Greetings. First time poster. I have been researching rolling my own NAS. Based on what I have found, I think Rockstor is the way to go. I currently have a Synology, but am growing disappointed with their hardware development and want something beefier to support more intense applications e.g. multiple 4k Plex streams, etc. I have a few questions though just to make sure I am thinking about everything. Your feedback would be helpful.
Synology has been the first “computer” that I have had the has truly been set it up once and forget it. Not a single problem in two years. As long as I stay on the Stable Rockstor release channel, would Rockstor be similar? Though, I like to tinker which is why I am even entertaining this.
With Synology, I use the Synology Hybrid Raid. I have it set for 2 disk failure. Over the past two years I have added a couple of drives to the storage pool without hiccup. Super easy. The pool checked for parity for a couple of days, and off it went – with no interruption to service. Can Rockstor work the same way? Does it have the same feature?
I use btrfs on Synology. Looks like Rockstor has the same. Assuming I can do snapshots with that.
Is Plex updated pretty regularly on Rockstor?
Rockstor is still in high development flux, and is likely to occasionally break things. If you want stability in your system, I would set it up as you require it, and then not update it (In the same way that I assume you probably have not updated the Synology firmware, because barely anybody not in enterprise does!)
Bear in mind that while Rockstor attempts to emulate being an appliance like a Synology/QNAP/Buffalo NAS, it isn’t – It is a fully fledged linux operating system running on a consumer level computer – it will be subject to some of the same issues.
Yes, this is a native feature of BTRFS and is well supported in Rockstor. My own RAID started as 4x4Tb disks, and is now 4x6Tb + 4x4Tb disks in one pool.
You certainly can, scheduled snapshots are available in the UI.
Plex is provided by a third party (LinuxServer.io Plex) as a ‘Docker’ image, which is then imported as a ‘Rockon’.
As a result, LinuxServer.io maintains the plex image.
LinuxServer.io is a trusted maintainer of many docker images, they are very good at keeping things up to date.
More importantly, the container is set to auto-update on start, so if you find that plex is out of date, you can simply go to the rockstor UI, stop the Rockon and start it again (Takes about 5-10 mins to update plex on my slow as buggery Australian interwebz.)
I hope that this answers your questions suitably.
More than suitably.
I do actually update my Synology every time a new update comes out.
The main reason for wanting to do this is to simply get a much higher level of performance.
Well, depending on your hardware setup, you can certainly get some pretty epic performance out of it.
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
MSI B350M Mortar Arctic
16Gb DDR4 @2100Mhz
Nvidia GT750 (Because Ryzen won't boot with graphics card, not used for anything else)
2x IBM ServeRAID M5110 (Only one in use at the moment)
1x Intel 540 series SSD
2x WD Red 6TB (WD60EFRX)
2x Toshiba 6TB (MD040ACA600) - Don't get these, they blow.
4x WD Red 4Tb (WD40EFRX)
Custom chassis built into Ikea Hol box
I have Rockstor root on the SSD, and primary pool as RAID10 on the rotating rust.
With the above, I can stream 4K Plex while downloading at my max DL speed (which is admittedly crap. ~3.5Mb/S), also constantly storing and processing CCTV footage. Typically I never go above load avg of around 2.
While I highly recommend Rockstor, if you do go down this path, be ready to tinker. The stable branch is for the moment bypassing testing and has been known to break things on update.
There is a lot of community support here (Myself being one of them, I just use the thing, I don’t make it), but questions can sometimes take a while to answer, or remain unanswered if nobody knows the answer.
I suppose the path of least resistance for me would just be to build a high powered machine with plex server and use that, keeping the Synology as a file server.
I do like to tinker though so when I found Rockstor I was intrigued.
Thank you for info on your setup. I will look into it.
Also, mentioning this to avoid potential downfall later.
Unless you do not care about your data, and are very confident with btrfs, DO NOT USE RAID5/6.
These RAID levels are not stable or suitable for production in BTRFS.
Yet, people consistently set them up, and give BTRFS a bad name when they choose to use something that is inherently broken at the moment.
I took a chance and put Rockstor into production at a medium-sized SME after a few weeks of testing. The data volumes are not high but the requirement for reliability and security of data are very important, supporting non-IT-technical users.
Configuration was a pain as there are a number of quirks depending on your configuration.
I run a RAID-1 setup. As others have mentioned, raid 5/6 is not a good idea at this time, and I don’t like those modes anyway.
Once running I have had few issues. There are a few problems with leaving the GUI open.
I recommend buying good hardware that has a solid linux pedigree.
I haven’t been fired.
Provided everything remains stable, I’ll recommend putting some of the savings back into a donation for the team. I paid for the basic stable support, and I would have paid more for an “enterprise” option if one was available. If I ever had to do a rebuild, I’d probably pony up for a support incident.
Overall, if you’re willing to put up with some frustrations, it will work. Anytime I make a serious change or upgrade, though, I make sure I am prepared to rebuild the box from a fresh install. This is best practice anyway… If you are not prepared to accept this, then I wouldn’t recommend going ahead if it matters. (e.g. if you’re going to get fired).
You’ve got some serious balls there mate, I wish you the best of luck!
Keep good backups, even if Rockstor itself experiences no issues, BTRFS is known to have hiccups from time to time. I love the technology, but it’s recoverability needs a lot of work.
My hardware choice for my own box had no pedigree (linux or otherwise), been running with very few issues that I didn’t cause myself.–> Ryzen 5 1600, installed only a month after the Kernel fixes were released.
As a result of this, I had to install on another system, update, then move the disk to the Ryzen.
The only issue I’ve seen with the UI is the DataTables error on AJAX when the UI has been open for while, what are you experiencing.