poofyhairguy Wrote:Agreed. Unraid not being "free-as-in-beer" does make it less appealing (as does the pro version having a Windows OS price for licensing).
But after tons of research, I don't see how anything else compares. UnRaid gives you:
1. Ability to mix and match drives (FreeNAS and RAID solutions require all the same disks, which ends up costing more than buying "whatever is cheapest at the time").
2. Ability to grow the array (a limitation of RAIDZ from what I understand).
3. Ability to have a single drive provide redundancy for the entire array (both RAID 6 and WHS fail at this).
4. Ability to get the data off the individual drives (unlike RAID solutions).
5. Ability to spin down drives not in use for power saving (unlike RAID solutions).
Nothing else brings this much to the table. The downsides? Lack of stripped read speeds, a write bottleneck, and price. Considering that the first two downsides are pretty much useless with a media array, the cost ends up being the only reason this isn't the obvious solution.
When you research solutions for a media server is obvious that traditional RAID is better served in a business setting where maximum read/write performance is needed, and WHS was designed for regular people who think that 6TB is a lot of space.
If you are going to build a media server, and it is going to have more than 4 drives in it (which is needed- HD media fills 2TB drives like nothing), then the best solution is ponying up for Unraid.
that really sums up the unraid unique features. the thing is, nothing is perfect. everything is only perfect for a very specific use case. for unraid, it is the most reliable and optimal for non critical(home use) media server use case.
nevertheless, over the time, new solution emerges. openfiler, openmediavault, flexraid, snapraid and Liquesce are potentially good unraid alternatives. but, to be honest, i havent use any of them yet. havent received all the parts for my server yet. i just read a lot.