What NAS option do I choose?

Hello folks,
Bought 3 hard drives Toshiba N300 4TB at a good price. Bought them as I had to spend my discount on Amazon and all.
Now, I have those drives waiting for a new home, a new enclosure.
I want a NAS to store my data ,and eventually have my media accesible.
I would like to have a solid redundancy and if the need arise, easily swap a hard drive or migrate the whole array .

I searched for the best NAS solution, hardware and software wise.
Hardware side, Synology or a refurbished HP Proliant Microserver gen 8, for its small footprint.
Software wise, between best RAID setup, or file system, BRTFS or ZFS , well this is where things are getting a bit confusing.

What is the best option:
1 Buy a Synology and be done with that
2 Buy a used server and install TrueCore (ECC RAM is what works best)
3 Buy a server and install Xpenlogy - this option sounds good, but I really avoid to fiddle with everything and rely on a single person developing/hacking the DSM bootloader
4 Buy normal hardware and install OMV
5 Neither the above, virtualize it inside Proxmox - I really like my NAS and firewall to be physical units, for various reasons.
So, what route should I move forward?

Based on what you want to do OMV fits, you could also buy any NAS and they will also do what you want but you pay extra for the extra features you won’t use.

There is something close to DSM backup software?
I like the ease of recovery and creating the bootable drive and restore a baremetal backup. That alone is very good for SOHO and practice.
TrueNAS is praised by Tom and others, and for good reasons.
I want them all, but for now I have to choose one.

Asking another thing.
Encryption - what NAS platform have it easy to set up and runs without issues?

If you are new to storage a Synology is a great way to go. The others work great, but it takes some experience and time to manage them.

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Thanks for all the input.
However, I think that the most pressing matter I realize being the file system
I mean that the NAS itself is good and all, but the difference is made with being able to offer a solid reliable backup - relative because we all know that in backup language, nothing is ever perfect.
So, seems that BTRFs and ZFS couls be my main candidates…
So, DSM offers BTRFs but not ZFS
OMV it is exprimental on both, not my cup of coffee
ZFS is TrueNAS native
What to choose?

A backup should not be dependent on a file system used on the NAS, but I can appreciate data reliability. What do you plan to use as a back up solution?

Why Not run Truenas from 2 X USB’s, with the 3 Disks, and then virtualise pfsense on the same hardware?

@FredFerrell – I appreciate this comment, however on the flip-side when choosing a backup solution, personally I think choice of file system is very important.

Can you give me some detail? I run NFS and iSCSI for VMs and NTFS for flat files myself. What would you run for backups and why would it matter the file system that the production data is running on?

@FredFerrel - It just depends if you want your backup file system to actually be part of your backup plan – like zfs with snapshots then zfs send/receive. Sure you can you do it other ways, however snapshotting and such is really easy.

I see what you mean. Here is my view on data. There are two ways we protect data, one through availability and the other via backups. High availability of data is usually done via replication such as between SANs or NAS appliances which is a solution for disaster recovery. Backup is a separate solution that follows the 3-2-1 rule, being three copies of the data (one prod, others backups) on two different medias and one of them offsite.

When I design backup solutions I want to make sure it doesn’t have any dependencies on the production storage systems so if I need to restore on a different technology, such as public cloud or different file system, I can do so.

Another good reason to have no dependencies is if your storage system gets compromised, your backups haven’t. It adds another layer that needs to be hacked to get control of your data.

Now I mainly deal with enterprise environments with millions of dollars of budget, but by leveraging public cloud, SOHO environments can reach the same objectives pretty inexpensively.

I love to test and mess around with different methods and software, but when it came to my personal data I just went with the one and done Synology. Its been up and running for years, just now looking at updating with more horsepower. I have the DS920+ sitting in my amazon cart just waiting.

TrueNAS Core and ZFS are your best bets tried and proven. BTRFS is lacking all the features of ZFS and is just not as proven reliable as ZFS. Build or buy hardware, just make sure components are on the supported list. Here is what you can do with TrueNAS Core https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ophrR-fXmPc

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I run Synology for my biz clients. Why? It’s easy. FreeNAS has it’s random quirks, etc. Synology has great support and just works. ButterFS (BTRFS) is not bad. But like anything (even freenas) you shouldn’t just be relying on your NAS for the end all be all, things degrade and break. Always have a 3-2-1 plan in place.

I am not biased. I have had a synology deployed for over a year now. Not a single issue. Of course I do custom reporting on the MDADM stats daily and the once per week off-site to wasabi. No hiccups. EVER.

Thanks for all replies, I learned a lot reading each response.
Yes, I will gradually get to the 3-2-1 back up plan, and will start by getting a Synology and a HP Proliant ML for Proxmox and VM stuff.
And ZFS sound very good, altough I want to try also btrFS dor myself…just to have apersonal insight.
Thanks again,

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I recall hearing something about bitrot on these NASs, I believe synology has something that reports against this however I’m not sure if it’s machine or OS dependent, might be worth looking up if you make a purchase.

Found it https://www.synology.com/en-global/dsm/Btrfs, if you use at least RAID1 then BTRFS can detect bitrot.


Bitrot is one of the reasons i use ZFS and Now TrueNAS Core tried and true. When failure is not an option. Yes one can do stupid things with any system but when something woks as well as ZFS I’ll stick with it. The scrubs on ZFS are a preventative and have not had any such issues.

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