I’m looking for advice on how to get started with a NAS, probably Synology since it’s beginner friendly and often well recommended. I’m thinking of a 2 bay case with 2x4TB HDDs in RAID1 setup. What do I have to look out for in a device to get the best bang for my bucks?

My use case:

I have various documents, software projects, family pictures, videos that I want to store on something more reliable than a bunch of internal/external HDDs or USB sticks. I have a full *arr stack and jellyfin but I want to move these to my “server” laptop and docker once NAS is setup, and then host the files on it. For projects I might want to self-host gitea down the line.

Some more specific questions:

  1. if I go with a 2 bay NAS case, can i also connect my old external drive to it as a separate drive, can they handle USB3 drives? Will it require reformatting since it was used on windows so far?
  2. are there any issues with connecting docker drives volumes to a NAS?
  3. noise issues - does the NAS itself make a noticeable amount of noise or is it just the drives?
  4. whats the life expectancy of a NAS? if it dies, can I just plug the drives into a new one?
  5. does syncthing work well with a NAS or is there a better way of syncing local files to the NAS for backup?

Sorry for the question dump, just wanted to cover as many possible issues as possible 😅

  • @TheLordlessBard
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    43 months ago

    I didn’t see this mentioned so apologies if this is a duplicate, but keep in mind that for your *arr stack you will run into issues if you try to keep the config files on the NAS instead of stored locally to the server they run on. Radarr and Sonarr both use sqlite which does NOT like networked file storage due to the way it handles locking files. You can store the media that they handle on your new NAS just fine though!

    • @MahnaMahna
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      3 months ago

      Maybe this is an incredibly dumb question, but I was actually doing research on a very similar question to the OP and I still don’t really have a definitive answer.

      I currently have a series of docker containers running Plex and the full *arr setup on the Linux drive of my PC. Because I dual boot my machine, I want to migrate my server to a NAS so I don’t shut it down whenever I switch from Linux to Windows. I’m seeing that I could theoretically use a NAS just for the media storage and keep all the transcoding (ie all of the docker containers with sonarr, radarr etc) on the existing Linux drive. However, would the Plex container live on the NAS or the Linux drive? I’d assume the NAS…?

      • @TheLordlessBard
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        3 months ago

        Not a dumb question at all! It can take some time to really wrap your head around this stuff

        If you want Plex to be able to serve media all the time (even when your main PC is off or you’re switching between your Linux and Windows installs) then you’d have to run it on the NAS. You may be able to keep the *arr stack on your Linux drive if you don’t care about uptime, since these programs really only need to run when you need media files managed. That being said, you might find it more simple to manage if you migrate all your workloads to the NAS

        I currently have Plex running as an “app” on my TrueNAS SCALE NAS, which is just what they call containers/deployments. It runs very well, and I was even able to pass though a GPU for transcoding

        • @MahnaMahna
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          13 months ago

          Appreciate it! I’ll play around with the configuration and see what works. Initially I had a really fun (/s) time with permissions on folders that were accessed by multiple containers (could write to one folder but not read it with Plex, for example) so I’m going to phase it in incrementally, hopefully without breaking my current setup.

          • @TheLordlessBard
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            13 months ago

            I do the wrong thing and chmod 777 all my media folders. If someone is that far into my network I’m probably screwed anyways