Help/advice, new NAS setup

As thread title says, I’ve just purchased my first NAS setup, QNAP TS-451+with 4x 4tb drives.
Looking at using it for Email server for my business.( not entirely sure it’s necessary, but an option)
Photo backup.
Media player - ATV.
Potential CCTV.

I think I will run Raid 5, so will end up with probably around ~11-12gig storage in the end.

Would you advise partitioning ( how much if yes), for future CCTV capability.

It runs PLEX on it, so that’s an option, although I was thinking of Infuse on ATV 4 and using PLEX media server, haven’t looked into this to much, but have read good things.
It’s in transit, so I’m excited to get it and get it set-up correctly, I do wan’t to get it right the first time though, so any advice and feedback is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Do whatever Plex/local storage stuff you want on it, but don’t run your own email server on it.


2nd that. It’s way too much trouble and it’s likely other places will reject mail from your home made mail server without some work.

I’m onto my 3rd QNAP NAS and I’m yet to get one of them to spin down it’s drives when not in use… probably because it’s never NOT really in use. Something is always doing something it seems.
Last configuration I set aside one drive as a stand alone drive (no RAID) to be used to run VM’s, CCTV and TimeMachine. Things I consider more disposable if the drive ever fails so no need for redundancy. The hope was that the other drives could then spin down when not in use… although that still doesn’t appear to ever happen. I can only assume that Plex, SAB or some other application that is running must be hitting the disk enough to keep it all spun up. At this point I have largely given up trying to save more power in the rack (most of it seems to go to the switches and POE and stuff anyway).

As for CCTV, I’m tempted to just buy a dedicated DVR and move that load off the NAS. It would (hopefully) provide a better and more accessible interface. The QVRPro software that QNAP provides only allows 14 days of recordings if you don’t pay for a licence and it’s a bit slow to use even though I’m running an i7 3770S and 16GB RAM in my (now older) TS-870 Pro. Really though, it’s free and it works… it’s also unlikely I need to go back more than 14 days at home anyway.

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Thanks for the reply @The_Hawk, it’s my first NAS, I did a fair bit of research and it was a toss of the coin between QNAP and Synology, I’ve purchased dedicated NAS drives, most of my data is in iCloud and Google drive as well, I just wanted something on site (as such as well), it’s probably going to be a media centre realistically, I just wanted some advice from you experienced guys around here, to stop me making a mistake.
I do appreciate your input, thank you.

You can’t go too far wrong with setting up disks as they now support thin provisioning anyway, so you can add new volumes/shares as you need to.

Similar story for applications, if you’re only installing apps from their store you can’t go too far wrong at all… if you’re SSHing into the box and manually installing things… well that’s another story entirely.

I’ve tried using docker and failed as I just don’t understand how to get it to work. I ended up just running a few VM’s for stuff, although no so much anymore as I have deployed a Raspberry Pi for PiHole and a few other services so I’m no reliant on the NAS being up and running.

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I use Synology DS115j (Single Drive) NAS for Time Machine backups on the network, purely because the laptop already has one copy and the TimeMachine destination is the 2nd copy. So not going to throw Dual Drive NAS at it for those duties.

I also still have a Synology DS215j (Dual Drive) NAS, but that is going to be replaced maybe by the end of the year. My plan is to put together another system that will use unraid and will be setup with 4-6 drives total. More likely to be 5 drives total. 1 parity disk, 3 others for the array and 1 drive for the cache drive. That system will allow me the flexibility of upgrading replacing disks as they get cheaper and the array capacity will grow as this is done. Of course every drive switch will require the system to rebuild so can take some time to do that. It will also be the spot where I can run my docker stuff and plex server etc. You can even add a Nvidia GPU and then pass that through to the docker plex container for transcoding duties.

I’ve done some initial testing and have an idea what I will start with, just need to wait to get money to purchase what I need. Hope to commence in the next 3 months and will document it on my blog, as I’ve got friends wanting to build/use the same thing. I think it will be good for them, because its easy to manage and the license cost for the setup is not too bad and I will be happy to support the guy who developed it.