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View Full Version : Is OS X Server Or Synology Right For Us?




load97
Mar 1, 2013, 03:34 AM
I'm currently looking at buying a Synology Nas(213+) for my wife's photography business. But then started thinking about buying a used mac mini and purchasing server since it's only a $20 upgrade. So I am looking for input if either of these ways, or none at all would work well.

Right now, we currently have a mix of Windows & Mac, and probably always will. Her photography clients will have a mix as well. Currently she uses a windows 7 desktop as primary computer, but will probably switch to Mac eventually. She uploads & downloads photo's through dropbox or FileZilla. This is how she interacts with her clients(customers)(maybe other programs that I don't know about too). The amount a client may upload to her can be 5-15 GB(generally 7-10 GB) worth a photo's. My wife then does editing & other album work and then uploads them back to them. Anything to large we ship USB's back & forth.

Currently my wife has 12 or so routine clients she deals with, and a few others that she works with once/once in awhile. So we are trying to get something fairly simplistic to use for ourselves and for the clients. "Preferring" that the clients don't have to download any programs on their end like were currently doing with FileZilla etc. The Synology DSM software that runs on the client side(I believe) is just browser based. That makes it attractive to use. Though, she *might* want to do folder syncing for each client and allow them access to only their folder. Now that I think requires FTP, which the Synology software does through third parties such as FileZilla(if I read the Synology online documentation correctly). Right now we just have a few TB's crammed in to my home built computer, and she uses Crashplan Pro to do online backups.

We currently have business class internet, with the option to have a static IP. We currently don't as it saves us paying Comcast the forced modem rental fee that goes along with a static IP. I'd prefer not to use a static IP if possible because of that. On a side note, if feasible, I wouldn't mind holding our personal stuff(movies, music etc) on the same Nas or server, but I don't want her business side to bog down from me playing music or streaming too many of our movies and what not lol. I can always just do a second Nas for personal use if needed, it will just cost a bit more.

If more info is needed, please let me know.

Thanks



phoenixsan
Mar 1, 2013, 05:15 AM
configure the mini with the OS X Server to allow FTP transfers via Web browsers and via dedicated/special software. But I will investigate, the following escenario:

a) Web access for the ocassional clients
b) Dedicated software access for the regular clients

Or the combination that fits you better. The sync between your wife folders and the client folders can be done easily and away of the uploading/downloading of the files using software. You can create two partitions in the Mac mini, one called, say, "Personal" for your items and "Work" for the tranfer of info with the clients.

One thing about the used mini I dont like is the fact you have some TBs of info/work right now, what implies you have to upgrade the mini HDD. And reading your post, seems to me that you had very figured out how to work with the Sinology NAS, so your learning curve/idle time can be smaller. And time is money.....

:):apple:

load97
Mar 1, 2013, 05:35 AM
configure the mini with the OS X Server to allow FTP transfers via Web browsers and via dedicated/special software. But I will investigate, the following escenario:

a) Web access for the ocassional clients
b) Dedicated software access for the regular clients

Or the combination that fits you better. The sync between your wife folders and the client folders can be done easily and away of the uploading/downloading of the files using software. You can create two partitions in the Mac mini, one called, say, "Personal" for your items and "Work" for the tranfer of info with the clients.

One thing about the used mini I dont like is the fact you have some TBs of info/work right now, what implies you have to upgrade the mini HDD. And reading your post, seems to me that you had very figured out how to work with the Sinology NAS, so your learning curve/idle time can be smaller. And time is money.....

:):apple:

A & B is kind of what I was figuring as well. Though, what kind of dedicated software is out there that you would think about? Is (A) done through a URL link etc for the occasional clients?

I figured I'd have to upgrade the hard drives which isn't too hard to do on the mini. Then use the USB ports to setup hard drive redundancy of some sorts.

phoenixsan
Mar 1, 2013, 11:25 PM
Transmit can be a good FTP software to try. And about the ocassional clients, yes, I think the FTP server can be configured to provide a link or Web address to access the files.

Good luck with your project.:)

:):apple:

thisMRguy
Mar 2, 2013, 12:18 AM
NAS devices are super friendly between all OS's.

Synology running SHR (raid) will enable you to upgrade drives anytime, also create a redundant local backup solution.

Seeing as she receives 7-10gb of data every now and then, this will add up over time, and Synology allows changing a drive form 2tb now to 4tb down the track easy.

DSM gives you a lot of options, easy to use/setup and allows files to be easily accessible via FTP/WebDAV/DS Cloud features. You can also download several Synology apps to your iphone/android to control its features.

Only thing missing for vital documents/data is an offsite backup solution but can easily be solved

btw I used to use my old mini 10.7 with server.Now i'm a Qnap user since a few months ago but also purchased a Synology 412+ for a family friends business, I like both units, but would recommend Synology for ease of use/setup/SHR and 3rd party packages.

edit: super power efficient & device can be hidden anywhere in the house as its all controlled with your browser.

dimme
Mar 2, 2013, 10:22 AM
I use a mini server and I am happy with it. I have my Photography colection stored on it (500GB). You will end up using external drives which will need to be backed up to another external drive. And preferably a third for off site storage. But a nice side feature of the external drives is if the server all of a sudded went south you can take the external and plud it into another mac and your data is there. I manage our data at work also and I was never a bid fan of raid devices. Over the years I found for total back up you need 3 copies, of your data.. And raid does not count as two.

thejadedmonkey
Mar 2, 2013, 04:31 PM
I'd go with the synology nas, simply because it's is independent. if you configure everything correctly, any windows users can connect to it and drag and drop files via windows explorer. I haven't tried it with is x, but I would imagine you could do the same.

blueroom
Mar 2, 2013, 04:56 PM
You could use WebDAV as it requires no client software. Synology supports it.

load97
Mar 2, 2013, 09:41 PM
I'm checking out Transmit right now. Thanks guys.

----------

Also, can I use the 213(or any 2 disk Synology)to backup to 2 external hard drives through the USB? Basically a raid 1? That way I have our home stuff on one hard drive being backed up to the external, while the wife's business hard drive gets backed up to the other external hard drive.

load97
Mar 3, 2013, 12:01 AM
Also, can I use the 213(or any 2 disk Synology)to backup to 2 external hard drives through the USB? Basically a raid 1? That way I have our home stuff on one hard drive being backed up to the external, while the wife's business hard drive gets backed up to the other external hard drive.

blueroom
Mar 3, 2013, 12:02 AM
Also, can I use the 213(or any 2 disk Synology)to backup to 2 external hard drives through the USB? Basically a raid 1? That way I have our home stuff on one hard drive being backed up to the external, while the wife's business hard drive gets backed up to the other external hard drive.

Yep. Easy, just set a scheduled backup. That's what I have.

load97
Mar 3, 2013, 12:07 AM
A scheduled backup wont be quite as good or real time as a raid 1 though? Some of the Synology Nas boxes put in the same price as a new Mac Mini.

matspekkie
Mar 3, 2013, 07:29 AM
I'm currently looking at buying a Synology Nas(213+) for my wife's photography business. But then started thinking about buying a used mac mini and purchasing server since it's only a $20 upgrade. So I am looking for input if either of these ways, or none at all would work well.

Right now, we currently have a mix of Windows & Mac, and probably always will. Her photography clients will have a mix as well. Currently she uses a windows 7 desktop as primary computer, but will probably switch to Mac eventually. She uploads & downloads photo's through dropbox or FileZilla. This is how she interacts with her clients(customers)(maybe other programs that I don't know about too). The amount a client may upload to her can be 5-15 GB(generally 7-10 GB) worth a photo's. My wife then does editing & other album work and then uploads them back to them. Anything to large we ship USB's back & forth.

Currently my wife has 12 or so routine clients she deals with, and a few others that she works with once/once in awhile. So we are trying to get something fairly simplistic to use for ourselves and for the clients. "Preferring" that the clients don't have to download any programs on their end like were currently doing with FileZilla etc. The Synology DSM software that runs on the client side(I believe) is just browser based. That makes it attractive to use. Though, she *might* want to do folder syncing for each client and allow them access to only their folder. Now that I think requires FTP, which the Synology software does through third parties such as FileZilla(if I read the Synology online documentation correctly). Right now we just have a few TB's crammed in to my home built computer, and she uses Crashplan Pro to do online backups.

We currently have business class internet, with the option to have a static IP. We currently don't as it saves us paying Comcast the forced modem rental fee that goes along with a static IP. I'd prefer not to use a static IP if possible because of that. On a side note, if feasible, I wouldn't mind holding our personal stuff(movies, music etc) on the same Nas or server, but I don't want her business side to bog down from me playing music or streaming too many of our movies and what not lol. I can always just do a second Nas for personal use if needed, it will just cost a bit more.

If more info is needed, please let me know.

Thanks
The Mac mini cannot house very large drives and 2 max internal. For more storage you need external boxes and that will add up the bill.
For the use you are describing I would recommend a synology.
It can hold large drives in raid has a lot of ways to share data and is better crossplatform and easier of use less maintenance. But you cannot use it as an computer!!
I know you're answer ... Get both haha

load97
Mar 3, 2013, 08:54 AM
Either way, I will have to buy hard drives, so I'm not sure that cost would matter much.

assembled
Mar 3, 2013, 04:50 PM
crushftp on a mac mini, it does web based access, ftp access, webdav access, and scp/ftps etc

dynamic dns so that clients can access it

glenthompson
Mar 3, 2013, 07:26 PM
Something else to consider is whether you want to open your network and devices to the outside world. For the cost of upgrading your connection and hardware, you can host with a number of places and get redundancy, backup, and security.

Unless you need the additional services of OS X server, the NAS can do a good job and is easier to expand.

blueroom
Mar 3, 2013, 07:31 PM
crushftp on a mac mini, it does web based access, ftp access, webdav access, and scp/ftps etc

dynamic dns so that clients can access it

Quality control on Synology is excellent too, power usage is also lower. Plus you can use 3.5" drives and more of them depending on which model.

load97
Mar 4, 2013, 05:55 AM
I bought a Synology DS713+ through Amazon this morning. I also bought a 2 GB stick of memory to put in to it as well. It comes with 1 GB; that I will be swapping out. I still need to find a few 4 TB hard drives that won't break the bank lol.

freejazz-man
Mar 4, 2013, 06:49 PM
did you check to see if those 4tb HDD's are compatible with synology?

load97
Mar 4, 2013, 07:18 PM
Yep. There is a compatibility list on Synology's website.

freejazz-man
Mar 5, 2013, 10:52 AM
as long as you aren't relying on synology's backup software you should be fine, that stuff sucks

renkaliko
Mar 17, 2013, 02:36 PM
WD Red Drives are made for NAS devices.