OK, two quick random things that have made my life much better just from discovery
- USB Copy Crashes. I've had full crashes on my Synology DS1812+ box which I've never seen before. The entire UI locks up, the machine is on, but doesn't respond to ssh and doesn't do anything. Finally tracked this down to USB Copy. I'm pretty sure that the old Drobo and DroboPro I'm using on good old USB 2.0 plugged in are the problem. They are very old (probably 8 years by now).
- Right now we are in the middle of uploading TB of data to backup so the tiny little 4GB Synology processors that are in the Synology 1812+ and 2413+ are just dying. And it still bothers me we are using SATA drives for all this storage...So on to...
Getting a new NAS to replaces the Drobos
- I do need a new NAS box, but while Synology is great, one thing @vlad has taught me is that your backups should be on different architectures so the bugs in a system don't kill you, so I've been using Synology, MacOS, and Drobo as the onsite storage systems, but now that I need to replace the Drobos its time to think of something new and the open source TrueNAS (fka FreeNAS) seems like a good choice. It is open source so you just need hardware to run with it.
- TrueNAS ixSystems and asigra. They make a rack mounted system called the R-Series that come in 1U, 2U and 4U and these are enterprise grade systems, so pretty pricy. And you actually have to talk with a sales rep to get a quote so definitely out of the prosumer range. But, the R20 is a 2U system with 12 3.5" bays and two 2.5" bays so good for hard disk plus SSD for machine. Asigra is the same way, so if you want it you need a demo. The R20 uses Intel Xeon so it is a beefy processor.
- Serve The Home madness for real IT professionals in data centers. This is a great focused site that is all about Servers and building big ones with some amazing ones like a 10 GPU, four 1.6kW Power supplies with 12 3.5" bays system for machine learning from Tyan that I really want but can't quite figure out why it needs to be in a home.
- TrueNAS Recommendations get a low-end Supermicro 4U with 36 drives (?!) chassis from eBay for $350 and build your own. I've been looking at the open-source NAS market and it makes sense to get a Supermicro chassis and then install ZFS. I had such a system running in my old job and it was great but hard to maintain, but now there are vendors who will build such a box and preinstall things. The cost is more than Synology, but it is pre-integrated but they are way more capable. So for the complete roll your own, you can buy a server from Supermicro as an example and build it. This is what I first did years ago when getting back into the technology game. It was quite a server machine with SAS drives etc. But they basically recommend for a 10+ disk system getting a Supermicro rackmount chassis although the ASRock Rack is decent although some models like the C2750D4I have had mass die-offs. Note that you do need ECC memory for the ZFS so this will make the prices a little higher. With just file serving a low-end Pentium can work. You also need a lot of RAM, the baseline is 1GB per TB of memory which is pretty crazy. 16GB is probably the home user sweet spot and you need 30W/HDD and get a Seasonic or other good brands like EVGA or Supermicro have their won. YOu really want SAS3 as it has better error correction. You should also probably get a mirrored SSD for booting but you only need about 120GB consumer SSD. And you may want to get a 10Gbe for future-proofing. You only need 5400 rpm drives as these will run cooler. You only need a SLOG SSD machine for lots of writes and L2ARC only makes sense if you have more than 64GB of RAM.
- TrueNAS Mini. If you want to get something pre-made for a small business or home that is not rack mounted, then iXSystems sells a couple of pretty expensive but pre-integrated systems all using the Atom processor. For mere mortals, a low end is the Mini E which is 4 bays for $849 plus the cost of the disks. If you are going the distance though, then the step up to the top-of-the-line Mini XL+ is $1600 (without disks), but it does have 32GB of memory, 8 3.25 drive bays, and an SSD bay plus dual 10Gbe Network which is pretty great. You can put it in your closet and attach it to a 10GBe network to future-proof it. The middle choice Mini X is 5 Drive bays plus 2 SSDs with Quad 1Gbe Networking for $1,149. I think if you are really going for it and not just getting a cheap Synology, then the Mini XL+ probably makes the most sense. With 20TB drives, we are talking about 160TB in a single chassis.
- Broadberry and other NAS appliances. There are other folks making NAS appliances based on FreeNAS which use "real hardware" so the prices start at $4K instead of $1.6K. These things are a real bump up, you move from SATA to SAS which increases drive reliability by 10x (they use better drives. For instance, the CyberStore 212S-NVMe as an example uses a dual CPU Xeon socket system with dual 10GBe drives running a Xeon Bronze 3204, dual mirrored boot drive which are $4K bare-bones, so a completely different class.
- Supermicro 2U Chassis for 2.5 disks or 3U Chassis full systems. A 36-drive system is crazy big for home, the 2U systems seem more reasonable with 16 drives. As an example, the SuperChassis 836BE1C-R1K23B is 3U with 16 hot-swap SAW, 1.2W power supply, and 7 slots. YOu still need to add the motherboard, CPU, memory, and drives of course. This is a big step up from the Mini Series
- If you do not want to do that, then there are some other makers