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how many NAS applicances / home servers are enough?

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I'm not sure where the best place is for this topic as it is not specific to one particular hardware or software platform...


Suppose one had a pile of servers (or smart NAS devices etc.) available to them, and a set of functions to be performed... how would they best be applied to the task?


I've watched some threads over the years where someone tried to cram an obsessive number of hard disks into a single micro sized case, suggesting one server does it all for them. Others try to cram many VMs into a single box suggesting they need different functions to be on separate OS instances yet desire only a single "box" for them.


there are trade-offs here such as each box be it virtual or physical requires 'administration', and each hardware box consumes power, as well as the impact on your functionality in the event a single box should fail.


and in thinking about this subject, many of the NAS products these days appear nearly indistinguishable from a home server so I think the scope is still appropriate for the 'reset' forum...


should I be "proud of" getting all my functions into a single NAS or server box? only one thing to power, watch over, and provide backup for, but if it stops I lose all the functions at once. Should I be calmed by the fact that if my client backup solution gets a hardware problem my security videos continue to get saved on another box? or maybe I should look at redundancy technology...


anyone think about this stuff when they can't sleep at night?

Edited by nrf

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How long is a piece of string? There is honestly no "right" answer for this what is right for one is not going to be for someone else.


Personally, I have multiple NAS devices at multiple sites and also run multiple servers of various configurations to achieve what I want, and ultimately I will probably end up with one server at home, with two NAS devices but that is not set in stone.


I want to consolidate as much as I can on to as few servers as possible, and utilising virtualisation on one "large" server is more viable for me than to utilise multiple small servers. My advantage on this is most of my clients renew servers every 3-5 years so I can pick up some ex-Lease servers that are in an excellent condition where they have been kept on UPS power and air-conditioned environment their entire life for cents on the dollar. On top of these virtualized servers, I also use a Docker container system to further reduce my overhead on physical requirements. In my case, I need the processing power of these higher end boxes to do some work at home occasionally, but also to enable some functions for family use that simply require raw horsepower, transcoding 4K Blu-Ray streams on the fly for one, even with a higher end NAS taking care of it, it still struggles transcoding and it is not unusual to get warnings and have it stop transcoding if left to run on the NAS itself.


Some of the NVR and Home Automation software I have been trying also requires some serious processing at times. Storage is also a large requirement hence the larger NAS devices and HDD's


I am also aware that for home use I need to keep it as simple as possible as if I get hit by a bus whilst on my way to work for instance it is going to be up to someone else to manage and maintain the system for my family


I have (partially) mirrored NAS's at four different locations (two are at home, one in an outbuilding about 100 meters from the main house) for data with external HDD for backups.


Whilst I advocate for consolidation and simplicity and believe NAS's especially when coupled with systems such as Docker can achieve most things for most home uses, with the best outcomes, this is not always the case as I said above, my situation is my situation and it is not right (or wrong) for anyone else.


Having said that I would love to get Synology to offer some decent hardware specs at a reasonable price, something in the i3 or i5 range with 8-16 gig for transcoding would be fantastic

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