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#1 Kingbradley6  Icon User is offline

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NAS vs Home Server?

Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:46 AM

Hello,

I've tried to find the answer on Google but can't really find anything specific that is in layman terms (if I see the word RAID again.... :wacko: )

I'm trying to find out the practical differences (and similarities) between using NAS box or a home server (e.g. Windows Home Server) to centrally store and access files and media.

I was thinking of...

  • Something that can always be there to store files so for instance when you upgrade PC you don't have to worry about copying all your music and photos back as they are already stored.
  • Something that all the computers in the house can connect to.
  • Something that can be accessed remotely so you can use any file with a computer regardless of if you are in your home network or not.
  • Potentially could be connected to other devices such as a TV or PS3 although this isn't essential.


The items I have been viewing which all seem to do the same but I don't know which is best...(some links are to British websites as I live in London)

http://www.currys.co...113245-pdt.html

http://www.currys.co...530960-pdt.html

http://windows.micro...ows-home-server

http://www.amahi.org/

If you could provide some information on which is best plus if you could explain how each work that would be very helpful as I like to understand how things work :)

Cheers and sorry if this is not the correct forum! :balloon:

This post has been edited by Kingbradley6: 13 March 2012 - 01:17 PM


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Replies To: NAS vs Home Server?

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: NAS vs Home Server?

Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

The biggest difference is one is more robust than the other. A server can be updated, patched, add antivirus to it, and so forth to increase security where a nas has to rely on what was in stalled. Also a server tends to be in a box that is expandable. A server also can offer services (streaming and etc) that a NAS can't due to the platform.

From what you are asking - they are, for all intent, the same thing.

- holds files: both.
- network connected: both.
- remote access: both.
- connect to tv/ps3 - they would typically connect to the device.. but that's tricky for either.

oh.. and RAID.
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#3 Kingbradley6  Icon User is offline

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Re: NAS vs Home Server?

Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:25 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 13 March 2012 - 05:57 PM, said:

*


More robust - but does that entail a lot more maintenance? Also for Windows Home Server when you buy a computer does it have to come with WHS or can you connect, for example, a Windows 7 PC to WHS? I'm really novice at this as I'm sure you can tell :blush:.

Eek RAID! :crazy: :death: :nono:
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: NAS vs Home Server?

Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:35 PM

Quote

More robust - but does that entail a lot more maintenance?

Well you have to keep up on the updates and junk.

It would be preferable if you picked up a specific server OS but honestly anything would do.. just more or less tweaking as it goes.

If you have any computer bits around - slap them together and use "FreeNAS" to make a box on the quick.
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#5 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: NAS vs Home Server?

Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:50 AM

I'd look into Windows Home Server if I were you.

NAS's are fine and dandy, but you'll notice a lot of them now a days are starting to stick all kinds of new features into them that aren't necessarily something a NAS was designed to do. Like it's a NAS +extras. Essentially adding in server features into what is supposed to be a network storage device.

This is happening because traditionally servers need more resources than a NAS. A NAS could be built on a small kernel and run on smaller specs. This also equated to lower power use as well. But hardware has been getting so cheap now, and processors are becoming less energy/power hungry. So stepping up the power in a NAS and expanding to make the machine more like a server isn't that hard.

So essentially home NAS's have just started to turn into linux servers that call themselves a 'NAS' and restrict your access to the actual linux OS underneath. If you're going to go with a machine with the hardware equatable to a home server, and essentially acts like a server underneath, why not just GET A HOME SERVER.

As for WHS, I suggest it for a few reasons.

See I recently got my hands on an OEM copy of the 2011 version to play with. I've ran professional windows servers before as well as Solaris and Linux servers. I wanted to compare it.

Now I would take any of the professional grade ones over WHS personally, but that's because I'm a bit more technical savvy and I would want to do a lot more with my server (and I do). But I found WHS to be VERY friendly and usable.

It looks and feels like Windows, which you're probably used to. Quickly and easily connects to your other Windows machines (which you're probably running all of as well). Makes it simple to set up things like backup of your machines, sharing data, and all the things you're looking for. It also have a bunch of neat features that you can explore as well as add-ins that you can install and play with. It'll be a neat learning experience for those who aren't all savvy on the topic.

Oh and that RAID thing... don't worry. WHS makes expanding the hard drives and having redundancy and all that stuff pretty seamless and easy for the none techno-philes out there. You don't have to worry about that, instead it's just a few clicks of the mouse in a simple GUI-wizard.

I kept mine running still anyways, it runs on a virtual machine on my Xen server. It integrates nicely with Windows Media Center which I had running on another VM on my Xen server, making sharing recorded TV shows with every computer in the house easier. This was a feature that other Windows servers didn't have... and seeing as I have the space to spare in my Xen server, might as well.


If you compare all this to say a linux server... it's easy going for someone like yourself. Yeah a linux server OS is free (the OS, not the hardware...), but it's also far more intimidating and has a HUGE learning curve (that RAID word... yeah, RAID is a bitch in linux... and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The average joe would rather spoon their eyes out than deal with mdadm or LVM or anything like that).

Windows Home Server actually creates a product that is friendly to the average joe, and is scaled down enough to run very smoothly on a small intel Atom processor and the sort. You can go out and just pick up one of these machines, connect it to your network, and it's pretty much ready to go.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 15 March 2012 - 07:56 AM

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#6 Kingbradley6  Icon User is offline

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Re: NAS vs Home Server?

Posted 16 March 2012 - 02:39 PM

View Postlordofduct, on 15 March 2012 - 02:50 PM, said:

*


Hmm okay lots to think about. Thank you :) - very informative :)
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