View Full Version : Home Server issues. Good NAS/Server OS?

My WHS 2011 install has been acting up lately. Losing privileges, really slow, hiccups during steaming, etc.. I first thought it was an issue with my router, so I replaced an older Netgear with an Asus RT-N66U. Love the new router, but that didn't fix the server issues. After some testing, I'm thinking the system drive in the server is going bad. It was an older drive to begin with, and I should have known better than use it. So I've bought a new system drive and am in the process of copying all my files out of Drive Pool on the server in preparation for replacing the system drive.

I'm looking for recommendations for a good home server OS. Nothing fancy, but something solid. I have ZERO experience with anything but Windows OS's. I'd like to learn more about Linux, as long as it's not a command line only interface. Also would be able to install and use Sabnzbd and Sickbeard on whatever OS I choose.

I don't need any fancy backup or redundancy. I just want my files to be available to my network and at a good speed. All my media is streamed to multiple items in my house, as we cut the cord a few years ago. All my important stuff is backed up off site. Also like it to be expandable if need be, as I have a 24 bay server case for future proofing.

I'm looking at:

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 - Own it, so free. I bought Stablebit Drivepool, so I can get a pool setup if I choose. My daily driver, so I know everything works and can troubleshoot easily.

Amahi - Free. Seems to be popular. Nice interface. Easy to install and administer. Has most things I'm looking for. Has Sabnzbd and Sickbeard support. Seen complaints about some apps not working properly, like Sickbeard.

FreeNAS - Free. Probably the most popular option I've come across. Seems to have some high hardware requirements if you want to use ZFS, which I know nothing about. Questionable if Sab/Sickbeard will work.

NAS4Free - Same as FreeNAS, except using a FreeNAS 7 base I believe.

Windows 8 - Relatively cheap. Has drive pooling. It's Windows, so my apps will work. It's Windows 8, so it has metro, which is not good and I'll have to replace.

I tried Amahi, Server 2012 Essentials R2, and FreeNas since I had the time and the server was empty. Server 2012 Essentials was leaps and bounds more stable, faster, and easier to use. So I'm running that until January when the preview is up, then I'll probably buy Server 2012 for the Hyper-V support. Expensive, but I'm super happy with this setup now.

Coming from WHS 2011 to Server 2012E is night and day. Still make me giddy on how fast my transfers and RDP sessions are after having so many issues with WHS 2011.

So I've been running the Server 2012 Essentials r2 preview. It expires in January, and I'm looking for a permanent solution. Server 2012 Standard is so expensive, I'm having trouble justifying that purchase. Essentials is expensive, but about half the price. I've found some cheap copies of Server 2012 R2 on EBay, but they're definitely from questionable sources.