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Unraid or synology....and virtulization (vmware)

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So currently I am running my plex server on an old workstation (built in 2010) and a drobo gen 3 (USB). It works, and im not out of storage by any means, but its old and starting to show its age. I have been considering building an unraid box, or buying a small synology (DS918+). I would also like to have the option of running some virtulization, I am very familiar with VMware, but im very open to a different platform.


I have additional storage to put into what ever I decide to do ( 3 x 8TB, 8 x 2tb) on top of the 4 x 4tb that is currently in the drobo. I also have a 4U 15 bay server chasis (brand new), so if I am building, I would basically need a motherboard, cpu, ram and PSU, and possibly video card. I know I can buy these for the $540ish price of the DS918+, however, there is so much used server grade hardware out there that might help me build a much better machine than the synology for the same price (or less).


I guess I am just looking for opinions on what to do, and maybe some hardware recommendations, especially if I could turn this into a multipurpose build and have a solid virtulization setup on top of unraid. Maybe I should look into a small Ryzen build instead of used xeon stuff, or maybe I should just stick to synology and keep it simple, since I already have the drives, and don't have the need for a huge amount of storage.


Any feedback is welcome. Thanks in advance!

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Depends on what kind of virtualization you want and how much you want to be able to run on the machine.

With Synology you get docker support, which allows you to run a lot of containers. If you are only looking at running 3-4 light weight containers and media streaming this will suffice.


Reading your post it comes across like you don't really have a plan what you really want to use the new NAS /Server for. Consider creating a use case for either a new NAS or a new Server with what you ideally want to run, and what you absolutely need to run. Then consider how much resource each of the use cases will take. Also how much you are willing to pay for each use case that you "nice to have". Then it should become clear which system will be best for your situation.


However....since you already have the drives as well as a case, I would lean towards a server rather then a NAS, simply to have the options to go as far as you want to before running into another wall.


There are some very nice deals on Xeon processors on ebay, if you want to go the server route. But this heavily depends on the use case. Since you don't know what you want to use it for, maybe get a cheap Ryzen 3rd gen (3400 will handle everything nicely, the 3700X will offer a twice as many cores if you want to run more virtualization).


If you want to run Plex 4k without a GPU (like the quadro p2000) consider the 3700X; if you (or someone else) needs to be able to do something on the Server while transcoding.


Hope this helped. :)


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