After 10 years (or so) of using a PC as a file server, I finally decided enough is enough. The size, noise and upkeep of my old PC was just a bit too much for me to want to deal with any longer. Not that there’s an issue with using a PC as a file server, but it just seems, now, a bit overkill.
My original goal when I build the PC server was to use virtualization in order to run various servers and experiment with various technologies. While that worked for a time, the amount of memory I needed ended up growing beyond what I have and the price to upgrade became too much for what is basically an eight-year-old machine.
The size also became a bit too much to handle. When I built the machine originally, I bought a huge full tower case. I assumed that I would ultimately need multiple HDDs and a big power supply. Had I stuck with the virtualization, then this may have made more sense. Now, it’s just a noisy boat anchor that serves (pun intended) as a file and iTunes server.
One other reason to move away starts with the advent of streaming music services (Google Play, which I use). I now rely much less on the iTunes sharing than ever before. My kids have a bedtime play list they use every night to go to sleep, but other than that (and the occasional Sonos use), I don’t rely on it as heavily as before.
With this in mind, I started looking at stand alone Network Attached Storage devices. I like the idea of a bespoke device to manage this setup. I also like the size of the device as opposed to beastie I have now. The new devices also appear to offer more functionality and can, basically, replace a lot of the things I needed a stand alone PC for before.
If you’re curious, I ended up with a Synolog DS416play. It was slightly more expensive than I was planning on, but it does offer better media capabilities, including hardware-based media transcoding. This was something I’d tried on the old system and it just couldn’t keep up. I’m hoping to dump much of my media on there and share them out to my Chromecast and Roku devices.
As I spend more time with it, I’ll post more.