NAS functionality

What is the difference between buying a NAS vs using Raspberry Pi to setup a Nextcloud? I don’t understand the difference between these two options.

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Hello @redrightreturning!
NAS external drive is basically a mini computer on its own that has hardware support for RAID functions (in the scenario the case holds 2 or more drives). This means that it has all the software you need already installed, and you can run its OS via web browser. Depending on the NAS, it may have one or two ethernet ports that may decide the transfer speed over the network. Some are WiFi, but I wouldn’t recommend that if you have big files to transfer.

Per the Raspberry Pi, that’s an entirely different part. In this scenario, you will need to install and configure your own drives - set permissions, etc. - for it to work as a Samba or NextCloud server. It will also depend on how much storage you will need. In general, drives are installed via USB on it, preferably USB 3 - and if you wish to setup a RAID system. If you go that route, you will need a RAID enclosure for at least 2 drives and you may need to do a manual RAID setup. Some boxes may come with hardware RAID support.

Hardware is always the best approach, as it’s constantly monitored and tested for reliability by a dedicated microchip.

If you go for a RAID, NAS or Raspberry Pi, I would recommend setting up a RAID-1 for a 2-drive setup. RAID-0 (stripe) will not give you any real speed benefit over the LAN (Ethernet), unless your NAS has a 10GBit port and your Switch (and router) supports it. The typical 1GBit line you see supports up to ~100MB/sec. Given the fact that most modern drives normally read around 147MB/sec, there isn’t much use for any bigger speeds. Plus, if one of the RAID drives fails at some point, in RAID-0 you lose everything. In RAID-1 the second drive acts as a redundancy mirror, so you lose nothing.

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Thank you, This is very helpful.

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It’s my pleasure @redrightreturning ! :slight_smile: