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gmoniey

Limitations of Xplenology?

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Apologies if this has been asked before, but I didn't find much on this question in this forum, and google mostly has how-tos.

 

I have an old DS-211j device that needs and upgrade and I'm thinking about getting an HP Microserver (which one is a separate issue...I'm a hardware noob, so would love help in that area as well) and running Xplenology on it. My main question is if there are any limitations or gotchas of running Xplenogy? Does everything work as it would on an actual synology device (including surveillance station), etc? Or are there known issues?

 

So far the main issues that I've read about are a) lack of official support and b) you don't have immediate access to the latest version. Both of which I'm ok with.

 

Thanks!

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this thread is a good starting point for the HP Microserver setup.

 

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6

 

my personal experience of XPE/DSM (on several bare metal installs) is that it works 'the same' as a real Syno box (I have DS1812 and DS411s so can compare), the quirks are those that you already know, ie new boot loaders may be needed to upgrade, some features may 'break' after an upgrade if there is a bug in the conversion work the Gurus do to build the loader etc.

 

But remember that XPE is a 'hobby' project so if you intend to use it as your 'production' device then its all at your own risk, both losing data and functions. My thoughts would be, if you run 'production' on XPE/DSM then use your old DS211 as a backup target to keep a copy of your data.

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or just make it simple....if you don't always need/want to update to the "latest" syno-version it's reliable and stable...i'm still on 5.1 and it works as expected.. with the right hardware i easily burn my DS-1812+...1gbit network speed can be soo slow...:wink:

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Thanks @snoopy78

 

That was gonna be my follow up question, if I have a stable version, and don't need to always be on bleeding edge, then most of the risks are mitigated, right?

 

Also, if I use standard raid to setup my NAS, can I switch between Xplenology and say FreeNAS down the road? Assuming that I boot off a USB?

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i don't know if it's possible to boot off from a normal linux and access the raid..

 

i know for sure they use an LVM...(3rd post... viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4985)

this is the reason why my volumes contains max. 4 disks.. my backup system is a HP ML310 with an installed xpe, so in case my main system crashed i can try to access data via recovery system...

 

also yes...if you use standard NAS functions and don't update the XPE and Syno you can be quite stable...so for me i have 3 +1 systems...

 

1x main system (bare metal, 16 bay, xeon cpu, 8gb ram, 10G nic, LSI 9201-16i HBA) running on 5.1

1x "toy" system (bare metal, 15 bay, xeon e3 cpu, 32gb ram, 10G nic, LSI 9300-16i HBA) running on 5.2 (with mpt3sas insmod)

1x recovery system (bare metal, 4+1bay, HPML310, 10G Nic)

1x original backup system DS-1812+

 

in all my years i'm using this software (started with trantor's build) i never had a real issue (except the LSI FW ones)...and since i do have a "real" backup of my data there is limitted risk...but still...it's all home use..and not a production network

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If your data is 'that valuable' then either;

 

run it on a stable/supported hardware platform (ie a real synology box)

 

or

 

have two bare metal XPE/DSM units, keep your master copy on one and use the other as a backup target

 

In my situation I use my DS1812+ for the majority of my 'critical' data, and I back it up to an XPE based 'jbod' units. However I do have critical data on another XPE unit, but that gets backed up to the jbod too. What I find XPE great for is to build a jukebox with loads of old spare HDDs, and use Synoraid to get useful total storage space from them. I'm similar to snoopy, I've got three bare metal 12 hdd systems as master/jbods etc and a toy system with some old drives that gets used to test upgrades etc.

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Apologies if this has been asked before, but I didn't find much on this question in this forum, and google mostly has how-tos.

 

I have an old DS-211j device that needs and upgrade and I'm thinking about getting an HP Microserver (which one is a separate issue...I'm a hardware noob, so would love help in that area as well) and running Xplenology on it. My main question is if there are any limitations or gotchas of running Xplenogy? Does everything work as it would on an actual synology device (including surveillance station), etc? Or are there known issues?

 

So far the main issues that I've read about are a) lack of official support and b) you don't have immediate access to the latest version. Both of which I'm ok with.

 

Thanks!

 

Most of what you would do on a genuine Synology product works on an Xpenology. What you need to keep in mind is that you might have to get your hands dirty once in a while if things don't work for one reason or another, because, you said it: 1) there is no official support (yet there is this community), 2) some hardware you might want to throw in the mix will not be recognised simply because DSM is designed to work with the very specific hardware that Synology sells.

 

This being said, It has worked for me without any major issues. Here is just the 2 issues (from my very personal experience) you might have:

 

- Quickconnect: this is an online service and it can only work if you have a valid/genuine MAC/Serial pair. Not a big deal though.

- Built in Wifi cards: they might not be recognised depending on the hardware, but I believe the dev team is working on including wifi drivers soon. I have the GA-H97N WIFI mobo. This is as stated above applicable to basically all the hardware you might want to use now or down the road. So it's always good to first have a look at the forum see if other people have used a specific hardware before buying it.

 

That's basically it. All in all, if I have bought a genuine 3615XS it would have cost me WAY more for basically little in return compared to my bare metal setup. On top of it I have the possibility to upgrade the hardware or even repurpose the server into something else if need be.

 

Last but not least, and I think it will never be said enough in this forum: DO NOT USE Xpenology on a production unit. As much as it is stable if you take basic precautions, Xpenology is only meant for home and non essential usage and mostly geeking around.

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