDNS or Virtual LAN (like ZerotierOne).
Sometimes also you may experience hardware compatibility issues, installation issues etc. 
To avoid that you have to spend time studying forum, tutorials, installation reports etc.
When you decide what hardware to use, only easy part left - prepare loader (which takes maybe 15-30minutes) and set up your Xpenology NAS the same way as you would do with Synology. 
Xpenology also has it's benefits - you can use better hardware then any genuine Synology device, you can use very cheap old PCs (I spent 50 quid for my HP Gen7 Microserver) and install pretty new DSM.
So it's not so pointless to use Xpenology, but building it isn't for everyone. You must want to learn some knowledge, and decide to live with some weaknesses of it.

In terms of usage and maintenance and rescuing data there is no real difference. Just to remember to not update DSM without checking if it's save and how to do it. 
So actually Xpenology if installed by someone who know the rules can be administrated by anyone with just that simple rule - to not do firmware update.
Everything else is normal - packages updates, management etc. 

Maybe I'm writing a bit chaotic way - sorry ;) I'm  getting old. 

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@Steveyg777: if you're update freak then you should go with Synology and actually you always may consider some older models .
As from observations, Synology supports their devices with DSM updates for 6-7 years, so even with models from 2017-2018 you would have better guarantee of future updates then with Xpenology. 
With Synology you also have easy access to your NAS with Quick Connect which is not supported on Xpenology and on Xpenology you have to use DDNS or Virtual LAN (like ZerotierOne).
Sometimes also you may experience hardware compatibility issues, installation issues etc. 
To avoid that you have to spend time studying forum, tutorials, installation reports etc.
When you decide what hardware to use, only easy part left - prepare loader (which takes maybe 15-30minutes) and set up your Xpenology NAS the same way as you would do with Synology. 
Xpenology also has it's benefits - you can use better hardware then any genuine Synology device, you can use very cheap old PCs (I spent 50 quid for my HP Gen7 Microserver) and install pretty new DSM.
So it's not so pointless to use Xpenology, but building it isn't for everyone. You must want to learn some knowledge, and decide to live with some weaknesses of it.

In terms of usage and maintenance and rescuing data there is no real difference. Just to remember to not update DSM without checking if it's save and how to do it. 
So actually Xpenology if installed by someone who know the rules can be administrated by anyone with just that simple rule - to not do firmware update.
Everything else is normal - packages updates, management etc. 

Maybe I'm writing a bit chaotic way - sorry I'm  getting old. 
Thank you so much to both of you. Tbh i found this forum a bit confusing in terms of its organisation and had also got to the point where i just want a freaking nas instead of reading lots more stuff. Good to know the experience with xpenology. If there was some kind of usb image to just install all of this in one go then if be tempted to use it on some kind of pc us build (i can build ocs but can't be bothered to learn a ton of new stuff and don't have the time at all).

What drew me to Synology was the fact it has a lot of apps written for it (third party), seems stable and especially the dsm part of it because i was getting the idea of be best off to use the shr with btrfs or ext4.

Shr is only for Synology right?
Did qnap have a similar thing to shr?
Is shr really all that or is there an alternative setup that is just as stable, easy, self healing, etc that i could use?

I was thinking it needed to be Synology or at the least qnap. Is this a good idea? -if like the apps availability and stability for my nas and especially filesystem from a brand.

I've seen bad reviews for terramasters, a shame cos it provides more bays for cheaper but the os let's it down.

Sent from my SM-G975F using Tapatalk

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6 minutes ago, steveyg777 said:

Shr is only for Synology right?

yes and NO

its a combination a two standard tools in linux, mdadm and lvm2 (and the file systems ability to "grow")

any linux should be able to read a SHR volume, the special of synology is automatically creating and extending things without the user having any trouble or even seeing how its working (but it needs some basic understanding of the matter - your example with 3 x 8TB and adding a fourth disk in a 4 disk units will not work as the added bigger disk part over 8TB will not have redundancy and would not be used in a SHR, only if one the three 8TB disks is also replaced with a bigger disk you would be able to user the additional space because there would be space of two disks above 8TB and that would be a raid1 - i'd suggest reading synology's article about SHR as intro)

 

it would be possible to do all this (creation and extending of SHR volumes) manually, but it would need some knowledge about the tools used

the clever scripting and using the ability's of linux is what makes it SHR

if something goes wrong such volumes more difficult to recover, nothing serious for professionals but can be a challenge for 1st timer's

but in a well organized nas world there is also a backup, resulting in no or very little need for recovery of broken volumes

especially when usig old and unreliable hardware there is a higher chance of things going south, there is a reason why server hardware is of higher quality (and the nas is a server), using desktop hardware can be a risk, if its worth the money is on the user to decide (some go with ecc ram, some use more proven controller, ...)

 

11 minutes ago, steveyg777 said:

Did qnap have a similar thing to shr?

no, seems no other nas company is pursuing this

also synology disabled this feature in the business hardware running dsm

 

32 minutes ago, steveyg777 said:

if like the apps availability and stability for my nas and especially filesystem from a brand.

look for docker support, that way the "extension" in question depends not on the brand as it's seen with synology or qnap specific packats

 

maybe look into open media vault as alternative, way more open and might be easier to handle

dsm is a closed source appliance and has some problems because of this (and its hacked so from time to time synology "act's", usually with new major versions)

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look for docker support, that way the "extension" in question depends not on the brand as it's seen with synology or qnap specific packats
 
maybe look into open media vault as alternative, way more open and might be easier to handle
dsm is a closed source appliance and has some problems because of this (and its hacked so from time to time synology "act's", usually with new major versions)
Thanks. Ok. I didn't actually understand what you meant about my situation with my 3x 8tb hard disks. Are you suggesting that i could only add a fourth dish if it was a larger disk (not a disk with the same size capacity again = 8tb on fourth disk)?

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SHR is for Synology Hybrid Raid, so yes it's only for Synology (and Xpenology of course). 
I don't know anything about QNAP - my suggestion is to google it.
SHR is nothing about stability or self healing. SHR lets to use full disks capacity for different size disks. If you have all disks of the same capacity SHR is pointless.
Synology or QNAP? Qnap has it's features as well - for sure you can install additional software as well (Entware?).
Biggest benefit of DSM (Synology/Xpenology) is number of android/ios apps to access data remotely. Everything else can be achieved on any PC setup with Open Media Vault.

And one more word about Xpenology - studying forum is needed only to find hardware that you could use + information how to prepare USB stick with bootloader.

Edited by amikot
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On 4/7/2021 at 8:13 AM, bearcat said:

Some people *claims* that this can be done with Unraid.

that usually is about using a hypervisor and virtual hardware, kind of levels the field for hardware selection but (as you use a kind of standard hardware in the vm) also adds new complexities as you still need to configure the vm (kvm if its unraid?) und still need to run dsm and can have lots of fun with updates, also unraid is a nas distro of its own, kind of weird to use it as base for a nas vm, proxmox seems to be more often used

in the end you trade one problem for another and still need knowhow and time

there are lots of questions from people with esxi and kvm (like proxmox) too so it might not be that much easier

if one already has knowledge about the hypervisor used it can shave of time and spare problems but for a usual non-it 1st timer it might be easier to digest the problems with the usb loader on baremetal (maybe 2-3 youtube videos help) and go with that, if there are no long term benefits from hypervisor it adds complexity as you would need to update backup (and do documentation) about the hypervisor and dsm

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On 4/8/2021 at 6:57 PM, IG-88 said:

also unraid is a nas distro of its own, kind of weird to use it as base for a nas vm

 

Well, the "idea" is not to use it as a base for a nas VM, but use it as the NAS, 

OS running from USB, as a payable alternative to Synology, supported on "any" type of hardware,

with the option to add "any" Windows/Linux based x86 apps, and as a VM host if you want/need to run VM's.

 

disclaimer: I have only read the BIG letters, never used it myself ;-)

And I know many "Plexaholics" swear to it.

 

 

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On 4/10/2021 at 2:45 PM, bearcat said:

 

Well, the "idea" is not to use it as a base for a nas VM, but use it as the NAS, 

OS running from USB, as a payable alternative to Synology, supported on "any" type of hardware,

with the option to add "any" Windows/Linux based x86 apps, and as a VM host if you want/need to run VM's.

 

disclaimer: I have only read the BIG letters, never used it myself ;-)

And I know many "Plexaholics" swear to it.

 

 

Because unraid has super easy expansion on account of non-striped parity. Can mix and match disks that are the same size, or smaller than your parity disks. Don't need to do any juggling on account of the preclear operation

I've read that is is slow though. IIRC data isn't striped either, so you're more or less limited to single drive speeds. BUT for a plex server, you don't need blazing fast speeds. It's just a couple mb/s sequential reads.

Also of note... Because neither data nor parity are striped, if you lose a disk beyond your fault tolerance, you lose only what was on that disk. Not the whole array

Edited by SnowDrifter
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